BMW's small 1 Series debuted in the U.S. for 2008 as a coupe and a convertible. The base 128i is powered by an inline-six-cylinder engine that drives the rear wheels. Available in spring 2008, the 128i competes with other performance cars like the Mazda RX-8 and Nissan 350Z.
New for 2009
New features include a heated steering wheel that's been added to the Cold Weather Package, as well as a new control feature for iDrive on navigation-equipped 128 models. Also new on navigation models is a Google Maps feature that allows users to search for restaurants, gas stations, etc. using Google's database.
Compared to the 3 Series coupe, the 128i features a more upright grille and a C-pillar that's not as sleekly styled. A pronounced sheet metal crease runs the length of the coupe's sides, which are otherwise relatively smooth.
- Available adaptive xenon headlights follow the direction of the road
- Standard heated side-view mirrors and heated windshield washer jets
- Standard rain-sensing wipers
- Convertible features power-operated soft-top that BMW says can open or close in 22 seconds
- Convertible top available in black, taupe and Moonlight Black
- Moonlight Black features metallic fibers integrated into the material, which BMW says makes the top look silver in sunlight
There's room for four in the 128i; front occupants sit on bucket seats and the backseat has room for two.
- Simulated leather seating surfaces; real leather is optional
- Auxiliary jack for connecting a portable music player
- 60/40-split folding rear seat can expand the coupe's trunk
- Optional Sport Package includes sport seats with more aggressive bolstering
- Convertible's leather seats have BMW's Sun Reflective Technology, which is designed to lower the temperature of seats exposed to sunlight
- Optional navigation system equips the 1 Series with BMW's iDrive control system; gets new control feature for 2009
Under the Hood
BMW's inline-six-cylinder engine makes a modest 230 horsepower in the 128i. If that isn't enough, consider stepping up to the 300-hp, twin-turbocharged 135i, which is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
- 230-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder
- Rear-wheel drive
- Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission
- Optional paddle shifters with automatic transmission
Safety features include:
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants
- Electronic stability system
- Antilock brakes
- Convertible loses the side curtain airbags but keeps the side-impact airbags and features popup roll bars