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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Cars.com Staff
December 15, 2008
Vehicle Overview BMW's small 1 Series debuted in the U.S. for 2008 as a coupe and a convertible. The up-level 135i is powered by a 300-horsepower, twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder engine that drives the rear wheels. A less expensive 128i is also offered. The 135i competes with performance cars like the Nissan 350Z and Volkswagen R32.
New for 2009 New features include a heated steering wheel available on models with the Cold Weather Package, plus a new iDrive control feature on navigation-equipped 135i models. Also new on models with the nav system is a Google Maps feature that allows users to search for restaurants, gas stations, etc. using Google's database.
Exterior Compared to the 3 Series coupe, the 135i 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.
Adaptive xenon headlights follow the direction of the road
135i adds an aero kit that BMW says provides greater downforce and improved brake cooling
18-inch wheels standard on coupe, available on convertible
Heated side-view mirrors and heated windshield washer jets
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
Interior There's room for four in the 135i; front occupants sit on bucket seats and there's room for two in the backseat.
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; new control feature for 2009
Under the Hood The 135i uses twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection to make 300 horsepower and 300 pounds-feet of torque.
300-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine with 300 pounds-feet of torque
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission
Optional paddle shifters on automatic transmission
Optional Active Steering system can adjust how much the car turns for a given turn of the steering wheel
Compared to the 128i, the 135i has a stiffer sport suspension and performance brakes
Safety Safety feature include:
Side-impact airbags for the front seats
Side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants
Electronic stability system
Convertible loses the side curtain airbags but keeps the side-impact airbags and features popup roll bars