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.
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
- 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 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
- Rear-wheel drive
- 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 feature 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