Above the entry-level BMW 128i are the 135i and new 135is. The car comes as a coupe or convertible and shoppers might cross-shop the 135 with the Nissan 370Z, Infiniti G37 or top-end versions of Detroit's muscle cars.
The 128i is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
New for 2013
A new 135is model powered by a tuned version of the car's turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine makes 320 horsepower and 317 pounds-feet of torque. Offered in either coupe or convertible form, the 135is features a performance exhaust and a more robust cooling system. Exterior cues include unique 18-inch wheels, a high-gloss black kidney grille and side mirrors, and trim-specific badges. Inside, the 135is gets stainless-steel pedals, more badges and sport seats that can be finished in optional black leather with blue stitching.
With standard visual cues that come only with the 128i's optional M Sport Package, the 135i has an aggressive front bumper with three large air inlets.
Rather than the 3 Series convertible's folding metal hardtop, the 135i convertible has a fabric soft-top that can open or close in 22 seconds, BMW says. It operates at speeds up to 25 mph.
The 1 Series remains a small car overall, about 2 inches shorter and narrower than a Scion tC. The popular 3 Series coupe, in comparison, measures about 10 inches longer. Exterior features include:
- Xenon headlights with LED accents
- Rear spoiler
- 17- or 18-inch wheels
- Power tilt/sliding moonroof
- Chrome exhaust tips
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
The 135i's interior design is fairly traditional, with more upright shapes than sweeping contours. Dual-zone climate controls sit below the center air vents and optional navigation system, with BMW's iDrive knob controller ahead of the center console. The system can read text messages aloud or stream songs off a paired BlackBerry smartphone.
On 135i coupes, the two-position backseat folds in a standard 60/40 split. The convertible offers only a center pass-through. Vinyl seats are standard, with leather optional. The M Sport Package adds unique headliner materials, an M-branded steering wheel and shifter, and sport seats with more aggressive side bolstering. Interior features include:
- Optional Harman Kardon premium stereo
- Optional BMW Apps integrates your smartphone's mobile applications
Under the Hood
The available M Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension with high-performance, six-piston front and two-piston rear brakes. Mechanical features include:
- Turbocharged inline-six engine makes 300 horsepower and 300 pounds-feet of torque (135i)
- Turbocharged inline-six makes 320 hp and 317 pounds-feet of torque (135is)
- Six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters
- Optional active steering
Active head restraints, two-row side curtain airbags (on the coupe), front airbags and side-impact airbags for the front seats are all standard. Additional safety features include:
- Electronic stability system
- Antilock brakes
- Pop-up roll bars deploy aft of the rear seats in the event of a rollover (convertible)