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. Both body styles also come with a more powerful turbocharged engine as 135i models, covered in a separate report in the Cars.com Research section. The 128i competes with other performance cars like the Mazda RX-8 and Nissan 370Z.
A power moonroof that had been standard on the coupe becomes optional as a stand-alone item or part of an option package.
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 steering wheel
- Available automatic high-beam headlights
- 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
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 an MP3 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
- Standard HD radio
BMW’s inline-six-cylinder engine makes 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 pop-up roll bars