2009 BMW 135

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$35,850

starting MSRP

2009 BMW 135

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Compact size
  • Performance potential
  • Handling potential

The bad:

  • Hard on the eyes
  • Navigation requires iDrive

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • i

    $35,850

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2009 BMW 135 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Coupe or convertible
  • Twin-turbo inline-six
  • Six airbags in coupe
  • Available Active Steering

2009 BMW 135 review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


CORNWALL, N.Y. — Bad times are best enjoyed in the rearview mirror. So mostly for the heck of it, I got in the 2009 BMW 135i coupe and drove here nearly 300 miles from my home in Northern Virginia.

The women in my family would’ve had me do otherwise — hop a plane, take a train or, God forbid, ride a bus from Virginia to New York. I will do that sort of thing eventually.

But now I’d rather revel in my hypocrisy, passionately proclaiming my support for mass transit while doing everything in my power to avoid it.

That, to many people, including some in my family, is an unseemly charade, one worthy of a politician — other than, of course, Vice President Biden, who seems to have a genuine thing for Amtrak.

But I can explain.

I love cars. I am hopelessly addicted to them, although I am keenly aware of their rather steep downside in matters environmental and energy. I require no intervention. None would work, anyway. Just put me in something like the 135i coupe and let me go.

It is the kind of car loved by people who love driving — rear-wheel drive, diminutive yet gifted with power (in this case, 300 horsepower delivered by an inline six-cylinder engine) and wonderfully agile on surfaces such as Angola Road here, which twists, turns, dips, disappears and reappears around curves.

There’s just something to love about a car that intuitively follows all of that. It’s like the motorized version of a faithful dog — I’m thinking chocolate Labrador — who follows you everywhere, knows your moves, and senses your mood. It is the car as pet.

That means it also comes with a few surprises — happily, all of them good. The first is comfort.

Coupes and roadsters inherently are selfish cars, “me-mobiles” often expressly designed for the pleasure of the driver. The 135i certainly delivers on that score. But even there, it does its job in a way that doesn’t wear out the car’s driver or its passengers.

A part of the secret is BMW’s application of common sense. Unlike some of its rivals, BMW does not attempt to stuff five seats into a compact coupe that is more desirable for four people. There are four seats — two up front and two in the rear, and that’s that. The result is enough headroom and legroom for four people, which helps to keep those four people reasonably civil on long trips.

The second surprise is the sheer ease with which the135i graces the road. Put another way, it does a good job of providing driving excitement without demanding Grand Prix racing competence from the driver.

I like that. I want to have fun behind the wheel without being made to feel less than worthy for sitting there, which is the way some automobiles — I’m thinking the $1.45 million Lamborghini Reventon — can make you feel.

Models such as the Reventon are so expensive, so powerful, so technologically sophisticated, and so darned fast, they quite literally leave you breathless, thinking that you should be somewhere else instead of the driver’s seat, overwhelmed with the anxiety of possibly crashing the thing or doing some other damage that will scar you and the car forever.

There is excitement in driving cars such as the Reventon. But, for me, there is no fundamental joy in doing so, certainly not the kind I get from getting behind the wheel of a well-crafted, well-balanced, reasonably affordable (for successful entrepreneurs or wage slaves still fortunate enough to be in jobs that pay higher tax-rate salaries) coupe such as the BMW 135i.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value for the money 4.2
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.0

Most recent consumer reviews

4.6

Most enjoyable car to drive I have ever owned.

Just like BMW advertises, this car is designed for the driving enthusiast. I enjoy every moment behind the wheel. It is very fast yet reasonably economical. It is an excellent compromise between a family car and a sports car.

4.3

Great Car, maint. Costs a little pricey

I have an ‘09 135i AT and love the car. Test drove a N55 (2011 135i) and Porsche Cayman back to back and preferred the power delivery of the 135i, granted it was a base Cayman. Nonetheless, the Porsche was more expensive so I ended up buying a N54 135i a couple of months later. I did really enjoy the N55, but 14,800$ for a 35K mile car seemed (at the time) like a better deal. I bought the car at carmax and bought an extended warranty (which has already paid for itself and then some), had I not gotten the warranty my view of this car may be completely different bc some of the xxxxxxI’ve had by now would’ve totaled thousands of dollars. Transmission problem cost abt 2500 to fix (covered by warranty), stereo screen monitor 700$, windshield wiper fluid reservoir 400$, vanos sallinoid (sp?) 400$...Tires are 1000$ a year it . I think I’m leaving out one or two fixes that came up...thankfully the warranty covered most of the repairs. Other than that, the car is a blast to drive, steering feel is great! Power is awesome, engine sound is so smooth yet strong at the same time, handles the twisty roads effortlessly, I personally love the stout stubby , bulldog look of it. Im6.3, 240 and I fit great in the car, so it’s comfortable (the Cayman was very tight interior space wise)...for an 11 year old car the car is well built (have the slightest of rattle on the dash which is hard plastic), doesn’t always rattle but on bumpy roads I sometimes notice it and it’s annoying. All in all, I bought this as a second car for fun, and it has been fun. But had I not gotten the warranty, I think I’d be pissed! So I can understand the gripe in some of these reviews! Also, I considered modifying and may still do so, but only after the warranty has run its course. In retrospect if I had to do it over, I might have gotten a Boxster , and definitely would’ve gone manual. But this is what I have and I’m still loving it! I had also considered the M235...but couldn’t justify paying 25-30k for a toy...near $15k and I prefer the looks and steering more. The sound system kinda sucks btw

2.0

Most unreliable car I’ve ever owned

I purchased a 2009 BMW 135i in the moth of July 2018 from BMW of Gwinnett Place, at first glance the car was the total package. At only $14,000 I bought a lightweight, 300 horsepower convertible with a dual clutch transmission. The car was purchased stock and remained stock throughout ownership. I had plans for modifications like an upgraded exhaust, tune, bov/charge pipe, etc but the car kept breaking down every other month before I could get to modifying it. At first I figured a German car with 65,000 miles may have a few small kinks to be worked out, but no. This car had several major problems that resulted in $7k worth of repairs which was half of what I paid for the car. It left me stranded on 4 separate occasions and other occasions where I still had to get it towed. I ended up knowing a AAA agent on a first name basis. The coolant system once exploded ($2300) a pipe leading to the turbos broke into pieces ($1500), the belts were worn really badly ($750), the brakes never lasted long ($850), the hvac system was prone to failing ($700), the ignition coils weren’t reliable either ($900), and the list goes on. It’s obvious that German cars aren’t cheap to fix but don’t expect the repairs and maintenance to be a rare occurrence like a regular car. I learned to expect something to fail every time I started the car. When originally purchased the car was inspected and given a ‘clean bill of health’, either the car wasn’t inspected and they lied to me or the car was inspected and they lied to me. Either way I traded in this BMW for a CPO Infiniti Q50 with a 6-year unlimited mile warranty and have been very happy with it.

See all 23 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by BMW
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
144 months/unlimited distance
Maintenance
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
196-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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See all 2009 BMW 135 articles