2012 BMW 135

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(5.0) 7 reviews
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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2012 BMW 135. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance and handling
  • Solid convertible chassis
  • Steering feedback
  • Top-down looks (convertible)

The Bad

  • Minimal backseat space
  • Sharp edges on turn-signal stalk
  • Interior door pulls lack leverage
  • Long reach for seat belts

Notable Features of the 2012 BMW 135

  • Visual updates for 2012
  • New higher-performance 1 Series M
  • Coupe or convertible
  • Standard power soft-top (convertible)
  • Rear-wheel drive, manual or dual-clutch automatic

2012 BMW 135 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series enters its fifth year on the market with a few visual changes, as well as a new higher-performance version from BMW's M division, dubbed the 1 Series M. Above the entry-level 128i is the 135i, whose compact dimensions and two-door layout give it few genuine competitors. The car comes as a coupe or convertible; shoppers might cross-shop the 135i with the Nissan 370Z, Infiniti G37 coupe or top-end versions of Detroit's muscle cars.

The 128i is covered separately in Cars.com's Research section.

(Skip to details on the: BMW 1 Series M)

Exterior
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. Xenon headlights are standard, and they carry a white bordering up top for 2012, mirroring the headlight treatment across most other BMWs. These lights include a string of LEDs embedded in the caps, a visual cue used in the automaker's redesigned 6 Series.

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.

Interior
The 135i's interior design is fairly traditional, with more upright shapes than sweeping contours...

Vehicle Overview

The rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series enters its fifth year on the market with a few visual changes, as well as a new higher-performance version from BMW's M division, dubbed the 1 Series M. Above the entry-level 128i is the 135i, whose compact dimensions and two-door layout give it few genuine competitors. The car comes as a coupe or convertible; shoppers might cross-shop the 135i with the Nissan 370Z, Infiniti G37 coupe or top-end versions of Detroit's muscle cars.

The 128i is covered separately in Cars.com's Research section.

(Skip to details on the: BMW 1 Series M)

Exterior
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. Xenon headlights are standard, and they carry a white bordering up top for 2012, mirroring the headlight treatment across most other BMWs. These lights include a string of LEDs embedded in the caps, a visual cue used in the automaker's redesigned 6 Series.

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.

Interior
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 latest-generation iDrive knob controller ahead of the center console. The system can now read text messages aloud or stream songs off a paired BlackBerry smartphone.

BMW says the cabin controls boast "a more refined look and feel" for 2012, though the layout is hard to distinguish from 2011's. In contrast to the seat belts that motor forward for easier reach in the 3 Series coupe, the 1 Series' belts are fixed onto the B-pillars.

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.

Under the Hood
The 135i's turbocharged inline-six makes 300 horsepower and 300 pounds-feet of torque. It works through a six-speed manual or BMW's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Either car hits 60 mph in about 5 seconds, BMW says. The M Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension with high-performance, six-piston front and two-piston rear brakes.

If that seems like too much, consider stepping down to the 230-hp, normally aspirated 128i, which is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.

Safety
Active head restraints, two-row side curtain airbags, front airbags and side-impact airbags for the front seats are all standard. So is an electronic stability system, antilock brakes and traction control. Like most convertibles, the 135i convertible does not have the curtain airbags; pop-up roll bars deploy behind the rear seats in the event of a rollover.

1 Series M
Rather than the single-turbo setup from the 135i, the 1 Series M gets a twin-turbo six-cylinder that's good for 335 hp and 332 pounds-feet of torque. In extreme situations, the 1 Series M can enter an overboost mode to crank out 369 pounds-feet of torque (horsepower remains the same). A standard limited-slip differential can go all the way to lock, rendering maximum straight-line acceleration and better traction on slippery surfaces.

The 1 Series M comes only as a coupe, and only with a six-speed manual transmission. Citing a lower center of gravity and overall weight savings of 35 pounds, BMW will not offer the 1 Series' optional moonroof on the M car. That helps it tip the scales at just under 3,300 pounds, more than 400 pounds less than the 414-hp M3 coupe — the next rung up on BMW's M ladder. Indeed, the 1 Series M's zero-to-60 time — just 4.7 seconds, BMW says — ties a stick-shift M3's.

Visual changes include unique side mirrors that look similar to those on the M3, as well as a more aggressive front bumper and quad tailpipes. The 1 Series M's extended fenders house a track that's 2.8 inches wider up front and 1.8 inches wider in back versus the 135i. The suspension, which shares its aluminum components with the M3, supports lightweight 19-inch wheels. The car also gets cross-drilled 14.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear brake discs.

Inside, the 1 Series M gets standard sport seats, plus gray gauges and leather-wrapped portions of the dashboard. Back to top


Latest 2012 135 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

135i M Sport Series - Excellent Condition

by Hot Car from Chicago, IL on July 20, 2018

Fast and fun car to drive with many upgrades. In excellent condition - like new interior and exterior. New tires, and current on maintenance. You need to test drive it now! Read full review

(5.0)

Good, sporty car

by B21jav from Phoenix on April 21, 2018

I had a 135i and it was fantastic for getting places quickly and smoothly. I called it my zippy little car. It had a HUGE trunk, I could move full pieces of furniture in that car, so not only was it ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 BMW 135 currently has 4 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 BMW 135 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by BMW

Program Benefits

Comprehensive inspection by BMW technician, 24/7 Roadside Assistance, BMW Assist. Exceptional vehicles with exceptional coverage

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Miles for 1-Year

    BMW Certified Pre-Owned: Covers you for unlimited miles for 1-year, after the expiration o f the 4-year / 50,000 mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty for a total of 5 years with unlimited miles. This includes up to 5 years and unlimited miles of BMW Roadside Assistance and BMW Assist (TM) on many late model BMW vehicles. Additional plans are available to extend your vehicle's coverage for up to a total of 6 years with unlimited miles. See your BMW Center for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Comprehensive inspection.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 135 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker