2013 BMW 1-Series Vehicle Overview
View information about the 2013 BMW 128i
View information about the 2013 BMW 135i
View information about the 2012 BMW 1-Series
2013 BMW 135i Vehicle Overview
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.
View information about the BMW 128i
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)
2013 BMW 128i Vehicle Overview
BMW's compact rear-wheel-drive 128i is currently the least-expensive entry point to BMW's entire lineup. Available as a coupe or convertible, the compact 1 Series occupies a space with few competitors. The Nissan 370Z, Infiniti G37 coupe and top-end versions of Detroit's muscle cars come closest to filling out the competitive slate.
View information about the BMW 135i
On the 128i, an optional M Sport Package adds dark window frames and a more aggressive front bumper with three large air inlets. Rather than the 3 Series convertible's folding metal hardtop, the 128i 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 BMW 3 Series coupe is about 10 inches longer. Exterior features include:
- 17-inch wheels standard
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Fog lamps
- Chrome exhaust tips
- Available power tilt/sliding moonroof
- Optional xenon headlamps and automatic high beams
The 128i'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 smartphone.
The available 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:
- 60/40 split folding seat (coupe models)
- Standard vinyl seats, leather optional
- Optional power seats
- Available rear parking sensors
- Optional navigation
- Optional heated seats and steering wheel
Under the Hood
BMW's inline-six-cylinder engine makes 230 horsepower and 200 pounds-feet of torque in the 128i. It works through a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic with optional steering wheel paddle shifters . The automaker says a stick-shift 128i coupe can hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, with the automatic making the sprint in 6.7 seconds. The M Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension.
If that isn't enough, consider stepping up to the 300-hp, turbocharged 135i, which is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. It trims the zero-to-60 mph sprint down to about 5 seconds, BMW says.
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 128i convertible does not have the curtain airbags; it does have pop-up roll bars behind the rear seats that deploy in the event of a rollover.
2012 BMW 1-Series Vehicle Overview
"Entry-level BMW." Unfortunately, this phrase can sound like you've settled for something less just so you can afford to drive a car with the blue and white roundel on its hood. But once you get behind the wheel of the 2012 BMW 1 Series, you'll realize that the defining characteristics of a BMW -- namely refinement, a supple ride and most importantly, a responsive and engaging drive -- are fully intact. Indeed, the nimble 1 Series is a ton of fun and fully deserving of the BMW badge.
Under the hood there is more proof that this is no poseur, as the 1 Series is available with the same superb inline-6 engines as the BMW 3 Series. This means a naturally aspirated 230-horsepower version in the 128i and a turbocharged, direct-injected, 300-hp version in the 135i. Both are superb, and the 135i delivers acceleration comparable to that of many performance cars as a result. Transmission choices are also first-rate, with a choice of a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or, in the 135i, a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.
True, the 2012 BMW 1 Series is rather expensive for a compact car, especially when one doesn't exercise restraint while perusing the various option packages. But we'll stop short of calling the 1 Series too expensive given its powerful engines, impressive handling and lack of direct competition. Indeed, no car truly lines up with the 128i or 135i as an apples-to-apples competitor, though the Audi TT, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Nissan 370Z and America's three muscle cars are in the same ballpark as the 1 Series coupe. Compared to the 1 Series convertible, you could cross-shop the less-exciting Mini Cooper convertible and VW Eos.
In general, in this class it's usually going to come down to what pushes your buttons in terms of styling and performance. The variety of choices is great for consumers, whose tastes tend to vary widely within this segment. But in any event, should you be considering this joyful little Bimmer and come across someone bashing it, just remind him that the 1 Series does indeed provide the sporting personality, solid construction and uniquely nimble nature that makes a BMW a BMW.
New for 2012
The 2012 BMW 128i and 135i receive a minor face-lift that includes revised light clusters, a more aerodynamic front fascia for the 128i and refinished interior controls.
The 2012 BMW 1 Series comes in coupe and convertible body styles, both of which are available in 128i and 135i configurations.
The 128i comes standard with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, cruise control, eight-way manual front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium vinyl upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker stereo with a CD player, HD radio and iPod connectivity. The 128i convertible adds a fully lined power-folding automatic soft top and a special convertible mode for the climate control. Aside from its more powerful engine, the 135i adds a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights with auto-leveling and washers, different front and rear lower fascias and (on the coupe) a sunroof.
The Convenience package adds keyless ignition/entry, rear parking sensors, an alarm system and, on the 128i, xenon headlights. The Premium package adds auto-dimming mirrors, eight-way power front seats with driver memory settings, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, BMW Assist emergency telematics and, on the 128i, a sunroof. The convertible's available leather upholstery features a sun-reflective treatment.
The 128i Sport package adds a sport-tuned suspension, different 17-inch wheels, sport seats, dark "Shadowline" exterior trim and an increased top speed. The 135i Sport package adds sport seats, an M Sport steering wheel, Shadowline trim and increased top speed. The M Sport package, available with both models, basically takes each respective Sport package and adds different wheels and a dark-colored headliner, plus the 128i version gets the M steering wheel and the 135i's aerodynamic body kit.
Much of the equipment found in the non-Sport packages is available as à la carte options, while additional stand-alone options include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system (includes BMW iDrive electronics interface) and a Harman Kardon upgraded stereo.
The interior of the 1 Series is generally competitive with its rivals in terms of materials quality.This year brings a new "Galvanized Pearl Gloss" finish to the cabin's door handles, various control knobs and steering wheel accents.
Most of the controls are straight out of the standard BMW playbook and are easy to use. The base seats are remarkably lacking in support given this car's performance potential; we strongly recommend anteing up for the Sport package and its superb, manually adjustable sport seats. The convertible's optional sun-reflective leather seating does an impressive job of keeping your butt from roasting.
Although the BMW 1 Series is technically a four-seater, the rear seats are significantly smaller than those in the 3 Series coupe, so they're best left to cargo or those of smaller stature. The coupe's decent-sized trunk holds 13 cubic feet of luggage; in the convertible, there are 8.5 cubes left over when the top is stowed.
Under the Hood
The rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series offers a choice of two different 3.0-liter inline-6 engines. The 128i produces 230 hp and 200 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped 128i coupe sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The convertible posted a 6.7-second time. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined regardless of transmission. The automatic convertible gets 18/27/21, however.
The 135i's turbocharged inline-6 engine produces 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed automated manual transmission (known as DCT) is optional. In our testing, a 135i coupe with the manual transmission sprinted to 60 mph from a standstill in an impressively quick 5 seconds flat. However, that number rose to 6.2 seconds with DCT. EPA-estimated fuel economy is actually better than the 128i's, achieving 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway/23 mpg combined with the manual and 18/25/21 with the automated manual transmission. The manual-equipped convertible gets 19/28/22.
Antilock disc brakes (with brake drying and standby feature), traction and stability control and hill-start assist for manual-equipped cars are all standard on the 2012 BMW 1 Series. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on the coupe; convertibles come equipped with front-seat side airbags that extend higher to protect occupants' heads. The convertible also features pop-up rollover hoops.
In Edmunds brake testing, a 135i Coupe with the standard 18-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 110 feet.