2008 BMW 1-Series

128i SULEV RWD 2-Dr Coupe I6 man trans

2008 bmw 1-series Reviews and News

0810 03 Pl+2008 BMW 135i Convertible+front Three Quarter View
0810 03 Z+2008 BMW 135i Convertible+front Three Quarter View
The BMW 1-series, available as a coupe and a convertible, seems poised to be a very exciting addition to the company's lineup. The 1-series uses the same, highly regarded mechanicals as the benchmark 3-series, but wraps them in a smaller, lighter, and less expensive package. From a driving standpoint, one can hardly argue with the results. But what is open to debate is whether the cost and weight savings of the 1-series are significant or does the car too closely overlap to the 3-series.
A glance at the window sticker for our 135i convertible certainly suggests the latter. The bottom-line number of $48,445 sure sounds like 3-series money. It is in fact very close. The 335i convertible starts at $50,400, and it comes with a retractable metal hardtop, as opposed to the 135i's fabric roof. The 328i convertible starts at $44,300.
0810 09 Z+2008 BMW 135i Convertible+side View
To be fair, our test car was larded with options. The premium package (power seats and a bunch of minor items) was a whopping $3300; the six-speed automatic was $1275; the sport package (seats, steering wheel with shift paddles, eighteen-inch wheels, performance tires, and Shadowline trim) added another $1100; additional items (heated seats, iPod adapter, HD radio, satellite radio, and rear parking aid, among others) pushed the price up by $2895 more.
If the 135i isn't far from the 335i in price, the two models are largely identical mechanically. Both use the same 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six and (optional) six-speed automatic. The super-sweet engine seamlessly integrates its two turbochargers, creating a stepless wave of power as the revs climb. Peak output is 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It wasn't long ago that those were M3 numbers. In the 335i, they're enough for a 0-to-60 mph run of 5.7 seconds, whereas the lighter (by 286 pounds) 135i does it in 5.5 seconds. Both cars have the same EPA ratings, 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The automatic wouldn't be our preference - the slick manual is more rewarding from both a tactile and a financial standpoint - but we couldn't fault its logic and its response is instaneous.
0810 06 Z+2008 BMW 135i Convertible+trunk Space
The 135i is more than eight inches shorter than the 3-series, and the stretch between the axles is trimmed by four inches exactly. Both convertibles are strictly four-seaters, and both require the cooperation of front-seat occupants (moving their seats up) in order to accommodate adults in back. In fact, their factory-measured rear-seat legroom figures are within an inch of each other. Similarly, their trunk-space measurements are very close as well, with the 3-series having a slight edge when the top is up, but the 1-series winning out when their lowered, as its fabric roof stows more compactly than the 3-series's retractable hardtop.
0810 05 Z+2008 BMW 135i Convertible+folding Roof
Like the 3-series, the 135i convertible's handling is sublime; the car eats up curves and begs for more. The steering - without the curse of the 3-series' optional active steering - is pure and true. It was a pleasure threading the 135i along narrow winding parkways that can be a white-knuckle affair in other cars. And its nimble size was a source of pleasure as well. But the larger, eighteen-inch wheels mean that bumps are sometimes fairly pronounced.
The insulated fabric roof does a fairly good job of keeping out road noise, but of course not as good as the 3-series' metal hardtop. The metal roof also holds the advantage in outward visibility with the top up, thanks to its thin C-pillars. But the fabric top provides fewer body cutlines and a more traditional convertible appearance; ours was the optional "moonlight black" soft top, which has silver threads woven into the black fabric, a subtle but cool effect for a relatively inexpensive $100. Just like its bigger brother, the 1-series convertible has pop-up rollover bars that emerge from behind the rear seat headrests if a rollover appears imminent. Another convertible-specific item is specially treated leather (standard in the 135i) that doesn't get as hot when exposed to the sun, to keep from searing your backside when you first sit down.
0810 08 Z+2008 BMW 135i Convertible+interior View
Overall, we very much enjoyed our time in the 135i convertible. A close examination of the similarities between the 1-series and the 3-series helps explain why the two are so close in price, but we never fully accepted the notion that this was a nearly $49,000 car. Of course, a 335i similarly equipped would likely have cost $10,000 more, which wouldn't have been any easier to swallow. If you think of the 1-series as a bargain BMW, you're likely to be disappointed - there are no bargain BMWs. Expensive as it is, the 135i convertible is substantially less costly than the 3-series equivalent, only slightly more cramped, but every bit as fun to drive, if not more so. It's an excellent BMW, but a dubious bargain.
2008 BMW 135i Convertible
Base Price: $39,875
As-Tested: $48,445
Powertrain
Engine: Turbocharged 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve I-6
Horsepower: 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 300 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
Measurements
L x W x H: 172.2 x 68.8 x 55.6 in
Legroom F/R: 41.2/31.3 in
Headroom F/R: 38.6/37.0 in
Cargo capacity: 8.0 cu ft
Curb weight: 3671 lbs
EPA Rating (city/highway): 17/26 mpg
0805 08 Pl+2008 BMW 128i+point Reyes
0805 01 Z+2008 BMW 128i+golden State Bridge
Some cities - like New York, the enormous metropolis explored elsewhere in this issue - sprawl endlessly into suburbia over dozens and dozens of miles. San Francisco is different. It ends abruptly. Head north over the Golden Gate Bridge, and within hundreds of yards, you'll find some of the most picturesque, lightly trafficked roads in the world.
You've probably heard of California's State Route 1, which is called the Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California. North of San Francisco, Route 1 is called the Shoreline Highway, and it's here that we've planned our day trip. Whether heading north or south, there's no car that could better serve as an accomplice in the conquering of Route 1 than BMW's brand-new coupe whose name is of the same numeric value. The new 1-series might be sized like a city car, but it shares lots of components with its larger sibling, the 3-series, which means that the 1 carves through corners like the world's most involving sports cars. Whereas most city cars serve only to facilitate movement from point A to point B, our 128i coupe will happily scream its way through thousands of corners from Fort Point to Point Arena. How far will the trip take us? You guessed it - it's 128 miles north along Route 1.
The resplendent Golden Gate Bridge is the northern escape route out of San Francisco, and it carries two roadways - U.S. Route 101 and California Route 1. Fort Point is located just beneath the southern end of the bridge, and we pass directly over it, heading out of the city on a cold morning before sunrise. What we can't see in the darkness below is a fort, erected after the 1849 gold rush to protect the bay from hostile ships. It wasn't the first military establishment built here; the Spanish constructed a fort in the same spot more than fifty years earlier, but its adobe structure couldn't survive the area's wet weather. True to form, it's raining as we cross the span.
Just a few miles north of the Golden Gate, Route 1 splits off from U.S. 101 and becomes the Shoreline Highway, leaving all traces of the city behind. Sidewalks and streetlights are replaced by hairpin turns illuminated by the BMW's swiveling HID headlights. And, thanks to the Bay Area's many microclimates, rain has already given way to clear skies and dry pavement as we dive deeper into Marin County.
0805 07 Z+2008 BMW 128i+route 1
The roads here clearly favor cars that handle well, and Route 1 is no exception as it winds up and around the base of Mount Tamalpais. As the sun comes up, our 128i is relaxed at speeds that would topple SUVs and might make the passengers of big luxocruisers grab for sick bags. The road is narrow, the turns are tight, the grades are steep.
And the ocean is incredible.
To a native East Coaster used to seeing endless miles of tourist traps along the flat, visually uninteresting Atlantic shoreline, the Pacific Coast might as well be a Dalí painting. It is an improbable convergence of impossible geography: cows graze in flat meadows that end at the sea like infinity pools; wide-open hillsides become so steep you wouldn't be able to stand on them; building-sized rocks jut proudly out of the water. And the road? Were it not for the several-hundred-foot drop into the cold water below, Route 1 could be a competition road course - a would-be racetrack with a stunningly picturesque backdrop, that is.
0805 08 Z+2008 BMW 128i+point Reyes
Just a few minutes ago, our Monaco blue metallic 128i was sitting at a stoplight, and now it can run free. "BMW heaven," says photographer Andrew Yeadon as the smooth in-line six sings the sweet serenade of twenty-four valves and 230 horses. The sport package's Goodyear summer tires don't make a peep no matter how hard we push, and the taut suspension disallows any excess body motion. The electrically adjustable bolsters in the sport seats keep our bodies free of any excess motions, too.
After twenty or so miles of frenetic, spaghetti-like tarmac, Route 1 descends to sea level at Stinson Beach and then lazily curves around the calm waters of the Bolinas Lagoon. Diverting slightly inland, the roadway suddenly becomes tranquil as it heads northwest toward Point Reyes Station, giving us time to contemplate our chariot. With a sticker price of more than $36,000, our loaded 128i certainly is not cheap, but it offers a significant discount over a 3-series with no real trade-off in refinement, equipment level, front-passenger room, or performance. That's among the highest automotive praise we can give. Its frameless windows let in no wind noise, and its stereo system - with full USB and iPod integration - makes a great companion on a long road trip.
0805 11 Z+2008 BMW 128i+point Reyes Lighthouse
As we make a left turn onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard for a twenty-mile detour to see the Point Reyes Lighthouse, the scenery begins to look like Wales. A heavy rain again pelts the front of the car, and high winds howl across the rolling hillsides, which are peppered with small shrubs and livestock.
The region's history is just as diverse as its geography. English-man Sir Francis Drake is believed to be the first European explorer to land here. No one is sure where exactly he originally touched terra firma in 1579 - the port's actual whereabouts needed to be kept secret from Spain - but his claim allowed the British to declare that they had conquered the New World from sea to sea. Sir Francis Drake named the area Nova Albion, which means "New Britain" in Latin, but it wasn't long before the Spaniards arrived to stake their claim.
0805 09 Z+2008 BMW 128i+rear View
On Three Kings Day in January 1603, a Spanish explorer by the name of Sebastián Vizcaíno used the calm water of Drake's Bay to seek shelter from a storm. He named the peninsula that juts ten miles into the Pacific - thereby creating the bay - Punto de los Reyes, or Kings Point, because of the holiday. Although Drake was long gone, Vizciano likely knew of him - his pirate exploits were world-famous, and the Spanish referred to him as "El Draque," a play on his name that means "the Dragon." And if Sir Francis's reputation somehow hadn't preceded him, the region's native residents, the Coast Miwok people, surely would have told Vizciano of Drake's prior arrival.
Some historians believe that Marin County was named for an eponymous Coast Miwok chief. Others maintain that it comes from the Spanish name for a bay located on the eastern side of Marin called Baha de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marinera. (The name stuck before the Russians arrived just north of here at Fort Ross, or Marin might be called something entirely different.) Either way, we're driving down a road named for an English knight on a peninsula named by a Spanish explorer who beat the Russians here, in a county that may be named for a Native American chief. And it looks like Wales. Dalí painting, indeed.
0805 12 Z+2008 BMW 128i+front+three Quarter View
Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second-foggiest place in North America, and right now it's living up to its reputation. BMW heaven has turned to meteorological hell, but we leave the heated-seat comfort of the 1-series cabin to view the lighthouse. The long walk is a fight with the elements that reminds us how impressive it is that the structure has survived for so many years.
Shipped by boat from France and operational for the first time in December 1870, the Point Reyes Lighthouse had to be situated below the area's typically high fog. To that end, it sits about halfway down the six-hundred foot bluff that leads to the ocean, providing the unusual opportunity for us to gaze down at the top of a lighthouse. The structure survived the Bay Area's devastating 1906 earthquake despite being shoved eighteen feet northward in less than a minute. Located on the Pacific Plate, the entire Point Reyes Peninsula is slowly moving northwest along the North American Plate. The intersection of these two plates is the San Andreas fault, and it's responsible for the spectacularly mountainous terrain that Route 1 navigates.
0805 05 Z+2008 BMW 128i+interior View
Our 1-series is also making northward progress along the North American Plate - at a higher rate of speed than the Point Reyes Peninsula, thankfully. Much higher, in fact, because it's not long before the weather turns sunny, dry, and warm. As the road dries, the 128i begs to be driven hard. Wheel spin is no longer an issue, but even with the stability control turned off, the little BMW isn't a hairy-chested, power-oversteer machine - its open rear differential favors spinning the inside wheel, especially in low-speed corners. At higher speeds, the car understeers a little more than we'd like, which is due in part to its narrow front tires (205-width in front compared with 225-width tires in the rear). The solution is often to keep your right foot planted through the corner so that the engine's torque begins to overwhelm the rear tires, helping the 128i dance a perfect four-wheel drift through the bends.
Route 1 doesn't deprive the baby Bimmer of bends, either, offering up corner after corner. It seems as if the road was designed with the mission of never letting the driver straighten the steering wheel. Just when you think there can't possibly be any more turns, you come over a rise to see a dozen switchbacks lying in front of you, as if the pavement were laid there by an enormous sewing machine set on zigzag. Ultratight hairpins at the bottoms of valleys let you show off your double-clutching skills as you downshift all the way to first and blast out the other side. Small straightaways let the BMW stretch its legs into fourth gear, and then it's quick on the brakes and back down to second.
The 1-series is a delight in every regard; a pinpoint-accurate, rewarding, and supremely capable machine. Three hours of high-g cornering might not be as blissful for your passengers, however, so choose them wisely should you follow our path. And to help alleviate their inevitable nausea, we recommend the distraction method: point out the dramatic changes of scenery.
0805 15 Z+2008 BMW 128i+front View
Just when your eyes become accustomed to dark pavement kept moist under a thick canopy of dense trees, you shoot around a corner into a clearing. In place of the trees and glowing in the sunshine are rock faces made of layers of orange-hued stones, pushed upward by millions of years of tectonic force. A few corners later, you're surrounded by lush, rolling green fields. Hey, look over there - a beach!
And then you come to the town of Point Arena. A little slice of the past, Point Arena has but one gas station. It's full-service, complete with an air tube that rings a bell as you drive over it. The pumps don't read credit cards or even have digital displays, and the attendant is friendly. Across the street is a general store with a front door that has bells dangling from the handle. Our destination, the lighthouse, is a few miles down the road.
0805 14 Z+2008 BMW 128i+celebratory Engraving On The Start Button
Situated at the end of a peninsula, the Point Arena Lighthouse is 115 feet tall. It's located close to sea level, unlike the Point Reyes Light-house - and unlike the Point Reyes Lighthouse, it didn't survive the big 1906 quake. The lighthouse standing here is nevertheless not new; it will celebrate its one-hundredth anniversary this year - the year that marks, according to an inscription on the ring surrounding the BMW's start button, Year One of the 1.
Simultaneously exhausted from the drive and exhilarated from the experience, we have but one question: how to get home?
We could turn around and do Route 1 all over again - or we could opt to take Mountain View Road, which will lead us back to Highway 101 via Route (you guessed it) 128. We choose the latter.
0805 06 Z+2008 BMW 128i+the Old Western Hotel
Mountain View Road's first-gear, off-camber turns and midcorner heaves prove no match for the 128i. Neither does the 70-mph stint on Highway 101. Nor do the unique streets of downtown San Francisco. Of all the small cars you can buy today, the 1-series' ability to thrill on any road, in any conditions, makes it the 1 to beat.


0906 01 Pl+2008 BMW 135i+front Three Quarters View
0906 01 Z+2008 BMW 135i+front Three Quarters View
0809 01 Pl+2008 BMW 128i Convertible+front Three Quarter View
0809 01 Z+2008 BMW 128i Convertible+front Three Quarter View
0809 07 Z+2008 BMW 128i Convertible+interior View
0809 09 Z+2008 BMW 128i Convertible+interior
0809 04 Z+2008 BMW 128i Convertible+front View
2008 BMW 128i Convertible

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Used 2008 BMW 1-Series Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$28,600

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2008 BMW 1-Series
2008 BMW 1-Series
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18 MPG City | 28 MPG Hwy
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2008 BMW 1-Series
2008 BMW 1-Series
128i SULEV RWD 2-Dr Coupe I6
18 MPG City | 28 MPG Hwy
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2008 BMW 1-Series
2008 BMW 1-Series
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$28,600
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2008 BMW 1-Series
2008 BMW 1-Series
128i SULEV RWD 2-Dr Coupe I6
230hp
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2008 BMW 1-Series Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
3.0L I6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
28 MPG
Horsepower:
230 hp @ 6500rpm
Torque:
200 ft lb of torque @ 2750rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS (optional)
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
50,000 miles / 48 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 48 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:34:50
Component
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Summary
BMW IS RECALLING 2,350 MY 2008 1-SERIES AND 3- SERIES PASSENGER CARS. INCORRECT CRIMP CONNECTORS MAY HAVE BEEN USED ON THE SIDE AIR BAG AND BELT TENSIONER WIRING. AS A RESULT SUFFICIENT CONTACT BETWEEN THE CRIMP CONNECTORS AND THE CORRESPONDING PLUG MAY NOT OCCUR WHICH COULD LEAD TO AN INCREASE IN THE ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE OF THAT CONNECTION.
Consequences
IF THAT HAPPENED, IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR THE SIDE AIR BAG AND/OR THE SAFETY BELT TENSIONER NOT TO DEPLOY AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROPERLY PROTECT AN OCCUPANT, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURIES.
Remedy
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES TOLL-FREE AT 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
2,350
Notes
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:34:50
Component
SEAT BELTS:FRONT
Summary
BMW IS RECALLING 2,350 MY 2008 1-SERIES AND 3- SERIES PASSENGER CARS. INCORRECT CRIMP CONNECTORS MAY HAVE BEEN USED ON THE SIDE AIR BAG AND BELT TENSIONER WIRING. AS A RESULT SUFFICIENT CONTACT BETWEEN THE CRIMP CONNECTORS AND THE CORRESPONDING PLUG MAY NOT OCCUR WHICH COULD LEAD TO AN INCREASE IN THE ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE OF THAT CONNECTION.
Consequences
IF THAT HAPPENED, IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR THE SIDE AIR BAG AND/OR THE SAFETY BELT TENSIONER NOT TO DEPLOY AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROPERLY PROTECT AN OCCUPANT, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURIES.
Remedy
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES TOLL-FREE AT 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
2,350
Notes
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:00
Component
SEAT BELTS:FRONT:RETRACTOR
Summary
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2008-2011 1-SERIES VEHICLES. IN A CRASH OF SUFFICIENT SEVERITY, DEPLOYMENT OF THE FRONT PRE-TENSIONER AND LOAD-LIMITER OCCURS.
Consequences
THE INSULATION AROUND THE PRE-TENSIONER COULD IGNITE.
Remedy
VEHICLES PRODUCED UP THROUGH DECEMBER 2009 WILL RECEIVE NEW FRONT SAFETY BELT RETRACTOR UNITS AND A MODIFICATION TO THE SOUND INSULATION NEAR THE UNITS, WHILE VEHICLES PRODUCED BETWEEN JANUARY 2010 AND MAY 2010 WILL RECEIVE A MODIFICATION TO THE SOUND INSULATION NEAR THE UNITS. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON AUGUST 23, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
31,935
Notes
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:20
Component
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:COOLING SYSTEM:FAN
Summary
This recall involves aftermarket parts sold by Valeo. Valeo is recalling certain engine cooling fans, part numbers 696121, 696273, and 696275, used as service replacement parts for model year 2008-2011 BMW 1-Series, 2006-2011 BMW 3-Series, 2000-2009 BMW 5-Series, 2004-2005 BMW 6-Series, and 2006-2007 BMW 7-Series vehicles. A metal-oxide semiconductor may overheat due to insufficient screwing of the semiconductor on the aluminum heat sink. This primary failure could cause adjacent components on the fan assembly motor circuit board to overheat and short.
Consequences
This condition could cause the fan motor to become inoperative, or cause the motor circuit board in the assembly to overheat, potentially leading to a fire in the engine compartment.
Remedy
Valeo will notify owners and replace the fans free of charge. The safety recall began on August 22, 2012. This recall is being conducted by Valeo, not by BMW. For further information, owners may contact Valeo at 1-888-718-2536.
Potential Units Affected
585
Notes
Valeo


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