The BMW 1 Series is another new addition to the family of luxury cars from this company. The 1 series from BMW is the smallest and most compact car that BMW makes. This vehicle promises to bring consumers everything they love about the 3 series but in a smaller and more affordable package. It seems out of place for a company that has built a name on high end vehicles to make a low end compact car, but there is definitely a demand for such a vehicle.
The 1 series is a very simple vehicle that offers a lot of value, but does not offer all the extras that you would expect to find on any model from BMW. This car comes standard equipped with a 3.0 liter inline six cylinder engine, which can be fitted with a turbocharger, and you can choose from an automatic transmission or the seven-speed DCT dual clutch automated manual transmission. The back seats could have more room, but this is common with man compact vehicles. This is the only vehicle that BMW makes that starts under $30,000. If you are looking for a budget BMW, this is it.
Bodystyles: Coupe, convertible
Engines: 3.0 L I-6, 3.0L turbocharged I-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual
Models: 128i, 128i convertible, 135i, 135i convertible
There are two big changes in the 1 Series for 2011. BMW has dropped the dual turbocharger; in its place is a single twin-scroll unit. Engine power remains the same at 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, but it now reaches peak torque at 1200 rpm. Second is the addition of BMW’s coveted 7-speed DCT transmission which is available for the first time in the 135i.
The 1 Series styling features short overhangs in addition to a squared-off nose and rear end. While some laud it an interesting modern day interpretation of a classic BMW design, others find it frumpy.
The 1 Series is available with a choice of two upholstery options — leatherette or rich Boston Leather. A 60/40 split rear seat is standard. The optional Sport Package includes sports bucket seats with enhanced side support.
For the first time since its introduction, the 1 Series gets BMW’s dual-clutch automated 7-speed DCT transmission. Based off the 3 Series, only shorter, the 1 Series has almost go-cart handling characteristics without the teeth-rattling ride. Having equal power, lighter weight and costing a few dollars less than said 3 Series makes for a serious performance machine.
Driver and passenger front airbags are standard, along with side impact thorax bags and front and rear head curtain bags. OnStar Automatic Crash Response is also standard. Dynamic safety devices include standard traction control and stability control.
128i manual: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway
128i manual cabrio: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway
128i automatic/DCT: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway
128i automatic/DCT cabrio: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway
135i manual: 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway
135i DCT: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Quirky styling
- Stellar performance
- Quirky Styling
- Small back seat
- Can get pricey
New segment star
- Audi A5
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe