The 135i's new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission mates beautifully with the new single-turbo in-line six. As Evan McCausland notes, this gearbox rips off upshifts with incredible speed and ease. I was amazed by how fast the 135i accelerates: hit the hammer from a stop on a two-lane road and you're hurtling along at 80 or 90 mph practically before you can utter "B-M-W."
That said, I think I would still prefer my 1-series with a manual. I like smaller cars like this to have a manual, and my bigger cars, like the 5-series, to have an automatic. I just can't shake that bias. But for all the reasons Evan lists, I can completely understand why someone else might want their 135i with this new dual-clutch gearbox.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor