New Car Reviews

2008 BMW 135i – Four Seasons Update – January 2009

Long-Term 2008 BMW 1-Series Update: Winter 2009 ( 1 of 3 ) Miles to date: 0

The complaints about the too-firm suspension, especially on rebound, has reached a fever-pitch now that the pavement has begun to crack and crumble in the winter weather. While a good number of those complaints have come from Road Test Editor Marc Noordeloos – our most vociferous stiff-suspension stickler-many others have now joined him to form a chorus of complaints. “Teeth-jarring,” “a fair bit of impact harshness from rear suspension,” and “the M3 coupe rides better than the 1-series, as does pretty much everything else BMW makes,” are just a few. Short wheel-travel is partially to blame for the ride-harshness. And, because the distance between the tire and the surrounding sheetmetal is so small, snow tends to get packed inside the wheel well, causing some minor vibrations and further degrading the ride.

When it comes to the 1-series’ engine, the six gets nothing but praise for its otherworldly smoothness and seemingly bottomless pit of power and torque. That being said, many have commented that the 300-hp, twin-turbo I-6 seems like overkill in a car this compact. Senior Online Editor Phil Floraday penned, that, due to the enormous amount of torque, “the 135i doesn’t require much skill to drive because you only need gears one and six. I hardly bothered with downshifts.” After driving the 135i, most of us have decided that the lesser-in both horsepower, weight, and most notably, price-128i, at least on paper, is a more “compelling package at a much more affordable price point.” Our west coast editor, Jason Cammisa, who has driven the 128i, agrees and goes on to say that the still plentiful power and less harsh suspension “make the 128i much more livable on a daily basis.”

Most find the front seats quite comfortable and the manual seat adjustors-that’s right, manual adjustors on a nearly $40K automobile-easy to use, although some would prefer a knob for seat back adjustment rather than a lever-type handle to “simplify the process of getting comfortable.” Moving the seats out of the way in order to access the rear, though, is another story. The front seat folds forward using a lever located at the top of the seatback. Seems easy enough. The problem is that once it’s folded forward, the seat doesn’t stay in that position without a fair bit of coaxing making it challenging to access people and cargo in the rear seat.

2008 BMW 135i

  • Base Price: $35,675
  • As Tested: $39,125
  • Options:
  • – Black boston leather – $1450- Cold weather package – $600– Sport package – $1000- iPod adapter – $400
  • Overview
  • body style 2-door coupe
  • accommodation 4 passengers
  • construction Steel unibody
  • Powertrain
  • Engine 24-valve, DOHC turbo I-6
  • Displacement 3.0-liter ( cu in)
  • Horsepower 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Torque 300 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm
  • Transmission type 6-speed manual
  • Drive Rear-drive
  • Chassis
  • Steering Power rack-and-pinion
  • Turning circle 35.1 ft
  • Suspension, front Strut-type, coil spring
  • Suspension, rear Multilink, coil spring
  • Brakes F/R Ventilated disc, ABS
  • Tires Pirelli Winter Sottozero RFT
  • Tire size F/R 215/40R18 / 245/35R18
  • Measurements
  • headroom f/c/r 37.9/ 37.1 in
  • legroom f/c/r 41.4/ 32 in
  • shoulder room f/c/r 54/ 53.4 in
  • L x W x H 172.2 x 68.8 x 56 in
  • Wheelbase 104.7 in
  • Track f/r 57.9/ 58.9 in
  • Weight 3373 lb
  • weight dist. f/r 52.3/ 47.7 %
  • cargo capacity 10 cu ft
  • fuel capacity 14 gal
  • est. fuel range 350 mi
  • fuel grade 91 octane