More BMW 135i reviews

1-series | October 21st, 2007 by 2

Yesterday, it was the canadian journalist Laurence Yap that reviewed the upcoming BMW 135i and today, we have another review from a respectable magazine, …

Yesterday, it was the canadian journalist Laurence Yap that reviewed the upcoming BMW 135i and today, we have another review from a respectable magazine, The closer we get to the launch date, more and more reviews will pop up. Also, remember that the official U.S launch will be taking place on Nov, 12 at the L.A Auto Show.

So, here is what our friends had to say about this amazing new BMW.

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When BMW first entered the compact car segment with its 1-series (E87) hatchback in Europe in 2004, the car was immediately castigated as too expensive in light of the less-costly Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit) that had ruled the compact segment for decades.

Since then, BMW has silenced the disdain by selling almost 450,000 units of its three- and five-door 1-series premium compacts; everyone now agrees that it’s a success. It drives sweetly, too, which leaves its not-so-elegant design as the only remaining complaint with the hatchback models.

But nearly all premium hatchbacks brought to the U.S. have met with failure. Remember the BMW 318ti? How about the slow-selling, then promptly discontinued Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport Coupe?

In an attempt to continue its European success in North America, BMW designed this new coupe version of the 1-series to appeal to American tastes. As a four-seater (comfortable space for two adults on a short trip in back) with a trunk as well as a standard 60/40 split backseat, the 1-series coupe offers a high level of all-round functionality for everyday use, even though the 5-door hatchback version sold in Europe is more versatile. This sub-3-series rear-drive coupe will be basically in a class of its own when it arrives in the U.S. in February.

We drove only the 135i coupe, which is expected to start in the high $30,000s and is powered by the excellent twin-turbo, direct-injection 3.0-liter inline-six which you already know from the 335i coupe and sedan. This powerhouse also won the International Engine of the Year Award—twice. Fitted into this 3450-pound 135i—yes, the 1-series is only about 100 pounds lighter than an equivalent 3-series—the 300-hp engine sounds fabulous and spins up quickly to its 7000-rpm redline. On the other hand, it delivers a 300-pound-foot punch between 1400 and 5000 rpm with infinitesimal turbo lag. Basically the throttle response is as spontaneous as that of a naturally aspirated engine, which we’ll also get in the U.S. in the form of the 230-hp 128i; that one we expect will cost under $30,000.

BMW says the 135i scoots to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, but we expect it to at least match the 335i coupe’s 4.9-second run to 60 mph, and 13.6-second quarter-mile. Top speed is a governed 155 mph. It is equipped with a precise-shifting six-speed manual, which operates quickly and smoothly with a pleasing feel. A nearly 50/50 weight distribution delivers a fantastic balance and the suspension is the BMW-brilliant mix of competence and smooth-ride that we know from the 3-series. Of course, massive torque is always compelling, too. And strong, but easy-to-control brakes add a measure of confidence.

Full review here