2008 BMW 1-Series Photo
Quick Take
The 2008 BMW 1-Series makes a true Bimmer available for under $30,000 (but just barely). Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web

Interior is simple and tastefully styled

ForbesAutos »

Projects an odd, almost ungainly proportion from some angles

Road & Track »

Well thought-out cabin that looks nearly identical to the 3-Series

Popular Mechanics »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$28,600 $39,100
2-Door Coupe 128i
Gas Mileage 18 mpg City/28 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I6, 3.0L
EPA Class Subcompact
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 4
Passenger Doors 2
Body Style 2dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.0 out of 10
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The Basics:

TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2008 BMW 1-Series to write this comprehensive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove the BMW 1-Series in Sweden, Spain, and the United States to offer you a definitive opinion on the Bimmer. Additionally, this review compares the 2008 1-Series with other cars in its class to give you the best advice even when other reviews present conflicting opinions.

For BMW, 2008 is the year the company returned to its roots. The 2008 BMW 1-Series hearkens back to BMW's legendary (but back-to-basics) 2002 models from the late 1960s. BMW recognized that the maturation of its traditional models left a gap at the low end of its product line in the United States and has now seen fit to plug it. The cork is the 2008 BMW 1-Series, offered in coupe and convertible forms.

The 2008 1-Series is offered as 128i and 135i models. The main difference is the engine; the 128i uses a non-turbo 230-horsepower version of the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, while the 135i provides 306 horsepower from its twin-turbo version of the 3.0-liter six (both engines are also found in 3- and 5-Series models). Six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

While the 1-Series is smaller and less expensive than the popular 3-Series, it could be argued that it's neither small enough nor cheap enough. Regardless, the 2008 BMW 1-Series handles well, steers beautifully, and functions nicely as a 2+2. The compact folding mechanism of the convertible's soft top even ensures that there is usable truck space with the top down.


  • Acceleration of twin-turbo engine
  • Driver-oriented attitude
  • Rear-wheel-drive handling
  • Steering feel
  • Availability of convertible


  • Styling not as pure as 3-Series
  • Sized too close to 3-Series
  • Weight too close to 3-Series
  • Optional iDrive interface
  • Expensive
Next: Interior / Exterior »
/ 10
TCC Rating
Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
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