- 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
The 2008 BMW 1-Series makes a true Bimmer available for under $30,000 (but just barely).
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.