2009 BMW 1-Series Review

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9.0
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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Has the 3-Series become too portly, expensive, and upscale? If you think so, the 2009 BMW 1-Series might make you happier.

To bring you the best possible review of the 2009 BMW 1-Series, TheCarConnection.com has combed the Web and gathered insight and opinions from other reviewers. The editors of TheCarConnection.com have also driven the 1-Series and incorporate their own experiences, combined with knowledge of the market, here in this definitive Bottom Line.

The 2009 BMW 1-Series represents basic BMW at its best: It has design ties to 2002 and goes all the way back to the 1960s. Over the years, BMW's 3-Series line has evolved to the point that bigwigs recognized that the brand included a big gap at the lower end of the automotive spectrum. The goal of the 1-Series is to fill that gap—with new coupe and convertible variants.

The 1-Series shares the long hood/short deck of the 3-Series, but the 1-Series is smaller. Its 104.7-inch wheelbase is 4 inches shorter than the 3-Series Coupe, but its truncated shape is shy of its bigger sibling by half a foot. Overall width is almost 3 inches narrower.

Two models are offered for each body style: 128i and 135i. Six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes are available. The main difference, then, 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 hp from its twin-turbo version of the 3.0-liter six (both engines are also found in 3- and 5-Series models).

The 2009 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 there is usable truck space with the top down. Unfortunately, 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.

Inside, the front dimensions are satisfactorily generous, but the rear is bit more snug compared to the 3er. There is room in the back, but what do you expect, really? It's sufficient for occasional use. In a nod to practicality, the rear seat back of the 2009 1-Series includes both pass-through and 60/40 split-folding access to the trunk.

Interior accommodations in the 2009 BMW 1-Series are what you've come to expect from BMW of late: less austere and more attractive while remaining easy to use…with the notable exception of iDrive. The revised iDrive software is better than before, but it remains stifling at first encounter and often counterintuitive with experience. The interface, however, now communicates directly with USB-based MP3 players. All other major controls make perfect sense and are well positioned for easy use and/or viewing. A navigation system is optional. 2009 brings an optional heated steering wheel and a redesigned iDrive system.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016
2013 BMW 1-Series 2-Door Coupe 128i

for a Youngster like me, this car meets up with my demands and is more than convenient for me. also, it attracts people especially women

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the 6 speed manual transmission does it for me. need I say more? rear wheel drive? (oh yes), luggage space is a minor problem, but it's all i could ask for.
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Monday, April 13, 2015
For 2013 BMW 1-Series

All the BMW attributes, not the cost

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We ended up ordering this car so it has only the moon roof and M-sport package. Drives so well, is fun, and really didn't cost much since it doesn't have all the other stuff they usually load on the car. Did... + More »
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Monday, December 21, 2015
2010 BMW 1-Series 2-Door Convertible 128i

Life's way too short to be driving a Honda...

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BMW has used this inline 6 cylinder motor going on 25 years now. They have refined it to levels of smoothness and power unheard-of, in this price range. Despite it's 3500-pound weight, the 128i is still... + More »
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