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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Interior is simple and tastefully styled
Projects an odd, almost ungainly proportion from some angles
Road & Track
Well thought-out cabin that looks nearly identical to the 3-Series
The 2008 BMW 1-Series features BMW's trademark styling both inside and out, but some reviewers took the German automaker to task for the car’s somewhat stunted proportions.
At BMW, 2008 is the first year for the 1-Series in the United States. ConsumerGuide says that the "BMW 1-Series line is new to North America, and the lineup includes 128i and 135i models." Both the 128i and 135i are available as either a two-door coupe or a convertible. In reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, one thread that seemed to run throughout was that the new BMW 1-Series, whether it's the 1-Series convertible or coupe, is a car you have to see in person to appreciate. Autoblog captures this sentiment by saying that "the styling language of the new 1-Series coupe is more attractive in person than the press shots...would indicate."
BMW claims that the basis for the styling of the new BMW 2008 1-Series is the old BMW 2002 model. While some styling cues from that Bimmer of the past are readily discernible, Road & Track feels that the BMW 1-Series's "execution is more in tune with E36-based coupes, the two-generation forebear of the current 3 Series." While generally approving of the styling on the new 2008 BMW 1-Series, Road & Track also notes that the "long-hood, tall-roofline, short-rear-deck profile projects an odd, almost ungainly proportion from some angles." If nothing else, the exterior styling is divisive; for every person who loves the 1-Series's look, there is another who finds it a complete turnoff. Speaking for those in the latter camp is Cars.com, which says that the new 2008 BMW 1-Series is "awkward" and finds the "bulbous shape of the rear part of the passenger area" is very "out of tune with the rest of BMW's very sleek-looking lineup." They add that the "1 Series isn't overtly striking in the visual department," and it "seems hum-drum...even in sporty 135i duds."
Inside, the new BMW 2008 1-Series features traditional BMW styling, which is to say that the car is very clean and upscale. ForbesAutos raves about the 1-Series Coupe's interior, finding it to be "simple and tastefully styled, crafted from premium materials and with instruments that are well positioned within sightlines." Popular Mechanics feels the same way about the interior of BMWs 2008 135i, commenting that it's "nearly identical to the 3-Series," a car that reviewers and customers alike have stamped with their approval. The car's small dimensions also mean that few instruments are ever out of reach for the driver. ConsumerGuide feels that while the "audio and climate controls are mounted somewhat low," they are still "easy to reach and simple to decipher and adjust."
The exterior of the new 2008 BMW 1-Series is hit-and-miss, but few can argue that the interior sports a wonderfully functional and well-styled cockpit.