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 carâ€™s somewhat stunted proportions.
At BMW, 2008 is the first year for the 1-Series in the United States. ConsumerGuide writes that the "line is new to North America, and the lineup includes 128i and 135i models." Either the 128i or 135i is available as either a coupe or a convertible; no sedan is on offer. 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."
BMW says that the basis for the 1-Series' styling was the old BMW 2002. While some styling cues from that Bimmer of the past are readily discernible, Road & Track suggest that the 1-Series' "execution is more in tune with E36-based [1990s] coupes, the two-generation forebear of the current 3 -Series." While generally giving their approval of the look of the new 1-Series, Road & Track additionally noted that the "long-hood, tall-roofline, short-rear-deck profile projects an odd, almost ungainly proportion from some angles." It's fair to say that exterior look is divisive; for everyone who likes the littlest Bimmer's styling, there's another who is turned off. The latter camp includes Cars.com, which calls the 1-Series "awkward" and says the "bulbous shape of the rear part of the passenger area" is surprisingly "out of tune with the rest of BMW's very sleek-looking lineup." They say that the "1 Series isn't overtly striking in the visual department," and that in many ways it "seems hum-drum...even in sporty 135i duds."
Inside, the 1-Series styling is traditional BMW: upscale and clean. Forbes raves about the coupe's inner trappings, 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 writes that although the "audio and climate controls are mounted somewhat low," their controls remain "easy to reach and simple to decipher and adjust."