Editors at TheCarConnection.com consider the 2009 BMW 1-Series unabashedly sporty, quick, and fun to drive.
The 2009 BMW 1-Series is moved by a naturally aspirated 230-horsepower engine on the 128i models, but performance fans will want the twin-turbocharged, 306-hp 3.0-liter inline-six version on the 135i. With either trim, Edmunds states that "a six-speed manual is the standard transmission, while a six-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional."
Performance overall is quite good—and Popular Mechanics notes that "the flip side of all that high performance is usually poor fuel economy. Not here: BMW estimates 30 mpg on the highway." The official EPA estimates for the 2009 BMW 1-Series are 18 mpg city and 28 highway for the 128i, while the 135i returns 17 mpg city, 25 highway.
Road & Track reports that the 135i "has amazing pulling power" and gives "new meaning to the term 'pocket rocket.'" Some reviewers, however, worry that the car's 3,500-pound weight will overwhelm the engine. However, despite its weight, Car and Driver finds the BMW 1-Series to be "pretty quick, taking an estimated 6.4 seconds for the 0-to-60-mph run equipped with the fluid six-speed manual." For those seeking a serious performance machine, the 135i gets a twin-turbocharged engine that, according to some reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, moves the car to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.
ConsumerGuide praises the 2009 BMW 1-Series' performance, claiming that "BMW's legendary handling capability carries over to the 1-Series. Even BMW's 2009 128i convertible with the base suspension and 16-inch tires exhibits little body lean in fast turns." Popular Mechanics finds, on the track, "the steering, typical of BMW, [is] sharp and quick to react." Edmunds says "body roll is minimal, and overall grip on models fitted with the sport package is superb."
Kelley Blue Book raves about the "huge front brakes that not only slow the small coupe with ease but also look great" on the 135i. The brakes on all trim levels of the 2009 1-Series are exceptional, and they hold up well under extreme conditions.
Ride quality on the BMW 2009 1-Series is a function of trim level and options, but there aren't really any surprises here. ConsumerGuide finds that "the tested 128i convertible [rides] surprisingly well, easily soaking up smaller road blemishes and pavement heaves." However, opting for the 135i brings a "sport suspension and 18-inch tires, a combination that reacts much more sharply to bad pavement, yet never feels harsh." Customers should expect that the 135i in full sport mode will feature a rougher ride than the 128i with more comfortable settings.