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STYLING | 7 out of 10
out of tune with the rest of BMW's very sleek-looking lineup
interior is simple and tastefully styled
projects an odd, almost ungainly proportion from some angles
Road & Track
Experts at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 BMW 1-Series definitely looks like a BMW—but it's not as elegantly proportioned as others in the family.
The BMW 1-Series was new to the United States for 2008. ConsumerGuide says that the "BMW 1-Series ... lineup includes 128i and 135i models." Both the 128i and 135i are available as either a two-door coupe or a convertible. Autoblog delivers a backhanded compliment to the 1-Series, commenting, "the styling language of the new 1-Series coupe is more attractive in person than the press shots...would indicate."
The styling of the 2009 BMW 1-Series seems to win some and lose some. 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." BMW, however, claims that the basis for the styling of the new BMW 2009 1-Series is the old BMW 2002 model. For 2009, BMW offers no changes to the 1-Series' styling other than a new exterior color.
Cars.com considers the new 2009 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." While generally approving of the styling on the new 2009 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' look, there is another who finds it a complete turnoff.
Inside, the new BMW 2009 1-Series features traditional BMW styling, which is to say that the car is very clean and upscale. Popular Mechanics comments that the 2009 BMW 1-Series is "nearly identical to the 3-Series," a car that reviewers and customers alike have stamped with their approval. ForbesAutos raves about the 1-Series Coupe's interior, finding it "simple and tastefully styled, crafted from premium materials and with instruments that are well positioned within sightlines." 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 interior of the 2009 BMW 1-Series is unmistakably excellent. The exterior is a love-it-or-leave-it proposition.