2008 BMW 1 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW 1 Series

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BMW 1 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW 1 Series

  • As a compact premium rear-drive coupe or convertible, the 2008 BMW 1 Series is in a class by itself. It's a class we'd like to enroll in, though.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    BMW driving experience at its purest, powerful and efficient engines, sports car performance with coupe practicality, high-quality interior, convertible's sun-reflective leather.

  • Cons

    Options cause the price to skyrocket, iDrive makes navigation a no-go option.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 1 Series is BMW's all-new entry-level car available in coupe and convertible body styles.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I love the 135i

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

I've been driving the car for more than 22,000 miles now and I think I can have some comments: 1. I had the usual problems: The HPFP, the bluetooth firmware upgrade, all the tails lights failing and the safety recall for the seat belts. 2. The run flats awful, replaced them with Michellin A/S now and rides much better 3. Gas mileages is not great. The car has been problem free for the last 5,000 miles and I personally think there is NO perfect car, I was lucky that BMW Charlottesville has been ver professional and helped me all the time when I faced problems. However, if you love cars, this is the one! Test drive one and see for yourself.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Terrible service, plagued with problems

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

Where do I start. Oh, I know. BMW does not care about their customers! I have owned to others in the past, m3 and a 2003 x5. My past experience lead me to purchase (lease) my 1 series. Love the performance, its a fun little car. But. My 1 has just under 14k on on it and its been in for everything under the sun. The fuel pump, the window reg. Motor, radio still doesn't work right, you name it, and the recalls. I could not drive my car at night for a month while I waited for recall replacement taillight, and let me add they provided a car for only a week. Terrible service. I have never (even at gm dealer) had service that was so rude, unprofessional, and unaccommodating.




Would be perfect if not

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

I've driven the car 16,800 miles. Great power and handling, very intuitive interior controls that give you what you need and nothing more. Back seat is only for kids or short trips, but the seats fold down for lots of extra trunk room. Initial problem with fuel pump (common but completely resolved). Biggest complaint: Rear Run flats only good for 10,000 miles; they cost $380 each; and there are no good alternatives. Front tires may last 20,000+. Yes, it's the sports model with 18" tires and I drive a mountain freeway fairly regularly, but my last BMW got 40,000+ miles per set of tires. The car has not been driven hard. I love the car, but next time I would at least test drive the Cayman.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

1.5 year update

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

I have been leasing this car for about 1.5 years and I am severely disappointed. Since I began leasing the vehicle I had the fuel pump replaced, the interior trim is starting to chip off, I've had the rear brakes replaced and I am almost on my third set of tires. Free maintenance yeah right, the treadwear on the runflats is far below average and if you drive aggressively expect to pay more than $1200 a year in maintenance just on the tires. I have already begun to experience more problems with the car stalling and failing to start. The ipod hook up frequently has problems and my passenger seat belt warning goes off with a bottled water in the passenger seat.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Amazing performance

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

Relentless acceleration, great engine sound, and fantastic handling. Regular mode for automatic is like an economy mode in normal driving. Sport mode feels like a manual in that it holds a gear and quickly downshifts. Do not really use paddle shifters very much.There is plenty of room in front and the rear is acceptable if average size. Rear is difficult to access. Top mounted seat position adjusters are very handy for this. Careful driving results in excellent gas mileage. Ride is acceptable, and would be much better without run flats. Great visibility and very nice interior. At first sport seats seemed confining, but now they feel very comfortable. I enjoy each chance I have to drive it.




Great small car for tall

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

I bought this car after being overseas for 2 years. I wanted a car that was fast and fun, but I didn't want the 'boy racer' look that the Evo conveys. After two days of shopping looking at both American and foreign cars, I choose the 135, and I was not disappointed. It is small so you have all the maneuverability that you want, yet big enough that I was able to move from Jersey to DC with it. I have gotten many compliments from people on the car, as they are still relatively new. I got the Sedona Red Metallica color, and it looks awesome. Also I wanted a true sports car so I got a manual and the clutch is extremely smooth.



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Full 2008 BMW 1 Series Review

What's New for 2008

The 1 Series is BMW's all-new entry-level car available in coupe and convertible body styles.

Introduction

Few brands have grown more than BMW in the past 25 years. That growth can be seen in their sales figures and the vehicles themselves. Today's 335i is larger than 1986's 535i, for instance, and it certainly sells in much greater volumes. This trend toward bigger and heavier has altered the brand's lineup to the point that there's now room for a cheaper, smaller entry-level car. Stepping boldly into the gap is the 2008 BMW 1 Series.

The 1 Series already debuted in Europe earlier this decade as a four-door hatchback, but that body style's limited appeal to American shoppers prevented its journey across the pond. With the introduction of new coupe and convertible body styles, however, BMW believes the timing is right for a small car revival.

With their compact two-door bodies, high-performance engines and scalpel-sharp handling, the 2008 BMW 128i and 135i are arguably the spiritual successors to BMW's classic 2002 coupe. Yet the 1 Series features many of the modern high-tech and luxury features that have become just as much a part of BMW during this decade as the raw driving experience. Some features like active steering and navigation with iDrive are dubious in terms of value, while others like keyless ignition/entry, premium hi-fi stereo and the convertible's heat-reflective leather seating are welcome niceties in a small car.

The 1 Series coupe is 8.7 inches shorter than a 3 Series coupe and a bit narrower as well. Though its front engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration is pretty unpopular in this size category because of its lack of space efficiency, BMW reckons its layout has unique appeal to people who care more about driving than carrying passengers. As such, the 1 Series comes with the same engines as the 3 Series: a 3.0-liter, 230-horsepower straight-6 for the 128i and a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six good for 300 hp in the 135i.

Paying between $29,000 and $38,000 for a small coupe may seem shocking, but it's important to remember that this is a car without any real apples-to-apples competitors. Compared to this finely tuned sport coupe/convertible, potential rivals are either too big (Infiniti G37), have front-wheel drive (VW Eos), are too mechanically different (Mazda RX-8), are more an unrefined muscle car (Ford Mustang GT and even Shelby GT500) or don't offer the same high-quality interior (all of the above). The 135i can even hold its own against more expensive cars like the Porsche Cayman or BMW's own Z4 Coupe, meaning that as a pseudo sports car, the 1 Series can actually be seen as a value buy with a pinch of practicality and under-the-radar performance.

Therefore, the 2008 BMW 1 Series is a car like no other that may have a limited audience, considering its size and price. But for that money, it's hard to think of a car that brings as much performance, handling and refinement in a package that's still fairly user-friendly -- except for maybe all those BMWs of yore.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 BMW 1 Series is available as a compact coupe and soft-top convertible. Both come in 128i and 135i trim levels. Standard equipment on the 128i includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a sunroof (coupe), cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 10-speaker stereo with CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The 128i convertible adds a power-operated soft top and an upgraded climate control system.

The 135i trim level comes with a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, xenon adaptive headlights and automatic climate control. To make the 128i similar, there's that model's Sport Package, which features different 17-inch wheels, performance tires, the 135i's sport suspension and sport seats. The 135i Sport Package includes the sport seats and an M sport steering wheel. The Premium Package adds auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, upgraded interior trim, mood lighting, BMW Assist, Bluetooth, leather upholstery and power front seats with driver memory. Popular stand-alone options include active steering, keyless ignition/entry, a navigation system with iDrive controller, rear parking assist, HD radio, an iPod interface, satellite radio and a premium audio system. Heated front seats are also available by themselves or in a Cold Weather Package.

The 1 Series convertible's options list includes the Moonlight Black soft top, which includes shiny metallic fibers that produce a metallic silver appearance in sun- and moonlight. The convertible's optional leather upholstery also features BMW's exclusive sun-reflective pigments, which the company claims can lower the seat surface temperature by up to 20 degrees.

Powertrains and Performance

All 1 Series send their power to the rear wheels. The 128i is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 hp and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 135i features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 making 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the standard transmission, while a six-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional. Expect 0-60-mph times in the low 6s for the 128i and in the low 5s for the 135i. Fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for the 128i coupe and 17/25 mpg for the 135i coupe. Opting for the convertible and/or an automatic transmission decreases fuel economy only by a mpg or two.

Safety

The 2008 BMW 1 Series comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with brake drying and standby feature), traction and stability control and start-off assist for manual-equipped cars. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on the coupe, while the convertible features front seat side airbags that extend higher to protect the occupants' heads. The convertible also features pop-up rollover hoops.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 1 Series features four seatbelts, but how many get used depends on how large the front passengers are and/or how forgiving potential rear passengers are. There's not much legroom in back -- especially the convertible -- but most small coupes suffer from less-than-welcoming rear quarters, so the 1 Series is certainly not damned in this regard. In fact, the 3 Series coupe doesn't really offer much more head- or legroom.

Despite being the cheapest BMW sold, the vehicle's interior materials are consistent with its larger and more lavish siblings. This little car may be expensive, but you pay for quality to match. The 1 Series convertible, for instance, offers optional sun-reflective leather seating. Also like those siblings, the overall design is a little bland, but certainly functional and unfettered. Ordering the navigation system also brings BMW's infamous iDrive control interface, which many people find exasperating to use.

Driving Impressions

Whether in coupe or convertible guise, the 2008 1 Series is a pure BMW, feeling just as confident and adept at carving a serpentine strip of pavement as its larger siblings. Body roll is minimal, and overall grip on models fitted with the sport package is superb. This isn't a mini M3, however, as BMW engineers tuned the 1 to be comfortable enough for daily use and built in some understeer to prevent rear-wheel-drive neophytes from spinning their highly powerful first BMW off a cliff. As such, the 1 Series (135i especially) is the perfect "training Bimmer" for aspiring driving enthusiasts -- it's docile enough for just about anyone to drive, yet still has the excellent suspension tuning and telepathic steering to please even the most ardent track-ready pilots. And with 300 hp going to the rear wheels, it's still possible to hang the tail out for a little muscle car hooliganism.

Having said that, it's a safe bet that most owners will find the less-powerful 2008 BMW 128i plenty quick for their daily drive. With an estimated 0-60-mph time in the low 6-second range, the 128i is certainly no slouch, even if the 135i gets all the headlines. And with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, those headlines will be filled with exclamation marks. The car's twin-turbo straight-6 engine is incredibly flexible, delivering strong power in any situation with no discernible turbo lag. (The torque peak is maintained from 1,300 rpm all the way to 5,000 rpm.) Yet whichever 1 Series you choose, you're assured of a fun time.

Read our BMW 135i Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

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Talk About The 2008 1 Series

2008 BMW 1 Series Discussions See all Started By

louiswei
louiswei
05-02-2008
2008 is going to be a tough year for Lexus and the problem of that is the aging lineup. Helps are coming from 2009 and on though so the future still looks bright....


sweendogy
sweendogy
02-16-2013
BMW alert another recall- recall they had a massive recall last year as well....


fedlawman
fedlawman
09-30-2007
"On 30 June 2007, BMW of North America officially announced the 1-Series Coupe as a 2008 model (code named E82) and that will be be the first 1 Series to go on sale in the USA. Two models are ini...



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