When it was time to sell my beloved '98 M3 convertible I looked at the 2012 3s. Too big and bloated and cluttered with expensive, distracting technology. The 1 series is the spiritual successor to the older 3. Slightly smaller back seat and trunk, but closer in size and with a clean, driving-focused dashboard. We picked one up used with low miles and original warranty still remaining-- a good thing because we have had to use it a lot!
We test drove a 128 but felt it was underpowered. The 135 was obviously more expensive but we fell in love the first time we pressed the pedal to the carpet. This car is stupid fast. In a dark color and especially with the top down it looks great.
With the 3.0T engine this car is stupid fast and has handling to match. Interior design is classic simple and driver-focused. Looks great with the top down. Heated sport seats are great. iPod integration works well.
The only significant knock against this car is its reliability. We bought ours 3 years used with 30k miles and have had it in the shop for repairs 3 times in the first 6 months. BMW has a great 4/50k warranty-- and this is why it's needed!