It's Not All Wonderful - 2008 BMW 1 Series Long Term Road Test
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2008 BMW 1 Series Long Term Road Test

2008 BMW 135i: It's Not All Wonderful

June 23, 2008

Like many BMWs, our 2008 BMW 135i emits brake dust--a lot of brake dust. At least the open 5-spoke wheels are easy to clean. And these brakes squeal a bit when I gently apply them at 30 mph or so in creep-along freeway traffic.

Do I care? Not much.

They feel excellent and the stopping distance is mega-short. At a photo shoot at a racetrack, another 135i's brakes never faded after lap upon lap. We recorded 105 feet when this car went through its check-in test. That's what brakes are for, right?

I'd much rather have this problem than quiet brakes with no dust that stop in 120 feet with wishy-washy pedal feedback and fade after a few stops.

But here are some 135i minor problems that nevertheless do irritate me:

It's bad enough that this car only has two cupholders. My daughters in the rear seats griped loudly about the lack of any back there. Worse yet, one of the front ones is unusable unless you fold the armrest up at a 90-degree angle, a position that puts it at odds with my elbow after shifts. They make better iPod and cell-phone holders than cup holders.

This picture was taken through the lenses of my polarized Oakley Spike sunglasses, not the ZZ-Top cheap kind. I had this problem with our long-term BMW 330i, too. The orientation of the polarizing filter in the audio system LCD is just plain wrong, so the glasses cancel it out pretty much completely. The climate control and trip computer LCD filters are properly oriented, so this does not occur.

I don't understand how this can happen. I've since confirmed what I suspected last time: all polarized sunglasses are oriented to the horizon of the open ocean. And please don't say "Don't wear polarized glasses." A lot of people buy and use them and I prefer them, at times. I would think this issue would be part of LCD engineering 101, especially when those LCDs will end up in an environment where sunglasses might be worn--like the inside of a car. Anyone out there have an explanation I've missed?

Glasses off. (And flame off, too.)

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,554 miles


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