2013 BMW 1 Series Review, Ratings & Discussions | Edmunds.com

2013 BMW 1 Series Review

Compare upfront prices, lock in the best deal, and bring your certificate to the dealer for a no-haggle purchase.

Review of the 2013 BMW 1 Series

  • Its styling won't suit everyone, but the 2013 BMW 1 Series undeniably offers a very appealing combination of performance and refinement.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Powerful, fuel-efficient engines; rear-wheel drive; nimble handling; solid construction; convertible available.

  • Cons

    Cramped backseat; mediocre interior materials; less-than-svelte styling.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 BMW 128i and 135i are essentially unchanged and receive increased standard equipment and shuffle packages and options. In lieu of the now discontinued 1 Series M, BMW has introduced the 135is trim to either coupe or convertible models.



Fair car needs modification to

by on
Vehicle: 2013 BMW 1 Series 128i SULEV 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

After coming out of a Scion FR-S, I felt the suspension in the 128i M Sport to still be too soft and sloppy (lots of roll and bounce). Car improved with a Dinan Stage 1 suspension (Konis and shorter springs). Then ditched the Goodyear Eagel Run on Flat tires for Bridgestone Potenza S-04 summer tires and now it is comfortable, sporty, and actually quieter in the cabin. Car has adequate power but could use a little more horsepower for freeway passing - I guess they could not step all over the 135i. Best part is the silky smooth Inline 6 cylinder engine without the turbo issues that plague many BMWs. Cabin and trunk are a little small, but enthusiasts actually love this chassis more than M3.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

This is my favorite car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

Best car I've ever owned. I have had Corvettes, Jags, Benzes and a multitude of others, but by far my favorite is the 135i convertible. It is a fun, peppy car that strikes an almost perfect balance between ride/handling--and this is with the sport package. Mine has the DCT transmission--it works flawlessly and is so intuitive I rarely use the manual function. Handling is superb. The ride is a bit rough with the OE run-flats. I swapped mine out for non-run-flat Michelins right away--the ride is much improved. IMO, BMW should do away with OE run-flats. They are horrible.




Incredible little car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

This 135i convertible with M Sport package is one of the most---no, make that THE MOST FUN--car I have ever owned, and I have owned many, including Jaguars, Corvettes, and Porsches, to name a few. Fantastic engine pulls strong from a dead stop to 7k rpms. DCT transmission is a blast. Handling is sharp. This thing scoots around like a Miata on steroids. The only thing I dislike about this car are the run-flat tires, which I switched out after one week for some non-run-flat Michelins--this immediately improved the ride tremendously. I think this may be the best car BMW makes.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Last of n/a inline sixes

by on
Vehicle: 2013 BMW 1 Series 128i SULEV 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

After test driving many coupes in the $30-$40K range, I drove the 128i on a whim thinking I would check it off the list and move on. After driving it however, I pulled out the checkbook. There are cars with more power and better styling, but I couldn't find any that had the combination of performance, handling and quality for the money.



13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Traded a z4 for a

by on
Vehicle: 2013 BMW 1 Series 128i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I bought a 2003 Z4 ten years ago and thoroughly enjoyed driving it for 55,000 miles. At the age of 52, it was a great purchase. At 62, with bad knees, and 6'3", it became more difficult to get in and out of. And, being a roadster with a small trunk, it wasn't good for more than a quick overnight trip. So, we traded it on a '13 128i convertible and so far, it's a wise decision. Had to special order it since I wanted a manual transmission and was willing to pay only for the options I wanted. Only 1000 miles so far, so it's too soon to determine reliability. The fit and finish is typical BMW qaulity and the engine and transmission are smooth.



Full 2013 BMW 1 Series Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 BMW 128i and 135i are essentially unchanged and receive increased standard equipment and shuffle packages and options. In lieu of the now discontinued 1 Series M, BMW has introduced the 135is trim to either coupe or convertible models.

Introduction

Not even BMW has been immune from the automotive industry's current trend of each model-year's successor creeping, growing or inflating nearly to the size of the next-larger class. That's why the 2013 BMW 1 Series is such a gem; at about the size of the original 3 Series, the coupe or convertible 1 Series just might be the last BMW that still upholds the nimble characteristics that once defined the entire BMW brand.

Under the hood there is more proof that the 1 Series is a genuine BMW. With the same superb set of inline-6 engines as the BMW 3 Series, the thrills are there for the taking. Transmission choices are also first-rate, with a choice of a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or a sophisticated seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.

While Americans are still getting used to the idea of premium-branded compact cars, there's growing support for buying small, but buying well. The 2013 BMW 1 Series might seem expensive when compared to a Hyundai Genesis Coupe or 2013 Nissan 370Z, especially if you tick each of the option packages. But if you think of the 1 Series as the only rear-wheel-drive compact from Europe, then it begins to look rather exceptional.

Still, you owe it to yourself to cross-shop a few other coupe/convertible models before making such a big decision. Consider an all-wheel-drive Audi TT, a front-drive Mini Cooper, and even flex a little American muscle with a Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang. Compared to any of the above, we think you'll sense the extraordinary quality and dynamism of the 1 Series.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 BMW 1 Series comes in two-door coupe or convertible body styles, both of which are available in 128i, 135i and 135is configurations.

The 128i comes equipped with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, eight-way manual front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium vinyl upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. The 128i convertible adds different-style wheels, a fully lined power-folding soft top and a special convertible mode for the climate control.

Aside from its more powerful turbocharged engine, the 135i adds a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, eight-way power front seats, adaptive xenon headlights, an aerodynamic kit, and (on the coupe) a sunroof. The top-tier 135is further benefits from a yet more powerful turbocharged engine, sport front seats, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters (when ordered with an automatic transmission) and specialized exterior and interior trim.

The Premium package adds keyless ignition/entry, auto-dimming mirrors, interior ambient lighting, satellite radio, leather seating, and to the otherwise lacking 128i coupe, it further adds the 135's power front seats and a sunroof. When the 128i is ordered with the Premium package, adaptive xenon headlights with auto-leveling are available.

The 128i and 135i Cold Weather packages include a heated steering wheel and front seats. The 128i and 135i M Sport packages essentially mimic the extra features that are standard on the 135is.

Finally, the Technology packages adds to all trim levels a navigation system, BMW Apps with online information services, smartphone integration, voice commands and BMW Assist (concierge).

Unbundled, stand-alone options available on all trims include rear parking sensors, automatic high-beams, BMW Assist and a Harman Kardon surround audio system. For the 135i and 135is, BMW's variable-ratio active steering is available.

Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series offers a choice of three different 3.0-liter inline-6 engines. The naturally aspirated 128i produces 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped 128i coupe sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. A convertible (300 pounds heavier), also with a manual transmission, posted a 6.7-second time. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 128i coupe is 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined regardless of transmission. The 128i convertible earns 18/27/21 with the automatic and 19/28/22 with the manual transmission, however.

The 135i's turbocharged inline-6 engine produces 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (known as DCT) is optional. In our testing, a 135i coupe with the manual transmission sprinted to 60 mph from a standstill in an impressively quick 5 seconds flat and 5.5 seconds for a convertible. However, that number rose to 6.2 seconds for a 135i with DCT. EPA-estimated fuel economy is actually better than the 128i's, achieving 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway/23 mpg combined with the manual and 18/25/21 with the automated manual transmission. The manual-equipped convertible gets 19/28/22.

The new-for-2013 135is has a modified version of the 135i's engine that produces 320 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Though we've yet to test it, we suspect it will easily run to 60 mph in under 5 seconds when equipped with the manual transmission. The seven-speed DCT is also available.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes (with brake drying and standby feature), traction and stability control and hill-start assist for manual-equipped cars are all standard on the 2013 BMW 1 Series. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on the coupe; convertibles come equipped with front-seat side airbags that extend higher to protect occupants' heads. The convertible also features pop-up rollover hoops.

In Edmunds brake testing, a 128i convertible stopped from 60 mph in 115 feet. However, a 135i Coupe with the standard 18-inch wheels and summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 107 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the 1 Series is generally competitive with its rivals in terms of materials quality. Although there are still more hard plastics than we'd like in a BMW, the optional aluminum or wood trim dress things up a bit.

Most of the controls are straight out of the standard BMW playbook and are easy to use. The base seats are notably lacking in support given this car's performance potential, so we strongly recommend anteing up for the M Sport package and its superb, manually adjustable sport seats that some say are better than the power sport seats. The convertible's optional sun-reflective leather seating does a remarkable job of keeping your butt from roasting.

Although the subcompact BMW 1 Series is technically a four-seater, the rear seats are significantly smaller than those in the 3 Series coupe, so they're best left to cargo or those of smaller stature. The coupe's decent-sized trunk holds 13 cubic feet of luggage; in the convertible, there are 8.5 cubes left over when the top is stowed.

Driving Impressions

It'll take a real purpose-built sporting machine to outrun the 2013 BMW 1 Series on a winding road. Though some hard-core drivers might find that the car's handling isn't as rewarding as M-badged BMWs when driven enthusiastically, the vast majority of owners will find joy in the responsive steering, excellent body control and great outward visibility. The ride of the 1 Series isn't quite as refined as that of a 3 Series either, but it's quite good relative to rivals.

Even the base 128i's naturally aspirated inline-6 is a gem of an engine, sweeping from idle to redline on a smooth wave of turbine-like power. With their turbocharged inline-6 engines, the 135i and 135is crank up the power while retaining every bit of that characteristic smoothness.

Talk About The 2013 1 Series

2013 BMW 1 Series Discussions See all Started By

Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
01-14-2013
2013 BMW 1 Series Limited Edition Lifestyle Models Debut The 2013 BMW 1 Series coupe and BMW 1 Series convertible Limited Edition Lifestyle models will be showcased at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show....


circlew
circlew
04-25-2009
The discussion also raised the possibility of an M for the 1 Series, and while it won’t be called an M, BMW is planning a high-performance version of the second generation 1 Series. It will, ...


crispm
crispm
05-17-2012
When are the 2013 model year BMWs due to arrive in the US?...



ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 BMW 1 Series in VA is:

$160 per month*
* Explanation
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

More on the 2013 1 Series

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411