2009 BMW 1 Series Consumer Review: Not Quite Excellent Yet

2009 BMW 1 Series - Consumer Review

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Not Quite Excellent Yet
By kjgood on


2009 BMW 1 Series 135i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


Was forced by need, availability, and good price, to "settle" for the Steptronic instead of the manual; not sure it was the best choice. Great power, but no limited slip diff makes wheels pin far too easily. Both auto trans and traction control have various "modes" but not convinced any of them are ideal. Handling limited by crappy RFT OE tires. Exterior design is good from some angles but awkward from others. Excellent top; quiet when up, and retracts neatly. Interior handsome. Rides much better than my previous Honda S2K, but doesn't handle as well (not surprising). Too many creaks and rattles for a car in this class, mostly around tops of windows when top is up. Fuel mileage is poor.

Best Features

Powerful and smooth I-6 turbo engine. Great acceleration. Small(ish) without being cramped. Sport and Premium package features. Excellent convertible top. Nice "finished" look when top is retracted. Excellent seats - good driving position (S2000 is better though).

Worst Features

Fix the rattly windows that so many 'vert owners experience; shameful in a $40K+ MSRP car (there would be talk of crappy Brit quality if this were a Jag). Limited slip diff, please! Ditch the RFT tires, put on better OE ones, and include a spare tire. Restyle the sides to eliminate "cat's belly."
Recommend (6) (0)

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By kjgood
on 08/23/11 05:22 AM (PDT)

This is my 19K mile update to the original review. While the car is still fun and entertaining, I am very thankful it is under warranty. So, far, replacements have been required for the high-pressure fuel pump, 4 of 6 injectors, front brake apds (horrendous squealing), both tail light assemblies, the right rear window (due to attached gasket coming loose) & seat belts. Several of these were recalls or factory bulletins, acted upon in some cases while my car was in for normal service. The brakes and rear window weren't, though. I was surprised that the fix for the gasket coming loose on the window was a whole window replacement, but it was on BMW, so... In addition to the above, the passenger front power window seemed to lose it's programming a couple of times, and would try to close too high, then drop back down. Two dealer visits to fix that one. I get a real chuckle when I see the BMW ad with the "owner" (actor) stating that, "Everything is perfectly engineered." Right, except when it isn't. Mind you, none of these fixes cost me a nickel, and since this car is leased, I won't be owning it after the warranty expires. But one has to question if it would be wise to own one of these outside any sort of warranty period, and even free fixes are still a PITA since repeated extra visits to the dealer are not exactly what I like to do with my time.

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