If your objective is have a car that is fun to drive, you will do no better than a BMW 1. While our BMW 3 was a fun car it does not even come close to providing the fun drive of the BMW 1. It will bring a smile to your face every time you get behind the wheel. Because of the limited rear seat room this is not a family car.
Had the car for about year now, no regrets. As a diehard BMW fan I was afraid BMW was shifting towards too much technology and not enough fun driving. I was wrong, the 135i is just about perfect, and it relives my days of the E46 330 but better. It has the right combination of sport/comfort for everyday use, it's NOT a track car. Get the 1M if you track your car. The 135i is a great daily driver with gobs of power and handling to exceed anyone who drives on the street. The seats are comfy and the interior is typical BMW fare with driver orientated controls. Handling is great with the exception of some understeer. The brakes are superb with great stopping power and awesome brake feel.
I bought a 2011 135i used. Huge mistake! While the car is easy on the eyes, it is rough on the bank account. Within 1 month of buying this car, I had to shell out $1,000 to have the pulleys replaced due to squealing. I drove the car less than 3 months when the headlights went out. It's a cook $4500 to replace these babies. Next (about 2 months later), the thermostat goes out while I am in traffic in Atlanta. This repair hit me for another $1200. The car has a problem with rough idle where it will almost stall at red lights while sitting still (with or without the AC on). I have taken the car to the shop twice only to be told that it is "bad gas". What a lame response for "I have no clue." Most recent repair was an oil leak that costs me $610 and the tech says I need to replace the oil pan - another $1300. Currently, I am tolerating the rough idle (because they have no clue) and the pulleys that were not replaced are squealing really bad. I hate this car. It's my third and FINAL BMW. I will never buy another BMW and highly recommend that you do not either.
Picked up my car tonight. Space gray metallic with black interior, M Package and DCT. This thing is insane!! Traded a Z4 3.0i for this and it makes the Z4 feel like a 4 cylinder. The engine and transmission are amazing. The engine is extremely responsive and the DCT is very crisp. Interior is very comfortable and the ride is taunt. It is impossible to view this as an entry level car, too nice, too fast, too fun!