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BMW 135i 2011 Review

The is the current range topper in the BMW 1-Series lineup, BMW 135i cabriolet.
EXPERT RATING
8

WE turn the spotlight on automotive's newest and brightest stars, as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. Ultimately, however, there is one question that really needs answering would you buy one?

WHAT IS IT?

This is the current range topper in the BMW 1-Series lineup, to be supplanted in a few months by the awesome M1. The 135i cabrio offers pretty much everything you need to get a tan, go fast, look good and be safe.

HOW MUCH?

We reckon the upspec' test car came in at around $86,000 with the optional but highly desirable seven-speed manumatic auto.

WHAT ARE THE COMPETITORS?

Not too many really; the Audi A3 cabrio, possibly high-end Mini Cooper S cabrio, Lexus IS250 cabrio, base model E-Class Benz cabrio at a stretch.

WHAT'S UNDER THE BONNET?

Scores potent twin-scroll turbo, 3.0-litre, petrol six with variable valve timing and lift on inlet and exhaust sides. Absolute gem of an engine. Sounds unreal. Maximum torque — 400Nm, available from a low 1200rpm. Peak power is 225kW.

HOW DOES IT GO?

Like stink, capable of clocking mid 5.0 second 0-100kmh sprint, has great roll-on and is smooth as silk. Well matched to seven-speed twin clutch "auto" with launch control a possibility soon. Keeps pesky WRXs and Evos at bay and it's a rear wheel drive.

IS IT ECONOMICAL?

Can be if you can keep off the right pedal. We saw better than 8.5-litres/100km on the highway but averaged in the mid 9.0s combined.

IS IT `GREEN'?'

Greenish, passes Euro 5 so that's a big plus, probably mostly recyclable — another plus, CO2 emissions not too bad given performance potential. Uses elements of EfficientDynamics to lighten the load on the planet.

IS IT SAFE?

Five star safe. Has rollover protection, four air bags, sports stability control.

IS IT COMFORTABLE?

Extremely thanks to stylish and well appointed interior, expertly calibrated suspension and comfy seats with multiple adjustments. Soft top roof comes off electrically at speeds up to around 30kmh, back on at same speeds

WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Impressive — dynamite on tight roads thanks to broad spread of engine power and tidy dynamics. Great brakes despite extra weight of cabrio. Definitely falls into the sports category - would show a clean pair of tyres to plenty of highly regarded contenders.

IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?

At $82,500 kick off price, you are giving the government a fair old wad of cash upfront in tax. Makes us choke too. The seven- speed auto adds $3500 — definitely worth the extra dosh as it offers the best of both worlds. Plenty of kit — leather, premium audio, Bluetooth, electrically adjustable driver's seat. M package for go fast looks, bixenon lights, Multiple interior trim choices at no cost. Paddle gear change.

WOULD WE BUY ONE?

Yep, but would put bigger (19-inch) wheels on it, portable satnav as GPS is not standard.

 

Pricing Guides

$17,449
Based on 73 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$9,500
Highest Price
$26,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
118d 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $9,500 – 19,950 2011 BMW 1 Series 2011 118d Pricing and Specs
120i 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $10,999 – 18,990 2011 BMW 1 Series 2011 120i Pricing and Specs
135i Sport 3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $24,000 – 26,888 2011 BMW 1 Series 2011 135i Sport Pricing and Specs
118d 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $9,500 – 19,950 2011 BMW 1 Series 2011 118d Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8