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2009 BMW 1 Series

Overview
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2009 BMW 1 Series Review

By

Unstable fuel prices and increasingly crowded roads have turned many car-buyers' eyes toward small cars. BMW would love to cash in on this growing interest, but can it do so without diluting or cheapening the brand's premium image? Last year's introduction of the 1 Series proves it can, and although only the 1 Series Coupe and Convertible are sold here, (there are three and five-door versions available in Europe), those who think the 3 Series has grown too big or expensive hail the 1 Series as the new heir to the iconic BMW 2002's compact performance crown.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you think smaller and lighter cars tend to be the most fun, we think you'll like the 2009 BMW 1 Series. MINI Cooper fans looking to move up to a slightly larger, more serious car will also feel at home in the 1 Series.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those looking to maximize their buying dollars may not be attracted to the 1 Series. For just a little more money, buyers can step up to the roomier and arguably more desirable 3 Series. Plus, the 1 Series has seating for only four passengers, so if you need room for five, look elsewhere.

What's New for 2009

A heated steering wheel is added the 128i's Cold Weather Package and is a stand-alone option on the 135i. 1 Series cars ordered with navigation receive the latest iDrive system, which includes new menus, programmable memory keys and access to Google Maps.

Driving the 1 Series

Driving Impressions Those who are familiar with BMW's approach to suspension tuning will immediately feel at home in the 1 Series. Goldilocks herself would approve of the steering feel, which is neither...

too firm nor too light and offers precise control of the front wheels, and we think the 1 Series will deliver all the driving enjoyment and performance balance BMW drivers have come to expect. The 230-horsepower engine in the 128i is no slouch, but with 300 horsepower the twin-turbocharged engine in the 135i is the real star. It's the same engine used in the larger, heavier 3 Series and in the smaller 135i, it delivers great power to pass and a swift zero-to-60-mph time of 5.3 seconds.

135i Twin-turbo Engine
Big horsepower numbers are impressive but, from the driver's perspective, a wide useable power band is just as important. The twin-turbocharged engine in the 135i delivers exhilarating performance and easy acceleration in all gears.

Big Brakes
The capability for performance must be matched by a capability to get the car slowed down, and the 135i has huge front brakes that not only slow the small coupe with ease but also look great peeking out from behind its 18-inch wheels.

2009 BMW 1 Series Details
2009 BMW 1 Series photo Interior

It may be the least-expensive BMW sold in America, but the interior treatment of the 1 Series is anything but cheap. The materials have a high-quality feel and the interior design features all the modern style found throughout the rest of the BMW lineup. The 1 Series seats only four, but front-seat passengers enjoy plenty of head and legroom while the rear seats offer comfortable but cozy quarters. The trunk offers a reasonable 10 cubic feet of storage space and the rear seats can be folded to accommodate larger items.

Exterior

The 1 Series represents one of the most refined applications to date of BMW's "flame surfacing" design motif. Its basic silhouette has the proportions of a classic performance car, with a long hood, abbreviated trunk and wheels located at the far corners of the body. Adding to the 1 Series' visual flair are a sharply creased shoulder line, signature BMW twin-kidney grille and a rear spoiler integrated into the trunk lid. The more-powerful 135i sports an aggressive exterior treatment that includes 18-inch wheels and an aero kit inspired by BMW's M performance division.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Among the standard features offered on the 2009 BMW 1 Series are automatic climate control, power windows with one-touch up-and-down function, rain-sensing windshield wipers, cruise control and a 10-speaker audio system with auxiliary input for MP3 players. In terms of safety, the 1 Series includes standard front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability and traction controls and a system that automatically dries the brakes in wet conditions.

Optional Equipment

Many of the options offered for the BMW 1 Series are divided into packages. The Cold Weather Package for the 128i includes a ski bag, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and headlight washers; all but the heated steering wheel are included on the 135i's Cold Weather Package. The Premium Package features power front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, leather seating and an interior lighting package. The Sport Package increases the speed setting of the top-speed limiter and adds sport seats plus other racy details. Stand-alone options include a navigation system, xenon headlights, HD radio, satellite radio, a heated steering wheel (135i) and BMW's Active Steering system.

Under the Hood

Most buyers will find the 230-horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine powering the 128i to be perfectly acceptable. Those who want even more performance can choose the 135i and its twin-turbocharged engine, which produces 300 horsepower, enabling acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in a little more than five seconds. Both models feature a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.

3.0-liter in-line 6
230 horsepower at 6500 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque at 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
300 horsepower at 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque at 1400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (automatic), 17/25 (manual)

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Buying this car?

2009 BMW 1 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 123 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

One of the 2 best cars I have owned in 40 years

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great fun to drive everyday"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Truly awesome driver's automobile. Awesome performance on great fuel economy. Not a family car. It excels at what it was made for. NO problems in 32,000 miles."

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

This car is a beast, what every bmw should be

By on Thursday, July 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Hydraulic steering like it should be!"

Cons: "Don't drive in snow!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car in Valencia orange is a must,perfect dimensions,perfect steering, perfect suspension, only negative Is a/c is a little weak,even decent mpg"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Oh.. don't make them anymore so has lost value

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Cons: "Limited Edition has no value.."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I bought this BMW thinking it would hold value and be a comfortable ride. Well, It has less value than I would have even imagined, unlike other BMW vehicles I have purchased. Very disappointed in BMW..."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Best Car I Ever Own

By on Thursday, June 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Outstanding performance...get compliments whenever"

Cons: "None ...don't get a chance to drive it enough"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car in 10/12 and wasn't able to drive it right away....work and all...but after I was able to take it on a 2.5 hour drive. I was blown away.. .this is truly a Driver's Car...the car performs outstanding....put the top down and the exhaust sounds great. I would have given the car a 10 reliability but there was software update on the DCT which took a while to get iron out between BMW and the dealership. Once that was resolved the car performed even better. This car is a KEEPER for me."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Fantastic little car!

By on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Decent gas mileage. Very reliable."

Cons: "Very tight interior."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My 2009 135i is the 4th BMW I've owned and it's the best one yet! As expected, it's fast, agile, and just plain fun to drive! My baby has been dead-on reliable, although I do maintain it very well. Lots of "in-between" oil changes and fluid flushes, etc. The BMW factory service intervals are just ridiculous. I'm going to keep this car for quite a few more years."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Powerful engine. Style stands out from other cars

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great acceleration"

Cons: "Interior dashboard is plastic makes a lot of noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car has a very powerful engine. The driving dynamics are outstanding, which makes it very agile in tight turns. The interior is very elegant, but the downside to it is that the dashboard is 80% plastic so cracks and makes noise a lot. Other than that the car is great and fun to drive."

7 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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