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2013 BMW 1 Series

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2013 BMW 1 Series Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Good enough to make some 3 Series buyers think twice, the 2013 BMW 1 Series Coupe and Convertible speak to many BMW enthusiasts as well as younger buyers wanting an easier entrée into the joy of driving. And you can enjoy the 1 Series as aggressively as you care to, with an entry-level 128i offering 230 horsepower for around $32,000 and the new up-power 135is costing about $44,000 for its 320 turbocharged horses. Convertible variants across the line add the option of open-air motoring. The 1 Series is a simple, straightforward little package that takes the driving experience seriously.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like your driving served "straight up," the 2013 BMW 1 Series is your machine: Front engine, rear-wheel drive, good power and poised handling, all tuned and developed on the assumption you want your car to feel and sound and move just so.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 1 Series, in either Coupe or Convertible guise, may be simple in specifications but a car like this is still costly to engineer and manufacture. If "driving dynamics" doesn't mean too much to you, you'll probably find a better transportation value in an Acura, Audi or VW.

What's New for 2013

A new higher-performance model joins the BMW 1 Series line for 2013, the 135is. It uses a version of the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6-cylinder engine that also powers the 135i, but tuned for a power increase from 300 horsepower to 320.

Driving the 1 Series
Driving Impressions

With reasonably light curb weight, an almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a choice of responsive powertrains – all using BMW's signature and still delightful inline-6 engine configuration – the...

... 2013 1 Series Coupe and Convertible provide an entertaining brew of spirited performance, dynamic handling and good efficiency. All versions are taut and tossable, and willing to play with an enthusiastic driver. Obviously, the new 320-horsepower 135is is the most exhilarating of the bunch, but there is plenty to recommend the balance and sweet nature of the 128i. The Convertible versions drive very much like their Coupe brethren, with very little perceptible flex in the structure and entirely acceptable interior noise levels.

INLINE-6
The inline-6-cylinder engine is becoming a rarity (most sixes today are Vs) because their height and length make them tricky to package. But that configuration is perfectly balanced, and there is still nothing quite like the crisp, velvety, free-revving feel and sound of a BMW straight-6.

BMW ULTIMATE SERVICE
After writing the big check you just want to enjoy your car. BMW's Ultimate Service helps makes that possible, covering ALL maintenance for the first four years and 50,000 miles of ownership. From oil to brake pads to wiper blades, if it wears out or needs replacing, it's covered.

2013 BMW 1 Series Details
Interior

The simple, businesslike interior of the 2013 BMW 1 Series suggests an "everything you need, nothing you don't" approach. It's an environment obviously crafted for the motoring athlete, and while upgrades – notably leather and wood trim – are available, they remain largely irrelevant for those with an interest in the 1 Series as a driving instrument. For them, the available sport bucket seats and M Sport steering wheel are the only necessary or appropriate upgrades.

Exterior
2013 BMW 1 Series photo

Moving into 2013, the 1 Series' collection of compound curves is nearing the end of its production cycle. While the simple, unadorned form doesn't reek of planned obsolescence, it also doesn't seem destined to be a classic. It's a little narrow for its height, without strong character in the face or profile, though it is clean, with a saucy little rake in its stance. The 18-inch wheels and fatter tires on the 135i and 135is fill up the wheel wells and do improve the look some over the 17-inchers on the 128i.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Most notable – from a driver's point of view – is BMW's iconic inline-6 engine, whose smoothness and flexibility may spoil you for other drivetrains. Beyond that, a base 128i is not deep in modern features and equipment, but it does include Dynamic Stability Control (incorporating hill assist and brake drying), heated outside mirrors, 8-way (manual) adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and a leather-rimmed sport steering wheel with audio and phone controls. The rear seat that's actually spacious enough to use qualifies as another noteworthy standard feature.

Optional Equipment

The best 1 Series options live in packages, including the M Sport Package (firmer suspension, distinctive wheels, M Sport steering wheel and deeper bucket seats), the Premium Package (auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry, power front seats and SiriusXM satellite radio) and the Technology Package (navigation with real-time traffic, voice commands, the BMW Assist telematics and Online Services, which can deliver weather, stocks and Google Maps information to the car's display screen). A power moonroof and audio upgrade from harman/kardon are among the stand-alone options.

Under the Hood

BMW's inline-6 is legendary and has been a signature ingredient of small BMWs for some 25 years. The 128i synchs a normally aspirated 230-horsepower 3.0 with a 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic. Next up the power ladder is a turbocharged version putting out 300 horses in the 135i, teamed with the manual or a 7-speed twin-clutch automatic. New for 2013 is the range-toping 135is, whose turbo 3.0 is tuned for 320 horsepower, with the same manual or twin-clutch automatic transmissions. The relentless march toward fuel efficiency may eventually force replacement of these lovely straight-6s with turbocharged-4s, whose performance will be great but whose running character and soundtrack won't come close to the traditional BMW inline-6 experience.

3.0-liter inline-6
230 horsepower at 6,500 rpm
200 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg, 18/27 mpg (Convertible, automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque at 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (Coupe, manual), 18/25 mpg (Coupe, automatic), 17/26 mpg (Convertible, manual and automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
320 horsepower at 5,800 rpm
317 lb-ft of torque at 1,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (Coupe, manual), 18/25 mpg (Coupe, automatic), 19/28 mpg (Convertible, manual), 19/25 mpg (Convertible, automatic)

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2013 BMW 1 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 137 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

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

Easily the best car I've ever owned

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

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
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything about it makes me happy."

Cons: "Stock tires are not ideal but that is easy to fix."

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

"This has been the perfect car for me. Small, highly reliable, very fun and fast enough. My 128i Coupe M Sport 5sp manual is better in almost every way to the Boxster I previously owned. It is more reliable (no repairs, in 2.5 yrs) it feels safer in traffic, it is far more comfortable, it has a much nicer stereo and nav system, rides better and was far far less expensive (a nice bonus). The only places where my Boxster held an edge were at the limit handling and steering precision. I'd rate the 128i a 9/10 on these dimensions and the Boxster a 10/10 but overall I'd rate the 128i a 9.5/10 and the Boxster a 7/10. I plan to buy this car at the end of this year when the lease has ended. There is nothing else on the market <$45k that interests me and certainly nothing for the $20k lease end purchase option price."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Big Engine + Small Car = Ear-to-Ear Smiles!!!

By on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,366

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "FUN TO DRIVE PERIOD."

Cons: "2013 was last year made..."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"With an impressive power-to-weight ratio - the 128i is the far more reliable, "second cousin" to the stout 135i. However, in comparison, the 128i is certainly no slouch in the driving excitement department either. The refined, 3.0L six-cylinder engine has been in service, since 1992 and is simply bulletproof. Get one now....BMW will never produce a car of this caliber again."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

75k miles and very little maintenance

By on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, fast car"

Cons: "No spare wheel"

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

"This car is used as a daily commuting car (~100miles a day) and get about 25mpg city + HWY (~30mpg at 65mph). I've had no maintenance issues after 75k miles (besides the fuel pump which was changed early on). The car is great, acceleration is amazing and it's easy to park anywhere. I've tuned it up to ~390bhp (Dinan Stage 2) a few years back and got larger better michelin PSP tires. I'd definitively recommend it !"

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great toDrive

By on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Driving feel, smooth 6 M. overall responsiveness."

Cons: "No spare tire"

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

"Bought a base white 6 speed manual 2013 128 coupe new,sunroof delete, added the BMW performance suspension, BMW exhaust and intake, black grilles and had the wheels powder-coated black.Car handles like crazy especially after Michelin PS 2 tires were substituted for the awful run flats.And the sound,with the BMW exhaust is intoxicating!Its what a basic BMW should be; love it each time I get behind the wheel.Go find a good one, you'll be happy if you like a driver's car.Zero problems with this car Wife drives a 128 convertible,that we bought in 2011."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Exceeded All Expectations

By on Thursday, June 4, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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: "Driving Perfection, Performance to value,"

Cons: "No cup holders, Tends to scare some passengers"

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

"I do not even know where to begin. This is a true drivers car. If you care about cup-holders and passenger convenience look at a different car. If you want the best driving and performing vehicle for the money look no further! I looked hi and low for the best balanced performance for under $50k in a new car. There is not a single vehicle that can touch this one in STOCK form at that price. $20k more or modified equally priced cars are the only competition. The fact that it is perfectly balanced and hits 90% of peak torque at 1900 RPM in a car the size of a HONDA CIVIC will blow you away! Don;t get me wrong, there are quicker and faster cars out there, just not in this price range. If you have a chance to get a 2013 135i or better a 2013 135is (like I have) you should not hesitate! Buy it and enjoy it until it dies a fun death on a track in a controlled environment! Just kidding PLEASE don't wreak it!I am only considering selling mine because my wife is going to become a stay at home mom and we are trying to consolidate bills. If I can find a way I will not sell it! I will keep it forever... Happy Hunting!"

16 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Awesome car! Reliable, Sporty, Cute, Fun to drive

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,978

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: "Very fun to drive!"

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

"This little car is everything I was looking for when I bought her two years ago and still is. Except I just need something bigger now. its quick off the line and very responsive handling."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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