BMW 135i Q&A

Based on the reader comments from our recent 135i review, it looks as if quite a few of you have questions. Lots of questions. And since we ‘ve driven the entire 1 Series range and learned just about everything there is to know about the car from the recent BMW press event, we ‘re here to answer them. We ‘ll start by answering a few of the questions posed in the comment section of our recent review. If you have any further questions not answered here, be sure to ask them in the comment section below. We ‘ll plan on posting answers (if we can) next week.

rule

Q: Do you think we’ll get any idea about when the DCT will make to the 135i in April too?

A: I don ‘t expect the DCT anytime soon on the 1 series and it might not make it during this generation. However you can expect it eventually. rule

Q:My question Gabe would be a comparison between your time in the 135i and the Z4 M.

A: Totally different beasts. However I ‘ll say this; they are the only two cars BMW currently makes that have I ‘ve seriously considered buying in the last six months. The M Coupe is a very focused M car that has limited space and only two seats. The 135i isn ‘t quite as fast yet is just as much fun. And it has two rear seats and a proper trunk. Oh and the MSRP is $15k lower.

rule

Q: what’s the difference between the standard seats and the seats in the sport package? is the m steering wheel (also in that package) worth it? what other exterior colors were impressive? the crimson does look nice..

A: I never had a chance to sit in a car without sport seats. However if they ‘re anything like the standard 3 Series seats (and I ‘m guessing they are) I ‘d highly recommend opting for the sport seats. Much more lateral support and they have the extendable thigh support as well – mandatory in my book.

The steering wheel is the best I ‘ve ever felt. It ‘s actually better than the M3 due to the perforated leather. Actually beyond that and a slight different in trim it ‘s identical.

Best colors in my book:

  • Alpine White
  • Crimson Red
  • Titanium Silver

…in that order. The worst? Sedona Red.

rule

Q: Gabe, thanks for the review. Any word on the audio system and ipod integration?

A: We tried to get it to recognize both of our iPhones but either of the 1 Series tested would.

rule

Q: is the auto trans the same aisin that’s in the MINI?

A: No – Totally different transmission made by ZF and roughly 100 times better at everything. It ‘s probably one of the very best torque converter style autos in the world.

rule

Q: After driving both cars, and not the exact configurations, but with the same price point ~$30k, would you go for a MINI Cooper S Clubman manual w/some great options (LSD, 17″wheels etc) or a 128i manual with heated seats only?

A: Neither. I ‘d do bread and water for six months and get the 135i.

rule

Q: i second the request or a 135i vs. jcw review…

A: It ‘ll come later this spring.

rule

Q: And the fact that it will basically be the only Bimmer in the entire range (I think) to retain that driver-centric dash is a tremendous point in its favor. The absence of this from the E90 was one more reason for me to ditch my 325i for the R56 MCS (which I am loving BTW after 4 weeks).

A: Hey I ditched my 325ci six years ago so I know the feeling.

rule

Q: Did you have time behind the wheel with the 128i? If so, what are your thoughts on that car, especially when compared against the Cooper S?

A: Yes – there ‘s a paragraph in the review above on it.

rule

Q: how does this 135i compare to an R53 JCW?If you can remember back that far.My 2 kids are growing taller and need a bit more room than my R53 JCW has, but I still want a small car….

A: Two totally different cars and concepts. I can say that it ‘s a great car that has more rear legroom than the two door MINI. Is it worth the extra money? Depends on what you want in a car.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Jon

    Glad to hear your point of view on the 135i vs the Z4 M. Still leaning much heavier towards the Z4. A large part of what pulled me to the Mini brand is the icon, and unique look on the street. While the 135i is a very nice car I rather doubt its quite as iconic as the Z4. I personally only need two seats, and a matter of fact 98% of the time the passenger seat is nothing but extra weight.

    Here is another question for you Gabe. I am sure you got into the backseat of the Clubman and the 1 series. From the photo’s it looks like there is a touch more legroom in the 1 series and more rear seat headroom in the Clubman. With the 1 series it also looks like the entry into rear seats isn’t nearly as simple as the clubdoor entry on the Clubman. For a family which do you think would be the more usable space?

  • Just too add to the answer in regards to seats… the sport and non-sport seats come from the E92 3 series coupe. With that being said: The sport seats are much better at hugging the driver and utilize an air chamber system to adjuster the side bolster, wider people may find this tight. There is a manually adjustable thigh support that extends from the front of the seat bottom. Non-sport seats are flatter and provide less lateral support, they also feel to be less cushioned. Logging thousands of miles in each I can say that the sport seats are much better but do require the addition of the sport package (suspension, wheels,sports tires, seats, and steering wheel!). So there are trade offs in either direction, personally BMW= sport package. M-

  • drew

    thanks for answering my question gabe.

  • Thanks for the DCT info–I go back and forth over it anyway; its undeniably better from a performance standpoint, but from a fun standpoint, I may stay with a clutch. Good dilemma to have though.

    Do you have any idea when the U.S. performance catalogue (complete with pricing) will be available? Its unclear from what I’ve read if BMW is offering a suspension upgrade, but I can’t believe they wouldn’t. I’d also love to see the specs on the upgraded brakes, but I’m not sure how much better they’re going to be than stock brakes–the stock brakes look pretty good on paper.

    Its still between this and the new JCW stage II, but as much as it’ll kill me to get out of a MINI, I’m leaning more toward the 135i. Can’t wait to see your head to head comparison.

  • Do you have any idea when the U.S. performance catalogue (complete with pricing) will be available?

    I’ve been told to expect it as early as the NYC auto show.

    I’d also love to see the specs on the upgraded brakes, but I’m not sure how much better they’re going to be than stock brakes–the stock brakes look pretty good on paper.

    I don’t believe they’ll be much (if any) different from the 6 piston 135i brakes that come standard. I definitely don’t think they’ll be worth it for the 135i owner.

    Its still between this and the new JCW stage II, but as much as it’ll kill me to get out of a MINI, I’m leaning more toward the 135i. Can’t wait to see your head to head comparison.

    Neither can I.

  • Mozza
    I’ve been told to expect it as early as the NYC auto show.

    Speaking of the NYC auto show I’m planning on going, do you have any idea of how to get a hold of tickets or are tickets even necessary? Never been to an auto show before so am a little clueless.

  • Google it–you can get tickets online–thats what I always do for Chicago, that way you don’t have to stand in any lines. You can do it for New York–I don’t know if its anything like Chicago’s show, but in Chicago, you can always get them at the door too, but sometimes the lines can be long.

  • You can get tickets either at the event or try calling your local BMW dealer.

  • Oh yeah–sometimes you can get them from car dealers gratis–forgot about that.

  • Chris

    Gabe,

    One very specific question… I have an R53 MCS and my FAVORITE part of the car is the steering feel.

    How was the steering feel of the 135i vs a Mini Cooper S? Could you feel the road just as well?

    Oh, and the article was great but now that you’ve had a couple of days to calm down… With a clear head, is the 135i REALLY that good?

    Awesome writing! ~C