I hate these kinds of reviews. It is so rare to come a across a car these days that is not likeable. With that said, every car is likeable at some price and for me as a reviewer, price factors into the overall equation of whether I recommend a car or not. I may not personally like a car, but recommend it because it is a great value. The opposite also occurs as you will see if you read on.
I cannot really say I was looking forward to the 2010 BMW 135i convertible. For me, it has always looked small and like a ‘wannabe’ car. Yes, it is a BMW and that comes with a certain amount of status, but it is small and looks strangely smaller when the top is down.
135i comes with a 3.0 liter, 24 valve 6-cylinder with twin turbos. The engine puts out 300 horses and in this size car that is a lot. It is fast, no question about it, and with the 6-speed manual transmission it feels good running through the gears. Handling is good, which you would suspect from BMW; they are known after all as the Ultimate Driving Machine.
My Montego Blue press fleet car has beige leather and also like you would expect, the interior is plush and beautiful but, again, small – making the cabin tight. It has 18” wheels which seem like a waste on this car, automatic climate control air, walnut trim inside, and overall is very well equipped except for the navigation system.
The one good thing about a cramped interior is everything is easy to access. I had trouble figuring out the stereo system, which hasn’t happened to me in many years, but the sound is good and once past the learning curve it is OK.
As you will see below, the MSRP of the car is just over $45,000 and with apologies to BMW fans, I find that to be ridiculous. The base price is way too high at over $41000 with freight, and then they nickel and dime you on options that should be standard on any BMW. Leather interior is $1450, keyless entry is $500, iPod adapter is $400, things like that that run this car way out of the price range of good value.
What I liked most: Acceleration and handling.
What I’d change if I could: Put a $10,000 rebate on it.
Price as tested: $45,225 MSRP.
Fuel economy: 17 City/26 Highway.
BMW 135i in a few words: For the same money, give me the G37 retractable top.