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The BMW 1-Series debuted in the U.S. in the 2008 model year with a coupe and convertible, and the coupe began with the 128i. This entry-level Bimmer continues into the 2013 model year with no changes, as it is still in its infancy as a model.
The 2013 BMW 128 has only a single trim level and that is the i. The BMW 128i comes relatively well-equipped with features like Bluetooth connectivity, 10-speaker audio, cruise control, run-flat tires, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and more. Under the 128i’s hood lays a 3.0-liter DOHC straight-six-cylinder engine with 230 horsepower. This engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission as standard and this combination nets the 128i 19 mpg city and 28 mpg city. In addition to its good fuel economy, the 128i hits 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds and hits a top speed of 130 mph.
With just a single trim level, the 128i relies on a series of optional packages to give buyers the opportunity to customize their vehicle. The Cold Weather Package adds in retractable heated windshield washers and heated front seats. The Lighting Package includes xenon headlights and adaptive light control. The M Sport Package adds in the M Sport suspension kit, 17-inch light-alloy wheels, Shadowline exterior trimming, M leather-wrapped steering wheel, increased top-speed limiter, body kit, sport seats, anthracite headliner and upgraded interior trimming. The Premium Package adds in auto-dimming mirrors, Comfort Access keyless entry, lumbar-supporting seats, SiriusXM radio with a 1-year subscription, moonroof, universal garage door opener, rearview-mirror-mounted compass, power-adjust seats with memory for the river seat, ambient interior lighting, and upgraded leather seating. The Technology Package adds in tech features like voice control, navigation, real-time traffic updates, BMW Assist, smartphone integration and BMW apps.
Competition in the luxury compact-coupe segment is not too plentiful, but there is enough to give you some options. The competitors begin with the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, which comes standard with a 1.8-liter engine with 201 horsepower, a 7.4-second 0-to-60 time and MB-Tex faux leather interior. The 2013 Audi TT is the next competitor and it comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine with 211 horsepower, a low-6-second 0-to-60 time and leather interior. Next you have the 2013 Cadillac CTS Coupe, which comes standard with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 318 horsepower, a mid-6-second 0-to-60 time and leatherette seating.
As you can see, the competition ranges greatly for the 1-Series, given its unique positioning as a compact coupe, but there are still a few options to choose from.
The i is the only trim level available for the compact BMW 128 and it comes relatively well equipped for an entry-level coupe. On the outside, the 128i comes standard with four-wheel disc brakes with Dynamic Brake Control for stable and quick braking, front and rear anti-roll bars for extra stability in the twist, 17-by-7-inch Star Spoke alloy wheels for a sporty and luxurious look, heated side-view mirrors for quick clearing in cool climates, and chrome exhaust tips and exterior trim for a sharp look. The 128i’s interior comes standard with leatherette seating for a leather look without the increased cost, power windows and door locks for added convenience, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel for a nice grip, Bluetooth connectivity for safe phone operation, and an AM/FM/CD/MP3/HD Radio audio system with iPod connectivity and Aux-in connector.
Great mpg, well equipped and Mercedes pedigree, but slow to 60 mph and expensive
Standard AWD, quick to 60 mph and sporty look, but 2+2 interior is cramped and a high base price
Aggressive styling, tons of power and great acceleration, but expensive and much larger body
Low base price, CVT and 32 mpg city, but underpowered, standard cloth seats and non-premium vehicle