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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 BMW 135

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Expert's Rating


MPG 20 City / 28 Highway
  • Responsive inline-6 engine
  • Superior handling
  • Communicative steering
  • Cramped back seat
  • Some displays can be difficult to see
  • Automatic transmission not the most refined
Automotive Editor -
Looking for something fun to drive but don't want to fork over $40k for a 3-Series? This is the car for you.


The modern day BMW 1-Series dates back to the 2004 model year in the global market, but only treks back as far as the 2008 model year in the U.S. market. With the introduction of the 1-Series, BMW found itself sitting almost uncontested in the compact luxury car realm, as no other manufacturer really built anything like it.

Coming into the 2013 model year, the 1-Series is effectively a carryover, sans the all-new 135is performance trim level. In addition to the 135is, the BMW 135 also has the 135i, which acts as the base trim level for the 135 model. The BMW 135i comes standard with a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six-cylinder engine that pumps out 300 horsepower and hooks up to a standard six-speed manual transmission. With the optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the 135i can sprint to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. The 135is earns gets an extra 20 horsepower from its 3.0-liter engine and also hooks up to a standard six-speed manual transmission. This format allows the 135is to hit 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.

Both the 135i and 135is are available in coupe and convertible format and they share two optional packages – the Premium Package and the Technology Package. The Premium Package adds in auto-dimming mirrors, Comfort Access keyless entry, rearview-mirror-mounted compass, SiriusXM radio, ambient lighting and garage door opener. The Technology Package includes voice control, navigation with real-time traffic, BMW Assist with Bluetooth, smartphone integration and BMW apps.

The 135i has two exclusive optional packages – the Cold Weather Package and M Sport Package. The Cold Weather Package includes a heated steering wheel and front seats. The M Sport Package adds in an M Sport leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, 18-inch light-alloy wheels in a double-spoke style, 150 mph top speed, anthracite headliner, Shadowline exterior trim, sport seats and four interior trim options – Glacier Silver, Alpine White, Anthracite Wood and Light Burl Walnut.

In terms of competition, there are really not too many direct competitors for the 135i and 135is, but there are a few vehicles that can be considered alternatives. The first alternative would be the 2013 Audi A5, which comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine with 211 horsepower, a six-speed manual transmission and a 10-speaker premium sound system. Next up is the 2013 INFINITI G Coupe, which comes standard with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 330 horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, and a 5.7-second 0-to-60 sprint. Last on the list is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C350 Coupe, which features a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 302 horsepower, a 5.6-second sprint to 60 mph and a sport-tuned suspension.

The competition for the BMW 135 is pretty spread out, but the alternatives are available and very closely matched to this relative newcomer.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 BMW 135
Starting price

2013 BMW 135 i

Recommended for: Buyers that prefer the added performance that the 135 adds to the 1-series

The base model for the2013 BMW 135 is the i trim, which comes much better equipped than you may expect. The 135i’s exterior includes Dynamic Stability Control and sport suspension tuning for better handling, 18-inch V Spoke wheels for a sporty look, Xenon Adaptive Headlights for optimal nighttime vision, headlight washers to clear off dirt and debris, and an aerodynamic kit with a rear spoiler for a sporty look. On the inside, the 135i includes eight-way power seats and leatherette seating for optimal comfort, gray poplar wood trimming for a sleek look, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system to keep the occupants entertained, and Bluetooth connectivity to allow safe cellphone usage.

2013 BMW 135
Starting price

2013 BMW 135 is

Recommended for: Buyers that want the best performance in a 1-Series without opting for the M-Series

The is trim level for the 2013 BMW 135 adds in some extra luxury and power. To start things off, the 135is adds an extra 20 horsepower to the 3.0-liter engine found in the base 135i. On the outside, the 135is includes an increased speed limiter for a higher top speed, 18-inch double-spoke wheels for a sportier look, and a Shadowline exterior trim for a sleeker appearance. Inside the cabin, the 135is adds in sport front seats with adjustable side bolsters for additional support, an anthracite headliner for an upgraded look, exclusive interior badging to add to the overall package, and an M Sport steering wheel for a sportier grip and better feel.

Used BMW 1-Series in 20149