2008 BMW 135i review & road test
Recommended Retail Price: $71,400
Options fitted: Electric Glass Sunroof - $2,750; Metallic paint - $1,600; BMW Radio Navigation with favourite buttons - $2,700
Everything - space, pace, power, poise, quality, dynamics - the lot
CarAdvice rating: (5/5)
Photography by - www.OzCarSightings.com
Ever been to a movie that was hyped up so much, yet you were extremely disappointed after seeing it? It's a real let-down when you expected a joyous experience, yet were given so little. Worse still is when a movie is touted as a comedy, and ends up being a moody drama.
Conversely, there are some encounters that surprise and entertain, and still keep delivering, no matter what you were expecting. One such experience, is the BMW 135i.
When we were handed the keys, we didn't fully appreciate what we were about to go through. On paper it all looks pretty good - twin turbo six-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive, six-speed manual, and a coupe body. But it's how it all comes together that really impresses.
The outside of the car does look a little dopey in photos, but in the metal it's actually very attractive. The rear three-quarter view is probably the best, where the agressive hauches sit over those fat wheels.
Reverse gear is a push and shove up to the left, and slow movements reveal a light clutch with a slightly high takeup point. As you flick the ergonomically shaped gear lever into first, slightly more revs are needed than you expect, to get away. Thank the tall 3.08:1 diff ratio for that. Ah, this thing's going to have some legs then.
The torque delivery is so linear that any gear, any revs, any touch of throttle, and you feel that push coming on strong. Amazing is too delicate a way to describe it. Plus it's economical too.
First gear is over very quickly, and whack it into second and the catapult sensation continues. With the DTC off, and in the wet, slip angles are possible, even in a straight line. But the fact that this car also complies with your every input means it doesn't get out of hand.
On quick turn in with that near perfect weight distribution, it needs to have the throttle pressed a little to get the best out of cornering, which then settles the suspension to an attack attitude.
In 99% of driving it does what an LSD would do, and even when cornering hard, it still responds exactly like an LSD would.
Thanks to Jan at www.ozcarsightings.com for the photo shoot
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2008 BMW 135i Specifications