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2008 BMW 1 35i Sport Review
OWNER RATING 8.4 /10
  • The leather seats., The handling., The design/look/build., the boot space compared to other cabrios., The amazing zenon headlights.
  • The water pump failure problems, The stock suspension on bumpy roads, Interior Compartment storage space, Not having a sunroof/hardtop
PRICE N/A
ANCAP RATING N/A

by Vanessa

Purchased this car used.

I went from a Mkv Golf R32.. Then to an Eos, loved the feeling of a convertible but wasn’t all that wrapped with having to check and top up the oil all the time in the 2.0 turbo engine the Eos had.

So I then soon after did a swap for the 135i. Immediately on the test drive I was taken by the cars smart presence and build, the trim and features and overal appearance and handling, everything just seemed to be built to last. Boot space also.

The eos had hardly any with top down or up. The 135i is generous both top off or on. It’s a great boot size for a cabrio. Steering and handling very very firm, smooth and everything refined. After my purchase I soon did my first 10 hour drive to my parents home.

By then I knew this car was of amazing quality. The front seats are just superb, they’re heated, soft leather and electric settings, 3-4 hours in the same position and then slightly tweaking the setting up or down or back or forward, I felt like I was in a leather recliner almost ready to dose off, they are so comfortable… it was as though the seats had cut my driving time of 10 hrs in half because they made the long and boring drive very unnoticeable.

The seats are one of the most incredible features of the car. Rear seats, soft but quite upright and just bearable for short trips only unless you’re a toddler. Compartment space it should have more, instead of there just being a armrest I’d much prefer more compartment storage, even under seat trays like the Golf had as the 135i has the glovebox and small compartments on the doors, and that’s really it unless you don’t have I-drive and you have a storage box in the top of the dash. That’s a minor negative. Lights,.

The Zenon lamps are brilliant at night, the high beam is exceptional ultra bright and clear, shows up the whole entire road, left right and ahead. The sound system I was blown away with immediately too, the quality of sound clarity and crispness, the Bluetooth is clear also and easily operated and spoken to and heard even with roof on or off, the buttons let you make and accept or decline calls easily without losing control of the car whilst driving.

Another thing I just adore is the keyless entry, just the touch of your hand to open or lock the car once parked while the key is stored in your pocket or handbag its a bonus. Auto lights, auto wipers, great features inc, just like eos and Golf had, reverse sensors and auto dipping side mirror while reversing is such a diamond feature I definitely won’t be scuffing my wheels anymore this time around.

Steering and handling on such on windy/slippery/ or dry roads and going down the mountains, I felt I was safe, in complete control not having to brake as much in these conditions the 135i really put the Golf and Eos to complete shame.

The only thing I can say is the suspension bothers me, although it handles well on smooth roads I feel it should be replaced with a more updated/ improved version/brand when buying a 135i, as the speed bumps, potholes, I really dread as the standard suspension fitted from factory is terrible on minor bumpy roads, small potholes etc.. And it’s also another common complaint amongst owners. This i think could’ve been better quality from the start.

The brakes become very very squeaky at times too. The roof is fast to get down and is just great off on a hot day. Although I do long for times to just be able to roll back a sunroof much like the Eos has included with its hard top convertible, this is one thing the eos has over the 135i, sadly, being a rag top it can get stuffy on days you don’t want the roof off.

But, and as it is quoted, 40kms is the limit to take it down or put it back on and it will warn you otherwise if you try to activate the roof at 50kms or more. Great to be able to do at the traffic lights, being able to take off and still function the roof as most cars will need to be completely stationary to take the top down or put back on as it starts to rain. Downfall is service pricing. Although it’s a Bmw, you can’t expect these to cost nothing.

Insurance wise for me it’s $115 a month or $900 per year btw I’m 30 years old and I went with Allianz, full comprehensive, and of course agreed value option. Now,…. 1 issue that struck,. Annoyingly soon after the 10 hour trip back home,. In that timespace of 30+ hours driving, and only 76,000 klms on the clock, The water pump gave up after being home only a week from my trip, I imagined the trip had brought this on but, Internet forums warned the water pump is a very often talked about ‘fail’ amongst owners and an recurring annoyance every 30-40,000 klms.. as the system is made up of only plastic and aluminium bolts.. It is however also not a cheap fix… It’s a $1400 replacement job by BMW unless you’re ok with fitting aftermarket parts and going to a independent Bmw mechanic. luckily I was still under warranty…

Although the whole ordeal of the warning light and sound (along with the fans going crazy) to pull over immediately was not at all pleasant and caused me a lot of anxiety as I was unaware the car was about to go into what is called ‘limp mode’ as the forums stated it would, showing an amber warning water light on the gauge before not long after showing its red final warning…

From there the car starts shutting itself down to prevent any damage to the cooling system and engine. Smart, but the limp mode literally means the car goes in and out of consciousness, to where I think you have 10 minutes max or less to find a safe spot to pull over and shut the car off and call a tow truck.

In that time slot it will briefly start slowing, down, no acceleration to completely not moving then back to to being able to accelerate slightly then to nothing but idle and so on which is accompanied the whole time with the loud noise of cooling fans going mental and the red warning light blaring.

The fans should’ve been my first warning sign 30 minutes before the first warning lamp even came on., but in warm weather to hear a fan is not uncommon. Unfortunately I was in peak hour traffic when this happened. For next time I purchase a used beamer this will be something that gets replaced right before I go anywhere.

It was not at all a pleasant experience but that’s bmws set up.. A little more notice rather than 2 lights then no acceleration would’ve been nice.

Other than that… the 18″ sports wheels, the leather steering wheel with the paddles, the red leather and M-sport package, the extremely gorgeous exhaust tones it sends out when started and accelerated… All the features, the carpet pile always looks like new when vacuumed with little to no effort whatsoever unlike other carpet piles in the past that catch hair and dirt just a nightmare to keep clean this is easy.

The design and quality overall IMO is spectacular and definitely is a timeless model that has a sense of class wherever it be. I’m very happy I chose it over the Coupe model 135i and the mercedes I had in mind. I’ve definitely fallen in love with it. I have the metallic black, great colour, and second choice I’d have chosen the Le Mans Blue. A great, fast, sporty, and classy looking car.



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BMW 1 SERIES BREAKDOWN

2008 BMW 1 35i Sport Review Review
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