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      04-02-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
Nemco
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Cool First Professional Reviews of 135is (Road and Track)

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Of course, R&T loves it...

FULL REVIEW: http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-revi...aven-bmw-135is

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The 135is is our undisputed favorite BMW of the moment. ...

Best of all, that car would speak to people who genuinely love driving, not pander to the masses of clueless consumers who influence J.D. Power ratings. This is the stuff of details: In the 135is, you can use your left hand to access the steering-wheel-mounted volume control, your right free to move the shift lever. You can operate the cruise control without taking your eyes off the road because it’s controlled by a stalk, not the wheel-mounted buttons found on other cars (and that will be found on all future BMWs), which you have to look at to use.

It’s also a matter of larger focus. The 135is doesn’t have a single “Sport” button in its cockpit, because a proper sports coupe doesn’t need a button to tell it when to be sporty. The addition of an “s” to the rear emblem doesn’t mean much—this car is essentially the old 135i Sport package, replete with six-piston front brakes, sport suspension, and an aero body kit. The single-turbo straight-six motivating the 135i since 2011 gets an additional 20 hp and 17 lb-ft of torque, an upgrade that’s been available through BMW’s accessory catalog for more than a year.

And it has an exhaust that begs you to leave the door open when you start it in the morning, just so you can hear it. Forget Folgers; the best part of waking up is the prospect of setting off car alarms when you light off your 135is before work. The performance exhaust has what we like to think of as pretend mufflers. They pretend to quiet down the engine’s roar, and your rich neighbor will pretend that the little BMW doesn’t sound as potent as his Ferrari.

Can you feel the engine's slight (just six percent) power bump? Not really, but then the 135i never wanted for power. The 135is threatens to roast its rear tires all the way through first gear, screaming to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds—0.2 second quicker than the original twin-turbo 135i. The remainder of the package is classic 1-series: fatigue-proof, adjustable-bolster sport seats; a perfect driving position; great brake feel; a deliciously thick-rimmed miniature steering wheel; and a stubby, accurate shifter.

The 135is and the cars that came before it explain why BMW means more, to more enthusiasts, than any other brand. The Bavarians could slap sedan- and wagon-shaped four-door bodies on this car, call it the new 3-series, and it would easily remain the best car on the road for another decade. FULL REVIEW: http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-revi...aven-bmw-135is

Last edited by Nemco; 04-02-2013 at 09:23 AM.
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      04-02-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Thanks Nemco. First review of the 135is I've ever seen and glad they have the same sentiment as I do.
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      04-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Makes me wish mine would come faster!

And it also makes me sad looking to the future of BMW. Some years back, one could say almost any bimmer would give you a great drive. Now, having driven a number of F30s (most recently last night on windy back roads) - and having really really wanted to like them - I couldn't help but feel disappointment. I understand why they're doing it - enthusiasts don't pay the bills, but it doesn't make it hurt less to those who love to drive.

Last edited by drFUNK; 04-02-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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      04-02-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
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Great article. Thanks Nemco!
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      04-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
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Maybe I should have sprung for the "is"! Gonna cost about $5k to upgrade-- wheels, PPK, PE....
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      04-02-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemco View Post
Maybe I should have sprung for the "is"! Gonna cost about $5k to upgrade-- wheels, PPK, PE....
It's not hard to essentially turn yours into an "is" if you want. Someone on here is actually selling their 313 rims and tires and I think those and the PE are the main things people love. You might just save your money then and not get the PPK or just get it later on down the road perhaps, especially if they offer a similar M Performance PPK as they just did for the F30 335i that also comes with fancy engine covers and stuff.
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      04-02-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregthegr8 View Post
It's not hard to essentially turn yours into an "is" if you want. Someone on here is actually selling their 313 rims and tires and I think those and the PE are the main things people love. You might just save your money then and not get the PPK or just get it later on down the road perhaps, especially if they offer a similar M Performance PPK as they just did for the F30 335i that also comes with fancy engine covers and stuff.
How does the 135is compare with Audi S5?
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      04-02-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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Also, Sleeps and Dr. Funk - y'all aren't biased or anything based on the color of the one used in the article. =P
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      04-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by gregthegr8 View Post
Also, Sleeps and Dr. Funk - y'all aren't biased or anything based on the color of the one used in the article. =P
Of course not!
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      04-02-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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How does the 135is compare with Audi S5?
Hard to say for sure yet because my 135is won't get here for another 2-3 weeks (arrives at port April 17). But, having said that, I had a 2008 135i, so can still do a decent comparison as I'm "downgrading" back to the 135is.

I think the S5 is a sexier and better looking car, drives like a dream, but in the end, it's a little big for me, a little too nice, too fancy, too refined. I also actually prefer the engine in the 135 believe it or not over the 4.2L V8. If the S5 isn't in dynamic/sport mode, it feels like I'm pulling an elephant and sluggish up to about 3K rpm. The 135 is like a rocket ship from the get go, which for me at least, is more enjoyable.

I will miss some of the lil things, the tactile feel and touch of certain things in the S5 (and the bang and olufsen system), but after thoroughly testing the 135is tech package and harman kardon systems, in many ways, the BMW interface and usability I think is actually better than the Audi's (never thought I'd say that) and the harman kardon system isn't that far behind the bang and olufsen.

So, while some things are maybe not as nice as the S5, they aren't that far behind, I prefer the engine and size of the 135, and it's much much cheaper. The way I described it to someone on here was that it'd be like dating a supermodel, when the reality is, you'd be happier in the end with the cute girl next door. The 135 just suits me better, saves me $250-300 a month, and to me at least, the cosmetic upgrades to the "is" package, while subtle, really set it off and add both a touch of bad ass and elegance to how it looks, and that exhaust note is right up there with that of a V8.

Once I get it I'll probably have more details on the differences. Should be an interesting adjustment period, but when I test drove the 135is in February, getting in that car felt like I was returning home. Oh, and the m sport package steering wheel (which I didn't have on my old 135) is the most addictive frickin thing ever. I felt like I was molesting the hell out of it and couldn't stop just squeezing it and wanting to hold it. Was a very odd feeling and compulsion that happened right after I put my hands on it. So, while a minor thing, the steering wheel on the m sport package is far and away the best steering wheel I've ever laid my hands on.

Done rambling.
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      04-02-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Of course not!
I love the way the LeMans Blue looks, loved the old Montego Blue, too, but I just couldn't for the life of me pull the trigger and drive a blue car. Lil too flashy for me, so I'll admire it from afar with my more boring mineral grey. Same way I think that Ferrari 458 Italia looks AMAZING in yellow for some reason, but I could NEVER have a yellow car either.

You guys both have or get the blue stitching, too? Getting a deep sea blue or lemans with the blue stitching is just the most perfect combo I could imagine. I debated getting it on mine, but think it'd be too busy/clashy with the grey.
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      04-02-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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Got the magazine yesterday in the mail and loved the article, I won't lie it has given me doubts about turning in my 1er at the end of lease.

"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving."
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      04-02-2013, 11:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by doublevanosrc View Post
Got the magazine yesterday in the mail and loved the article, I won't lie it has given me doubts about turning in my 1er at the end of lease.

"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving."
And it looks great in space gray! Check out mb135is's car which he is actually potentially selling with only a few thousand miles on it, equipped similar to your current 135i.
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      04-02-2013, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregthegr8 View Post
Hard to say for sure yet because my 135is won't get here for another 2-3 weeks (arrives at port April 17). But, having said that, I had a 2008 135i, so can still do a decent comparison as I'm "downgrading" back to the 135is.

I think the S5 is a sexier and better looking car, drives like a dream, but in the end, it's a little big for me, a little too nice, too fancy, too refined. I also actually prefer the engine in the 135 believe it or not over the 4.2L V8. If the S5 isn't in dynamic/sport mode, it feels like I'm pulling an elephant and sluggish up to about 3K rpm. The 135 is like a rocket ship from the get go, which for me at least, is more enjoyable.

I will miss some of the lil things, the tactile feel and touch of certain things in the S5 (and the bang and olufsen system), but after thoroughly testing the 135is tech package and harman kardon systems, in many ways, the BMW interface and usability I think is actually better than the Audi's (never thought I'd say that) and the harman kardon system isn't that far behind the bang and olufsen.

So, while some things are maybe not as nice as the S5, they aren't that far behind, I prefer the engine and size of the 135, and it's much much cheaper. The way I described it to someone on here was that it'd be like dating a supermodel, when the reality is, you'd be happier in the end with the cute girl next door. The 135 just suits me better, saves me $250-300 a month, and to me at least, the cosmetic upgrades to the "is" package, while subtle, really set it off and add both a touch of bad ass and elegance to how it looks, and that exhaust note is right up there with that of a V8.

Once I get it I'll probably have more details on the differences. Should be an interesting adjustment period, but when I test drove the 135is in February, getting in that car felt like I was returning home. Oh, and the m sport package steering wheel (which I didn't have on my old 135) is the most addictive frickin thing ever. I felt like I was molesting the hell out of it and couldn't stop just squeezing it and wanting to hold it. Was a very odd feeling and compulsion that happened right after I put my hands on it. So, while a minor thing, the steering wheel on the m sport package is far and away the best steering wheel I've ever laid my hands on.

Done rambling.
That's very well said. Insert M3 for me in place of S5, and I'm slowly getting happier with my decision.
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      04-02-2013, 12:00 PM   #15
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That's very well said. Insert M3 for me in place of S5, and I'm slowly getting happier with my decision.
Glad to hear it cause you're a few weeks ahead of me on the whole "downsizing" thing that while at times sounds good in theory, I worry that in practice, once I'm living with the change, that I might somehow be disappointed. I'm 99% sure I'm doing the right thing though. Going to be a bit of an adjustment, that's for sure. And everything on the idrive controller is backwards compared to the Audi MMI, so I kept scrolling in the wrong direction.
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      04-02-2013, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregthegr8 View Post
Glad to hear it cause you're a few weeks ahead of me on the whole "downsizing" thing that while at times sounds good in theory, I worry that in practice, once I'm living with the change, that I might somehow be disappointed. I'm 99% sure I'm doing the right thing though. Going to be a bit of an adjustment, that's for sure. And everything on the idrive controller is backwards compared to the Audi MMI, so I kept scrolling in the wrong direction.

I had the same reservations as you. I spent several weeks looking at alternatives to the M3 (335i, 328i, TTS, A5, wait for the CLA, used S4, GTI, Golf R, etc). Two reasons led me to this; I live in the city, mostly city drive, and really don't drive that often.

The 135is actually kinda popped up by accident, and fit the bill perfectly. I'm cutting my car expense in half, and have a car that is loads of fun, but much easier in day to day city driving. (135is DCT v M3 6MT). As I said in the other thread, I'll save my thoughts on the comparison in driving dynamics until I get a little more seat time in the 1.

Having said all that though. I'll be very surprised if you regret your decision. I don't.
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      04-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #17
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They wont put a lsd in it and get rid of understeer because it would easily spank a m3.
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      04-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #18
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Great review by R&T. This is exactly how I feel every time I get into this car. It's not perfect but it' a great drivers car.
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      04-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #19
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They wont put a lsd in it and get rid of understeer because it would easily spank a m3.
Having just traded an M3, I would be inclined to agree. RFT's would also have to go, and the steering feel would have to be tidied up a bit too.
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      04-02-2013, 01:04 PM   #20
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Nice article. Thanks for the post.
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      04-02-2013, 03:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregthegr8 View Post
So, while a minor thing, the steering wheel on the m sport package is far and away the best steering wheel I've ever laid my hands on.
I think I just drew some wood.
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      04-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #22
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Added the PPK and the PE before I put her to sleep for the winter.
313's (and Michelin PPS) to be ordered shortly. Since there wasn't
an "is" in 2012...I had to build my own.
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