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      02-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
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135i vs. 135is - Is the 135is worth it?

Hey guys, I'm considering getting a new 2013 1 series convertible. Was going to go with the 135i, but the 135is only works out to a couple grand more the way that I've spec'd it out. Was wondering if it's worth it. I don't care about the blacked out grill or the badges or any of that crap. Just wondering if it's worth it from a performance perspective. Other than the additional 20HP, are there any significant suspension or handling tweaks?

I couldn't find any comparison reviews online for the 135is vs. 135i. In fact, I couldn't even find any reviews for the 135is OR 135i. Does anyone have links to any good reviews? Curious what the auto pundits say about the 135i and 135is.

It's between the 1 series and a 2013 Porsche Boxster (non-S) and the reviews on the Boxster are fantastic so I'm curious how the 1er fairs. What I like about the 1 is that it's going to be a bit faster than the Boxster. One thing I really want is passing power on the highway and I suspect the 135i and definitely the 135is will have a lot more getup and go on the highway. The Boxster is about $8k more expensive, but it works out to be a negligible difference for me in the monthly payments.

Thanks in advance!
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      02-01-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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Have you driven both the 135i and 135is?
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      02-01-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Have you driven both the 135i and 135is?
Nope!

I'm very familiar with BMWs though and have driven just about every other BMW model except the 1 series. The 1 series fits my needs right now in terms of the kind of car I'm looking for though so as long as the reviews don't say it's bad, I know it will drive good.

I would of test drove it today but my local dealer kind of sucks and whenever I've gone in there before, I've had to wait 30 minutes before they finally put me in the car to test drive it. I don't even like normal test drives to begin with because I don't see how one can decide to buy a car after driving it for 10 minutes. I need at least 2 hours with the car. So after I read the reviews and everything is good there, I'll talk to the sales manager and ask to take one for an extended test drive solo. But until I'm convinced with the reviews, doesn't really make sense to set that up.
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      02-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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I drove both and enjoyed the 135is much more. I don't intend to do too many mods to the car... so having the most of the mods already done by bmw had me sold.

On a side note, I'd be all over the new boxter s.
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      02-01-2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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Do you plan on modding the car?

I ask because most of the stuff that the 135IS offers over the 135I are things that people usually mod first. The 135IS comes with bmw performance wheels, bmw performance exhaust and the bmw performance power kit. All are great upgrades from the factory but there are lots of aftermarket offerings that will match them in quality and often in price. Also modding yourself, you get to pick the parts you like and make your car suit your own personal taste.

So if you just want the car out of the box with no intention to mod and can afford the price increase, I would get the 135IS. If you do planning on moderately modifying the car, I would get the 135I, a Cobb AP, Apex wheels, non runflats and a berk exhaust and then save for some suspension mods. The above 135I will smoke the stock 135IS.

The Porsche is a whole different beast. I really like the new boxsters and they really have strayed away from the 'chick car/poor man carrera' boxsters of the past. The 135I may be quicker in a straight line and on paper, but the boxster will likely smoke the BMW on a track and be just as, if not more, fun to drive.

The bmw has more luggage space and can fit two more people in its foldable rear seats if that matters.
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      02-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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I went for it because I liked what the couple of grand extra bought me - they were products I'd be shopping for anyway, and in the IS package, they come at a great reduction of cost (exhaust, PPKII, wheels). Add those all up and you're well above 2 grand.

People might say, "But the IS price is more than 2 grand more than the m-sport." It all depends on how you spec it - in the end it's around 2 grand (or at least it was for me).

Boxster S, though, is a whole other story!
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      02-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #7
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Aside from the 20hp, there is no other performance advantage. I put the $800 Cobb AP in my car and had probably 30-40 more hp than an IS. That being said, I would still get the IS for the wheels and exhaust. If it was between the N54 and N55is, I would go N54 all day.
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      02-01-2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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I had a N54 135 and now have a N55is (135is). I really do enjoy the 135is a great deal. I just roll down the window and listen to the exhaust.
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      02-01-2013, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meg180 View Post
I had a N54 135 and now have a N55is (135is). I really do enjoy the 135is a great deal. I just roll down the window and listen to the exhaust.
I'm curious as to how they compare. Never drove an N54 but hear wonderful things (obviously).
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      02-01-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikebmxbikes View Post
Do you plan on modding the car?

I ask because most of the stuff that the 135IS offers over the 135I are things that people usually mod first. The 135IS comes with bmw performance wheels, bmw performance exhaust and the bmw performance power kit. All are great upgrades from the factory but there are lots of aftermarket offerings that will match them in quality and often in price. Also modding yourself, you get to pick the parts you like and make your car suit your own personal taste.

So if you just want the car out of the box with no intention to mod and can afford the price increase, I would get the 135IS. If you do planning on moderately modifying the car, I would get the 135I, a Cobb AP, Apex wheels, non runflats and a berk exhaust and then save for some suspension mods. The above 135I will smoke the stock 135IS.

The Porsche is a whole different beast. I really like the new boxsters and they really have strayed away from the 'chick car/poor man carrera' boxsters of the past. The 135I may be quicker in a straight line and on paper, but the boxster will likely smoke the BMW on a track and be just as, if not more, fun to drive.

The bmw has more luggage space and can fit two more people in its foldable rear seats if that matters.
Great feedback; thanks! Yes, no intention to mod. No need at all for the rear seats. I'm a single guy and never have more than one passenger.

If I could afford the Boxster S, I wouldn't even be having this discussion. :P I looked very (very) long and hard at it.

Only the non-S Boxster is within my reach right now. Also, I'd probably buy the Boxster, whereas I'd lease the 1 series, as I think the Boxster will hold its value more, especially because I only drive about 5,000 miles/yr. And BMW is more optimistic with their residuals so their lease deals tend to be better, but there's rarely any equity left at the end of the lease (in terms of being able to buy-out and flip it).

I guess I'd love to take a 135is out for a couple of hours and then come back and take a 135i out for a couple of hours immediately after. But I don't think I'd be able to convince a sales manager to let me have two hours with two different cars. One, yes, but probably not two, as I'd put about 60 miles on it during that time and that's basically 120 miles from one prospective customer. Not sure what else to do other than read the reviews, find out whether I should go 135is or 135i, and then just get an extended test drive on the one I choose on paper just to make sure I like it before I pull the trigger.

Like I said before, the area where I think I really like the 135is over the Boxster is the highway passing power. Not having the power to pass on the highway makes me want to rip my eyeballs out. It's also more dangerous... I've actually had a couple of close calls because I've gone to thread the needle between cars on the highway and have come close to an accident a couple of times because I needed more power and it wasn't there. With more power, you can be more precise at getting through traffic and that really appeals to me with the 135is.

Apparently, BMW says the 135is vert will do 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, but we all know that BMW under rates those times so it's probably more like 4.9 seconds. Whereas the Boxster is 5.4 seconds. Which is a pretty big difference. The Boxster is 265HP and the 135is is 320HP. The 135is does weigh 3,700 lbs. and the Boxster is only 2,950 lbs. though! 750 lbs. is a whole lot of weight!

But I think the gap is even bigger for passing speeds than 0-60 times. Does anyone know what the 135is convertible's 50-70mph time is and what the Boxster's 50-70mph time is? I'm assuming the 135is will be way faster, but perhaps it's closer than I think?
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      02-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #11
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Seems like a Google search produces nothing for the 135i or 135is convertible passing times. And any search for the Boxster's passing time just gives me the times for a Boxster S, which is going to be very different.
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      02-01-2013, 11:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm curious as to how they compare. Never drove an N54 but hear wonderful things (obviously).
I had one of the last N54's (w/ steptronic trans) and was lucky enough to never have a problem with fuel pumps. LOL I loved the car though, it was my first BMW. (had two mini's before so everything felt fast) When I drove my husbands previous 335 (N55), it seemed like my N54 got to the power faster? (could be wrong, just felt that way)
Now we just compare the 135is and his M3.
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      02-01-2013, 11:33 PM   #13
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      02-01-2013, 11:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I had one of the last N54's (w/ steptronic trans) and was lucky enough to never have a problem with fuel pumps. LOL I loved the car though, it was my first BMW. (had two mini's before so everything felt fast) When I drove my husbands previous 335 (N55), it seemed like my N54 got to the power faster? (could be wrong, just felt that way)
Now we just compare the 135is and his M3.
How's the 135is compare to the Mini and which one did you have? I was considering a Mini Roadster JCW for a bit and am very curious what you think about it compared to the 135is. I'm guessing you didn't have the JCW model though, which is quite a bit faster than even the S models. I think what really kept me from going with the MINI was that it's front wheel drive and I've spent so much time and money learning how to drive RWD really well that I feel like I'd have to learn how to drive all over again. And I also was slightly uncomfortable with the torque steer (the steering wheel jumping around when you floor it). The super light 2,690 lbs. curb weight is definitely enticing though! The JCW has a 208HP engine, which is exactly the same as my Jeep and the MINI is almost 2,000 lbs. lighter!
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      02-02-2013, 12:11 AM   #15
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I'm curious as to how they compare. Never drove an N54 but hear wonderful things (obviously).
From a performance point of view the N54 more readily takes too modifications than the N55 does.
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      02-02-2013, 12:24 AM   #16
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How's the 135is compare to the Mini and which one did you have? I was considering a Mini Roadster JCW for a bit and am very curious what you think about it compared to the 135is. I'm guessing you didn't have the JCW model though, which is quite a bit faster than even the S models. I think what really kept me from going with the MINI was that it's front wheel drive and I've spent so much time and money learning how to drive RWD really well that I feel like I'd have to learn how to drive all over again. And I also was slightly uncomfortable with the torque steer (the steering wheel jumping around when you floor it). The super light 2,690 lbs. curb weight is definitely enticing though! The JCW has a 208HP engine, which is exactly the same as my Jeep and the MINI is almost 2,000 lbs. lighter!
I had the cooper S. Never had the pleasure of trying a JCW
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      02-02-2013, 12:30 AM   #17
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I had the cooper S. Never had the pleasure of trying a JCW
How was that compared to the 135i? Did the FWD and torque steer of the MINI bother you and end of being a huge relief once you got to the 1?
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      02-02-2013, 07:57 AM   #18
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Honestly, MINIs are great, but I don't put that JCW roadster in the same conversation as a 135is 'vert. Go drive one - it might be all you're looking for, but I'm thinking if you were looking at Boxsters and 1ers, it probably won't be.
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      02-02-2013, 05:21 PM   #19
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Honestly, MINIs are great, but I don't put that JCW roadster in the same conversation as a 135is 'vert. Go drive one - it might be all you're looking for, but I'm thinking if you were looking at Boxsters and 1ers, it probably won't be.
Why not? They're not too far apart in price. The JCW Roadster is $45K and the 135i convertible is $55K. Funny enough, the Boxster is $65K so they are all staggered by almost exactly $10K. I drove the JCW and liked it. I liked how direct the steering was and that it did feel a bit "raw." The interior ergonomics aren't wonderful though (stuff isn't directed towards the driver really) and I'm not sure how I'd take to the FWD. I THINK I would really like the car, but I can't say for sure until I did an extended test drive as I only had 10 minutes in one. Problem is that my dealer won't let me take a JCW for an extended drive because he said that all JCW buyers are really persnickety about how many miles are on a car they buy.

I think I'm going to get the Boxster if the financing pulls through. I'm putting 40% down, but my credit is mostly crap. The dealer is working on getting an approval now. If that doesn't work, it'll be down to the 135i or 135is convertible vs the JCW Roadster (already got approved by MINI FS for financing on a JCW). As long as the 135 doesn't feel heavy whenever I test drive it, I suspect I'll probably go with it over the JCW. The JCW is a fascinating car though and perhaps a tad more exciting and daring to me than the BMW, but that's only because I'm so familiar and used to BMW. It's like the girl you've known all your life but she got a new haircut and clothing style VS the mysterious girl next door that you've never hooked up with yet.
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      02-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #20
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Just crunched the numbers for my specs of the cars I'm considering. Here's the out-the-door costs with tax, title, registration and everything included:

$65,150 - 2013 Boxster

$58,250 - 2013 135is Convertible
$55,500 - 2013 135i Convertible

$46,800 - 2013 MINI JCW Roadster

So there's a $6,900 premium for the Boxster over the 135is Convertible.

And there's a $8,700 premium for the 135i Convertible over the MINI JCW Roadster.

And there's $2,750 between the 135is and 135i.

Last edited by BMWCali; 02-02-2013 at 06:36 PM.
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      02-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #21
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my dad just got a 13 JCW hardtop. Fantastic car. He only got a few options so it was around 35k. Fantastic car great daily driver. The stock exhaust sounds fantastic and constantly pops and gurgles.

but after 40k I would get a 135i. 40k is a lot for a mini IMO.
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      02-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #22
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my dad just got a 13 JCW hardtop. Fantastic car. He only got a few options so it was around 35k. Fantastic car great daily driver. The stock exhaust sounds fantastic and constantly pops and gurgles.

but after 40k I would get a 135i. 40k is a lot for a mini IMO.
Yeah, $47k for a MINI is definitely a hefty chunk of change, but it's still $9k less than the 1er.

I honestly can't believe that no magazines have done a comparison between the MINI JCW and 135i. They are both in the same price segment and both small cars so it's pretty surprising. Obviously, would love to see a 2013 Boxster vs. 2013 135i Convertible vs. 2013 MINI JCW Roadster comparison!!
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