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The 135i is quick, well balanced, and a lot of fun to drive. The engine is smooth, powerful and returns relatively good fuel economy. Steering and brakes are excellent, the cabin is well finished and the front seats are comfortable. But its four-seat, two-door configuration limits practicality. The rear seat is cramped and some controls are complicated. A higher-horsepower 135is version is also available.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The 135i is quick, well balanced, and a lot of fun to drive. The engine is smooth, powerful and returns relatively good fuel economy. Steering and brakes are excellent, the cabin is well finished and the front seats are comfortable. But its four-seat, two-door configuration limits practicality. The rear seat is cramped and some controls are complicated. A higher-horsepower 135is version is also available.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
convertible
coupe
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 twin-turbo (335 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 (230 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 BMW 1 Series owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Small ring leaking. It was expensive because they had to remove the transmission to get at the ring”

Anonymous, AZ (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“The coolant line from engine to turbo was leaking. Repair took ~10 hrs labor”

Jerry Q., NY (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Oil pan gasket needed to be replaced. $30 part, but $600 in labor”

Anonymous, MD (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Three in succession. The dealership explained that the leaks often occur in succession up to a total of three. I hope that the leak repairs are complete”

Anonymous, GA (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Magnetic senor/valve malfunction”

Anonymous, PR (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Evaporator

“car is leaking freon from the evaporator”

Mike S., VA (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

“No cooling; coolant refill leaked out again in a couple of leaks; leak found and part replaced”

Marc S., CA (2011 BMW 1 Series M 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“commented about this one earlier, but the car has had the heater core replaced THREE times since new”

Mike S., VA (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

“two of the six ignition coils failed at the same time. Dealer replaced all six for only a $ 50 charge stating there was a service bulletin”

Anonymous, LA (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Ignition coil failed on one cylinder and was likely to happen on other 5 cylinders soon”

Anonymous, MD (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Electronic ignition

“I had the car in to fix two ignition coils. Then a second time to replace two more. That makes four of the six. I would have preferred if the dealership made me aware of the second fix so I just could have replaced the remaining coils as well. I guess it's a matter of time, in short order, before the next two coils fail”

Anonymous, GA (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

“Car constantly needs realignment after regular driving on roads in northeast”

John R., NJ (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Bushings

“Bushings need frequent replacement”

John R., NJ (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Shocks or struts

“Replaced both rear shock absorbers plus associated parts (upper and lower mounts, bump stops, etc.)”

Anonymous, MA (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“RF Caliper developed a leak”

Alan W., NY (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“normal wear item”

Anonymous, MD (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

“It seemed like a lot of other related issues as well”

Teena L., FL (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Turbo or supercharger

“At 40,000 miles, and days out of warranty, the plastic charge pipe disintegrated. I've learned that this is a common problem. BMW did assist on paying for it”

Anthony M., TX (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Wiper motor or washer

“Dealer says that fixing washer will cost $800- $1000 to repair. Outrageous!”

Philip T., NY (2011 BMW 1 Series 128i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Clutch job took longer than I had expected for a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Flywheel has to be replaced for the 135i, adding to the expense. BMW parts alone were $2500. I was able to significantly reduce this with aftermarket parts”

Jerry Q., NY (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

“The DCT (double clutch automatically shifted transmission) has been extremely troublesome since the car was nearly new. BMW just can't seem to get the programming right on it. Because of this one area, this is the most troublesome car I've ever owned (including my crummy college cars of the 70s)”

Anthony M., TX (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“Had problem with injectors and the Dealer worked with us to minimize our out of pocket otherwise it would have been costly”

Rich A., WA (2011 BMW 1 Series 135i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

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