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7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 9.0
Interior: 7.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 BMW 1-Series Review

While it doesn’t have the best fuel economy in the class, the 2012 BMW 1-Series pleased reviewers with athletic handling and swift acceleration.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine choices
  • Lithe handling
  • Limited trunk and back-seat space
  • Unimpressive fuel economy

2012 BMW 1-Series Overview

The 2012 BMW 1-Series is available as the six-cylinder BMW 128i, or as the BMW 135i, which features a more powerful turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Reviewers said that the 128i’s engine is smooth and responsive, with plenty of power for most situations, while 135i models deliver thrilling acceleration and ample highway passing power. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. The BMW 128i is also available with a six-speed automatic, while the 135i is available with a seven-speed automated manual. While both 1-Series models are more powerful than most small cars, their fuel economy estimates are a bit low for the class. The 2012 BMW 128i gets up to 18/28 mpg city/highway, while the 135i gets up to 20/28 mpg. Critics appreciated the sharp handling, responsive steering and powerful brakes that the 2012 1-Series offers. While they found the ride comfortable, they noted that all models ride firmly, especially with the available sport suspension.

The 2012 1-Series is available as a coupe or a convertible, and critics liked its elegant interior design and materials like available wood and aluminum accents. The front seats are spacious and comfortable, but like most coupes and convertibles, the 1-Series does not offer much back-seat passenger space. The 1-Series Coupe has a 10-cubic-foot trunk, which is a bit small for the class. The base 2012 1-Series comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, Bluetooth and an iPod connection. Available features include a moonroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats and rear parking sensors. Reviewers said the 2012 1-Series’ iDrive infotainment system is easier to use than it was in older models. However, they wrote that adjusting some audio, climate and navigation settings still requires too much of the driver’s attention.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Acura TSX comes with numerous standard features, and reviewers praised its attractive, upscale interior. The TSX also has more cargo space than the 1-Series, and test drivers were pleased with its controlled handling and comfortable ride.

Reviewers said the 2012 Volkswagen GTI offers a robust turbocharged engine, as well as composed handling and precise, communicative steering. The GTI also won points for its premium cabin materials, large cargo hold and roomy back seat.

Compare the 1-Series, TSX and GTI »

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