Review: BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013)

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Good looking sporty alternative to the standard 1 Series, super quick 135i, strong and efficient diesels.

Tight in the back for taller passengers.

BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013): At A Glance

How does 306PS in a 4-seat coupe the size of a Golf grab you?

And not any old 306PS engine, but ‘engine of the year': BMW's sensational twin-turbo 3.0 litre straight six that's both benignly tractable and very, very fast.

Over the last year BMW has been turning its slow selling sow's ear of a 1-Series into something of a silk purse. First we saw the three-door hatchback version with it's Efficient Dynamics 118 diesel that has since been developed to limbo under the 120g/m CO2 limit that gets it into London for nothing from next February and cuts the annual tax bill to £35.

Road Test BMW 135i Coupe

Road Test BMW 1 Series M Coupe


Looking for a BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 - 2013)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013) cost?

List Price from £24,965
Buy new from £21,188
Contract hire from £232.68 per month

What's the BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013) like to drive?

And as well as the 2,979cc 306PS petrol engine you can also have it with two 1,995cc diesels, one of which offers a respectable 177PS and the other a jaw-dropping 204PS. Yes, indeed, the first production diesel delivering more than 100bhp per litre (even after you convert 204PS to 201bhp).

The E82 is shorter than the E92 at 4,360mm against 4,590mm (which works out at 9" shorter). But, strangely enough, it's not significantly lighter. The E92s weigh in at 1,420kg to 1,570kg and the E82s at 1,450kg to 1,560kg.

So, not surprisingly, while 0-60 comes up in a seriously quick 5.1 seconds, that's actually no better than the 335i coupe.

50 - 75 in 4th is 5.0 seconds. 50 - 75 in 5th 6.0 seconds. It gets a move on for sure. Combined mpg is a useful 30.7. And while you're stuck with £400pa tax from next year with the 335i, the 135i emits only 220g/km so escapes with £210.

It's also a fair bit cheaper at £29,745. But it's a bit more edgy to drive than the 335i.

There's no option to the 215/40 R18 front and 245/35 R18 rear Bridgestone runflats, apparently developed specially for the car. You feel everything though them but as well as that get tossed about by cat's eyes, grids and manhole covers that the 335i absorbs. And this isn't helped by the quick rack but overlight and feel-free steering, a bit like the Z4 M's.

Of course you can make astonishingly quick progress and the car's extra sensory electronics do a fantastic job keeping you on the road. But it just isn't as much pleasure to drive as an E92. It's not as comfortable either, for me, at least. The seats seem to be designed for people with longer backs then mine or narrower shoulders. I didn't fit the mould.

I suspect I'd have been completely won over by the 204PS 123d on its slightly more absorbent 205/50 and 245/45 R17 runflats. Its 0-60 of 6.8 seconds is all you really need, and its potential 54.3mpg swings the argument completely. So does its price of £24,855, as long as you go for the SE and don't opt for the M Sport that brings with it same the bigger, lower profile tyres and stiff suspension as the 135i.

But I just didn't have time to wait my turn for that one.

In all E82 coupe's favour, though, is the decent size 370 litre boot and the fact that four normal sized people fit inside comfortably with plenty of head and legroom.

And if you really want to pull your costs back, yet still drive an impressively quick BMW, the £21,585 177PS 120d ES even scrapes into the £140 - £150 Band D tax bracket.

Next year they're cutting the tops off so you can have E83 convertibles. These will be much cheaper than the E93 electric folding hardtops and, with the 135i engine, just as quick.

And at the Tokyo Show they also revealed a sexy tii version. So it all makes sense.

That comes in white, of course. The best colour.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
118d 63 mpg 9.0 s 118–119 g/km
118d Automatic 53 mpg 9.1 s 140 g/km
120d 60 mpg 7.6 s 124–125 g/km
120d Automatic 53 mpg 7.8 s 140 g/km
120i 43–44 mpg 7.8 s 152–153 g/km
120i Automatic 43 mpg 8.4 s 154–155 g/km
123d 54–55 mpg 7.0 s 134–138 g/km
123d Automatic 51 mpg 7.1 s 145 g/km
125i 34–35 mpg 6.4 s 189–190 g/km
125i Automatic 34–35 mpg 7.0 s 189–190 g/km
135i 33 mpg 5.3 s 198 g/km
135i Automatic 33 mpg 5.2 s 198 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

20–59 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

How much difference should a repaired Cat D vehicle value be?

I'm looking at purchasing a second hand BMW 1 Series Coupe, but it has been disclosed as previously a Cat D status, which I understand to mean is repaired non structural damage or recovered from a theft. The value appears competitive, but want to insure I do pay over the top or will have later re sell value issues?
A Category D does not mean non-structural, it could well have structural damage. A Cat D is a constructive total loss where the insurer decided not to repair, this means a repair cost of approximately 70 per cent of its market value when it was total lossed. On a 1 Series Coupe, that means repair costs in excess of £10,000. Its value now is approximately 20 percent less than a retailable vehicle without this history. Unless you have it inspected by an independent engineer who knows what he is looking at (find one at ), walk away.
Answered by Tim Kelly
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008 – 2013)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and Coupe.

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What do owners think?

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