The 1 Series is the beginning of an era. Placed below the popular 3 Series, this new model shares many of its inner elements such as its, chassis, hardware, electronics, and powertrain. Originally launched in 2004, it didn't come to the US until 2008. Available as a two-door or convertible (the five-door hatchback is for Europe only), it comes in 128i and 135i trims. The 128i is equipped with a 3.0-liter I6 with 130 horsepower while the 135i has a 3.0-liter turbo I6 with 300-horsepower.
Both trims can be had with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The interior is a bit tight, but material qualities are first-rate.