BMW 135i Specs and Review [The Most Powerful 1-Series]

The BMW 135i is the BMW 1-series’ most powerful car. The main selling feature of this car is its speed, and it handles similarly to its larger and more powerful sibling, the 3-series.

The BMW 135i is an ideal inner-city cruiser because of its shorter wheelbase. It’s easy to drive and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

Actually, the 135i is the BMW 1-series’ most powerful automobile. Many people consider it an excellent “entry-level” BMW for individuals who have never ridden one before.

Read on to know more about the BMW 135i’s essential features and specifications.

All About the BMW 135i

bmw 135i

Because it has a short wheelbase, is fast, and is easy to maneuver, the 135i, the most powerful car in the BMW1-series, can be used as both an inner-city cruiser and a weekend getaway car.

The BMW 135i made its debut in the automotive world in 2007. It was the following year that North America received its first 135i.

The BMW 135i was a significant risk for the company since most other automakers focused their efforts on larger, more powerful sedans and coupes. BMW, on the other hand, took the opposite approach, and their risk paid off well.

The BMW 135i was initially available in two variants: one with a 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine and the other with twin turbochargers. It ran beginning 2007 up to 2013. The vehicle is still being produced, but this time the car has been given the coveted M-badge (M135i).

Specs & Features of the BMW 135i


The BMW 135i has a 6-speed automatic transmission with semi-automatic paddle shifters and 6-speed manual transmission. Both models had a rear-wheel-drive system.

The 135i’s automatic transmission delivers quick, near-perfectly linear acceleration that pushes the driver into the driver’s seat. And there’s almost no power loss between gears due to the smooth shifting.


The BMW 135i was available in two variants, one with a 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine and the other with similar twin turbochargers. The engines had 270 and 300 horsepower, respectively.

The engine is fed by a multi-point electronic fuel injection system. Fuel mileage varies, but on a full 14-gallon tank, one may expect to achieve roughly 20 miles per gal and a range of up to 350 miles.

Acceleration – BMW 135i 0-60

The 135i’s twin-turbo inline 6-cylinder engine accelerates this compact sports car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, with a quarter-mile racing track speed of 107 mph.

For a stock Bimmer, it’s truly incredible. The 135i’s twin-turbo six-cylinder engine powers this car to triple-digit speeds almost effortlessly from a standstill.


The 135i has four-wheel independent suspension, with MacPherson struts in the front and multi-links in the back for improved traction. Stabilizer bars are used on both the front and rear axles. The shocks have a long travel distance, resulting in a smooth ride.

Fuel Economy

Given the 3.0L engine’s capacity and the 135i’s overall compact dimensions, it’s no surprise that this sportscar gets excellent fuel mileage.

Driving on the highway can bring you up to 20 miles per gallon, but this significantly drops when driving in the city. Your mileage may vary, too.


The 135i’s overall length is 171.7 inches, with a 104.7-inch wheelbase. This car’s short wheelbase allows for a tight and nice turning radius of about 35.1 feet.

So you may not need to make as many 3-point turns. Also, the 135i has vented front and rear disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS for smoother braking, especially when done abruptly.


When you look inside the 135i, you’ll find all of the “basic” Bimmer features. The speedometer and tachometer have two huge analog gauges on the dashboard. A huge center console with the stereo positioned towards the driver is also visible.

The transmission creates a big middle bump that just fits the two pedals in the automatic variant, and it gets even cramped in the manual version.

Safety Features

The 135i, like almost all recent BMW vehicles, comes standard with a host of safety features, including dual airbags. Because this model features a passenger occupant sensor, the passenger side airbag will not inflate if there is no one in the vehicle.

The 135i includes “adaptive headlights,” which is a neat feature, especially in 2008. The headlights will automatically level themselves in this cool feature. You’ll also notice that it has a built-in dusk sensor, which automatically switches on the lights when it becomes too dark outdoors.

Sound System

The 135i is equipped with a standard BMW radio system that sounds fantastic. The radio includes an orange illuminated display, and you can use Bluetooth to link it to your phone (which was groundbreaking at the time).

bmw 135i specs and features

The 135i’s standard audio can also play HD radio, and the CD player can read MP3 files.


Because the 135i is a compact sports car, the trunk has plenty of space. One or two compact suitcases will most likely fit. And if you fold down the backrest of the rear seats, you can fit extra luggage.

Seating Capacity

Because the 135i is a compact sports car, you should have realistic expectations for passenger space. The back seats are so cramped that they can barely hold four people. The front seats, on the other hand, are rather spacious, with enough leg room if you slide the seats all the way back.

Below is a great BMW 135i review that covers all of its features and specifications:

BMW 135i – Pros and Cons


The BMW 135i has a lot going for it, and we’ll begin with the engine. The fact that BMW engineers were able to pack a massive 3.0L engine and twin turbos into the bonnet of a practically smaller 3-series car is quite astonishing.

You’ll see that there are very few empty spots remaining; nearly every square inch is taken up.

The 135i’s interior is quite excellent as well. It has a minimalist feel about it, and everything appears to be spotless. The instrument cluster includes large, easy-to-read gauges, and the warning lights are gathered together in the center, making it easier to figure out what’s wrong with the vehicle.

The touchscreen navigation system is another cool (optional) feature of the 135i. Also, the navigation screen pops out from the dashboard center since there isn’t much area left on the center console.


Any BMW owner will tell you that these automobiles are prone to mechanical problems and costly ones at that. The 135i is no different. The most common issue is faulty water pumps, which frequently cause the engine to overheat.

Another typical complaint about the 135i is that when stopped at a traffic light, the car takes a long time to move forward. Even if you slam the gas pedal all the way down, it may take a few seconds for it to respond.

Many people question why the 135i has two rear passenger seats in an already tiny coupe. If you sit in the back of a 135i, your knees will almost certainly hit the backrests of the driver and passenger seats, regardless of your height.

Many people adore the design of the BMW 135i, but there are also some BMW aficionados who despise it, and they have a valid reason for doing so. Designer Chris Bangle, who also designed the ugliest 7-series automobile ever, the E65, was responsible for the 135i’s design.

The sloping sides and how the vehicle couldn’t decide whether it’s a coupe or a hatchback, so it just stopped somewhere in between, are among the design elements that many people tend to dislike.

Aftermarket Parts to Improve the 135i

Even though the BMW 135i is already a beast in factory form, there’s always room for improvement. There are a few aftermarket upgrades that you could install onto the 135i to really make it go vroom if you’re genuinely dedicated to making it even more of a monster.

Here are a few examples:

1. Front-Mounted Intercooler

Although the 135i benefits from having two turbochargers, the major drawback is that they generate a lot of heat. The heat produced by turbochargers increases as they work harder.

And this can cause a significant rise in IAT (Intake Air Temperatures), causing the ECU (Engine Control Unit) to reduce turbo boost and timing. As a result, there would be a huge reduction in power.

A larger turbo intercooler will be required to counterbalance the amount of heat produced by the turbos. The one that came with it is a tad too small for the job. Because there isn’t much room in the engine area, a front-mounted intercooler is the best option.

Not only would a larger intercooler provide 10-15 horsepower, but it will also decrease heat soak and prevent engine banging.

2. Performance Intake

When a performance air intake system is installed, it will let the N55 engine in the 135i receive more air, allowing the twin-turbo to spool up faster and produce more power.

A performance intake will increase horsepower by at least ten percent. Apart from that, it can improve the engine’s sound quality.

specs and features of bmw 135i

3. Charge Pipe Replacement

This change will not increase horsepower, but it is necessary if you want your 135i to function smoothly for many years. One of the BMW 135i’s main flaws is the OEM charge pipe.

Because the stock charge pipe is entirely constructed of plastic, it’s a ticking timebomb, especially if the twin turbos are constantly pushed to their limits.

The 135i will be able to handle the extra boost with ease if the original charge pipe is replaced with a performance metal.

Although high-quality replacements are costly, they are still less expensive than waiting until the original charge pipe explodes, causing even more costly damage.

Why Do People Adore the BMW 135i?

Despite its shortcomings, BMW enthusiasts frequently seek out the BMW 135i. Even while it isn’t the most attractive of the lot, it is nevertheless one of the most capable vehicles in the Bavarian automaker’s lineup.

The BMW 135i is a compact coupe with a huge engine squeezed inside, driving the vehicle from 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds without any modifications. You can make a few simple changes to it, and it will undoubtedly fly across the racetrack.

And despite the fact that its appearance is somewhat of an acquired taste, many people like it unironically. The 135i’s front is nearly identical to that of other BMWs, particularly the 3-series, but glance at it from the side, and you will notice a significant difference.

No one would hold it against you if you liked how the 135i looked. Besides, a lot of people would side with you.

Conclusion – The BMW 135i [Review and Specs]

Because of its qualities, the BMW 135i, the most powerful automobile in the BMW 1-series, can be used as both an inner-city cruiser and a weekend getaway car because of its features, such as:

  • Easy maneuverability,
  • Short wheelbase, and
  • Quick acceleration.

The BMW 135i is one of the company’s most well-known cars. Despite the fact that the 135i’s design lacks much to be desired, its originality is what makes it appealing.

In addition, the BMW 135i is a beast on the road. The twin-turbo n55 engine has a lot of power and can be a lot of fun to drive around the track.

The BMW 135i’s twin-turbo inline 6-cylinder engine accelerates the compact sports car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 4.7 seconds. On a quarter-mile race track, it reached a top speed of 107 mph.

If you’re thinking about buying a BMW 135i, keep in mind that it has all of the issues that come with all Bimmers, but it’s also a pleasant ride when it wants to be.