Since interest seems to be growing for this car within some corners of the MINI community, we’re going to bring you a little weekend reading on it. We’ve got four new reviews here and if you were looking for a chink in the armor or someone perhaps talking you out of wanting a 135i, don’t read any of them.

Let’s start with Automobile Magazine:

>Get up from your computer, drive to your nearest BMW dealer, and put down a deposit on a 135i. Now. You won’t regret it. In the years to come, you’ll probably even look on this as the best purchase of your long and distinguished life, a moment that defined your personal idiom, a moment that caused the tide of your existence to turn away from meh and toward Eat Your Heart Out, John Q. Dull, I’m Awesome. In other words, when you drive out of the dealership in your sparkling new 1-series, it will be the Rip Taylor moment of your life, confetti shower and all. This car is that good.

If higher praise has never been written in a car magazine, I’ve never read it. Could it be that BMW has dealt with the weight problem effectively enough to make the 135i a true driver’s car? They’ve certainly done it with much heavier cars over the years.

[ Drive: BMW 135i ] Automobile Magazine

Now let’s take a look at what Popular Mechanics has to say:

>BMW officials told PM that the car, although smaller in every dimension than the 3-Series, is, at 3432 pounds, only about 132 pounds lighter than the 335i. Odd? Not really, because the 135i isn’t a stripped-down. entry-level car. It comes with ABS, traction control, stability control, cornering brake control, electric power rack-and-pinion steering, an electronically controlled locking differential and huge, six-piston, 13.3-in. front brakes and twin-piston, 12.75-in. rear brakes.

>Although no official U.S. pricing is available now, BMW estimates about $35,000 for the 135i and about $30,000 for the 128i when they arrive next spring

So our early pricing guesses seem to be pretty accurate. But let’s back up for a minute. 3432 pounds is a lot of weight to carry around. The official number for the 2007 Cooper S is 2668. That my friends is the 800 pound gorilla right there. Literally.

[ 2008 BMW 135i Test Drive: Slick, Not Stripped Down ] Popular Mechanics

Enough fat jokes though, lets hear what Edmund’s Inside the Line says about the 135i:

>To put it plainly, the 2009 BMW 135i is more than merely good. It raises the standard of measure for small coupes to a whole new level of excellence. It is one of the purest expressions of the BMW character since the 1971 BMW 2002 tii.

>This is not another space-efficient front-wheel-drive hatchback. Instead BMW’s classic configuration of front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive brings an emphasis on driving to the segment of premium small cars that includes the Volkswagen R32 and Volvo C30.

>The numbers tell the story. The 2009 BMW 135i coupe gets to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 5.3 seconds and the standing kilometer (fast becoming a standard performance benchmark among Europe’s more sporting carmakers) in 24.6 seconds. To give this speed some perspective, the new 2008 BMW M3 is just 0.5 second and 1.3 seconds quicker to the same marks respectively. Even more important, this 135i coupe will rip from 50-75 mph in 4th gear in just 5.0 seconds – just 0.1 second slower than the latest M-car.

Check out the entire review here:

[ First Drive: 2009 BMW 135i ] Edmunds

Finally lets take a look at what industry pundit Paul Tan had to say about the car:

>The only problem with that is the steering doesn’t exactly let you find this line very easily. The biggest disappointment about this car is that it’s not very point-and-shoot. Perhaps if I had spent more than two hours with the car, I’d have figured it out, but whether on the road or on track, in fact, especially on track, the car never seemed to go where you wanted it to.

>On the very wet surface, the DSC kicked in at every corner, inducing us to switch to the more lenient DTC instead. In this mode, while the amount of power churning through the rear wheels often made it easy to tail-out in this weather, under-steering was in fact, the 135i’s most often seen method of at-the-limit cornering that day.

>The car overcooks its 215-section front tyres much sooner than its 245 rears and so starts to point outwards but with some added punch at the throttle, you can definitely move the car completely sideways in the wet. I’d like to just give the BMW engineers the benefit of the doubt here because of what happened next.

>When the car got into a skid, it only required a robust countersteer to regain footing. Nothing precise necessary, just apply some reverse lock and resume your previous heading.

It’s always hard to tell about true track characteristics of a car from an article like this. First off it was wet. Secondly we’re really not sure just how accomplished Mr. Tan is at the track. But it all sounds plausible. The car is set-up to under-steer until a knowledgeable driver gives it a kick in the pants and sends it into over-steer. That’s one benefit of RWD.

You can read the entire article here:

[ BMW 135i Coupe Test Drive Report ]

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