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BMW 1 Series

Compact coupe or soft top convertible

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The 2009 BMW 1 Series is available as a compact coupe and a soft top convertible. The 128i has 230hp while the 135i is turbocharged and has 300hp. All models have a standard 6 speed manual transmission and offer an optional 6 speed automatic. Unlike the BMW of old, the BMW 1series128i and the 135i offer modern conveniences that make the driving experience much more luxurious. For example, keyless ignition/entry, a premium stereo, a navigation system and the convertible's heat-reflective leather seating are welcome technologies.

Standard equipment on the BMW 1 series 128i includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 10-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. All coupes come standard with a sunroof; convertibles come with a power-operated soft top and an upgraded climate control system. The BMW 1 series 135i trim level comes with a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels and all the standard equipment of the 128i plus xenon headlights and automatic climate control.

Now into its second year, the BMW 1 Series is proving the pessimists wrong. As the company's entry-level model, the 1 Series turns heads, even amid much more rare and expensive cars. Although "cute" is often used to describe this coupe and convertible, don't let the BMW 1 Series' diminutive dimensions fool you this car is anything but demure.