2008 BMW 128i Convertible new car reviews

Better than: Z3
But not as good as: 1-series tii
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 80.24

We've had a string of lovely BMWs travel through the office this the past summer. While we fell head over heels for the M3 and were ready to marry the 335i, we were surprised that we didn't enjoy the 135i a bit more. Not that it wasn't an exhilarating ride, but it was a little harsh when pushed. We loved the car, but we believe the 1-series chassis would benefit from a less-is-more approach: Less money, less weight (by a little, at least) and less power. It's a good chassis, but there's simply too much stuck to it.

What we need is an entry-level car with entry-level features. Enter the 128i.

The amenities are all BMW, so most of it feels a lot like the 335i in our project car fleet. Despite the absence of an iDrive interface, controls were easy to find and operate. The car didn't hold too many surprises, but we were impressed with the smooth power convertible top. There was enough room to squeeze a couple of kids or smaller adults in the back, but you'll never confuse it with a people hauler.

With a base price of $33,100, the 128i saves some coin compared to its siblings. However, premium options like the sport and luxury packages brought the bottom line of our test car to an eyebrow-raising $43,900.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

This car provided more questions than answers. I know that we gave the 135i a real track workout, but what about a 128i coupe? It was hard to get any real performance impressions from this one thanks to the automatic and convertible top.

Some people have called the 135i the spiritual successor to the 2002. I think the 128i coupe might be the spiritual successor to the E36-chassis M3. On paper, the cars are really close.

Tom Heath Tom Heath
UberDork

Just the right size for a day at the beach for our family of four, we loved the 128i Convertible. I seemed to mind this automatic much less than most, and the superb convertible top was the best I've ever used. The 128i doesn't have an abundance of power, but never felt lacking either. I'd be happy to own one if I find one at a half-off sale; my only complaint is that it's a bit too pricey for an entry-level car.

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Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

We've had a string of lovely BMWs travel through the office this the past summer. While we fell head over heels for the M3 and were ready to marry the 335i, we were surprised that we didn't enjoy the 135i a bit more. Not that it wasn't an exhilarating ride, but it was a little harsh when pushed. We loved the car, but we believe the 1-series chassis would benefit from a less-is-more approach: Less money, less weight (by a little, at least) and less power. It's a good chassis, but there's simply too much stuck to it.

What we need is an entry-level car with entry-level features. Enter the 128i.

The amenities are all BMW, so most of it feels a lot like the 335i in our project car fleet. Despite the absence of an iDrive interface, controls were easy to find and operate. The car didn't hold too many surprises, but we were impressed with the smooth power convertible top. There was enough room to squeeze a couple of kids or smaller adults in the back, but you'll never confuse it with a people hauler.

With a base price of $33,100, the 128i saves some coin compared to its siblings. However, premium options like the sport and luxury packages brought the bottom line of our test car to an eyebrow-raising $43,900.

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