2013 BMW 128 Overview
While BMW isn’t shy about making changes to the vehicles in its lineup, it knows that changing something needs to make it better. To that end, the 128 carries on for 2013 without any notable differences. Available as a 2+2 coupe or convertible, the 128 has few competitors, including the new-to-the-market Subaru BRZ.
Styling on the 128 is unmistakably BMW, from the twin-kidney grille to the compound curves to the Hofmeister kink on the rear side windows. A more aggressive look comes with the M Sport package’s dark-tint windows and larger front air inlets. The 128 convertible features a cloth soft top in place of the 3-Series retractable hardtop, with the soft top raising or lowering in 22 seconds at speeds up to 25 mph. The 1-series is noticeably smaller than the 3-Series, about 10 inches shorter. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, chrome exhaust tips, and fog lamps. Power moonroof and xenon headlights are optional.
Under the hood sits BMW's tried-and-true inline powerplant. The 230-horsepower, 3.0-liter, inline-six cylinder engine develops 200 pounds feet of torque and mates to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. With the manual, the 128 makes the trip from 0-to-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, while the automatic stretches that out a bit to 6.7 seconds, according to BMW. A sport-tuned suspension comes with the M Sport package.
The interior is in keeping with BMW’s form-follows-function approach. Large twin gauges dominate the instrument cluster, while the iDrive screen sits atop the center console. The current iDrive can read text messages aloud and includes Bluetooth audio streaming capability. The coupe features a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Standard upholstery is a vinyl material with leather optional. Power seats, navigation and rear parking sensors are available, as are heated seats and steering wheel.
BMW fits the 128 with several safety features including stability and traction control, and antilock brakes with emergency braking assist. Six airbags are standard, including front, front-side impact, first- and second-row side-curtains. The convertible model drops the side-curtains, but features a roll bar system that rises into and locks in place in the event of a rollover. A driver’s knee airbag is available.
Although the 1-series consists of the smallest BMWs for sale, they are arguably the most fun to drive with their short wheelbases and rear-wheel dynamics, and the 2013 BMW 128 is no exception.