So we got a BMW 135i convertible
I’ve been zipping around Dubai all morning today, getting my hair blow-dried and losing a few in the process. Because BMW home-delivered this 135i convertible today, and the weather is perfect for such a car.
The googly-eyed 1-Series isn’t an attractive car by any stretch of the imagination, but BMW tries hard to make it look mean with 18-inch alloy wheels and a subtle body kit.
The rear only sports exhaust tips on one side of the bumper, probably due to space issues. Interestingly, the shiny tips are painted almost black in colour. Notice the cheap non-retractable antenna.
Switching to hair-dryer mode seems to take a good while and you have to keep a button pressed all the way through. It makes for a good show as bystanders ogle at the dancing cloth roof.
Space is good for the front passengers, but while the rear fits medium-height adults, their knees will scrape the seatbacks, and their elbows will get scraped by the converging sides. Access is very quick and easy when the roof is down.
The cabin is almost the same as in any other modern BMW. The steering wheel sports two paddles, but both do the same thing — pull for downshifts and push for upshifts…or was it the other way round? The pop-up screen is controlled by an iDrive rotary controller, which we are starting to get the hang of, but it is a serious hazard during driving.
There is one small cup-holder in the center console, and as if an afterthought, another cup-holder sticks out near the passenger’s leg, which does not seem to be removable.
The cabin materials are almost all premium in quality, except for the hard plastic over the gauge cluster and everything below the dashboard. Still, many interesting features remain from larger BMWs, such as the seat-bottom extensions, the keyless starter and the iDrive controller.
The luggage space is small but reasonable once the roof is up and the excess junk is removed. Our car already had cargo in it, such as a first-aid kit, a tool kit and a foldable plastic wind-deflector which is so complicated to set up that the previous tester seems to have snapped it, even though the instructions were right there on that white piece of paper.
Driving impressions will be reserved for the review. Needless to say, while it looks like a chick car and we looked like fags driving around in it, the 135i hides an intensely powerful engine and purely sport-oriented suspension tuning. Since I don’t have a storage space for my own M Roadster‘s roof, I’ve never driven it with the top off. This 1-Series showed me what I am missing out on. It also reminded me of how awful BMW ownership can be — one tail lamp doesn’t work.