Yonkers, New York – The BMW 135i achieved an “Excellent” overall score and outpaced all its competitors to become Consumer Reports’ top-rated sporty car in testing for the magazine’s October issue. The 135i drew praise for its “splendid handling”, punchy engine and overall fun-to-drive quality.
Other highly-rated cars in the month’s test group of eight sports and sporty cars were the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Volkswagen R32 and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, in that order. All three achieved overall scores that were also in the “Excellent” range, but lower than the 135i. The test also included the Subaru Impreza WRX, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Nissan Sentra SE-R and Dodge Caliber SRT4.
The issue also includes an “Auto Test Extra” report on the Volvo C30, which is less sporty than the other models but earned a “Very Good” overall score.
“The new 135i is quick, well-balanced and a lot of fun to drive,” said David Chapman, senior director of automotive testing. “The engine is smooth and powerful, and returns relatively good fuel economy. Steering and brakes are excellent, and the cabin is well-finished and quiet, with comfortable front seats.”
The only vehicles in the group that Consumer Reports is recommending are the Impreza WRX and WRX STI, based on previous Subaru models’ reliability. The other tested vehicles are still too new for the magazine to have reliability data on them. Consumer Reports only recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on its annual survey of subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.
The 135i had the quickest zero-to-96 km/h acceleration time in the group, the shortest braking distances on wet and dry surfaces, and the highest speed through avoidance manoeuvres, which measures at-the-limit handling.