in 2010 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $16,506 - $21,951
Original MSRP: $29,150 - $40,350
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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Used Car: 2010 BMW 1-Series Review

Review Last Updated: 7/20/12

If you’re looking for a 2010 small car that’s fast and has a well-made cabin, few surpass the 2010 BMW 1-Series. However, other 2010 small cars have better reliability and more interior space.

The 2010 BMW 1-Series is ranked:

Shoppers looking for a speedy small coupe or convertible may not need to look further than the 2010 BMW 1-Series. Standard on the base 128i is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, while the 135i has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that makes an additional 70 horsepower. Test drivers said that regardless of the engine you choose, the 1-Series is a joy to drive. Reviewers also praised the 1-Series’ communicative steering and balanced handling. While the 2010 1-Series dazzled reviewers with its performance when it was new, its fuel economy is easily beaten by rival 2010 small cars.

The 1-Series also impressed test drivers with its elegant, well-built interior. It’s equipped with a standard 10-speaker stereo with a CD player, HD Radio and convenience features like automatic headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers. BMW Assist, Bluetooth, navigation, a USB port and satellite radio were optional when it was new. The 1-Series’ list of standard safety equipment is typical for the class, but it wasn’t crash tested.

In exchange for speed, agility and great interior quality, you will have to sacrifice interior space. The 1-Series’ front seats are roomy, but its two-door body style means that the rear seat is only suitable for passengers on short trips or is a good place for extra cargo. Neither body style has stand-out cargo space, but that’s expected for a small car like the 1-Series. Another downside is that the 1-Series has a low reliability score. However, if you like its classy interior and prioritize performance, you’ll find that few used small cars are as capable as the 2010 BMW 1-Series.  

See the full 2010 BMW 1-Series specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2010 Volkswagen GTI hatchback stands out with well-rounded performance, though it’s not as fast and nimble as the 1-Series. Still, the GTI has some of the best fuel economy ratings in the class and offers a good dose of practicality. Unlike the 1-Series, the GTI has a comfortable back seat and ample cargo space. While its reliability score is lower, the GTI offers strong safety scores and an interior that reviewers rated higher than the 1-Series’.  

The 2010 Volvo C30 hatchback stands out with a retro-inspired glass tailgate. It also comes with a lot of standard interior features and has excellent safety ratings. Much like the 1-Series, the C30 doesn’t have a lot space for rear passengers or cargo. The C30 also can’t match the 1-Series’ performance, but it offers a better reliability score.

Compare the 1-Series to the GTI and C30 »

Next Steps: 2010 BMW 1-Series

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Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product