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 October issue.
The 135i drew praise for its splendid handling, a punchy engine delivering a 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of 5.2 seconds, and its overall fun-to-drive quality.
Other highly-rated cars in this month's test group of eight sports and sporty cars were the Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Volkswagen R32, and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, in that ranking order, the magazine reports.
All three of those vehicles achieved overall scores that were also in the "Excellent" range, but lower than the 135i. The four top-rated vehicles ranged in price from $33,630 for the R32 to $38,078 for the "Evo."
The October test group also included four other cars, which are priced about $10,000 less and delivered impressive performance for the price. They included the Subaru Impreza WRX, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Nissan Sentra SE-R and Dodge Caliber SRT4. Prices for those models ranged from $23,310 for the SE-R to $25,169 for the WRX.
The issue of CR also includes an "Auto Test Extra" report on the Volvo C30 hatchback, which is less sporty than the other eight models tested but is stylish and capable. It earned a "Very Good" overall score.
Full tests and ratings of the sporty cars group and the C30 appear in the redesigned October issue of Consumer Reports. The reports are also available to subscribers of http://www.ConsumerReports.org.