BMW 135is: The most 'BMW' of them all? (CNET On Cars, Episode 21)

The lowest-tech BMW -- also the highest form of its roots? Hybrid systems explained, along with the Top 5 cheap ones. Also, the latest VW Golf and why it's a car-lover's chestnut.

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I remember when the first BMW 320i hit U.S. shores when I was in high school. It forever changed my idea of what a sporty car could and should be, and did the same for much of the world's car-buying public. Today's 1 Series is the nearest thing to the 320i, and I approached it that way when we got our hands on a 135is on the road and on the track. Turns out it may be BMW's best car if you had your head spun around by the 320i back in the day.

You may know that a hybrid car is not one thing: wrapped up in that now-household word is a wide variety of ways of blending two power plants for different goals. In our Car Tech 101, we compare and contrast the flavors of hybrid car so you know what you're really driving when you're behind the wheel of one.

And the boys at XCAR deliver us a thoroughly modern classic: the seventh-gen VW Golf, a car that can't help but be a staple in the garage of real-world car lovers everywhere.

As always, e-mail me your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.

About the author

Brian Cooley joined CNET in 1995 and always comes at technology from the real consumer's point of view. He brings his high energy, often skeptical style to all avenues of CNET coverage, with an emphasis on car tech. You'll also find him frequently on television, radio and the TV screens at Costco!

 

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