I think the thing with the E82 1-Series is that people ARE jealous, it's a nice/aggressive looking car but the only ammo they really have against it, or rather to belittle you in a way to make themselves feel better, is its size. If it was in their budget or offered one for free, they jump on it in a heartbeat.
I really don't get that logic, I guess if that is true then all BMW owners are only ever on the ladder to an X5 or 7-Series...if size is what defines 'best'.
I came from a 335i convertible, I liked driving it because I'm in my young 20's and it felt grown up but on the flip side it got called "daddy's car" quite often which it wasn't...paid for by my earnings, I don't come from a rich family. That's jealousy all over again, why not just compliment or say nothing at all. Anyway, me and the 3 parted ways and I decided on the 135i as I wanted more of a driver's car but I knew I was in love with the N54. The 335i was good (better in coupe form of course) but to get it where the 135i is as stock you'd need a couple of suspension changes for sure an a diet.
My car is likened to a 1M a lot, it looks nothing like it to you and I but I guess the black grilles and darker wheels give it a bit of an aggressive look. It also gets thumbs up and compliments at fuel stops
I like my 1.