Originally Posted by mikal7
Interesting that you're going from a 335i to a 128i...care to elaborate? I have a 128i and love it. Don't track on stock brakes, if you want real brakes get ap racing or stop tech kits up front, BMW performance brakes are a marketing scheme with little added benefit. Definitely get sport seats. And get the BMW ps, it's worth every penny over stock unless you plan to get aftermarket stuff. Oh, and please Post photos on delivery
It's kind of a long story:
Prior to my 335i Coupe I had a Z4 Coupe. I loved most things about it, but the ride quality was often harsh on run-flats -- in that car, you almost sit on top of the rear wheels -- and I eventually grew out of a two seater. Is it too much to ask for a car that allows me to cart around a wife and a dog at the same time?
Had I the parking space, I would have kept the Z4 Coupe, swapped the tires and added a daily driver, probably an E90 328i Sedan. I loved the styling, the special feel of that car, and especially the 255HP variant of the N52 engine but I sold it to get something a bit more practical.
In retrospect, the 335 Coupe was a reaction to the lack of utility and ride comfort in the Z4. It's been a great car, but it's a little too heavy and floppy for my tastes. It certainly performs well, but it's kind of a cruiser at heart. Also, as sacrilegious as it may sound, I find that it has too much power. Yes, you read that right. The power is almost unusable in my area without getting into trouble. Similarly, I find all the low end turbo torque to be useful, but not as much fun as NA engine. I drive manual, so I prefer a car where I can have fun rowing the gears and revving the engine without going nuts. It's just more engaging to me even if I give up some speed.
Looking at the landscape, there's not much out there that appeals to me especially since I'm looking for a relatively light performance car with a rear seat (however small). For kicks, I drove a Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track and it was a no go -- not a bad car, but it's basically a Korean take on a heavy American muscle car. I also tried a Golf R, but it was such a short drive that I couldn't form a solid impression. I'll try it again soon to see if it's an option. A TT-S looks fun, but no manual transmission is probably a deal killer. Lastly, I do plan to drive a Subaru BRZ -- I sat in one at the local dealer and it has a great sports car feel but the dealers are playing games with them because they're in short supply, and I don't need to deal with that petty crap.
Since I'm really trying to split the difference between the Z4 and an E90 335i and I'm a huge BMW fan, a 128i Coupe makes the most sense. Lighter? Check. Smaller? Check? Rear seat for the dog and other practicalities? Check. NA inline six? Check, though I would kill for the 255HP N52 in place of the 230HP variant. Manual transmission? Check. Really, it's the most sensible choice, so there's about a 90% chance that's what I'll get.
Lastly, I'm kind of an old school BMW fan; I had an E30 M3 back in the day and it's still my favorite car. The 2013 128i is the last production year of BMW's last (IMO) old school car and that makes me want one even more. I'm saddened by the direction BMW is taking these days, though I understand why it's happening, so I see the 128i as the last stand against the tyranny of turbos, electric steering, etc. My wife has an F30 328i and we would never buy it again. I know others like theirs just fine and I'm not trying to put down others' tastes, but the F30 simply doesn't feel like a BMW to me.
So that's probably way more than you wanted to know, but I'm giving this a lot of thought because I'm a car nut and, as I've mentioned before, I have to order a car in SoCal to get a manual, so I might as well do the research and get what I want.
Since you brought up the brakes, would you mind chiming in on my separate thread on brakes? http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=791101