Originally Posted by gregthegr8
Hard to say for sure yet because my 135is won't get here for another 2-3 weeks (arrives at port April 17). But, having said that, I had a 2008 135i, so can still do a decent comparison as I'm "downgrading" back to the 135is.
I think the S5 is a sexier and better looking car, drives like a dream, but in the end, it's a little big for me, a little too nice, too fancy, too refined. I also actually prefer the engine in the 135 believe it or not over the 4.2L V8. If the S5 isn't in dynamic/sport mode, it feels like I'm pulling an elephant and sluggish up to about 3K rpm. The 135 is like a rocket ship from the get go, which for me at least, is more enjoyable.
I will miss some of the lil things, the tactile feel and touch of certain things in the S5 (and the bang and olufsen system), but after thoroughly testing the 135is tech package and harman kardon systems, in many ways, the BMW interface and usability I think is actually better than the Audi's (never thought I'd say that) and the harman kardon system isn't that far behind the bang and olufsen.
So, while some things are maybe not as nice as the S5, they aren't that far behind, I prefer the engine and size of the 135, and it's much much cheaper. The way I described it to someone on here was that it'd be like dating a supermodel, when the reality is, you'd be happier in the end with the cute girl next door. The 135 just suits me better, saves me $250-300 a month, and to me at least, the cosmetic upgrades to the "is" package, while subtle, really set it off and add both a touch of bad ass and elegance to how it looks, and that exhaust note is right up there with that of a V8.
Once I get it I'll probably have more details on the differences. Should be an interesting adjustment period, but when I test drove the 135is in February, getting in that car felt like I was returning home. Oh, and the m sport package steering wheel (which I didn't have on my old 135) is the most addictive frickin thing ever. I felt like I was molesting the hell out of it and couldn't stop just squeezing it and wanting to hold it. Was a very odd feeling and compulsion that happened right after I put my hands on it. So, while a minor thing, the steering wheel on the m sport package is far and away the best steering wheel I've ever laid my hands on.
That's very well said. Insert M3 for me in place of S5, and I'm slowly getting happier with my decision.