Geeez...you must place a high premium on a car's engine when every other category is a fail vs a Lexus or Porsche. After reading your review I half expected you to give an overall rating of NOT a very nice car especially if you need to modify a lot of things to make it comparable to a Lexus or Porsche. Seems like you would be much happier returning to a Porsche. To me a great car is the sum of its parts, not any one individual item.
I came from a Lexus IS350 to a 128i. A drop in horsepower from 306 to 230. However, I increased my smile factor. Why? On a stock vs stock comparison the steering feel of the Lexus was soft and vague, good for parking but nothing else. The 128i stock suspension was choppy with thumping sounds over rough pavement. The IS350 stock suspension was even choppier with loud banging over rough pavement. Taking fast sweeping corners felt much more assured in the 128 vs the IS350. My daughter felt the 128's base stereo sounded a bit better than the IS350's Mark Levinson. I think they both equally suck. My 128 and the IS350 are both auto transmissions. The 128 shifts more quickly with barely any slippage giving consistent acceleration. The IS350...well...it shifts.
Several mods have since been added to my 128 which has increased my smile factor even more. I can't attest to the 1 series reliability; it's too new but after over 1 year there are no leaks, rattles or squeaks and still feels solid as the day I bought it. Like I said, to me a great car is the sum of its parts.
2012 135i | AW on Blk | 7DCT | M-Sport + Premium | Nav | Harmon Kardon | BMW Performance Exhaust & Kidney Grilles