As noted here multiple times the non sport auto is the car of the masses. Nice ride decent power and handling and the one you can get the cheap lease on and drive a BMW instead of a camry or accord
Enthusiasts will buy the sport pkg manual trans car. This car will handle as well and probably better than your 135 and be rewarding to drive. No it wont have the power or brakes but the same chssis engineering is there.
Remember last gen uplevel 3 had 225-235 hp same as current car and going back from e30 to 36 to 46 each got bigger smoother faster and slightly less involving driving experience. The brand moves more mercedes each year as mercedes moves more BMW.
There is some loss of identity as they are now all pretty much competing for same buyers instead of keeping their own niche
08 135 vert, 10 x6 5.0 sport, 10 750I xdrive, 12 ram hemi quad cab