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      01-15-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Hi
I have been covertly stalking this forum for about 6 months now while I been deciding to buy a 1 series vert. I own a 2011 335 e92 with 6mt with the lease expiring in May. Living in Vermont I know my driving with the top down is limited. With that being said I have wanted one for a while now and with life being short I just decided to go for it.
One high class problem I am trying to sort out is n52 or n55 engine. Since I am coming from the n55 engine I am a bit worried that I will feel like the n52 is underpowered compared to the n55. I have not had the ability to test drive them as the only dealer in the state does not have any 1 series cars yet alone a vert. Since they are rear wheel drive cars they only sell a few a year. I am gong to load it up with everything except the nav for the most part. 6 sped manual is a must. Even though I can afford both there is something about spending over 50K for the vert with the n55 that is hard to get my head around. With both cars optioned out the same, there is a 4k difference in price. So even though this is subjective question is the price difference worth it. In my mind there is something about having one of the last naturally aspirated in-line 6 made by BMW that appeals to me if the car wouldn't be underpowered. Your thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.
Also with putting 4 snows on what will the winter driving be like. Again thanks for any input.
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      01-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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With the E8X platform being as light (relatively speaking) as it is, the N52 may be exactly what you are looking for. The E9X platform is a few hundred# heavier, which will make the N55 feel less powerful.

Now, if you do purchase the 128 and feel its under powered, there isn't a whole lot you can do. If you get the 135 and feel even that is under powered, you can get a light piggyback tune and have more power cheap and instantly without getting your hands dirty.

For a 4k difference, I would take the 135. And even then, I would consider a CPO '10 instead for value as well as the N54.
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      01-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #3
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I drive a 128i vert with a manual so I guess you know what my vote will be. It depends a lot on what your definition of enough power is. If you find a 128i to drive it will very likely be an automatic. Unlike the 135i, the 128i vert with automatic is almost a second slower to 60 mph with the automatic. I suspect the coupe would be the same. So you could get a conservative feel if you can find one. I drove a 328i coupe with manual before getting my 128i vert with manual. It was the only manual I could find to drive. It was a pretty good manual but the 128i has shorter throws and feels more precise to me. In other words I think it is better. I think you would thus find the 128i transmission to shift better than your current 335i.

My 128i vert is rated at about a 6 second 0-60 and about a 15 second quarter mile. Published reports are a little better than this. I remember when "muscle cars" were often around 15 seconds in the quarter. While the 135i is decidedly faster, and has better brakes too, the 128i is not by my definition underpowered. It doesn't feel remarkably quick until you get up around 3,000 rpm and above, however. So it is more of a drivers car by my way of thinking than the 135i. If you want a 128i to move along quickly you have to have it in the right gear. The 135i has so much torque, the penalty for choosing the wrong gear is significantly reduced. When I spend time in the 3000-6000 range, which isn't often enough, I find myself challenged to keep up with the shifting and I have to pay a lot of attention to what I am doing. Speed comes up real quick. Gear changes need to be made pretty quickly. It is fun.

If you need to be able to keep up with the current V8 mustangs and cameros, you need the 135i. If you just want to keep up with the fastest current vintage family sedans and many old muscle cars, the 128i will do it nicely.

Jim
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      01-15-2013, 04:59 PM   #4
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Tough call, 128 is also lighter then a 135

I believe the 128 has shorter gearing as well (could be wrong). So yes, it's slower, but it's still a quick car.

I've read several reviews that said the 128 is the car to get if you want a drivers car as it felt more like the original 2002tii.

But it's hard to turn your back on a turbo.

Personally, the surge you get from a turbo is something you can't replicate. But you can get close in some cars. So 9 times out of 10 I'll pick a turbo. But I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 128 in the 1 series.
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      01-15-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD View Post
I drive a 128i vert with a manual so I guess you know what my vote will be. It depends a lot on what your definition of enough power is. If you find a 128i to drive it will very likely be an automatic. Unlike the 135i, the 128i vert with automatic is almost a second slower to 60 mph with the automatic. I suspect the coupe would be the same. So you could get a conservative feel if you can find one. I drove a 328i coupe with manual before getting my 128i vert with manual. It was the only manual I could find to drive. It was a pretty good manual but the 128i has shorter throws and feels more precise to me. In other words I think it is better. I think you would thus find the 128i transmission to shift better than your current 335i.

My 128i vert is rated at about a 6 second 0-60 and about a 15 second quarter mile. Published reports are a little better than this. I remember when "muscle cars" were often around 15 seconds in the quarter. While the 135i is decidedly faster, and has better brakes too, the 128i is not by my definition underpowered. It doesn't feel remarkably quick until you get up around 3,000 rpm and above, however. So it is more of a drivers car by my way of thinking than the 135i. If you want a 128i to move along quickly you have to have it in the right gear. The 135i has so much torque, the penalty for choosing the wrong gear is significantly reduced. When I spend time in the 3000-6000 range, which isn't often enough, I find myself challenged to keep up with the shifting and I have to pay a lot of attention to what I am doing. Speed comes up real quick. Gear changes need to be made pretty quickly. It is fun.

If you need to be able to keep up with the current V8 mustangs and cameros, you need the 135i. If you just want to keep up with the fastest current vintage family sedans and many old muscle cars, the 128i will do it nicely.

Jim
Very well put. I'm in love with the N54 and I think the E88 is a great platform, but N52 owners seem to be extremely satisfied as well. Drive both if you can, the power delivery will be vastly different.
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      01-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Drive both and see if the difference in performance is worth $4k to you.
Thats the only thing you need to do.
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      01-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Drive both and see if the difference in performance is worth $4k to you.
Thats the only thing you need to do.
like i said in the post the dealer does not keep any 1's on the lot..
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      01-15-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angler View Post
like i said in the post the dealer does not keep any 1's on the lot..
Try a 328 vs a 335. Just make sure it's the E9x and not the new model with the turbo 4cyl.
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      01-15-2013, 05:48 PM   #9
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Try a 328 vs a 335. Just make sure it's the E9x and not the new model with the turbo 4cyl.
Since its a small state with few cars on the lot in the 6 years I have owned my two e92's they have never had a 328 with a stick. I have driven the 328 auto as a loaner but everything I hear says they are not even close. If that is not the case then I would not get the n52 engine because I thought the car was a pig.
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      01-15-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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As a rule of thumb, I always go with more power. You seldom hear from people who say "My only disappointment with the car is that it has about 40hp too many."
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      01-15-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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i like my 128 because i get to use more of the motor on a daily basis rather then 10% of the n54. especially cause i'd go mod crazy if i had an n54 haha. n52 has moderate tuning capabilities if you want to spend money. with bolt ons a stage 3 manifold and a tune we can hit about 275 crank 255 at the wheels.
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      01-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 631twentyeighteye View Post
i like my 128 because i get to use more of the motor on a daily basis rather then 10% of the n54. especially cause i'd go mod crazy if i had an n54 haha. n52 has moderate tuning capabilities if you want to spend money. with bolt ons a stage 3 manifold and a tune we can hit about 275 crank 255 at the wheels.
can you explain what you mean by using more of the engine and how does that play out in your driving experience. thanks,
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      01-15-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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You can wind out a 128i a bit more than a 135i because in a 135i you're committing a felony before leaving 3rd gear.
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      01-15-2013, 06:45 PM   #14
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We have an 09 135 Vert. It was a no brainer.....more power! Have the PPK on it and love it.
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      01-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
You can wind out a 128i a bit more than a 135i because in a 135i you're committing a felony before leaving 3rd gear.
understood, i hardly ever take my e92 out of 3rd gear
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      01-15-2013, 07:02 PM   #16
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When you purchased the 335 instead of a 328, what was your reasoning? Performance?

If you're not looking to use the 135 for track days or anything, then I think you'd be plenty happy with the power of the N52. It's definitely not as quick, but as mentioned...it's not slow either; just depends what your measuring stick looks like.

Analyzing your post, you really seem like you want the 128 due to price (you're gut told you $50K+ for the 135 didn't feel right, add insurance cost difference to that too) and because you appreciate and find joy in the NA engine over BMWs new direction with turbos.

Is there any action in regards to BMW meets in your area? Cars and Coffee or the like? If so, maybe partake in those some and hope someone can offer a 128 or 135 for you to get your hands on, or know someone who does.

Both will do fine with a good quality set of winters, it's not a XI by any means though. You're only struggle will if you live where the roads arn't plowed often enough as there is a lack of XI ground clearance in the deep stuff. I lived in the lake effect snow belt near Cleveland, OH and as a native Texan...drove just fine through 5 winters with RWD only BMWs (the ex's 328XI with A/S had problems, albeit rarely, when I wasn't struggling for grip).
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      01-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
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like i said in the post the dealer does not keep any 1's on the lot..
Yeah I had the same problem. I found one auto 135 vert to drive but for the others I had to drive used ones. If you can find newer used ones drive those.
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      01-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
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can you explain what you mean by using more of the engine and how does that play out in your driving experience. thanks,
exactly like he described, i can get on my 128 more often and rev it a bit higher because i'm staying with legal speed limits.
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      01-15-2013, 08:06 PM   #19
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I currently have an e88 N54 for the last 2yrs.

I had an e90 N52 before it.

Both are phenomenal cars in their own respect but here's my $0.02

Originally I thought the N54 was too much power, specifically the incredible torque... but then the addiction kicked in and before i knew it, hunger for more power and a tune soon followed :-)

So since you have an N55 now, I would recommend the 135i. There is no replacement for TQ and I think you'll miss that aspect too much.
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      01-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #20
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exactly like he described, i can get on my 128 more often and rev it a bit higher because i'm staying with legal speed limits.
Thanks, that makes sense. On my 335 third gear is way fun assuming the same on the 128?
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      01-15-2013, 08:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmanscotch View Post



Analyzing your post, you really seem like you want the 128 due to price (you're gut told you $50K+ for the 135 didn't feel right, add insurance cost difference to that too) and because you appreciate and find joy in the NA engine over BMWs new direction with
Yes, there is truth to that. For some reason I can't explain it but it feels different to me when I spent over 50k for the 335 compared to spending that type of money for the 135.

p.s. I got the 335 for the power
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      01-15-2013, 09:40 PM   #22
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Thanks, that makes sense. On my 335 third gear is way fun assuming the same on the 128?

Yeah 28's get a higher rear end gear ratio to make 3rd gear a lot of fun. 2nd if you wanna play around in parking lots.
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