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      09-16-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
MasterXen
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Arrow How does the 1 Series stack against the GTI?

I'm coming out of a GTI lease in a month or so, and I'm looking for something a bit faster

I've been on a few test drives of the 2011 135i, and it's a lovely car and deathly quick. The 135 definitely fills the requirements of being nicer and faster than the GTI.

Recently though, I've been wondering about the 135i's slower brother: the 128i. Any anecdotal evidence/experience on how the 128i compares versus the GTI?

I should probably mention that my GTI is Stage 1, so it's about 220hp and a wonderful daily driver

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      09-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
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I test drove a GTi, and I mean no offense by this, but I hated it. The suspension was stiff, it felt slow, it felt cheap, it was sort of boring, not much excitement.

The 128i is just a 135i with less power. It's often praised in it's own right for being the most "true" BMW because it's small, relatively light, RWD, and normally aspirated. The interior is nice, the ride is good, the styling is good, the engine is good, just don't get a 128 with a steptronic. The auto in the 128 is a GM unit and not the same as the previous 135 steptronics. The 6MT however, is good.

Depending on what options you want, the 128i may not be much cheaper than a 135. In my opinion, the only way to get a 128i is to get one without all the bells and whistles. 128i, sport package (not M sport), 6MT, that's it. Once you start adding, the gap between 128 and 135 becomes so small there isn't much reason NOT to get the 135.
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      09-16-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
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The 135i would kill the GTI.

I assume you live in the USA, in that case I would get a 135i over a 128i if I were you especially when you consider standard Xenon, Sunroof, Brembo brakes and the engine is well worth the price difference.

If not, get the 128i + 6MT (don't get the Auto, it's pretty bad).
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      09-16-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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No offense taken at all, I'm here to learn about the 1 series since I'm hoping to take the plunge. The suspension *is* very stiff (but by no means as painful as other sports cars, see 350Z/370Z). That said, I'm not sure if I agree with the 'boring' bit

A few questions for you:

- What's wrong with an auto 128i? I've driven the new DCT 135i, and it's almost exactly what I have in my GTI. Of course, I realize that the older Steptronics are quite a bit shittier than DCT, but what exactly should I be wary of?

- How is the aftermarket performance scene for the 128i? Since the 128i doesn't have forced induction, I'm guessing it will be slim to none; neither Dinan or Vishnu make anything for the 128i.
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      09-16-2010, 02:32 PM   #5
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I can tell based on your comments u will regret getting a 128i. If you are thinking of modding at all, the 135 is where its at because a tune transforms this car into a monster. The 128i is a great car but you will be straining (with ur wallet) to get any more HP out of her.
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      09-16-2010, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
A few questions for you:

- What's wrong with an auto 128i? I've driven the new DCT 135i, and it's almost exactly what I have in my GTI. Of course, I realize that the older Steptronics are quite a bit shittier than DCT, but what exactly should I be wary of?
The steptronic unit in the 135i and the 128i are made by different manufacturers. The unit in the 128i is made by GM and the unit in the 135i is a ZF transmission if I'm not mistaken.
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      09-16-2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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I just traded up from an '08 R32 to a 135i and the difference is dramatic and amazing. The car is so complete as a small performance coupe and confidence inspiring on the road. The biggest difference is the car makes no excuses, and dosn't require a trip to an APR tuner to get Stage I to feel complete. DCT is very similar to DSG, but I don't expect to get a letter about recalls for the transmission any time soon. I love the torque band of the N55 engine, and with the DCT it feels like it is never caught in the wrong gear, just a solid thrust of acceleration when you stomp he go pedal. Remember that BMW is very anti tuner, so don't be the guy that loses his warranty when something bad happens! IMHO, the 135i is a superior performance coupe that will not disappoint you!!
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      09-16-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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The only thing that you can really tune on a 128 is the suspension. The engine you can get maybe high 200s out of it with some internal swaping out the 130. and a better exhaust/ecu remap...but all that is expensive.

The 135 is much more tune friendly and with less than 1K out of pocket you can be rocking a 400BHP car.
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      09-16-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
- What's wrong with an auto 128i? I've driven the new DCT 135i, and it's almost exactly what I have in my GTI. Of course, I realize that the older Steptronics are quite a bit shittier than DCT, but what exactly should I be wary of?
The Steptronic in the '08-'10 135s were made by ZF. That transmission was good for an automatic. However, the Steptronic in 128s are made by GM. It's a completely different unit and not quite as good.

The DCT in the 135 is obviously a whole different issue, that's a great transmission.
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Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
- How is the aftermarket performance scene for the 128i? Since the 128i doesn't have forced induction, I'm guessing it will be slim to none; neither Dinan or Vishnu make anything for the 128i.
As far as engine mods, being an NA motor, you're right, there isn't much. BMW Performance intake and exhaust is all I can think of, but I don't have a 128 so I don't know much about them. I know there are companies which offer stroker kits, but are very expensive.

The 135 on the other hand, is highly underrated in terms of power. Stock cars are dynoing at 290hp to wheels with right around 300lb ft torque with the N55 motors. With nothing but a ~500$ tune, 2 of which have just been announced by 2 top companies, you're looking at 340-350 wheel horse power and even more torque.

It doesn't make much sense to mod a 128i for power. You will spend more money and make less power than a stock 135i.
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      09-16-2010, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
- What's wrong with an auto 128i? I've driven the new DCT 135i, and it's almost exactly what I have in my GTI. Of course, I realize that the older Steptronics are quite a bit shittier than DCT, but what exactly should I be wary of?
I think the Steptronic is fine. I had it in my 2007 328i Coupe. Now currently in a DCT 135i. The Steptronic is butter smooth, shifts great, gives you the option of Sport and Regular. Everyone loves to bash the Steptronics on this forum, but if you need an Steptronic, you wont be disappointed when comparing it to others automatics. Is the DCT nicer? Yes. But are you compromising big time? No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
- How is the aftermarket performance scene for the 128i? Since the 128i doesn't have forced induction, I'm guessing it will be slim to none; neither Dinan or Vishnu make anything for the 128i.
Honestly, save your money.
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      09-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #11
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I just think he may not like it coming from DSG, which is closer to a DCT unit than a Steptronic unit.
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      09-16-2010, 03:06 PM   #12
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I can tell based on your comments u will regret getting a 128i. If you are thinking of modding at all, the 135 is where its at because a tune transforms this car into a monster. The 128i is a great car but you will be straining (with ur wallet) to get any more HP out of her.
I agree.
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      09-16-2010, 03:11 PM   #13
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The steptronic unit in the 135i and the 128i are made by different manufacturers. The unit in the 128i is made by GM and the unit in the 135i is a ZF transmission if I'm not mistaken.
I think that's correct. I have the step in a 135i and the only reason I chose 2 pedal is because of a left knee injury which would make clutching literally a pain. I'm more than happy with the Step. which means that Mr OP should be grinning with the DCT, especially coming from a GTi.
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      09-16-2010, 03:57 PM   #14
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Haha, bit of a mixed bag about Steptronic. I definitely hear you guys about the 135i, I've driven a few of them at stealerships and they're beasts. I was having second thoughts yesterday when I saw that my final price was coming out to almost two GTIs

In any case, I appreciate the info. I'll admit that I'm still on the fence with the 128i, I like the "feel" of the car but don't like the numbers it's boasting.
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      09-16-2010, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Haha, bit of a mixed bag about Steptronic. I definitely hear you guys about the 135i, I've driven a few of them at stealerships and they're beasts. I was having second thoughts yesterday when I saw that my final price was coming out to almost two GTIs

In any case, I appreciate the info. I'll admit that I'm still on the fence with the 128i, I like the "feel" of the car but don't like the numbers it's boasting.
If you like the feel, who cares about numbers?
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      09-16-2010, 05:00 PM   #16
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The 128 has more than enough power, I test drove it and its a fun car on its own. But if you are power hungry like me, then you will want to go for the 135.
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      09-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #17
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I test drove a GTi, and I mean no offense by this, but I hated it. The suspension was stiff, it felt slow, it felt cheap, it was sort of boring, not much excitement.

The 128i is just a 135i with less power. It's often praised in it's own right for being the most "true" BMW because it's small, relatively light, RWD, and normally aspirated. The interior is nice, the ride is good, the styling is good, the engine is good, just don't get a 128 with a steptronic. The auto in the 128 is a GM unit and not the same as the previous 135 steptronics. The 6MT however, is good.

Depending on what options you want, the 128i may not be much cheaper than a 135. In my opinion, the only way to get a 128i is to get one without all the bells and whistles. 128i, sport package (not M sport), 6MT, that's it. Once you start adding, the gap between 128 and 135 becomes so small there isn't much reason NOT to get the 135.
I don't agree with this at all. I've driven in plenty of road course, autoX, and heavy timed events in all my cars (I know you have as well) I've driven plenty of GTIs..the MKVI, newest one, was really fun, frisky, and quick. Yes, it's FWD, but it just feels proper and screwed down. And, if I may say so myself, the interior is quite nice and class leading in its segment IMHO..seating is a little high and the suspension is a bit rough on the edges but it's handsome and sounds great for a four pot. boring, it is not. And, no one can argue the great mileage and the tuning community for the 2.0T. Not to mention the practicality and utilitarian flexibility it has. Different Strokes for different folks I guess.

There's a reason why it has won many awards including "Car of the Year" for several well respected magazines.Oh, of course, it isn't a 135i but to hate it is a little immature to me but then again, it's all subjective, what do I know?? I don't need 700hp to have fun in a car..in fact, the funnest car I've ever driven on a track was a 116hp miata with nothing more than an exhaust and intake.
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      09-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #18
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I don't agree with this at all. I've driven in plenty of road course, autoX, and heavy timed events in all my cars (I know you have as well) I've driven plenty of GTIs..the MKVI, newest one, was really fun, frisky, and quick. Yes, it's FWD, but it just feels proper and screwed down. And, if I may say so myself, the interior is quite nice and class leading in its segment IMHO..seating is a little high and the suspension is a bit rough on the edges but it's handsome and sounds great for a four pot. boring, it is not. There's a reason why it has won many awards including "Car of the Year" for several well respected magazines.Oh, of course, it isn't a 135i but to hate it is a little immature to me but then again, it's all subjective, what do I know?? I don't need 700hp to have fun in a car..in fact, the funnest car I've ever driven on a track was a 116hp miata with nothing more than an exhaust and intake.
I drove the MKv GTi, the newest ones had not yet arrived at the dealerships when I was test driving.

Hating/disliking a car is an opinion. It's not a measure of maturity. I've also driven an NC Miata. That was a lot of fun. It doesn't need to be fast to be fun. The GTi just didn't do it for me, personally, and you don't have to agree.

The Ford Fusion won MotorTrend car of the year this year. Does that make it spectacular? No. The Camry, Civic, and CTS have also won in recent years. All relatively boring, but not necessarily bad vehicles. These awards are ultimately meaningless.
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      09-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #19
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Euro Delivery? or u can go used...just check carfax for fuel pump issues lol
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      09-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I drove the MKv GTi, the newest ones had not yet arrived at the dealerships when I was test driving.

Hating/disliking a car is an opinion. It's not a measure of maturity. I've also driven an NC Miata. That was a lot of fun. It doesn't need to be fast to be fun. The GTi just didn't do it for me, personally, and you don't have to agree.

The Ford Fusion won MotorTrend car of the year this year. Does that make it spectacular? No. The Camry, Civic, and CTS have also won in recent years. All relatively boring, but not necessarily bad vehicles. These awards are ultimately meaningless.
It is also my opinion that it is immature, no? Agreeing to Disagree is great with me. One award for the Fusion is exactly what it is...one award. The MKVI GTI is winning them left and right. Don't get me wrong man, I have the same car you have, with a tune, as well as an N54 (among a few other rides in the garage) so there will never be any love loss from me for the BMW world. I respect that you didn't like the GTI, doesn't ruin my day. Plus, I did say it was all subjective so need need to feel like your feathers were ruffled. I'm just a car enthusiast in general. Take it all with a grain of salt I suppose, it is a forum after all.
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      09-16-2010, 05:37 PM   #21
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Euro Delivery? or u can go used...just check carfax for fuel pump issues lol
I'm looking to lease a 2011; as someone above me said DCT/DSG is wonderful when you do a fair amount of city driving! That said, anyone want me to takeover their lease?
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      09-16-2010, 05:38 PM   #22
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Touché

OP:
Don't add up so many options, negotiate close to invoice, and your lease deal should be pretty good. The 1 series has a very high residual with a decent money factor which makes it a good car to lease. Consider doing a PCD (BMW Performance Center delivery in South Carolina) as it will allow you to negotiate with any dealer in the country and pick the car up there where you will have one hell of an experience. I haven't done it personally, but many here have.
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