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      04-07-2010, 04:49 AM   #1
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123d loaner - quick review

So I recently got car serviced and was given a 123d auto loaner. It had the M Sport pack. Thought I'd give it a quick review.

Pros
  • once turbos are spooled it pulls hard
  • rolling acceleration is good
  • people move out of your way.....they think a truck is coming
  • steering is lighter than 135i
  • didn't scrape as easily as a 135i

Cons
  • even once turbos are spooled a 135i pulls harder
  • rolling acceleration still doesn't match 135i
  • fuel economy was not that great. I averaged 9.8l/100km in a 50km run that my 135i would have done in 13-14l/100km.
  • doesn't sound sexy at all! Way too diesel. Merc does it much better
  • Steering lacked feel
  • brakes lacked feel
  • felt more nervous around corners, but I have no clue what tyre pressures it had
  • too slow off the line, particularly in D mode, but moving the DS made it sound like you were always reving the $h!t out of it
  • lots more turbo lag than I expected, an definitely more than a 135i
  • for what ever reason more boy racers kept trying to take me on...very weird. Just don't get that in the 135i - at least not with the frequency I managed in less than 10 hours.

Overall after so much hype, I was quite disappointed. Look it still is a good car and has heaps of power - more than most people will ever use - but it just didn't feel like a polished BMW. The engine seemed out of place, and the few other details (steering and brakes) kept me wondering why. I'd prefer to ring the neck of my old 120i than keep a 123d. Don't mean to offend, but the second I jumped back into my 135i, the difference in feel and response in even ordinary driving was pretty obvious.
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      04-07-2010, 07:08 AM   #2
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Thanks for the quick review mate.

Isn't a 123d more comparable to a 125i ?
Its price point suggests so :S
And given that it is a 4cylinder turbo

i was thinking the fuel saving would've made it a better buy than the 125i !

Turbo lag = bad
Insurance for turbo = bad

125i FTW
hehe
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      04-07-2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for the review. I got a manual 118d loan car the other week and was quite impressed. Perhaps it was because I was expecting it to be a bit of a slug. To my surprise the thing was quite torquey, and being a manual, I had fun rowing it along.

I suppose I may have had the same anti-climax as you with the 123d, as one would have such a high expectation from THAT engine.

Of course once I got back into the 135i I could really appreciate what a beast my car is!
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      04-07-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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try the 3.0L inline 6 twin turbo diesel.. i drove it in a X3 the other week - that pulls pretty hard and has minimal turbo lag
Would like to try the 330d - i think that would be a nice car
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      04-07-2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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I'd suspect (I have driven a 118d so I can't confirm) that a 123d wouldn't feel a whole lot different to the 118d. I drove a 320d and 320i back to back years ago at one of those fascination days, and immediately the petrol felt better simply because of the throttle control. Funny part I've driven the 330d and just loved it. Doesn't sound too much like a diesel and behaves a lot like a petrol engine. Goes real hard too.

I had a 125i as a loaner about 12 months ago. Felt a lot more like the 135i than the 123d, but the missing power between it and the 135i was a mile wide. Whereas the 123d - once rolling - was a lot more closer to the 135i. Hence my comparison to the 135i.
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      04-07-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
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If you take any notice of 0-100km/h times, the 125i does it in 6.4 secs., compared to 7.0 for the 123d (manual versions of course). It all depends on what you want from the car. The 125i goes hard enough for me, and I just love the N52 motor. Since I'm probably going to keep the car for a long time, I think that it was the right choice for me.
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      04-07-2010, 10:14 PM   #7
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I just came back from test driving the X1 23d - same engine as the 123d. There is sufficient enough power for daily driving but it's definitely not in the same league as the 135i, not even close IMHO. I know the X1 is heavier in weight, also due to the AWD system. I was pleasantly surprised with the car but it's still a lot of money. I spec'd it out to roughly 85k which was a bit more than I had originally expected. I'll have to sleep on it because I was originally set on buying the new X3 which looks promising.

Overall, the engine seemed to perform well and had a bit of punch on a roll especially from 60km/hr but it wasn't mind-boggling like others have described. I think the drive home in the 135i didn't help either. Believe it or not I was more impressed with the 120d I've driven before as a loan car, maybe the extra weight of the X1 really killed the performance for me?
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      04-07-2010, 11:57 PM   #8
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123D and 135i Coupe Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieRacer View Post
So I recently got car serviced and was given a 123d auto loaner. It had the M Sport pack. Thought I'd give it a quick review.

Pros
  • once turbos are spooled it pulls hard
  • rolling acceleration is good
  • people move out of your way.....they think a truck is coming
  • steering is lighter than 135i
  • didn't scrape as easily as a 135i

Cons
  • even once turbos are spooled a 135i pulls harder
  • rolling acceleration still doesn't match 135i
  • fuel economy was not that great. I averaged 9.8l/100km in a 50km run that my 135i would have done in 13-14l/100km.
  • doesn't sound sexy at all! Way too diesel. Merc does it much better
  • Steering lacked feel
  • brakes lacked feel
  • felt more nervous around corners, but I have no clue what tyre pressures it had
  • too slow off the line, particularly in D mode, but moving the DS made it sound like you were always reving the $h!t out of it
  • lots more turbo lag than I expected, an definitely more than a 135i
  • for what ever reason more boy racers kept trying to take me on...very weird. Just don't get that in the 135i - at least not with the frequency I managed in less than 10 hours.

Overall after so much hype, I was quite disappointed. Look it still is a good car and has heaps of power - more than most people will ever use - but it just didn't feel like a polished BMW. The engine seemed out of place, and the few other details (steering and brakes) kept me wondering why. I'd prefer to ring the neck of my old 120i than keep a 123d. Don't mean to offend, but the second I jumped back into my 135i, the difference in feel and response in even ordinary driving was pretty obvious.
I drove both vehicles back to back when trading in my E90 330i, my wife wanted the diesel and I wasn't so sure. So to keep the boss happy we drove the 123d coupe. The 123d if driven in isolation would be an eye opener for a diesel small car, but once I drove the 135i sense prevailed and that is what is now in the garage. I am still not in the good books with the boss as the 123d "was a more pretty colour" I suppose you can never win.
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      04-08-2010, 06:42 AM   #9
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I had a 123d as a loan car too recently. Sure it has some go once up and running but it had no soul. It was just a utility rather than something you would enjoy driving. BMW need to work out a way to make diesels sound good and not rattle so much if they are going to be taken seriously as an enjoyable car.
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      04-08-2010, 07:09 AM   #10
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Good to see I wasn't being overly harsh just cause it wasn't a 135i. I drive a Merc V6 diesel very frequently, and it just is in a different league. And again I think BMW have done a great job with the 330d.
I haven't owned a hugh number of cars, and don't test drive cars just for the sake of it, but I do regularly get to drive other cars (either service loaners or road going cars on tracks) and like to think I can have a fairly open mind. Eg. I drove a Merc E500 recently that I can say hand on heart had brakes with better feel and stopping power that a Merc CLS AMG I had driven previously that I thought had rubbish brakes. And the traction control (not stability) on those Mercs was about 5 times more progressive than BMW's seemingly all or nothing systems.
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      05-09-2010, 01:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkho View Post
Turbo lag = bad
Insurance for turbo = bad
To be honest with you mate, if insurance was to hike the premium for a turbo DIESEL, i would be VERY suprised.

Almost every Diesel engine these days is turbo.....
If you told the insurance company it was Diesel they'd factor that in surely..
Plus its only a 2L engine anyway

PS: to the original author, Merc Diesels SUCK. We test drove a 2009 C220 CDI, it was rubbish. Noisy AND slow, to the point where we felt it was dangerous turning onto an intersection from a side give-way road, when oncoming traffic was able to catchup to us with the slow acceleration........

125i is more realistic than the 135i for a daily driver in terms of power/fuel economy
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      05-09-2010, 03:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatjoez View Post
PS: to the original author, Merc Diesels SUCK. We test drove a 2009 C220 CDI, it was rubbish. Noisy AND slow, to the point where we felt it was dangerous turning onto an intersection from a side give-way road, when oncoming traffic was able to catchup to us with the slow acceleration........
You've got that right. I was all lined up to buy a C220........until I test drove it. I felt like falling asleep after about five minutes driving. I realised I couldn't own a car like that as I'd bored for the term of the lease. Hence, why I headed to BMW and the 1 Series.
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      05-09-2010, 04:41 AM   #13
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Just wondering how many Kms these 123d loaners you all drove had? i know with my old mans x3 2.0d loaner it took a few thousand kms to run in before it opened up a bit.

I find it hard to understand how you could even compare the 135 to the 123d tho. Maybe if they put the diesel thats coming out in the new x5 40d in the 1 series it might be a bit closer. Those TT 6 diesels are incredible.
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      05-09-2010, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausM3 View Post
I find it hard to understand how you could even compare the 135 to the 123d tho. Maybe if they put the diesel thats coming out in the new x5 40d in the 1 series it might be a bit closer. Those TT 6 diesels are incredible.
It's not that hard to compare.

Both are twin turbo and have 400nm torque

Only major difference is 6 cylinder v 4 cylinder and power (kw)
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      05-10-2010, 03:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW86 View Post
It's not that hard to compare.

Both are twin turbo and have 400nm torque

Only major difference is 6 cylinder v 4 cylinder and power (kw)
The power difference is quite considerable though! The 135i has 50% more power than the 123d. It uses 100% more fuel though
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      05-10-2010, 03:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123D-M View Post
The power difference is quite considerable though! The 135i has 50% more power than the 123d. It uses 100% more fuel though
150kw v 225kw

I drove the X1 with this engine but wasn't overly impressed. I think the AWD and sheer size and weight of the X1 bog it down. Felt quick on a roll though. I'm happy with the 135i. I don't think the 123d would have enough outright speed for me.

Anyone know what sort of gains can you expect from a tune on the 123d engine?
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      05-10-2010, 04:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW86 View Post
Anyone know what sort of gains can you expect from a tune on the 123d engine?
varies I suppose, heres one set of figures

+40HP
+85Torque
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      05-10-2010, 06:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatjoez View Post
PS: to the original author, Merc Diesels SUCK. We test drove a 2009 C220 CDI, it was rubbish. Noisy AND slow, to the point where we felt it was dangerous turning onto an intersection from a side give-way road, when oncoming traffic was able to catchup to us with the slow acceleration........
Whilst you may have been unimpressed with a base diesel, their V6 diesels are superb. Way smoother than BMW in-line diesel 6s. More lag than the BMWs, but their other characteristics make up for that.
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      05-10-2010, 08:17 PM   #19
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The key to lauching a 123d is to do it in 2nd gear...

My 123d is shitful taking off in 1st (auto) but if you slight transbrake in 2nd (M2) and give it WOT, it launches a lot differently to just WOT in D/DS or M1... no lag.. just BANG.. off you go.. and obviously, you don't have that awful 1st to 2nd hesitated gear change... just 0-100 in one gear....

Again same goes with the ingear acceleration - you just need to know where it's sweet spot is... 80 km/h 3rd gear 3/4 throttle...

I have the hatch MSport and it seems to handle better than the coupe (I've had the 123d coupe as a loaner before too)..
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      05-10-2010, 08:52 PM   #20
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the hatch is a fair bit lighter than the coupe isn't it? (as in 200kg+)
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      07-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #21
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apples and oranges

doesn't it depend on what you want -
135 for excellent performance and the ultimate drive.
125 for something close to a 135 but doesn't cost as much.
123d if you are happy with a compromise of relatively good performance and fun but don't want to visit the pumps that often.

it is certainly better than Golf GTD

Car UK gave the 123d a good rap.

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/...ontent-block=0
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      07-11-2010, 12:04 AM   #22
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