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      09-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #23
Hexley
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I drove both. As someone who likes a sporty car that's fun to drive slowly (lousy South Florida traffic), the 128i was more than fun. It's got a good chunk of low end power and is no slouch, but it's not a track junkie's dream. I liked it for the nice handling, ride feel, etc. I know myself and my commute- a 135i would get me into trouble a little too easily. Keep in mind this is an enthusiasts board- and enthusiasts want mod-ability, more ponies and don't let money stand in their way. Personally I enjoy a confident ride, enough power but I don't need to overdo it. Still though, I feel if you have to ask if you'd be happier in a 135, you probably would be.
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      09-16-2010, 05:42 PM   #24
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Yeah, I definitely noticed that most dealerships carry 135i's with a ton of options that I don't want (ski package, etc). To be honest with you, I like my cars fairly bare
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      09-16-2010, 05:51 PM   #25
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That's exactly my experience. I live on an island. I don't need a $2000+ navigation package. It's impossible to get lost. Besides, the 2011s have the value package for free leather and iPod hookup.
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      09-16-2010, 05:51 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
I should probably mention that my GTI is Stage 1, so it's about 220hp and a wonderful daily driver
If you want something more than the power to weight ratio you have in your GTI, you shouldn't get the 128i.

I test drove a GTI a few times before getting my 128i. I really liked it! It was a difficult decision to get the 128i over the GTI, but the 128i (sports package), felt more comfortable.
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      09-16-2010, 09:17 PM   #27
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I went from a 2007 GTI stage 2 to the 335i and honestly when I first got in the 335i it really didn't feel all that much faster. However I think it has more to do with the "feeling" of speed than the actual speed. The 335 was a bigger more refined car so you don't feel the speed as much. Anyways the gf traded her car and we got a 128i 6sp and I must say although it feels under powered compared to the 335 it is a blast to drive and I don't really miss the power much. It is much closer to the GTI. However the auto transmission in the 128i is NOTHING like the DSG in the GTI so I would recommend trying it out to make sure you can live with it.

If money is no object and you want to mod go with the 135i otherwise I would really consider the 128i. Interior quality IMO is maybe slightly better than the GTI but not much. However I think the 128i 6spd is the essence of BMW... everything else is just icing on the cake.
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      09-16-2010, 09:27 PM   #28
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I actually rather disliked, albeit respected the DSG in my GTi. On the way up it was AWESOME, but everything else was horrible. In D it was a slug and in S it would go to redline for no reason when driving without full throttle. Also in S if you were crawling in traffic it would plop down into 1st instead of staying in 2nd, and you'd lurch forward in your seat. Coming out of corners it would take ages to downshift, always looking for economy. There was no 'middle setting' between boring and redline shifts. 2 programs, both wrong for daily driving.

I switched to a 135i MT and I cannot wipe the stupid grin off my face, even now after a year. The difference between getting off the throttle to catch the understeer and flipping the back end out to force the traction control to quench your speed is simply indescribably better.

The GTi is a great car, but it's a toy cart where the 135 is a racing cart. If you want to grow up, then buy a 3 or a 5 :-)
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      09-16-2010, 09:54 PM   #29
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There was no 'middle setting' between boring and redline shifts. 2 programs, both wrong for daily driving.
Agreed, I spend most of my time in the manual shifting mode since normal D is boring and S-Mode sounds like you're trying to race everyone off the light.

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If you want to grow up, then buy a 3 or a 5 :-)
Growing up can happen a bit later
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      09-16-2010, 09:56 PM   #30
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However the auto transmission in the 128i is NOTHING like the DSG in the GTI so I would recommend trying it out to make sure you can live with it.
Excellent advice, this forum seems to be a bit averse to the Steptronic in older model year 128i. I'm actually looking into a lease takeover over here: http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=427747
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      09-17-2010, 07:27 AM   #31
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It's too late. Once you've tried the 135i and gone "yeeha", the 128i won't feel as fun and you'll regret not spending the extra money.
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      09-17-2010, 08:59 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterXen View Post
Yeah, I definitely noticed that most dealerships carry 135i's with a ton of options that I don't want (ski package, etc). To be honest with you, I like my cars fairly bare
if serious, work with a CA and order a car EXACTLY with the equipment you want... that should keep your car bare the way you like it, and put you in a car that will blow your mind.....02 cents worth!
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      09-17-2010, 09:35 AM   #33
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There is an old thread here somewhere talking about why the 0-60 time in a 128i automatic is so much slower than a 128i manual. My conclusion was that it was the gearing of the 128i automatic. It is the same unit as Cadillac uses in the 6 cylinder CTS which has a 3.6l direct injection V6. So it is stout enough. But the gearing is not like the 135i ZF automatic that preceeded the DTS. You can see the numbers on the BMW NA website. I think it was second hear that was a little high to give you the best acceleration. It definitely was not higher than third gear that was a little off.

My convertible is a 128i manual and I like it a lot. It isn't going to keep up with well driven corvettees but it is a seriously quick car. I got tired of following a little Sentra this morning so I just goosed it a little in 6th on the highway. I know from prior experience that dropping down to 4th makes it go but I didn't want to accelerate hard, just get around a driver I didn't think a lot of (wandering in the lane, thought he had to slow for turns a semi could handle, couldn't keep his speed constant). I was surprised when I looked at the speedometer and it read 100 mph. Just a little nudge of the gas in 6th for a few seconds.

Anything other than hard acceleration from very low speeds or stopped, the auto and manual should be pretty similar in acceleration. In other words, I would not expect an automatic to have been any different this morning.

It's nice to have a 6 cylinder with plenty of power to get the car moving without making a fuss about it. All the turbo and non-turbo 4s I have been around have made a lot of noise if they were doing much. No so with a BMW 6.

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      09-17-2010, 10:31 AM   #34
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It's nice to have a 6 cylinder with plenty of power to get the car moving without making a fuss about it. All the turbo and non-turbo 4s I have been around have made a lot of noise if they were doing much. No so with a BMW 6.
This is a good example of numbers not telling the whole story.

Surely there are quite a few boosted four-cylinder engines out there making more power, but the character of the N52 is just so refined and power delivery so effortless. Throw in RWD and I think the 128i easily beats any hot hatch or turboed econobox.
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      09-17-2010, 01:26 PM   #35
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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 on your assessment of the GTI, but it's certainly a valid opinion of it. So, I'm not arguing with you there, I just have a different view of the GTI.

I do agree with your comments on the 128i. With sport package it's a wonderful sporty car that makes the right moves, and has an excellent engine.

I wasn't a fan of the previous gen stepronic in either the 328i or 330i. It just felt too slow to respond. The last Step trans in the 135i/335i was very different and very responsive, and it was made not made by GM, but ZF I believe.

That said, today I'm on my 3rd 328i with Step. This is a 2011 328xi, and the Step in this one is actually quite good. The previous 3 328xi's were 2010 models with step, and they too were very nice. The one I got today seems especially nice. Could be that this a "best" example, but it's working very quickly, with smooth and fast shifts.
So, I'm not so sure that the GM unit in the 128/328i is a bad one. It's quite the opposite and very responsive. Did BMW switch to the ZF step for the 128i/328i due to DCT? I don't now that they did.

One very sweet aspect of the NA 3.0 in the 128/328i is it's very quick throttle response, along with the quick lock-up torque converter.
In manual mode, let's say, in 2nd gear at 4k rpm, you mash the throttle and it's INSTANT response from the engine and trans, no delay at all.
I took great notice of this as my 135i MT doesn't respond this way since the last software upgrade, around May 2010.

In the same scenario, my 135i has a slight hesitation until power comes on, and when it does it feels like it's "stepping" into the power band. IOW, I'm in low gear, steady throttle around 4k, punch it, laaaag, power comes strong then stronger. Very un-sweet throttle response.
Comparatively, the 328i has instant throttle. The power isn't as strong, but it's still very linear and very smooth, and the engine makes race car like high rpm sounds.

Compared to the GTI, I think the 128i is faster. As nice as the GTI 2.0T is, the 3.0 in the 128/328i is just nicer overall.
The GTI has some steering tug in rough corners, due to FWD doing the pulling and steering at the same time. But, it's still a fun to drive automobile with not much torque steer. Of course, the 128i has none of that, steering with one end, power with the other end, better balance.

I don't agree that the 128i is a more pure or truer expression of what a BMW is compared to the 135i. The 135i is everything the 128i sport is, with more power, and an engine with different characteristics due to it's turbo design. After all, the N54 is based off of an earlier/older NA 3.0 inline 6 BMW engine. Adding turbo-charging changes the engines character and sound. Turbo's tend to dampen some of the engines high rpm sound/tone. It's different to the NA 3.0, but it's not better or worse, cause both of them sound awesome at full song.
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      09-17-2010, 01:37 PM   #36
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How does the 1 Series stack against the GTI?

The VW stacks much better because of its flatter surfaces and the stack can be up to 4 high.

The rounded surfaces of the 1er prohibit more than two stacked before the next one added causes all to slide off.


lol
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      09-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #37
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If you like the feel, who cares about numbers?
Exactly.

OP, the 128is is similar in power to your GTI. Stock for stock, the 128i is more powerful. The 2.0T with a tune, gives a big torque boost, and HP is modest.

Overall though, you won't miss what you don't have, which is the big power of the 135i.

It seems that you still like the 128i even after trying the more powerful 135i.
So maybe it doesn't really matter to you as much as it matters to others in this forum.
If you do want to mod for more power, then the 135i is the better platform for that.
If you're intent is to get the 128i modded for more power, then get the 135i and leave it stock. You'll still have more power with the stock 135i, then you will with a modded 128i, after you've spent the price difference on the mods for the 128i.

If you like the stock 128i's power, and the overall performance, and you're leasing again, then leave it stock and save the money.
You won't beat a 135i in a drag race, but you'll still have a lot of fun revving the NA 3.0, and still be fast in the twisty bits, where the extra power might not even be able to be used.

You're call. You'll love either one.
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      09-17-2010, 01:43 PM   #38
MasterXen
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The rounded surfaces of the 1er prohibit more than two stacked before the next one added causes all to slide off.
You mean you don't have Jenga insurance?
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      09-17-2010, 02:44 PM   #39
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LOVE my 128i

I don't think you will be dissapointed with the 128i. Yes more power and performance with the 135 BUT I can't see spending what would amount to close to the price of a 3 series and I am not a big turbo fan for everyday driving especcaly in the hot summer months. My little 128i is quick and handkles like it is on rails. In fact I would say it handles almost as good as my porsche 911. The only up grade to the 128i i would get is the sport suspention. You will be please with this little gem
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      09-17-2010, 02:48 PM   #40
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Oh Get The Standard
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      09-17-2010, 02:50 PM   #41
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A great BMW for the price
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      09-17-2010, 04:41 PM   #42
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135i will keep you smiling for years and years
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      09-17-2010, 05:24 PM   #43
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I have driven both and currently own a GTI. The GTI is a great car especially for the money. Very practical and fun to drive, safe and well built. Feels German in almost everything. However it's no BMW, being fwd has it's limits and it can be felt when the car is pushed to the limits. BMW's are just on another level as the price difference suggest.
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      09-17-2010, 05:37 PM   #44
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Comparable rides include Nissan 370Z not the lowly GTI. VW forgot the HP. Nice inside with decent DSG. On the other hand you get rear wheel drive and one of the smoothest if not the best 6 Cyl offered.
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