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      07-13-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
ManMachine
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Mike Miller reviews 128i: A better 2002

This can be found in the July issue of Roundel.

I'm sure my fellow BMWCCA members enjoy the article. Lots of praises for the car.

Even BMW NA communications manager said that "the 128i is arguably the purest driving experience offered in BMW NA's lineup today".
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      07-13-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Almost makes me wish I had bought a 128i instead of the 135i. Too many problems with the N54 engine.
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      07-14-2010, 12:38 PM   #3
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It was a good article, the first one I read of that issue actually. Made me think for about .2 seconds whether I made the right decision to go with the 135. I think the viewpoint is geared to a slightly older crowd. Of course Clarkson says the 135 is best so to each their own.
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      07-14-2010, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qunadry View Post
Almost makes me wish I had bought a 128i instead of the 135i. Too many problems with the N54 engine.
Outside of the HPFP (which I haven't had the pleasure of replacing at 23K), what is your beef with the N54? Maybe I'm lucky, but I haven't had a single issue with my engine (knock on wood).
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      07-14-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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      07-14-2010, 01:22 PM   #6
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      07-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michifan View Post
Outside of the HPFP (which I haven't had the pleasure of replacing at 23K), what is your beef with the N54? Maybe I'm lucky, but I haven't had a single issue with my engine (knock on wood).
My problems have been with the HPFP, but there are many posts about injector problems, LPFP problems, high oil temperature, etc. Then there is the seat belt tensioner recall, rear light seal issues, various creaks and groans from the dash, glovebox, etc.. I expected fewer quality issues with this car. I guess my E46 coupe spoiled me.
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      07-14-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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Can any-one get this article posted here?
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      07-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #9
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Try this, pg. 44 http://roundel.imirus.com/members/
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      07-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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Tis funny but I just did the BMW advanced driver training on Monday of this week. They gave us 335 coupes 6MTs to use for the day. I was worried that at the end of the day that I would get back in my 128 and think it was gutless. I was pleasantly surprised when I got back in my car it didn't feel much slower (obviously it is slower) but it certainly felt better to drive. Probably because i'm more used to it. The 335 felt very numb to me. It seemed to show up in the exercises when we were doing the over steer, I could never catch it cause there was no feed back. I immediately did the same exercise in my car after the class and had no problem catching and controlling the over steer. Take that with a grain of salt the 335 has more power so the steering needs to be faster but I could never nail it I kept spinning it out. (which was a blast in it's own right)
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      07-14-2010, 06:13 PM   #11
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      07-14-2010, 06:25 PM   #12
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I will admit that the 128i is an awesome car, but that might just be my bias... if someone offered me the right deal on a 135i I'd trade in a heartbeat though!
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      07-14-2010, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethermal View Post
Take that with a grain of salt the 335 has more power so the steering needs to be faster but I could never nail it I kept spinning it out. (which was a blast in it's own right)
.........no offense but you might need to be quicker (take it with a grain of salt)
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      07-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #14
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I want to test drive a 128i now!
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      07-14-2010, 11:54 PM   #15
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If I had to do it twice I think that I would get a 128I since they now come with the M sport package. I just find the non M sport 128 very feminine. 128+BBK+suspension+LSD a few mods and I'm set
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      07-15-2010, 12:17 AM   #16
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I'm a driver who believes that there is no real reason to have more than 120hp in ANY car... Want to do away with BP oil spills and excessive fuel prices? Recognize this and keep cars low-powered and bias towards efficiency more than gadgets and the go pedal like we do now...

That said, that is an idealized world where MPG is king. I can do perfectly in my 138hp 318i, and went to the 1 series looking at the 128i versus the 135. The first time I test drove a 128, it felt heavy and sluggish. The 135i could allow super-light pedal usage and go along nicely.

The next time I tested a 128i, I was pleasantly surprised - It required a bit more user input and yet did what i wanted. A 128 was very tempting, but a 135i won out, despite my desire for economy and low-powered vehicles... Why? Value proposition. I liked a certain setup for my vert. I could have done a 128i M sport with xenons, etc., but when I did, the price was around $1500-2000 less than the 135i set up the same way. This is because of the extra cost of some of the equipment that is standard on the 135i - it really eats into the $4k or so premium that a normal 135i has.

I do have some level of concern that due to the massive power so low, and the speed of my new 135i, that I will feel somewhat disconnected... Or else go too fast and kill my economy. However, I do own other cars, ranging all the way down to 67hp and perfectly suitable as DDs. The 135i will be the fun car, and in terms of fun and value, the 135i couldnt be beat, IMO.

If there was a 118i or better, d convertible, Id have bought that in an instant!
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      07-15-2010, 07:45 AM   #17
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I got the July issue yesterday and turned first to this article. I did not need it to convince me I made the right choice but it's nice when someone agrees with you. I drove a 135i at PCD and liked it but a NA engine with adequate power + a manual is more fun to me. Isn't it nice BMW offers both?

The comments I found most interesting were the ones about handling including time around a track with a skilled driver. I thought my 128i (admittedly a vert so it's not the same as the coupe in the article) handled pretty well so I was not anxious to start to make changes but the article reinforced that. I've only driven it on one autocross so far but until my skills increase I think I'll leave the car alone.

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      07-15-2010, 09:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHZR2 View Post
I'm a driver who believes that there is no real reason to have more than 120hp in ANY car... Want to do away with BP oil spills and excessive fuel prices? Recognize this and keep cars low-powered and bias towards efficiency more than gadgets and the go pedal like we do now...

That said, that is an idealized world where MPG is king. I can do perfectly in my 138hp 318i, and went to the 1 series looking at the 128i versus the 135. The first time I test drove a 128, it felt heavy and sluggish. The 135i could allow super-light pedal usage and go along nicely.

The next time I tested a 128i, I was pleasantly surprised - It required a bit more user input and yet did what i wanted. A 128 was very tempting, but a 135i won out, despite my desire for economy and low-powered vehicles... Why? Value proposition. I liked a certain setup for my vert. I could have done a 128i M sport with xenons, etc., but when I did, the price was around $1500-2000 less than the 135i set up the same way. This is because of the extra cost of some of the equipment that is standard on the 135i - it really eats into the $4k or so premium that a normal 135i has.

I do have some level of concern that due to the massive power so low, and the speed of my new 135i, that I will feel somewhat disconnected... Or else go too fast and kill my economy. However, I do own other cars, ranging all the way down to 67hp and perfectly suitable as DDs. The 135i will be the fun car, and in terms of fun and value, the 135i couldnt be beat, IMO.

If there was a 118i or better, d convertible, Id have bought that in an instant!
I don't buy the entire "value proposition" argument. You could save $2k and get a lower powered, more effecient vehicle... both are things you value. Paying extra, for something that isn't important to you, (regardless of the price), isn't value.

Also, you don't get the 135i if you are looking to save the worlds oil supply and go green.
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      07-15-2010, 09:33 AM   #19
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The difference between the 128i and the 135i in Canada here is 7k CAD lol...

And Xenon is standard for the 128i.
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      07-15-2010, 09:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I love my 128
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      07-15-2010, 09:47 AM   #21
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+1

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      07-15-2010, 10:06 AM   #22
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The part that really stuck out to me from the article is when he says something along the lines of with the 135i, you just put your foot down and steer. With the 128i, you _have_ to drive the car - downshift, etc. I notice this all the time.. when I want lazy driving, I just keep it in low rpms and it is a quiet, comfortable machine. If I am feeling the need for recklessness I stay above 4k rpms and it is a lot of fun!!

He also mentions how the brakes are great for the street, but they lack the urgent bite of the brembos in the 135i. I couldn't agree more. I upgraded the brakes to the BMW performance and loved the bite. With the stock brakes, I had to work hard to get 0.6 gs of deceleration, now its no sweat! very noticeable!

I also love my 128i.
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