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      05-02-2011, 07:44 PM   #23
JimD
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The 128i is almost the same weight and hp as the e36 M3. So is a e36 M3 an enthusiast's car? With MT, the 128i vert, heavier than a coupe, is rated at about 6.4 seconds zero to 60 and a 15 second quarter mile. It is not underpowered or slow. It is a lot of fun.

My decision point on power was a comparison to my 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV. It's V6 is rated 185hp and 185 ft lbs. It weighs about 3700 lbs. I have towed over 2000 lbs with 4 adults on board running the AC. That's about it's limit but with the 128i having about 50 more hp and 300 lbs less weight, I was sure it was quick enough to be entertaining. You need to keep the rpm up is you want to move fast but that is part of learning to drive.

I would rather have a dipstick but how often do you check your oil level? It's an adjustment to do this while you are driving but you don't need something to wipe the dipstick on when you check electronically. The RFTs will likely need replaced soon, if they haven't been already on a CPO.

The radio is better through 2009. The lowest level system BMW offered in 2008 and 2009 in the U. S. was the mid level system in other markets. In 2010 they went to the lowest level or the highest level system. The lowest level system has 6 inch woofers (versus 8) and no tweeters. The mid level system, base in 2008 and 2009, has 10 speakers, a 4 inch and separate tweeter on each side in both the front and the back and a 8 inch sub under each seat. I'm sure the higher system is better but this mid level system is good enough for me.

The clutch valve doesn't bug me. I've driven a manual nearly 40 years and a BMW manual is easier to drive than most. The hill hold is nice.

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      05-02-2011, 09:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
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The clutch valve doesn't bug me. I've driven a manual nearly 40 years and a BMW manual is easier to drive than most. The hill hold is nice.
Jim
What worries about the CDV, is i'm wearing the clutch out more than usual.

On the forums, some say getting rid of the CDV is great thing, but I can't complain about clutch feel in my car. Glad someone else isn't disappointed with the clutch feel.

The only time i've really noticed the CDV was launching at an autocross school, but i still wonder if the clutch is slipping more than it should is day to day driving.
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      05-03-2011, 11:01 AM   #25
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I've owned 5 MT BMWs since 1997, all with the CDV intact. While I drive "briskly", I don't track my cars and tend to be gentle with the clutch. For all of the Bimmers, neither shifting nor clutch life has ever been an issue with my E46 clutch still behaving perfectly when traded at 97,000 miles.

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      05-18-2011, 09:48 AM   #26
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My 2009 128 has been flawless so far, it's got around 40000kms at the moment. I let the dealer (in Laval) do the maintenance whenever the onboard computer tells me to and I check the oil every week (had to fill up once). Other than that I've got a sidewall bubble on one of my runflats and have been driving like this for a year and a half without issues. I'll be putting on new runflats this month (yes I like RFT unlike so many others here).

If you get a used 128 try to get the sport and premium package this way you get the xenon headlights too.

The suspension is the biggest issue on these cars imo. I've got the sport package and even then the car doesn't feel planted at high speed (120kmh+) and really doesn't inspire confidence when taking high speed turns. Could be the suspension, tires, staggered setup.. not sure. Gas mileage is not awesome either, the low tank warning comes on after about 350kms of city driving. In all other aspects it's been perfect and has exceeded my expectations.
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      05-25-2011, 12:57 PM   #27
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Regarding build quality, you're barking up the wrong tree. You want something that's going to last, Japanese is the way to go. Don't buy a BMW to save money over time, because you won't.

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Originally Posted by tarmacrapist View Post
ouch. no temp reading? Is there a solution for this? or is there a dash light that alerts the driver if the engine is cold (or hot)? I've never driven with runflats, but have heard negativity from more than one person. What's wrong with them?
I was at a track day revving up in the 6-7000's all day, for about 4 hours, 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, and never had any temperature problems. If BMW doesn't put the gauge, you don't need it

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How's the stereo anyhow? And do you know the year when they downgraded the stereo? I have to say, sound quality is pretty important to me.
Stereo is alright. If you really want sound, maybe opt for the hi-fi package (if they still have it) or install something custom. I have regular and I'm happy.


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I just got Pirelli P-Zero Neros for my Protege, so I'm assuming it'll be a big downgrade. dang. Yeah, a 6-speed is imperative for me; manual or go home I guess I'll look into replacement alternatives to the runflats.
Yeah, pick up some good quality tires. I'm still on the RFT's, they really aren't that bad for everyday driving, and even on the track (I wasn't going timed, just having fun pushing it hard) were more than adequate. In the wet they give just enough slip to have lots of fun at wide intersections (with nobody around, of course).

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Respectively, I have to disagree with this statement about the 128i being an enthusiast car especially if you drive a auto in this car. The power isn't "there" to really be considered an enthusiast car.
I have to respectfully disagree with your statement. While there's no single definition of an enthusiast car, I would say it's something that embodies the brand's heritage and the individual's beliefs of what makes a car great. American muscle cars have different "entusiast" qualities than German racecars or Japanese rally cars.

However, in my opinion, since we're talking about BMW here... the ultimate enthusiast car is the E30 M3. A car that was powered at between 200 to 240hp with a naturally aspirated inline 4 cylinder engine. The Evo was about as quick to 60mph as the 128i.

Indeed, many "enthusiast" cars from the Italian car makers were underpowered by today's standards. But I don't think that just because there are 300hp and 340hp versions of the 1 series (or a 440hp version of the M3), that it makes a 230hp car, or a 180hp car for that matter, any less spectacular.
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      05-26-2011, 09:05 AM   #28
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My wife's 2011 128i Cabrio with 6MT, M-sport, leather/heated/power seats, and a few other small options stickered at about $40K, nearly $5K less than a 135i Cabrio. I put a BMW Performance Exhaust on it and we both really like the sound. Speaking of which, the 2011 128i comes with HD Radio, and the sound system is pretty good. The optional one is about $900 extra, and in a convertible I'm not sure it would have been worth it. Also didn't go for the HID headlights, as this was another $900 option - the halogens are fine for this car. I am adding some wider 18" wheels and non-runflat tires for better ride/handling, which will cost about what I'd have spent on the sound and headlight upgrades.
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      05-26-2011, 07:52 PM   #29
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A good thing about 1ers besides the facts already posted is that they hold their value extremely well! I have an 09' 128 which had a msrp of 31k and got it for 28k and the KBB value is at 26k PPV.

One of the great reasons to get one!
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      05-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #30
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Love my 2011 128i. Choose the MSport package, 6MT, manual seats, no sunroof, adaptive xenon headlights. My previous car was a '96 138hp , manual transmission z3 which I loved too. Both were very different experiences, being the z3 a more raw, compromised seating posture, extremely nimble, less powered, really bad audio, more difficult visibility, top off capability, while the 128i being 15 years younger feels obviously stronger, nimble too, more civilized seating position, very good audio, child car seat compatible (a Recaro, of course), so bottom line, 2 very different scenarios , but in my opinion , 2 BMW enthusiast cars.
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      07-18-2011, 08:19 AM   #31
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I think all BMWs are enthusiasts cars. Having recently visited the factory in Munich and engaged in a few discussions, I can say that folks there are quite passionate about their company and products. The 128i is the best BMW I have ever owned, yet I installed a bunch of BMW Performance bits to tweak the sound and handling to my taste. My coil over suspension gives a great ride height, just low enough, but not slammed and absorbs most road imperfections while keeping the body nice and flat through corners.

To me, an enthusiast car is not about maximum horsepower, it is about handling, style (the one series is very unique in the US), and that little thrill you get when you drive. Here in Virginia, the reckless driving statutes are so agressive that you can lose your license for doing a nice little burnout, or chirping the back wheels through a corner. God forbid you let the back end come out in a corner or go over about 90 mph in view of a police officer. It is not enough to fine you, they want to make keeping your driver's license almost impossible for the average driver. So, it makes more sense to have a car that handles great at moderate speeds. Safety-wise, BMWs are second to none. I would not want to have a crash on our beltway at 60mph in a US or Asian engineered car.

That said, most exotic or true enthusiast cars are quite uncompromising. I love the look and feel of my Lotus Elise, and stock from the factory, it handles far better almost any car. With light weight, acceleration is under five seconds 0-60, all while getting over 30 mpg. But... At 102 degrees (next weekend's temperature in DC) it is almost undriveable, as the cockpit just gets too hot. I did not take it yesterday because I had a trunk full off food for a party, and the Lotus trunk is, well, heated, and very tiny. Yet, the car gives you a thrill, and brings out wondered whispered anytime someone walks by it and has even a remote interest in cars. My 128 will drive around with the AC on in extreme temps, carry three cute girls and their stuff to the beach, and still allows a view of a moonlit sky on the drive honpme. You just can't beat that!
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      12-01-2012, 01:12 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
While not having a water temp gauge is an annoyance, for years BMW temp gauges have been so heavily buffered as to be little more effective than warning lights. If you overheat, there is a warning light and for warmup, I find that either 3~6 miles of moderate driving will do it, or one can check the oil level through the computer - if no reading is given, ther car is still too cold to drive "vigorously".

The biggest thing wrong with runflats is their high price and loads of misinformation on the internet! While the ride tends to be a bit stiffer, this is compensated by less weight (no spare), more luggage space and the ability to continue a journey without pause. And there are many different RFTs such as Summer, All season, Winter, Performance, Touring, etc. Also, there is no reason not to replace the RFTs with conventional tires should you desire.

At your price level, you are probably restricted to an '08 - I'd search for a CPO car from a BMW dealer. And definitely choose one with the SP and MT. I've averaged nearly 28 mpg overall on my '08 128i 'vert with mostly highway & mountain road driving. Also, my insurance dropped 20% compared to the '03 Z4 3.0 I formerly drove.

Tom
great advice here.thanks
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      12-16-2012, 09:40 AM   #33
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Also, if you really want a temp gauge or similar, you can always swap the cluster from any other E87/2 or E90 platform vehicle.
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      12-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #34
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Bumping an over a year old thread? Really?
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      02-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #35
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Another newby question

I have read in other forum pages that there was a lifter problem with the 128i N52 - how can you tell if a 128i vert is a N52?
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      02-27-2013, 01:56 PM   #36
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only early n52's had the issue. Every US 128 has the n52 motor, as far as i've seen there have been no issues on our motors. I could be wrong but i think the issue was limited to pre 08 motors.
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      03-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #37
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Enthusiasm is built into the person, not the car.
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      03-08-2013, 11:34 AM   #38
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I have read in other forum pages that there was a lifter problem with the 128i N52 - how can you tell if a 128i vert is a N52?
Punch the last 7 digits of your VIN into the second page of RealOEM.com

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only early n52's had the issue. Every US 128 has the n52 motor, as far as i've seen there have been no issues on our motors. I could be wrong but i think the issue was limited to pre 08 motors.
N52 motor, but both the N51 and N52N variants.
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      03-12-2013, 08:44 PM   #39
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its funny.. i work at an Audi dealer and have for over 5 years.. i have driven R8's on the track, driven S6's, A8's, S4's, A4's, Lambo's, Ferrari's, Rs6's.. ttRS, you name the euro and i've probably driven it at a speed worth having an opinion about.

The 128i is an incredible little machine. the power to weight ratio for the cost is impeccable. While not having many aftermarket parts available.. they aren't necessarily needed. BMW designs their cars with the utmost care and attention and they truly are a car enthusiasts car. BMW's feel the road and unfortunately most new vehicle have things like electromechanical steering which just isn't the same as the feel of the road.

I personally love my 128i and my X3. I bought my 128i outright and could have bought a new 335is or an M3 or what have you, but i feel like the 128i is one of those cars you don't expect. Having a turbo or two is nice, but for what the 128i is designed for, the power is there, the handling is most definitely there (i race Auto-x) and the ONLY thing i'd ever think of trading it for is a 1m. My husband worked at BMW when they came out and it was the biggest mistake i made not buying one.
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      03-14-2013, 01:28 AM   #40
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kayjay put some koni yellows on to compliment your h&r's !

What tracks are there out in BC??
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      03-14-2013, 11:17 AM   #41
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i got a 2008, 128i, and im in love. manual transmission makes this car what it is. on the highway, i love when people pull up expecting a 4 cylinder automatic, then i drop gears
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      03-14-2013, 11:27 AM   #42
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^^ funny enough i did that earlier this week. Surprised a v8 camaro, took him a second to realize he really had to gun it. Regardless his car was faster and caught up, but its nice to see 128's aren't complete wusses in regards to power.

Oh yeah, the best part was how when he was in front of me it reeked like burning clutch.
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      03-14-2013, 06:17 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikal7 View Post
kayjay put some koni yellows on to compliment your h&r's !

What tracks are there out in BC??
I am thinking about it, there is that great sale on Koni's right now!

Over in Pitt Meadows there is a auto-x track! the BC BMW club drives out of there
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      03-14-2013, 08:23 PM   #44
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I am thinking about it, there is that great sale on Koni's right now!

Over in Pitt Meadows there is a auto-x track! the BC BMW club drives out of there
Where? I could order some konis to ease this waiting game!!
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