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      06-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
Schtuffy
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Lost the 128i... got a JCW. Sigh...

My wife was in an accident awhile back and our 128i (2011!) was totaled. Fortunately she is OK, and hopefully there are no long term health issues that might crop up.

As for the car, we initially thought it might not be totaled, but the package tray got bent so that is an auto-loss. .



Then came the debate on what to get next. If the old e92 was still around, we would have ended up with one, but unfortunately the production cycle for that had just ended. We are not fans of how large the F30 is, and don't especially enjoy the looks either. Audi has zero road feel, Lexus is even worse, and Mercedes has no manuals. We ended up narrowing it down to getting another 128i, or getting a MINI JCW Hardtop. My wife was still pretty scarred by the accident and thought that getting the same car might remind her of it, so we opted to order a MINI.





Unfortunately... the MINI is no 128i. I mean, it's a great car in its own right, but it just doesn't have as good a feel as a RWD NA 6 cylinder. The weight of the BMW, the solid build, the shifter, and even the steering wheel just felt better. My wife has told me if we could do it again she would have just gotten another 128i, but hindsight is 20/20. I got to drive the BMW maybe once or twice a week if I was lucky. I drive the MINI maybe 5 times a week. I have to say I like driving the MINI over the STI, but my wife is the opposite.

There are definitely pluses to the MINI. I prefer the MINI interior, I think it's more fun (except the plastic red alarm light on top of the tachometer starting rattling at maybe 300 miles... 300!).



I also like the low end torque (my wife doesn't, not sure why she didn't mention this on the test drive...) and the flick-ability.

But now we are seriously considering our options of getting into another 128i... There is no chance I want to get rid of the MINI. I might sound harsh, but I do really like the car, it's just that I LOVED that 128, even though it was my wife's car I drove it every chance I could. There's just something special about it. That leaves having 3 cars (not likely) or getting rid of the STI . With 2013 being the last year of the 128i, our time is pretty short in making a choice.

Actually, it seems like the 2013 128i will not be able to order Xenons a la carte... Does anyone know if that is final? It seems very weird due to the uproar it caused on the new 328, and I thought they were making Xenons a stand alone option for 2013. Why would they go the other way on the 128? I really don't want to drop another couple thousand on junk we don't want.

Oh well, maybe nostalgia is playing a big part, and we will eventually stop pining for another 128. Maybe one day down the line we will be able to just buy a 2 series sedan instead.

I know the tone of this post is rather depressing, but thanks for reading. It's good to vent my feelings.
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      06-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the accident though it is a blessing your wife is ok. I never warmed the the MCS, especially the interior (clearly we have different taste). Hard to replicate the feel of a nice rwd BMW with a mini.

What are you thinking you will miss about the sti? If it is performance oriented then why not step it up and get a 135. I know it has a much different feel than the NA 128 but it will throw you back with the power, probably similar to the sti. But I don't really know what you perceive you will miss about the sti.

At least your wife cares at least a little about what she drives. My gf doesn't care what so ever, just thinks certain cars look pretty or have comfortable seats. Oh well, she doesn't like riding in the 1M which is fine by me.
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      06-21-2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about the loss of your bmw, your family is safe so thats what really matters. Enjoy the mini and return to bimmer power the minute you can!!
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      06-21-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Sounds like you've already made up your mind. Go with the 128!
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      06-21-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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What do you mean by "the package tray got bent?"

Yeah, the 2013 order guide makes it look like xenons are no longer available without the Premium Package, which sucks. Maybe they will be available as a Priority 1 option? I would talk to a dealer just to be sure. If not, maybe you could get into a lightly used 2012 0r 2011? But a 6MT might be hard to find...

Good luck. The 128i really is a special car.
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      06-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I know the only thing that matters in the end is that my wife is OK. Everything else is just materialistic whining .

The package tray is part of the frame that is behind the rear seats. Apparently BMW says once that is damaged the car is not allowed to be repaired.

The STI is pretty highly modified for autocross and such. There's no way she would let me tinker with the new or "new" new car. I wouldn't want to autocross a new car anyway seeing how many cones I destroy. If the 1M was still available though, I would have been on that in a heartbeat. As it is there was a certain satisfaction in being able to bury the throttle anywhere you like on the 128i without triple checking for the law.

Believe it or not my wife might be more reluctant to part with the STI than me... I think she especially likes the Subaru culture of waving to anyone in a WRX or STI. Gets a real kick out of that. MINI it seems only other JCWs wave and they are way more rare. I know she secretly wants to swap the MINI for the 128 but I really can't bring myself to do that rationally.

We seem to have our mind made up now but I really want to make sure it's not clouded judgement. She already has our Euro Delivery trip planned to Vienna...
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      06-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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Thank goodness your wife escaped injury. I don't see anything wrong with keeping the JCW, it is a classy ride. Let your wife drive the STI for a while. Rapid trading of cars has a way of eating you up financially. When strangers urge you to do that, remember, it isn't their money that is being spent.

I think a bent package shelf is an indication that the entire floor pan bent parallel to the drive shaft. I don't see how that could be properly repaired, but there are disreputable people who will try.
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      06-21-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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I bought a new 09 Mini S to replace my DD Jeep cherokee. It was a decent enough car but I wanted more power than the turbo car offered and I couldnt get past the horrible torque steer the car had and the novelty wore off pretty quick. I sold it within a year to get a '10 135i.
Enjoy the new ride.
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      06-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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I had a MCS before my 135i and I can tell you that they are huge rattle traps. Within 3k miles my tach rattled and my rear latch rattled. 36k miles later I was on my third latch (and a 3rd fuel pump too).

The bump steer and torque steer really didn't feel good either. Overall I liked the go cart feel but the UK build on the car definitely rears is ugly head.

I had an STi before the MCS and thought it was a much more fun car to drive imo.
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      06-23-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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Glad your wife is ok
My husband used to have a STi. I used to drive a 2002 330i. I made him sell the STi have him the 330 and bought myself a 2013 135i M Sport with power upgrade. I still don't think he has forgiven me. I wanted to keep the 330 as a possible family car and I love that car. I think he just misses the power of the STi while I'm enjoying the power of the oner.
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      06-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #11
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I understand the JCW dislike. The torque steer absolutely ruins any confidence one might have in driving sportily. My buddy's JCW clubman is the exact same way. Mini performance models peaked with the R53 S with the supercharger instead of the turdbo.
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      06-23-2012, 10:12 AM   #12
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If you wait for BMW 2 series, i think the case of Xenons will be like with the new 3.

Its great to hear that people appreciate the 128i despite having fast cars. I think it really is the NA 6, and the legacy of BMW I6 over the last 20 + years
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      06-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #13
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I loved my R56 MINI, save the torque steer. Someday, I hope MINI does a 4x4 coupe with rear drive bias and no torque steer at all.

Meanwhile, why not sell the Subaru and get a new 2013 M Sport 135i convertible? You'd have the ride and style of the 128i, the speed of an old M3 and the option for an open roof. Having the convertible is awesome, there is always a gorgeous evening when you can drive with the top down.

As for the JCW, talk with folks on NAM and MINI2 in the UK. Maybe there is a new style differential that can be installed that works better. BMW tuned the JCW with an electronic diff, and I have not driven one recently. My R56 was a handful when you got into over boost, the one thing that really bugged me. Everything else was great, the style, super fuel economy, parking in tiny spots (I REALLY miss that in DC!!) and of course, BMW safety features. (I have been to the MINI factory, these little cars are built like tanks)

Anyway, good luck whatever you decide. I like your JCW, looks great, and glad the wife was ok, the 128i did its job well!
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      09-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #14
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I was in a car hunt since early this year starting w. the Mini Cooper S (both R53 and R56 version). Great styling, love the looks but after reading the numerous issues on the forum, i decided to let it go & not buy one. My wife never warmed up to it either.
Next came the STI- this car scared the pants out of me but after a few weekends with my friends STI- i began appreciating what this car can do.. awesome power, great handling but the fuel economy really sucks.
Then came the BMW 320ds, tried it for a weekend, loved it but lacked the power of the STI.
Then the Porsche choices came in, i tried the 964s, the 997s and the Cayman S. Loved the 997 but the IMS issue scared me alot. Too risky especially when the car was 2005 model and the warranty expired already. Loved the handling, the sound the solidiity. But the certain risk made me think twice.
The Cayman S was also a great and nice looking car but was disappointed in the short test drive i made. Felt a bit sluggish but it was a tiptronic model. Might be different if it was manual.
Bumped to an old friend and suggested, if you are looking for a Porsche, why not consider a 135i.
Luckily the dealer had one on stock. Wow, it felt great. Better than the Cayman s or the mini copper. The power isn't as powerful feeling as the STI but its better balanced and i feel it can be used more as a DD.
While i would love to own a porsche, this 135 made me think twice about getting the Porsche. In short, I'm now seriously considering just getting the 135 and have fun with it. The Porsche 997will have to wait a while longer.
Besides, it would be harder for me to use the 997 as a dd as it attracts too much attention in the place were I work.
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      09-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #15
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Keep the sti, the 135i may be faster but it doesnt feel it. My sti was just over 300whp and was a ton more fun to drive and throw around then my 135i. Its something about AWD turbo that just makes it feel so much faster then it really is. Even my friends say it that the STI was just frightening to be in when i went WOT. My 135i has JB4 and DCI (so i guess like 340 whp?) and it still doesnt feel fast or put me in my seat the way the STI did.

Also that boxer engine sounds beautiful!!!!!!!!!
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      09-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #16
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At some point in 2013, they are going to change production and drop in the turbo 4 in the 128i- according to my local dealer- so the N/A 6 is on it's way out. If you opt for a 128i and want the N/A 6, better act soon!
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      09-19-2012, 01:50 AM   #17
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I can't really comment on the 128i as I've never been in one nor would I have considered it knowing there is a more powerful option out there. But, I do have a 135i(vert) and a Mini S (vert) in the garage right now...no comparison...after getting the 135 the mini never gets driven and is up for sale. As has previously been stated, the mini was fun for about a year, then its short comings started to get old. Power, build quality, ride, overall feel....

I find it curious that your wife was in an accident in the 128 and was worried about getting another but then chose a smaller car that that in my opinion doesn't feel nearly as solid.

In my opinion you have a couple things working against ya...

You "lost" the 128, thus having not been a choice, the nastalgia factor is increased. I've "lost" a couple vehicles in the past, eventually they've always been replaced and then later "released" by my own choice and doing.

Second, the mini doesn't measure up...

I like mini's because they do have some positive attibutes, they're fun, they handle well, they get good mileage....but in my opinion....you can't really compare the two. In the mini I always feel like I'm pushing the motor..in the 135 I feel like I'm always holding it back. The mini is a fun car but it begins to get old after a while.

My guess is you won't be happy until you get another 1 series, and if you get rid of the STI, you'll be kicking yourself again in a year or so.

GL either way and glad to hear your wife is okay!
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      09-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveAZ View Post
I find it curious that your wife was in an accident in the 128 and was worried about getting another but then chose a smaller car that that in my opinion doesn't feel nearly as solid.
Good point.
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      09-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #19
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I feel ya man, its hard to find something with as good steering and ride feel. BMW just nailed it with the 1er, everything from seating position to the 50/50 weight distribution just aids in making it a great driving car. GET THE 128i!!!!!!
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      09-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
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sell the mini and get a 135i and let her drive the sti .
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      09-19-2012, 12:21 PM   #21
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GET THE 128i!!!!!!
+1.
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      09-19-2012, 06:48 PM   #22
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I know this was started in June but OP, did you buy / sell / trade ??? Man this is like reading a story with no end...

Glad to hear your wife is ok. Whatever you decide or life decides for you GOOD LUCK! I know what it's like to regret selling or losing a car...

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