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      08-25-2016, 08:47 PM   #1
twwen2
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[MELB] Looking to test drive E82 125i & 135i

Hi all,

After owning several FWD hot hatches (Clio RS 182 Cup, Golf GTI VI) I'm now exploring the idea of purchasing a used 125i or 135i, and was hoping to spend some time in one of each to get a feel for what they're like to drive. I'm not super keen to do this through a used car dealer because I don't really want to have to deal with the sales pressure, plus most are located near the CBD and those types of congested roads won't give me an idea of how the cars handle.

As such, I thought I'd try my luck on here to see if there's anyone located in SE Melbourne that would be willing to take me out for a test drive. I'll take what I can get - happy to do something brief, but also wouldn't be averse to spending some time up in the Yarra Valley if someone was up for that. Another option would be for me to tag along on a drive day and do a car swap for a bit, if there are any coming up?

To provide some background as I'm fairly new around here (been lurking for years though), I'm a fully licensed 27yo Australian male with no crash history. I'm an active member over on the OzRenaultSport.com community (walkie86 on here is a mod over there) where I've participated in numerous drive day events.

I'm also happy to offer a bottle of wine from my rack as compensation/incentive.
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      08-25-2016, 09:06 PM   #2
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Drive day on sunday, quite a mix of 1 and 3 series with N54 engines

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1273751
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      08-25-2016, 11:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
Drive day on sunday, quite a mix of 1 and 3 series with N54 engines

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1273751
Thanks for the heads-up, much appreciated. I had actually planned to attend an OzRenaultSport drive day this Sunday (they're heading out east), but it seems I've now got a decision to make!
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      08-26-2016, 12:21 AM   #4
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Hey Tom - welcome!

Still trying to line up Drew, a mate in Melbs with a 130i, to show you his car. I know he's busy with uni at the moment but hopefully we can arrange something soon!
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      08-26-2016, 12:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkie86 View Post
Hey Tom - welcome!

Still trying to line up Drew, a mate in Melbs with a 130i, to show you his car. I know he's busy with uni at the moment but hopefully we can arrange something soon!
Thanks Alex - appreciate your ongoing efforts to put me in touch!

Was considering going to look at this 125i, but did some research on the dealer and turns out they don't have a great reputation. Might still be worth looking at, but I figure I should probably establish which carl I'm targeting before I have to start interacting with dealers.

Currently I'm in two minds regarding turbo/non-turbo. After the GTI I'm pretty keen to get back into a manual NA car, but don't feel like I should rule out the 135i without driving one first.
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      08-26-2016, 01:32 AM   #6
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Everyones very friendly and theres a very active group of BMW guys in Melb, primarily 335is but with a few 1Ms and 135is. The community alone makes these cars very attractive to buy. Definitely worth coming along.

If you jump into a 135i you definitely feel underwhelmed driving a 125i. I've driven a 325i and that had no torque at all, you'll probably find that fuel consumption is pretty much the same despite the N54 engine developing much much more power.

The 135i would be more bang per buck but maintenance costs would be quite a lot higher if you pick the wrong car. These cars need a lot of preventative maintenance that most people don't bother with.
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      08-26-2016, 01:47 AM   #7
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If was to go down the 125i route, the first thing I'd do would be to get it flashed with an EvolveR tune to bring the N52B30AE back up to 130i levels (~190kw) - that should make it more competetive against a stock 135i.

Coming from the turbo 4-pot GTI, I'm really looking for something with an engine that displays a bit more character. Thus the 3.0L 6cyl in the 1'er is a big drawcard. I've read that the 135i doesn't exhibit the normal turbo characteristics (lag mainly) - I would obviously need to validate that myself.

If I had the means I'd be straight into an E90 M3 and call it a day, but I'm just not sure I can stretch that far at this point in time.
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      08-26-2016, 02:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twwen2 View Post
If was to go down the 125i route, the first thing I'd do would be to get it flashed with an EvolveR tune to bring the N52B30AE back up to 130i levels (~190kw) - that should make it more competetive against a stock 135i.

Coming from the turbo 4-pot GTI, I'm really looking for something with an engine that displays a bit more character. Thus the 3.0L 6cyl in the 1'er is a big drawcard. I've read that the 135i doesn't exhibit the normal turbo characteristics (lag mainly) - I would obviously need to validate that myself.

If I had the means I'd be straight into an E90 M3 and call it a day, but I'm just not sure I can stretch that far at this point in time.
190kw sounds great on paper but will not be in the same league as a 135i because of the low end torque from the turbos. If you want any sort of performance out of the N52 it has to be revved out, but even then a tuned one won't bother a stock 135i much. Tuning for the 135i is much cheaper per kw and a lot of power cna be had very easily. Put some suspension on the car and it will be a very capable machine.

There's actually not much lag on a 135i and felt a lot more eager than the 325i I drove. Regardless, the N54 will have more power and torque at every rpm. Its quite nice having the low down torque which makes everyday driving a lot more effortless.

Not trying to bash the N52, just a lot of guys will get the N52 and try to tune/modify it and realise the bang per kw is very poor and end up wishing they got an N54 instead.
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      08-26-2016, 02:29 AM   #9
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Yep, I completely get those points - tuning potential is far greater on a turbo engine and I know what you mean about low-down torque making daily driving easy (my GTI has that in spades).

My background prior to the GTI was four years in a Renault Sport Clio 182 which, while only weighing ~1000kg, wasn't exactly the epitome of power and torque (130kw/200Nm). So I guess I'm no stranger to having to work a naturally-aspirated engine hard to get the best from it - that's a big part of the driving experience in my opinion. I've never been a straight-line speed kind of guy, but show me some corners and I'm in my element.
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      08-27-2016, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
Drive day on sunday, quite a mix of 1 and 3 series with N54 engines

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1273751
Won't make it to this one unfortunately - I'm going to head out east with the Renault guys. Been too long since I've done the spurs. Thanks for the offer though - looking forward to catching the next BMW event.
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