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      05-02-2012, 03:14 AM   #1
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Thinking about going from a 335i Coupe to a 135i/128i -- need input

What's up, 1 folks?

I'm about 2 years through a 3 year lease on a 2011 335i M-Sport Coupe (manual) and we recently turned in my wife's 2009 328i Sports Wagon for a 2012 (F30) 328i Luxury Line Sedan.

It doesn't seem likely that the new 3 Coupe will be out before my lease is up and I strongly prefer coupes. Also, without going into great deal, let me just say I appreciate the F30 for what it is, but it just feels a bit too big, soft, remote and efficiency-focused compare to our E9X 3 Series. I will still test drive an F30 335i Sport Line when the time is right, but I'm starting to think I'd be happier with a 1 Series when my lease is up.

Let me say up front that I'd be going into this eyes open: I know that 2013 will be the last year of the E82 and I had a hard time choosing between a 135 and my 335 a couple years back (I drove a 135 twice before making my decision).

I'm generally happy with my current coupe, though I now find it slightly big and heavy for my tastes. And I know this might sound like heresy, but the N55 is so powerful that it's almost boring to drive on normal roads. If you really wind it out, you can get yourself into trouble too quickly. The old adage is true: a slow car driven fast is more fun than a fast car driven slow. My car before the 335 was a Z4 Coupe which was hard as nails (not tuned for run flats) but I loved LOVED L-O-V-E-D that 255HP N52 engine like nothing else. It was the perfect combination of smoothness and power with a great engine note (lots of windows down driving in that car). Also, as strange as it might sound, I think I might want to get one of the last NA inline 6s that BMW may ever offer before I don't have that choice.

Now I'm looking at an M-Sport 128i or maybe a 135i (definitely manual). I know I'll miss the additional power of the turbocharged engine, but I really miss that steady "climb the mountain" pull of the N52 and, again, I really love the N52 even in detuned form. I know the 230HP variant in the 128i is not as strong as the engine from my Z4, but I think it's plenty to motivate a 3,200-ish lb. car and I really want to focus on getting a lighter, nimbler car that splits the different between the Z4 Coupe and the 335 Coupe. I kind of have old-school car values (and I still miss my E30 M3 from way back in the day).

So, lots of preamble, I know, and here are my questions:

1) Has anyone else moved from a 335i Coupe to a 128 or 135i and, if so, can you offer your comparative impressions, both positive and negative?

2) In terms of ride quality, are all E82s with Sports Suspension the same? I ask because BMW revised the sports suspension on the MY2011 3 Series cars and it made a HUGE difference in ride quality (new Sachs dampers and some other changes that really reduced impact harshness even with low profile runflats). Does anyone know if a similar change was made to the recently updated E82s? if you've experienced both, how would you describe/rate ride quality of a Sport/M-Sport 1 Series with 17s or 18s compared to a Sport/M-Sport 3 Series?

3) Specs-wise, the HK Premium stereo upgrade on the 1 Series seems very similar to the HY stereo in the 3 Series, maybe down one speaker (center dash, I think) but it still has the under-seat subs. Can anyone confirm that they are basically the same stereo? I'm very pleased with the HK stereo in my 335 so I'm hoping I won't have to downgrade in that arena.

4) I know the 1 Series is a bit tighter, the rear seats aren't too usable (I only need to put a dog back there, so no worries) and some of the interior materials are a little cheaper than the 3, but none of those things concern me because I car more about how it drives. Anything else you think I should know about the potential switch from an E92 to an E82?

Thanks in advance for any info you can offer,
simianspeedster

Last edited by simianspeedster; 05-02-2012 at 03:19 AM..
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      05-02-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
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I think you would love a 128. That's what I have. As long as you get the M-spot pkg on it you will truly enjoy it. And I have the HK system as well. The stock radio is not very good so to me the HK is great and a must.
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      05-02-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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2010 135i Coupe  [2.63]
The back seat has slightly less legroom however there is more headroom due to the shape of the roof line on the 1er. As for the front seats, there is about one inch of width difference. People like to call the 1er "small" but it is nearly identical to the 3 series in interior dimension.

FWIW, you can extend your lease for up to 6 months. That may put you inside the coupe production timeline.
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      05-02-2012, 07:27 AM   #4
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2010 135i Coupe  [2.63]
Measurements
135i 335i
Front leg room
41.4 in. 41.8 in. -0.4"
Front shoulder room
54.0 in. 55.3 in. -1.3"
Rear leg room
32.0 in. 33.7 in. -1.7"
Rear shoulder room
53.0 in. 51.9 in. +1.1"
Width
68.8 in. 70.2 in. -1.4"
Height
56.0 in. 54.9 in. +1.1"
Length
172.2 in. 181.9 in. -9.7"
Front track
58.3 in. 59.1 in. -0.8"
Rear track
59.6 in. 59.6 in. same
Wheel base
104.7 in. 108.7 in. -4"
Cargo capacity, all seats in place
10.0 cu.ft. 11.1 cu.ft. -1.1"
Gross weight
4255 lbs. 4497 lbs.
Curb weight
3373 lbs. 3560 lbs.
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      05-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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I went from a 2007 335i coupe to a 2009 135i and now a 2012 135i. I feel the 135i is as close to a perfect car for me that is now being sold. The most perfect car I ever owned was a 2000 323Ci, and the only reason I prefer it is the full sized spare mounted on the same alloy wheel that was on the car. Those days are gone.

Aside from the spare tire, both 135i's drive like the 323Ci except for more power and torque and an extra gear. The 2007 335i drove very well but was just too big for me. It's size was more like the 5 series back in 2000. I have a friend who is awaiting European delivery on a 2012 128i after owning a E 36 sedan. He also felt that the 1 series drives more like his E 36 than the current 3 series.
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      05-02-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
I really miss that steady "climb the mountain" pull of the N52 and, again, I really love the N52 even in detuned form. I know the 230HP variant in the 128i is not as strong as the engine from my Z4, but I think it's plenty to motivate a 3,200-ish lb. car and I really want to focus on getting a lighter, nimbler car that splits the different between the Z4 Coupe and the 335 Coupe. I kind of have old-school car values (and I still miss my E30 M3 from way back in the day).
This sounds like as good a reason to get into a 128i as I've ever heard. You already know how great the N52 is. I've never driven a 335i coupe, but I have driven the convertible, and to me the 128i is more fun in every way. Much more tossable. Not going to get into the whole 135i thing, except to say that if the 135i is lighter than the 335i, then the 128i is lighter still. Under 3200 lbs if you w/o sunroof, power seats, etc. You will not have the instant torque available when you mash the go pedal, but I'm sure you realize that. Best thing to do would be to drive one first, of course, but the 6MT's are pretty impossible to find in dealer stock.

BTW - were you asking questions around here before you went with the 335i? I seem to remember your name and a Z4, now that I think about it. I guess the pull of the 1er is strong, lol.
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      05-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
The old adage is true: a slow car driven fast is more fun than a fast car driven slow..
And when passing a group of cars, 3rd gear is a delight from 50 to 90 mph - even given the nearly 3,500 lb curb weight of my 128i cabrio. Other bonuses are lower insurance (25% less than my previous Z4 3.0) and very good fuel mileage, plus you can safely run it on 87 octane in a pinch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
Also, as strange as it might sound, I think I might want to get one of the last NA inline 6s that BMW may ever offer before I don't have that choice.
That's why I hope to keep both my 128i and 328i wagon as long as possible.

One thing I would mention - my '08 128i with ZSP (no M sport that year) came with OEM Goodyear NCT5 RF tires. They are considered "Summer Touring" rubber and while giving a decent ride and grip, are not performance tires by any stretch of the imagination. I don't know if they are still among the OEM tires but if so, you might try to arrange a swap if your car comes with them.

Tom
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      05-02-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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I had a 2008 335i with Steptronic and Sport Package and I traded that in for my current 2011 135i with DCT and M Sport Package.

Ride quality: The 1 is significantly smaller and lighter so it is more fun to toss around in tight turns in the city and feels more agile. Not sure if it is actually faster but it feels like it is. The only negatives with the 1 is the jittery tail over uneven surfaces (most blame the soft rear subframe bushings) and the 1 seems less stable at high speeds (over 80 mph on the Autobahn). Overall, the 1 feels like it is tuned to be more aggressive (the suspension tuning and the louder exhaust) and it feels like the car is asking you to drive it harder. The 3 has a longer wheelbase so it definitely feels more stable and composed at high speeds but it is definitely bigger all around and it feels that way too. Overall, the 3 seems more relaxed.

Interior space: The front seat space are pretty comparable. The 1 is marginally smaller but it is barely noticeable for me. The rear seat and trunk space is definitely smaller on the 1 though, not surprisingly. If you never plan to have people in the back like me, then this is a non issue.

Interior quality: The 1 definitely has lower quality interior trim pieces and materials. It is not horrible but definitely lower grade than the 3. It really depends on what you choose to compare it to. If you compare the 1 to other sporty cars like the 350Z, Mustang, Camaro, Genesis Coupe, EVO, STI, etc then it ranks pretty high in this segment. However, if you compare the 1 to other entry-level luxury cars like the ES350/GS350, G37, C300, A4, etc then it ranks pretty low in that segment.

Audio system: The 3 had a 13-speaker Logic7 system standard at that time. When I ordered the 1, the base system was very base so I had to upgrade to the 10-speaker HK system, it still has to the two underseat subwoofers but is missing the woofers on center dash speaker and the two in the rear. It is a noticeable difference but not game changing.

Overall, I would say the 3 is a luxury car that happens to be kind of sporty and the 1 is a sporty car that happens to be kind of luxury.

Personal opinion, I like the 1 better because it fits me better size-wise (I am only 5'7") so I like the compactness and the suspension and exhaust tuning matches my aggressive driving style better.

Good luck!
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      05-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
The back seat has slightly less legroom however there is more headroom due to the shape of the roof line on the 1er.
My dog is short so she doesn't mind either way

Quote:
As for the front seats, there is about one inch of width difference.
I'm assuming you mean the entire interior is about 1" narrower at the "hip" and not the seats themselves. I ask because one thing perplexed me when I was comparing the 1 to the 3 a couple years back (I started a thread about this back then): If I recall correctly, people informed me that the sport seats are the same between the 1 and the 3, but the seats in the 1 I drove felt more pinched in the bolsters. Maybe it's just the way they sit in the car relative to the central console and sides. Or is it still possible they're different in terms of dimensions? If anyone knows for sure, it would be good info to have.

Quote:
People like to call the 1er "small" but it is nearly identical to the 3 series in interior dimension.
Only 3 cubic feet different according to the EPA (89 vs. 86)

Quote:
FWIW, you can extend your lease for up to 6 months. That may put you inside the coupe production timeline.
Right -- I've been thinking about that, but I'm thinking more about how the new coupe will inevitably be bigger and more distant. Again, I understand why BMW did what they did with the F30 but it feels overtaken by electronics and efficiency to me. That may be the inevitable future, so I may want to take this opportunity to get the last NA inline 6, last hydraulic assist steering, last car without stop/start and mandatory iDrive (even without Nav), etc. Like I said, old school car values.
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      05-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
This sounds like as good a reason to get into a 128i as I've ever heard. You already know how great the N52 is. I've never driven a 335i coupe, but I have driven the convertible, and to me the 128i is more fun in every way. Much more tossable. Not going to get into the whole 135i thing, except to say that if the 135i is lighter than the 335i, then the 128i is lighter still. Under 3200 lbs if you w/o sunroof, power seats, etc. You will not have the instant torque available when you mash the go pedal, but I'm sure you realize that. Best thing to do would be to drive one first, of course, but the 6MT's are pretty impossible to find in dealer stock.

BTW - were you asking questions around here before you went with the 335i? I seem to remember your name and a Z4, now that I think about it. I guess the pull of the 1er is strong, lol.
Yep, that was and is me! To be fair, I'm still about 75/25 about the decision to go from the Z4 to the 335, so no regrets, but I do have sneaking suspicions that the 1 is the better in-betweener having had the other two.

And you are so right about finding 1s at dealers with manuals, especially here in Southern California. 1s don't sell that well to begin with and very few dealers stock manuals of any kind here (some M3s and the occasional 3 Series). I'll probably have to test drive an automatic and trust that the manual transmission is solid.

I would love to get a 128i without Premium (i.e. without the sunroof and other weight), but I really need the lumbar support. I had a loaner F30 the other day and my back hurt within 2 hours of basic driving. I can't believe lumbar support isn't standard on all BMWs or at least part of the stand-alone power seats package. BMW's packaging strategy really pisses me off sometimes.
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      05-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qunadry View Post
I went from a 2007 335i coupe to a 2009 135i and now a 2012 135i. I feel the 135i is as close to a perfect car for me that is now being sold. The most perfect car I ever owned was a 2000 323Ci, and the only reason I prefer it is the full sized spare mounted on the same alloy wheel that was on the car. Those days are gone.

Aside from the spare tire, both 135i's drive like the 323Ci except for more power and torque and an extra gear. The 2007 335i drove very well but was just too big for me. It's size was more like the 5 series back in 2000. I have a friend who is awaiting European delivery on a 2012 128i after owning a E 36 sedan. He also felt that the 1 series drives more like his E 36 than the current 3 series.
Very good info, thanks. My biggest choice, as it probably is for all 1 buyers, is 128 vs. 135. I'm leaning 128 this time. Hopefully my dealer will have one of each to drive in, no matter what options are on the cars, then I'll order what I want as I did with the 3.
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      05-02-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daixloxbmw View Post
I had a 2008 335i with Steptronic and Sport Package and I traded that in for my current 2011 135i with DCT and M Sport Package.

Ride quality: The 1 is significantly smaller and lighter so it is more fun to toss around in tight turns in the city and feels more agile. Not sure if it is actually faster but it feels like it is. The only negatives with the 1 is the jittery tail over uneven surfaces (most blame the soft rear subframe bushings) and the 1 seems less stable at high speeds (over 80 mph on the Autobahn). Overall, the 1 feels like it is tuned to be more aggressive (the suspension tuning and the louder exhaust) and it feels like the car is asking you to drive it harder. The 3 has a longer wheelbase so it definitely feels more stable and composed at high speeds but it is definitely bigger all around and it feels that way too. Overall, the 3 seems more relaxed.

Interior space: The front seat space are pretty comparable. The 1 is marginally smaller but it is barely noticeable for me. The rear seat and trunk space is definitely smaller on the 1 though, not surprisingly. If you never plan to have people in the back like me, then this is a non issue.

Interior quality: The 1 definitely has lower quality interior trim pieces and materials. It is not horrible but definitely lower grade than the 3. It really depends on what you choose to compare it to. If you compare the 1 to other sporty cars like the 350Z, Mustang, Camaro, Genesis Coupe, EVO, STI, etc then it ranks pretty high in this segment. However, if you compare the 1 to other entry-level luxury cars like the ES350/GS350, G37, C300, A4, etc then it ranks pretty low in that segment.

Audio system: The 3 had a 13-speaker Logic7 system standard at that time. When I ordered the 1, the base system was very base so I had to upgrade to the 10-speaker HK system, it still has to the two underseat subwoofers but is missing the woofers on center dash speaker and the two in the rear. It is a noticeable difference but not game changing.

Overall, I would say the 3 is a luxury car that happens to be kind of sporty and the 1 is a sporty car that happens to be kind of luxury.

Personal opinion, I like the 1 better because it fits me better size-wise (I am only 5'7") so I like the compactness and the suspension and exhaust tuning matches my aggressive driving style better.

Good luck!
Thanks a bunch -- this is really helpful insight, exactly what I'm looking for (pros *and* cons). It really validates my approach to this car hunt and some of your statements about the characters of the two respective cars reminds me of my experience from driving them back to back.

Considering your 3 was a 2008 (i.e. before BMW revised the 3 Series suspension) and it doesn't appear that BMW made any mid-stream suspension changes to the U.S. market E82, I wonder if the 1 with Sport/M-Sport has a bit harsher ride than my car. Obviously a test drive is in order, but if that's the trade-off required to split the difference between Z4 and 335, I think it is what it is. As much as I like the look of the 18s, I'm actually kind of glad that the 128 comes with slightly taller 17" tires even with Sport/M-Sport because I think they'll ride better, maybe wear a bit better and have less of a tendency to bubble. Function over form...
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      05-02-2012, 01:11 PM   #13
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128

I'm 65 and 220lbs; my wife is 60 & xxlbs. Car is 128 6MT w/sportpkg & power seats. Sunroof is std but I could do without. We love the car. Took car on long trip to New Hampshire and she did all the driving and she normally hates BMW sport seats. Bought this used, privately and we are extremely pleased.
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      05-02-2012, 01:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
Thanks a bunch -- this is really helpful insight, exactly what I'm looking for (pros *and* cons). It really validates my approach to this car hunt and some of your statements about the characters of the two respective cars reminds me of my experience from driving them back to back.

Considering your 3 was a 2008 (i.e. before BMW revised the 3 Series suspension) and it doesn't appear that BMW made any mid-stream suspension changes to the U.S. market E82, I wonder if the 1 with Sport/M-Sport has a bit harsher ride than my car. Obviously a test drive is in order, but if that's the trade-off required to split the difference between Z4 and 335, I think it is what it is. As much as I like the look of the 18s, I'm actually kind of glad that the 128 comes with slightly taller 17" tires even with Sport/M-Sport because I think they'll ride better, maybe wear a bit better and have less of a tendency to bubble. Function over form...

Glad I could help!

You definitely need to drive these two cars back to back to decide for yourself.

I cannot comment on any suspension changes between model years, I can only compare my 2008 335i to my 2011 135i.

Regarding the tires though, my Bridgestone RFTs on my 3 were VERY prone to bubbles. I had to replace all four tires in my first year of ownership due to severe bubbles. When I traded it in after the second year, all four of the new tires had severe bubbles. The Dunlop RFTs on my 1 seem to be a lot better. After one and a half year of ownership, I just have one small bubble in my front passenger tire. Not sure if this was all due to the tire itself or if perhaps it has something to do with the (marginally) lighter weight of the 1.
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      05-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
My dog is short so she doesn't mind either way



I'm assuming you mean the entire interior is about 1" narrower at the "hip" and not the seats themselves. I ask because one thing perplexed me when I was comparing the 1 to the 3 a couple years back (I started a thread about this back then): If I recall correctly, people informed me that the sport seats are the same between the 1 and the 3, but the seats in the 1 I drove felt more pinched in the bolsters. Maybe it's just the way they sit in the car relative to the central console and sides. Or is it still possible they're different in terms of dimensions? If anyone knows for sure, it would be good info to have.



Only 3 cubic feet different according to the EPA (89 vs. 86)



Right -- I've been thinking about that, but I'm thinking more about how the new coupe will inevitably be bigger and more distant. Again, I understand why BMW did what they did with the F30 but it feels overtaken by electronics and efficiency to me. That may be the inevitable future, so I may want to take this opportunity to get the last NA inline 6, last hydraulic assist steering, last car without stop/start and mandatory iDrive (even without Nav), etc. Like I said, old school car values.
I don't want you to think I was trying to dissuade you from getting a 1er, rather just the opposite. I test drove the 335 several times before getting the 1er and all of the complaints I had about the 335 were solved with the 1. 335 always felt too large and too refined to me. At the moment it's just me, my wife, and our dog and we take the 135i about 95% of the time. Space has never been an issue unless the in-laws are over. She drives an FX35 and we rarely drive it on the weekends. I find AWD and SUVs in general to be complete overkill. I have never been as happy with a car as I am with the 135i... at a close second is my GTI.
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      05-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daixloxbmw View Post
Glad I could help!

You definitely need to drive these two cars back to back to decide for yourself.

I cannot comment on any suspension changes between model years, I can only compare my 2008 335i to my 2011 135i.

Regarding the tires though, my Bridgestone RFTs on my 3 were VERY prone to bubbles. I had to replace all four tires in my first year of ownership due to severe bubbles. When I traded it in after the second year, all four of the new tires had severe bubbles. The Dunlop RFTs on my 1 seem to be a lot better. After one and a half year of ownership, I just have one small bubble in my front passenger tire. Not sure if this was all due to the tire itself or if perhaps it has something to do with the (marginally) lighter weight of the 1.
It'll take some doing, but I'll need to track down a 128i and and 135i, hopefully at the same dealer so I can drive them back to back. I know my local dealer (with whom I have a good relationship) doesn't stock many 1s, so I may have to play some dealer games to get a proper test drive. I don't like it, but I'm not the kind of guy who buys a car without test driving it or its very close equivalent.

On my 335, I have one mildly bubbled tire and the rest will need replacement soon anyhow due to heavy wear (I'm at ~17,000 miles). A lot of the wear is my doing, of course, but with a laughable treadwear rating of 140 for the Bridgestone RFTs, there's only so much you can do to make 'em last. I'm probably going to replace them with Michelin RFTs because I've never had a bad experience with Michelin tires and they have a treadwear rating of 220 for not much more money than the Bridgestones.

Crazy: the treadwear rating on my wife's new 18" F30 tires is a solid 500! We may not need to replace them during the 36,000 mile lease.

Last edited by simianspeedster; 05-02-2012 at 07:27 PM..
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      05-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
...My biggest choice, as it probably is for all 1 buyers, is 128 vs. 135. I'm leaning 128 this time...
Yes, that is indeed the major choice. I test drove the 135i first, then the 128i, both with sport package. The power of the 135i won me over, but from your first post it sounds like the driving/engine characteristics of the non-turbo 128i are more to your liking. You save some bucks too, so have fun with the options list. The HK system is a must. It really sounds great. On the 3 vs 1 question, that was easy for me. Liked the 3, LOVED the 1. If it's all about driving for you (as it was for me) the 1 eclipses the 3 in the ultimate driving machine category.
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      05-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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So is it fair to assume I'll still be able to order an E82 in March, 2013?
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      05-02-2012, 08:09 PM   #19
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a slow car driven fast isn't nearly as fun as a fast car driven very fast..

good luck with whatever you decide yo do.
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      05-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #20
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I'm so interested in this thread. Currently, we have three cars, wife's is a '06 ZM roadster, mine's a '12 Jeep Rubicon 4 door and ours is a '10 328 that's off lease in 5 months. Plan is to sell the ZM and give back the 328 and get something new for the wife. I'm thinking the new coupe/converts either a 1 or 3 series will be way too over stuffed with tech and weight. I'm driving a new 528 loaner and it's a bloated cruiser like a caddy, no thanks.

I think a 128/135 might be that last "ultimate driving machine"
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      05-02-2012, 08:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
I don't want you to think I was trying to dissuade you from getting a 1er, rather just the opposite. I test drove the 335 several times before getting the 1er and all of the complaints I had about the 335 were solved with the 1. 335 always felt too large and too refined to me. At the moment it's just me, my wife, and our dog and we take the 135i about 95% of the time. Space has never been an issue unless the in-laws are over. She drives an FX35 and we rarely drive it on the weekends. I find AWD and SUVs in general to be complete overkill. I have never been as happy with a car as I am with the 135i... at a close second is my GTI.
I didn't take your response as dissuasion. I'm in the same boat as you. I've had my coupe for 2 years and I can count on one hand how many times someone has ridden in the back. I'd really rather have a 2 seater if I could pull it off, but I do take a lot of weekend trips with the wife and the pooch. Basically, a 911 would be perfect, but it's just a touch pricey for me.

I really want a Cayman so bad that I thought about figuring some way to strap a dog bed on the parcel shelf over the engine (where the cargo net is in this pic: http://static.cargurus.com/images/si...253861944.jpeg) Then I sobered up and realized any back seat is better for me, no matter how small.
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      05-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC6 View Post
a slow car driven fast isn't nearly as fun as a fast car driven very fast..

good luck with whatever you decide yo do.
Ha! Cheers to that.

Thankfully I don't sit in traffic too often, so I find that I can even have fun in my daily Southern California commute without driving like a nutter. That said, it's far too easy to build speed with the N55 that you just can't use very often, only in very quick bursts.

Again, I know it sounds crazy, but I kind of dislike not having to downshift to pass, etc. It's almost like playing a video game that's so easy that it's not as much fun. I really enjoyed working the gears in the Z4 -- that N52 has tension and drama, and it sounds better to my ears than any turbocharged engine -- a little metallic but it still has some guts.

I would kill for the 255HP N52, call it a 130i -- that's the dream combo, but the slightly less powerful 128i isn't bad for 3,200 lbs.
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