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E82 / E88 1 Series (2008 - 2013)
BMWs throw back to the iconic 2002, with a renewed form and function. The smallest car in BMW's line up but still packs a punch. Available in coupe or convertible, powered by either an inline 6 in the 128 or the twin turbo rocket sled 135.

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2012, 08:56 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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135i DCT, 335is or M3

Some automotive obsessing on a boring Tuesday...

I'm currently leasing a 335i msport w/ auto (per wife's reqs). It's our only car cause we live in the city and don't need it as a daily driver. But we do take lots of road trips and I like to have fun w/ the car on twisty backroads once we get there.

The 335 certainly fits the bill as a "do it all" type of car. And my wife, who was intially skeptical of BMWs, now loves the car. Maybe too much. It certainly has no real vices or issues.

But I just can't seem to love the car. Hard to really put my finger on why. I think it looks great, the engine sounds and feels great, and the handling is good and the seats are extremey comfortable. All of the electronics work flawlessly too. The step shifts fast in manual mode and my wife manages to coax 31mpg out of it on long trips. Even most potholes barely upset it. I guess it just feels a bit too big and heavy to me and bit too "cruise missle" if that makes sense.

This summer will be the last chance to get a new e82 or e92 w/ the proper hydrualic steering. Test drove an F30 and hated it. So i'd like to kill 2 birds w/ one stone and get something more fun to drive and one of the last of "old school steering" bmws.

If I had my choice, i'd probably get a 128i msport with a manual trans. That's not going to happen. So was thinking of getting something with a DCT since having an even faster shifting auto could add some fun I suppose. And the 135i seems to fit the bill in every way with everything i like about the 335 in a smaller package. I've actually grown to love the uniquness and classic BMW look of the 1 and like that you don't see them very often. From what I can tell, you actually don't give up a lot in terms of usable space either.

But vague references in a bunch of 135 reviews to it having too much understeer and being jittery, bouncy and "unstable" have me worried about throwing out the baby w/ the bathwater. The unstable part actually sounds like it could be fun, but am not really sure what that means. Would a 135 be annoying or uncomfortable on long road trips? Would it be materially more fun to drive than the 3? Hard to tell on a short test drive. Sounds like its really only about 150 pounds lighter which concerns me as well..is it actually more "tossable"? There are so many mixed to slighlty negative reviews of it. I'm over the "big torque" and "modability" aspects of the x35 engine but am sticking with it due to the better auto choices that come w/ it. So reviews that emphasize how fast it is in a straightline mean little to me. r

Then my thoughts wander to a 335is or M3 with the idea being, essentially, that an even better sounding exhaust, steering, and quicker auto will add sufficient fun to cancel out the "big" feeling of the e92 while still retaining its nice highway manners and roominess. While I don't necessarily mind spending the money on an M3 , it's still really hard to wrap my head around the price. I wonder if it might be too "good" to actually be fun on normal roads.. And at that point, I find myself thinking I'd be better off leasing a Golf TDI for my wife and a 128 for me (probably be less money than an M3!). And the 335is is probably going to feel 98% the same as my current car...not sure how big a diff having a DCT, a little extra power and a louder exhaust will really make.

So then i come back to my current car (which is how i arrived at this decision last time). Maybe just buy it out, slap some lightweight wheels on it and the performacne exhaust... Or lease another one, change up the colors and options and buy myself a few more years before I have to deal w/ electric steering. My wife is pretty anti-1 series but for no good reason.

And yes, I know I've already put my way too much thought into this.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:34 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is online now
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I own a 128i convertible, I've driven a 135i but with the conventional automatic at the Performance Center when I took delivery of my 128i. I also drove a e92 M3 with DCT on the same track in a 2 day M-school. My only drive in a 3 coupe was a 328i with manual in a short test drive. So I have a little experience but not a lot with the cars are thinking of.

I found the 328 to have a much different feel than my 128i. It is a nicer cruiser, perhaps, but much less fun to drive fast on a twisty road (or track). Shifts were longer, car didn't turn as readily. I suspect 135i versus 335i is similar. I've driven my 128i as much as 12 hours in a day quite comfortably. It has the sport suspension and seats and this was on the stock run flats. It was as comfortable as any 12 hours I've spent in a car. You have to pay a bit more attention to a 1 than a 3, perhaps, but it rides well on the highway.

The e92 M3 likes to rev. On a track where you can keep it up between 6000 and 8500 rpm it is very fast and fun. But in daily driving at 2500 rpm, I suspect it feels lethargic. I occasionally got it in the wrong gear at M school and had to quickly get to the right gear. I like that characteristic for track driving, keeps you on your toes, but I do not know if you'd really like it for daily driving if you like the turbo motors. They have MUCH more torque at low rpm. M cars are geared to turn more rpm on the highway so it is probably fine there but gas mileage suffers. The M3 was considerably more fun on the performance center track than the M5 or M6. They are all fast with great brakes and handle very well but the lighter weight of the M3 made it seem to leap from corner to corner. I wish I'd made it back to try the 1M. I got a hot lap in one but no chance to drive one. I suspect it would be even more fun to me. But my main message is I believe a e92 M3 is a better track car than a daily driver. But my time in one is limited and I could be wrong.

The front seat of the 1 series has plenty of room regardless of your size. I'm 6'2" and about 185 lbs. My son is 6'4" and about 195. We fit easily. I can get my 5'9" daughter behind my son but it is a tight fit. To use the back seat, the front seat passengers must be shorter than my family or accomidating. If you use the back seat regularly and are larger than average, you may not like the size of the 1 series. On the other hand, if you are average or less in size or rarely use the back seat, the 1 may be big enough.

I would get the 135i. But it depends on your requirements. I don't think you'll ever get another chance at a normally aspirated 8 cylinder, however. A e92 M3 should hold it's value well. But the next M3 may be a more practical car. It will be a turbo 6 with more power than the current 335i and the better brakes and handling of the M3.

BMW makes all their cars understeer at the limit. They put smaller tires on the front and also dial in no negative camber on the front of the 1 series, not sure about the others. They do this because many drivers cannot reliably control oversteer. Understeer is easier, you just get off the gas. Most cars are set up to understeer at the limit. If you don't like it, you can increase the size of the front tires, as I plan, or dial in some negative camber or both. But with the stability control on you will not be able to find these limits.

Jim

Last edited by JimD1; 08-14-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2012, 06:50 PM
No12 No12 is offline
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Jim's comments above are very good. I can add only a bit to that.

My current car is a 2012 135i MSport DCT, and I've had it only two months. I like the lighter weight, and I love the rush of torque down low in the rpm range. I also like the hydraulic steering over the electric steeting in some other models.

I had a 2009 M3 Sedan for about a year. I liked the M3 on the hiway, but did not find it that wonderful around town, which is most of my driving. Of course, on the open road an M3 will run away and hide from a 135. In town, not so. I believe the 135 is equally fast with an M3 up to about 60mph (depending on driver, of course).

The 135 is much cheaper to buy and operate (the current M3 drinks gas at an alarming rate). To me, I like the lighter weight, less cost, and more of an "old time" BMW feel of the 135 (think 2002tii).

I have not driven a 335is so cannot comment. Bear in mind, this Fall the 135is will be available. If I were buying today, I would wait for the 135is.

Just some thoughts.
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Gone: 2011 X35i, Vermillion Red, MSport.
Gone: 2007 328xiTouring, Barbera Red, Lemon, 6MT.
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2012, 07:24 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No12 View Post
Jim's comments above are very good. I can add only a bit to that.

My current car is a 2012 135i MSport DCT, and I've had it only two months. I like the lighter weight, and I love the rush of torque down low in the rpm range. I also like the hydraulic steering over the electric steeting in some other models.

I had a 2009 M3 Sedan for about a year. I liked the M3 on the hiway, but did not find it that wonderful around town, which is most of my driving. Of course, on the open road an M3 will run away and hide from a 135. In town, not so. I believe the 135 is equally fast with an M3 up to about 60mph (depending on driver, of course).

The 135 is much cheaper to buy and operate (the current M3 drinks gas at an alarming rate). To me, I like the lighter weight, less cost, and more of an "old time" BMW feel of the 135 (think 2002tii).

I have not driven a 335is so cannot comment. Bear in mind, this Fall the 135is will be available. If I were buying today, I would wait for the 135is.

Just some thoughts.
Very interesting. What about the steering feel and handling of the 135 vs the m3 on some twisty roads? Was the m3 also a dct?

Not convinced on the 135is though. Might as well just buy the BMW performance kit for much less and get the same power bump.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:06 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
And at that point, I find myself thinking I'd be better off leasing a Golf TDI for my wife and a 128 for me (probably be less money than an M3!).
Hi, I like reading your posts, so I look forward to the things you'll say about future test drives, and how you arrive at your decision. Anyway, why not the TDI + 128i? Everyone is happy? And you get two cars! (Maybe you already said why you couldn't, and that I missed it.)
Quote:
And the 335is is probably going to feel 98% the same as my current car...not sure how big a diff having a DCT, a little extra power and a louder exhaust will really make.

So then i come back to my current car (which is how i arrived at this decision last time). Maybe just buy it out, slap some lightweight wheels on it and the performacne exhaust... Or lease another one, change up the colors and options and buy myself a few more years before I have to deal w/ electric steering. My wife is pretty anti-1 series but for no good reason.
It sounds to me that, besides the possible fun of rowing through gears, you'd like changes in handling more than anything? Instead of lightweight wheels and exhaust, maybe you can try some plug n play M control arms & bushings, Koni FSDs (or Bilsteins, but you are insane to do that in NYC?), and for the big one, maybe a Quaife/Wavetrac LSD. Those right there together will probably separate your current car from many other BMWs quite a bit, I think. If you still get new wheels for some reason, I vote that one set gets UHP tires, like Michelin PSS. It was a not so subtle handling upgrade on my own car, and FWIW, I wasn't the type that complained about RFTs compliance, cost, like many others here do.

Yeah ok, "cruise missle" eh, I'd go with the above paragraph if you are* keeping the car, but if you're not in love with your car now, well there isn't a guarantee that you will be later post-mods. I say get the one you love now*, and then you can always mod it at a later date to flame up your relationship again when need be . . . or something like that.

Quote:
And yes, I know I've already put my way too much thought into this.
I don't think so, keep thinking away!

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 08-14-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2012, 08:09 PM
No12 No12 is offline
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Yes, the M3 was also a DCT car.

The M3 was very good in the twisties, certainly. Probably better than the 135i, when both are driven hard. Everyone has to make their own call about things like that. For me, I do not track my cars, and the chances to truly drive them hard on public roads are few. With cars, as with many things, there are trade-offs. For my own purposes, I prefer the 135i.

Your comment re the 135is is true, you can put a PE and PPK on a 135i and have similar power, etc. There are a few other minor goodies to the 135is, but I suspect the premium price may make ppl think twice about it.

YMMV
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Gone: 2012 135i Coupe, Jet Black, MSport, 6MT
Gone: 2012 135i Coupe,LeMans Blue, MSport, DCT, Prem
Gone: 2011 X35i, Vermillion Red, MSport.
Gone: 2007 328xiTouring, Barbera Red, Lemon, 6MT.
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2012, 10:28 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No12 View Post
Yes, the M3 was also a DCT car.

The M3 was very good in the twisties, certainly. Probably better than the 135i, when both are driven hard. Everyone has to make their own call about things like that. For me, I do not track my cars, and the chances to truly drive them hard on public roads are few. With cars, as with many things, there are trade-offs. For my own purposes, I prefer the 135i.

Your comment re the 135is is true, you can put a PE and PPK on a 135i and have similar power, etc. There are a few other minor goodies to the 135is, but I suspect the premium price may make ppl think twice about it.

YMMV
Thanks...should've asked the question differently. Like you, I am much less concerned about all out capability (which is faster, pulls higher Gs, etc) and more concerned with which one is more fun. I assume, for you, it's the 135? Or was it more a matter of the 135 being almost as fun but cheaper to operate.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:05 AM
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thumper_330 thumper_330 is offline
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Allow me to weigh in. I have a 2012 135i with DCT... pretty much loaded to the hilt. Took a PCD last December 1st and the day after I got it drove the car from Robbinsville, NC to St. Louis... with a slight detour to drive the Tail of the Dragon... twice... and the Cherohala Skyway into Tennessee. As of today I am just shy of 13,000 miles and have just had the first service. I also test drove an M3 with DCT (and almost bought it), a 335is (manual) and a 335i (auto) during my test driving.

So to start with, here's video of running the Dragon, North; https://contour.com/stories/tail-of-the-dragon-north--4

(Jump to about the 8 minute mark to see the twisty stuff)

It's not real interesting and I was really inexperienced with the car, so if I drove it now it would be a different video... but gives you an idea of what the car's like on twisty roads.

For the record, I don't find it particularly busy to drive... and that long stretch on the highway from Tennessee to St. Louis was actually a really nice, fun and relaxing drive. One of the best distance cars I have ever owned. Getting it out on twisty roads and the track it definitely is more tossable than the E92; it's got a shorter wheelbase and it's tall. While the weight isn't that much less, it carries it differently. Having said that, some do find the understeer to be a problem... I really don't. I have kept pace with M3's on the track except in the straightaways where they can really rev it and get away from me.

Interior room... well for my needs it's fine. There's just me (5'9", 175lbs), my girlfriend (5'3", 120lbs) and my son (4'10", about 90lbs I think), and 99% of the time it's just me in the car. Even for the times there's three of us, my son can fit just fine behind either myself or my girlfriend, and even I can sit back there comfortably with my seat set where I would have it. I'm not sure I'd be comfy for a really long ride, but I've never tested it. Trunk space is limited... but it holds two weeks worth of groceries quite handily and would probably carry enough luggage for the three of us for a week trip at a pinch. The fold down back seat as standard though is awesome... I could probably fit a 50" flat screen back there with both back seats down.

Generally the ownership experience has been awesome. In day-to-day driving and weekend runs to whereever it just takes everything I can dish out and then some. It's a playful little car, so yes as mentioned you need to pay more attention to it than you do in the 3'er, but I don't think I could ever push it too hard.

The other nice thing is that like most BMW's there's a decent aftermarket for it. The understeer is easily dialed out with new springs and roll bars... and generally the few handling sins it has can be easily rectified with some better tires. The run-flats add a LOT of unsprung weight and lose compliance in corners... but a good set of traditional tires helps a lot.

I have often said to people that the 135i is 96% of an M3 for about half the price! While the M3 is absolutely sublime on the track, it's not a great day-to-day car. The cost of keeping it fed with gasoline alone made me second-guess my choice. An M3 is a high maintenance beast like any M-car... while I myself would love to be tooling around in an M3 I would just be crying inside at the cost of the car payment, insurance and gasoline I was burning through every month.

If I could buy an M3 cash, the choice would be easy... but since I won't (bad investment IMO) I think the 135i makes an awesome choice of a daily driver that can hang with the big boys on the weekends.
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2012, 11:16 AM
No12 No12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
Thanks...should've asked the question differently. Like you, I am much less concerned about all out capability (which is faster, pulls higher Gs, etc) and more concerned with which one is more fun. I assume, for you, it's the 135? Or was it more a matter of the 135 being almost as fun but cheaper to operate.
No, for me, I really think the 135i is more fun, period. Remember, I do not track my cars, so my driving is daily driver stuff, with some bursts of aggresive driving when conditions allow.

And the 135i is a lot cheaper to operate, which is a plus.
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2014 MINI Cooper S, Thunder Grey, 6MT
Gone: 2012 135i Coupe, Jet Black, MSport, 6MT
Gone: 2012 135i Coupe,LeMans Blue, MSport, DCT, Prem
Gone: 2011 X35i, Vermillion Red, MSport.
Gone: 2007 328xiTouring, Barbera Red, Lemon, 6MT.
Gone: 2009 M3 Sedan, Alpine White, Black Novillo, M-DCT.
Gone: 2008 535xi, Alpine White, Black Dakota, MSport.
Long Gone: 11 other BMWs between 1971 and 1986.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:28 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
Allow me to weigh in. I have a 2012 135i with DCT... pretty much loaded to the hilt. Took a PCD last December 1st and the day after I got it drove the car from Robbinsville, NC to St. Louis... with a slight detour to drive the Tail of the Dragon... twice... and the Cherohala Skyway into Tennessee. As of today I am just shy of 13,000 miles and have just had the first service. I also test drove an M3 with DCT (and almost bought it), a 335is (manual) and a 335i (auto) during my test driving.

So to start with, here's video of running the Dragon, North; https://contour.com/stories/tail-of-the-dragon-north--4

(Jump to about the 8 minute mark to see the twisty stuff)

It's not real interesting and I was really inexperienced with the car, so if I drove it now it would be a different video... but gives you an idea of what the car's like on twisty roads.

For the record, I don't find it particularly busy to drive... and that long stretch on the highway from Tennessee to St. Louis was actually a really nice, fun and relaxing drive. One of the best distance cars I have ever owned. Getting it out on twisty roads and the track it definitely is more tossable than the E92; it's got a shorter wheelbase and it's tall. While the weight isn't that much less, it carries it differently. Having said that, some do find the understeer to be a problem... I really don't. I have kept pace with M3's on the track except in the straightaways where they can really rev it and get away from me.

Interior room... well for my needs it's fine. There's just me (5'9", 175lbs), my girlfriend (5'3", 120lbs) and my son (4'10", about 90lbs I think), and 99% of the time it's just me in the car. Even for the times there's three of us, my son can fit just fine behind either myself or my girlfriend, and even I can sit back there comfortably with my seat set where I would have it. I'm not sure I'd be comfy for a really long ride, but I've never tested it. Trunk space is limited... but it holds two weeks worth of groceries quite handily and would probably carry enough luggage for the three of us for a week trip at a pinch. The fold down back seat as standard though is awesome... I could probably fit a 50" flat screen back there with both back seats down.

Generally the ownership experience has been awesome. In day-to-day driving and weekend runs to whereever it just takes everything I can dish out and then some. It's a playful little car, so yes as mentioned you need to pay more attention to it than you do in the 3'er, but I don't think I could ever push it too hard.

The other nice thing is that like most BMW's there's a decent aftermarket for it. The understeer is easily dialed out with new springs and roll bars... and generally the few handling sins it has can be easily rectified with some better tires. The run-flats add a LOT of unsprung weight and lose compliance in corners... but a good set of traditional tires helps a lot.

I have often said to people that the 135i is 96% of an M3 for about half the price! While the M3 is absolutely sublime on the track, it's not a great day-to-day car. The cost of keeping it fed with gasoline alone made me second-guess my choice. An M3 is a high maintenance beast like any M-car... while I myself would love to be tooling around in an M3 I would just be crying inside at the cost of the car payment, insurance and gasoline I was burning through every month.

If I could buy an M3 cash, the choice would be easy... but since I won't (bad investment IMO) I think the 135i makes an awesome choice of a daily driver that can hang with the big boys on the weekends.
Thanks Thumper..that's very helpful. Like you, I wouldn't want to get the M3 and feel like I"m just pissing away money for not much more fun in return.

It's really hard to glean this type of info from most reviews or message boards because everyone gets so hung up on which is the objectively faster or "nicer" car as opposed to which is simply more fun on public roads. It's even hard for me to get out of the male mindset of wanting the "better" car. Plus there's just so much "hate" on the 1 series out there its hard to find people who actually know what they're tlaking about. I actually like that you have to "pay more attention" to it as that sounds more involving and fun. Modern cars are generally so competent below 80mph as to be boring. And I had a feeling the "understeer" comments were overblown--the result of someone pushing the stock car to the limit on a track or just parroting something they read.

To that end did you consider a 128 w/ manual out of curiousity?

Now I just need to work on my wife...she really dislikes the 1 series looks and thinks its "too small". I need to find some flattering pictures and show her that its not that much smaller where it counts. The more I see them and look at them, the more I like them...though wheels, color and msport bumpers can make/break it. Its not like we have kids yet, or constantly have people in the backseat anyway. Right now, she'd seriously rather I spent twice as much on an m3 than get a 135.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:36 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
It's really hard to glean this type of info from most reviews or message boards because everyone gets so hung up on which is the objectively faster or "nicer" car as opposed to which is simply more fun on public roads. Plus there's just so much "hate" on the 1 series out there its hard to find people who actually know what they're tlaking about. I actually like that you have to "pay more attention" to it as that sounds more involving and fun. Modern cars are generally so competent below 80mph as to be boring. And I had a feeling the "understeer" comments were overblown--the result of someone pushing the stock car to the limit on a track or just parroting something they read.

To that end did you consider a 128 w/ manual out of curiousity?
I don't think I know what I'm talking about, and you weren't addressing me, but I seriously considered the 128i and 135i, drove both in manual, and the latter as AT as a loaner. The 128i is a lot of fun, period, IMO. The 135i, I think the term fun is kind of an understatement, I think a more apt description is "scary". I once recounted a story here long ago, about convincing a "hater" friend/enthusiast of mine to drive one (this is already after getting my current ride too, btw, and he happens to be driving the Z4 35is now), and I'll just say his nerves weren't up to par compared to the dealer's, even after a second try on a long sweeping curve where the dealer was pushing him, telling him not to let off throttle. He's a spirited driver, in fact too spirited in his younger days, having totalled a modded RX7, etc, so it's not like he's used to babying it.

Quote:
Now I just need to work on my wife...she really dislikes the 1 series looks and thinks its "too small". I need to find some flattering pictures and show her that its not that much smaller where it counts. The more I see them and look at them, the more I like them...though wheels, color and msport bumpers can make/break it. Its not like we have kids yet, or constantly have people in the backseat anyway. Right now, she'd seriously rather I spent twice as much on an m3 than get a 135.
It is the rear end that people have an issue with. The front, I think the majority of people enjoy the "aggressiveness". That same friend compared the rear to an Elantra. Well anyway, after getting him to drive it, his overall opinion changed quite a bit. I've never driven an E9x M3, only the E46, and only as MT there.

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 08-15-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:17 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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I don't think I know what I'm talking about, and you weren't addressing me, but I seriously considered the 128i and 135i, drove both in manual, and the latter as AT as a loaner. The 128i is a lot of fun, period, IMO. The 135i, I think the term fun is kind of an understatement, I think a more apt description is "scary". I once recounted a story here long ago, about convincing a "hater" friend/enthusiast of mine to drive one (this is already after getting my current ride too, btw, and he happens to be driving the Z4 35is now), and I'll just say his nerves weren't up to par compared to the dealer's, even after a second try on a long sweeping curve where the dealer was pushing him, telling him not to let off throttle. He's a spirited driver, in fact too spirited in his younger days, having totalled a modded RX7, etc, so it's not like he's used to babying it.



It is the rear end that people have an issue with. The front, I think the majority of people enjoy the "aggressiveness". That same friend compared the rear to an Elantra. Well anyway, after getting him to drive it, his overall opinion changed quite a bit. I've never driven an E9x M3, only the E46, and only as MT there.
Cool! That's exactly the type of feedback I'm looking for. Thank you. I had an e46 325i manual and edloved that car...everything about it. Got the 335 cause wife wanted an automatic. Doubt I'll like the 1 series even with the extra power as much as the e46 but it's as close as I can in a new car with decent practicality

Yeah my wife doesn't like the "lines". She's pribabky referring to the saggy rocker panel and short/squat proportions. If I can get her to take a close look at a dark colored 135 msport I think she'll see the light.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:55 AM
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:47 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Check out a Golf R and a Mini John Cooper Works
Thought about both but really don't like the feel of fwd or awd with fw platform. In the minis case I also really dislike the interior (both design and quality). And getting an automatic in the golf r isn't possible while an automatic wound strangle the mini (even in jcw form). I also find minis very uncomfortable for long trips. If a manual 35k car was on the table I'd be hard pressed to not choose the 128. All that being said my wife would prefer a golf or mini to the 1 but she prefers the e92 to all. Decisions, decisions...
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
To that end did you consider a 128 w/ manual out of curiousity?
Absolutely I did; I love the NA inline six. I haven't driven one but it was definitely a contender. However, at the end of the day I'm a technology geek and wanted a car with a dual-clutch just to see what it's like. I must admit it's been different, but definitely doesn't feel like an automatic. I drive it in the sport-manual mode all the time and have only used the fully auto mode once when driving on snow. Basically when I get the car started, to move forward I pull the shifter toward me (Drive), slap it over to the left (Drive-Sport) and then knock it forward once (Manual - downshift). Then I drop my hand to the sport button and push it. Really no more steps than shifting your car from reverse to first except that extra push of the sport button, and from then on the car will rev all the way to redline and hold it all day if you don't care about your engine or the environment

For everyday driving I find the car to be exceptional. As for room, well there's really only a smidgen less room in the car than my E46 330i. You don't say if you had an E46 coupe or sedan, but if you had a coupe then I don't think the 1'er is really all that much smaller inside. In fact, the roofline is higher but generally from behind the wheel it feels an awful lot like an E46. Maybe a smidgen narrower across the front seats but it's not like you're rubbing shoulders.

If you're worried about room, show your wife this video;



Warning; NSFW version because it's funnier... it's of four guys doing a European Delivery in a 135i. I've had a chance to meet the owner of this car as well and he's an awesome guy... great photographer. These guys were younger, yes... but they're all full grown guys crammed into a 1'er for a thousand miles or so. The fact that they're not all walking like Quasimodo now is testament to the fact that this CAN be done

I wish I were closer, then I'd swing by and let you have a spin in my 1'er. I couldn't be happier with the car and am actually glad I didn't buy the 335is... but that one was a close call because I really liked it.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:10 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Thanks thumper. I had an e46 sedan so it had a bit more room. I had seen that video and forgotten about it. Actually compiling a bunch of stuff like that (flattering 1 series pics, good quotes, and pics that show how versatile it can be).

Good to know you considered the 335is as well. I keep getting tempted by it cause it's a much easier sell and I'm already comfortable with the e92 body. Problem is that I doubt a louder exhaust and dct is going to really make enough of a difference from a regular msport e92 witg the ppk. And using current lease rates it's a whopping $80 more than a comparable 135.
But writers I really respect (mike miller for example) seem to hold the 335is in very high regard. And he's someone who has really praised the 128.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:36 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Well, I'm pretty much a goner now. Saw a white 2011+ 135 msport parked on the street last night. I'm not usually a fan of white cars, but damn it was hot! Couldn't take my eyes off it. So strange how hard it is to find good photos of the 1, yet in person w/ the right wheels it looks amazing. I walked around it, and thought it was perfect from every angle...even the controversial front-end. And the nice brembo brakes with "BMW" on them are just icing on the cake. I'd even go so far as to say it's the sexiest BMW on sale today. Makes my e92 look too long and boring.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:53 AM
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Well, I'm pretty much a goner now. Saw a white 2011+ 135 msport parked on the street last night. I'm not usually a fan of white cars, but damn it was hot! Couldn't take my eyes off it. So strange how hard it is to find good photos of the 1, yet in person w/ the right wheels it looks amazing. I walked around it, and thought it was perfect from every angle...even the controversial front-end. And the nice brembo brakes with "BMW" on them are just icing on the cake. I'd even go so far as to say it's the sexiest BMW on sale today. Makes my e92 look too long and boring.
+1 Does look much better than pictures show.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:09 PM
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I know the 1 series looks like an E46, but it's really just an E90 w/ shorter wheelbase, so have you driven one, to see that it's really that different? I have a hard time believing you'll love that when you don't love the 335i, since it's basically the same car.

I agree that it in M sport trim looks better than the E92, it looks a lot like an E46 M3 which is a classic look.

you'd probably love the 330i ZHP. I don't think I love mine though, compared to my E36. BMW has refined most of the character out of their cars, such that they're great cars, but not as easy to love as they used to be.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:26 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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I know the 1 series looks like an E46, but it's really just an E90 w/ shorter wheelbase, so have you driven one, to see that it's really that different? I have a hard time believing you'll love that when you don't love the 335i, since it's basically the same car.

I agree that it in M sport trim looks better than the E92, it looks a lot like an E46 M3 which is a classic look.

you'd probably love the 330i ZHP. I don't think I love mine though, compared to my E36. BMW has refined most of the character out of their cars, such that they're great cars, but not as easy to love as they used to be.
I think you're implying that you yourself have driven all the above, and I'm not sure I agree with you. I've driven multiple E46s, and frankly they are either as similar to my ride, or as dissimilar, as the E82 is. JMO of course. (E92s have sport susp, at least my year as standard, at least on 2wd, so I'm not comparing a stripper E90 AT loaner or something.) I can't well describe the differences, as you can see I haven't even tried really so far in this thread, but will only say that they feel different enough that I feel comfortable saying so.

When I started my first BMW hunt in earnest several years ago, (both E46s) 330i and M3 were on the radar, but even then it wasn't easy to find a stick, near me, well maintained, with low miles. Today, my guess it's a lot harder. Both time and money were considerations for me, with the maintenance of BMWs with a lot of mileage.

The E82 was too new at the time to make it worth looking for a used car, for me. So yes I was looking for relatively very low miles. I think the OP here is only looking at new, as he's obviously very aware of the E46s, just going by his posts and his handle name, but of course I'm sure you realized this too.

If the E82 is an E90 w/ shorter wheelbase, then by that logic we can call the E60/F10 an E90 as well, but with a longer wheelbase. I think the weight % differences are pretty similar between each. Well, those drive as similarly (or really, not), as well IMO, for discussion's sake. (Well, I've only driven E60 not F10, a number of E39s too I guess.)

I like the E82 in white as well! First one I ever saw was black, and now that I think about it, I think that's what set off my BMW hunt to begin with. (I've never owned black, have a gray car, but am now aware what it entails, and don't wish it on anybody!)

I never thought I'd like orange cars, but after seeing my first 1M on the road, I admit I like the Valencia orange. I think that car is the fastest M car that ever ran the Top Gear track? I've seen a "hater" here use the word "abomination", but I bet the thing must be a complete freak.

Sweetest 4 door E46 I think I've seen was Imola red, debadged and lowered (two things I can never see doing to a ride of mine), and it was SWEET. She was going slowly, just struttin' her wares. I like the ZHP in white, as well as other colors.

Anyway! I too look forward to OPs test drive impressions, as I said in my first post here. Actually, that was my first sentence now that I look.

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 08-17-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:31 PM
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I think one of the main problems with the newer 3 series, including E92 M3, are the long wheelbase - you just can't make a tossable car with a stretch limo wheelbase, so that difference by itself probably helps the 1 series feel smaller and more fun.

Are there other differences I'm not aware of though? not sure that wheelbase difference by itself is enough to make the OP love the car. Sure it looks sportier and very different, but that wears off after a year or so.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:19 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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I think one of the main problems with the newer 3 series, including E92 M3, are the long wheelbase - you just can't make a tossable car with a stretch limo wheelbase, so that difference by itself probably helps the 1 series feel smaller and more fun.

Are there other differences I'm not aware of though? not sure that wheelbase difference by itself is enough to make the OP love the car. Sure it looks sportier and very different, but that wears off after a year or so.
Yep I agree. And that's my concern-that a 135 dct isn't going to be much different to drive than a 335 step since one is basically a shorter version of the other. And you're probably right that liking the looks will fade fast. But I do think the narrower body and shorter wheelbase could make a big difference in the overall feel. I'm a bit more skeptical about whether the dct will make having an automatic any more fun then my current step with paddles. And of course the easy torque of the turbo engine will be the same for better and worse. Going to try and find one to test drive on Monday...they're getting harder and harder.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:29 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Yep I agree. And that's my concern-that a 135 dct isn't going to be much different to drive than a 335 step since one is basically a shorter version of the other. And you're probably right that liking the looks will fade fast. But I do think the narrower body and shorter wheelbase could make a big difference in the overall feel. I'm a bit more skeptical about whether the dct will make having an automatic any more fun then my current step with paddles. And of course the easy torque of the turbo engine will be the same for better and worse. Going to try and find one to test drive on Monday...they're getting harder and harder.
I hope you get an opportunity to drive an M3.
If cost is not a factor, it is a far more enjoyable car.
Your wife will not get 31 MPG but easily 22 city and 24 hy.
The car runs so predictably and is balanced.
I have a sedan which really helps it be a dd.
I have had a lot of BMWs and I like it best without question.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:01 PM
No12 No12 is offline
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Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
I hope you get an opportunity to drive an M3.
If cost is not a factor, it is a far more enjoyable car.
Your wife will not get 31 MPG but easily 22 city and 24 hy.
The car runs so predictably and is balanced.
I have a sedan which really helps it be a dd.
I have had a lot of BMWs and I like it best without question.
I've had a lot of BMWs as well (on #16 now) and I have to rank my current 135i coupe, MSport, DCT right up there with my favorites. I would likely put it above my 2009 M3 Sedan, DCT - given my current needs, and use of the car. I have said before that the lighter, faster in town, more tossable feeling of the 135i gives it a slight edge over the M3 - for my use (non-track, mostly in-town, never more than 2 in the car). I cannot see the "fun" of the 135 wearing off any time soon. I also find the fuel consumption to be FAR less than the M3, driven the same.

So, out of the 16 I have had, the 135i and the M3 are at the top of my list (which includes 3 2002s, a 3.0CS, a great early 530i and some others).

Everyone has their own likes, dislikes and opinions. There is no wrong answer here to the OPs original question of M3 vs 125i vs 335is.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:02 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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I've had a lot of BMWs as well (on #16 now) and I have to rank my current 135i coupe, MSport, DCT right up there with my favorites. I would likely put it above my 2009 M3 Sedan, DCT - given my current needs, and use of the car. I have said before that the lighter, faster in town, more tossable feeling of the 135i gives it a slight edge over the M3 - for my use (non-track, mostly in-town, never more than 2 in the car). I cannot see the "fun" of the 135 wearing off any time soon. I also find the fuel consumption to be FAR less than the M3, driven the same.

So, out of the 16 I have had, the 135i and the M3 are at the top of my list (which includes 3 2002s, a 3.0CS, a great early 530i and some others).

Everyone has their own likes, dislikes and opinions. There is no wrong answer here to the OPs original question of M3 vs 125i vs 335is.
Too bad the M1/1M were not available. Others are:
I would suggest the 991 cerrara S or at a lower price point the Boxter. The Boxter too will navigate tight turns quickly and nimbly.
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