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      08-16-2011, 03:57 PM   #1
BenDiem
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128i or 328ic or VW GTI or Volvo C30 or Audi A3

I hate to do it to ya, but I'm just looking for opinions/suggestions/comments...

I'm looking to add a small/fun sporty (reasonably quick) pocket rocket to my stable as a quasi-DD. I don't have kids, so no need/want for four doors. What would you buy for a budget set for no more than $40k - $42k MSRP?

Pros/Cons:

1. Issues I'm considering: Bimmers are RWD, while the non-BMWs identified above are FWD, which is arguably better/safer in inclement weather...

2. I'm in the market for a Beemer Motorcycle, so it would be cool to have three BMWs in the garage...

3. All of the vehicles listed above are similar, yet they are quite different. They are all small pocket rockets > check; however, the Bimmers are naturally aspirated and the non-Bimmers are turbocharged... unless I opt for the 135i. Can I reasonably spec out a 135i in the same price point???

4. Would I regret getting a 128i over the 328ic? This weighs heavy on me.

Tks in advance,

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      08-16-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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Why the 128/328? The 135i fits right into your budget and I love mine as a DD. It's also a fucking beast in the snow with a solid set of snow tires and some 17" wheels. I got a very loaded 135i for $43k but there have been a few hikes since then.
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      08-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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You could get a GTI Autobahn for about $30-31K which will be loaded - nav, the works. Spend $600 on a flash (AWE, APR, GIAC etc) and you will have 250HP which makes the car very interesting.

But then I'm biased.
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      08-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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128i & 328i - both a nice DD but expect nothing more than that. DD with nice handling than your average. expect to get about 25mpg as well combined. some here on the forum have complained about the "lagging" response and slowness of them gets tiring. what i like the most about BMW is steering feel, the steering wheel it self... better if opted for the beefier m wheel. its considered heavy... but its to my liking and i think people need to get used to it.

c30 - nice looking car outside, bit bland on the inside. too "simple" for my taste. "old tech" meaning only 5 speed auto gear box. havent seen or tried a manual gear box. T5 doesnt perform as well as they ought to. expect about 20 mpg combined. car is heavy... steering feel is bland... feels like driving a heavy sedan.

GTI - nice car for the buck. but material seems bit cheaper feeling than BMW or Audi. love the 2.0T and DSG or 6 speed manual. 30 mpg combined. i dont think you can go wrong with VW/AUDI 2.0T engines when considering FI. steering feels way too light and easy for my tastes liking and the overall car seems light and nimble. easy to toss around. you can probably deck it out with the price you would be paying for a A3 premium.

A3 - nice but considering that GTI is practically the same other than its shell... it seems a bit overpriced GTI when compared. not a fan of the interior that is from the older audi TT... and the sport seats are terrible as a DD, but work great for sport seats. DSG and 6 speed is exactly same as GTI. audi A3 seems bit more costly to maintain than GTI... guess due to the brand. performance seems to be on par with each other though. steering is also light as well... steering wheel it self is better design than GTI but the sport suspension is way too harsh on rough roads, such as roads in chicago... and 18s dont help that either.
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      08-16-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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I got a 128i instead of a GTI. The reason being, the GTI was FWD and handling of course felt worse. Stock for stock, the 128i is faster as well(about a second faster 0-60)

If you get a 128i/328i, get it in manual. I have AT, and it feels laggy, althogh you can get a powerbox to fix it.

My brothers wife had a C30, great car, but had a lot of problems(electrical) and he traded it in.
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      08-16-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
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I've never driven a C30 but I've been in love with them since they first came out. That rear glass is just so damn P1800ES.
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      08-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMD View Post
You could get a GTI Autobahn for about $30-31K which will be loaded - nav, the works. Spend $600 on a flash (AWE, APR, GIAC etc) and you will have 250HP which makes the car very interesting.

But then I'm biased.
agreed. I have the 2011 GTI/DSG/4dr/sunroof/upgraded stereo. MSRP $29k, selling price 27k, leased.

Amazing daily. Way more fun than a 128/328. Much more room with the hatchback. Plaid interior is really nice, and the interior dash, steering wheel; etc is better quality and looks nicer than any bmw under a 5 series.

Also gr8 in snow! No need to buy separate winter tires. All weathers r gr8 on em. Get the wheel & tire insurance though. Low profiles on the gti get bubbles all the time! (NY roads suck too). Mileage: i average 27 mpg with 50/50 city/highway driving.
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      08-16-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenkirby21 View Post
I got a 128i instead of a GTI. The reason being, the GTI was FWD and handling of course felt worse. Stock for stock, the 128i is faster as well(about a second faster 0-60)
I disagree. The GTI to me def. feels like it handles better than the 128 + better mileage + more room + better in snow + $600 chip makes it faster than the 128 + cheaper overall. Also includes 3 yr/36k miles maintenance.
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      08-16-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by krnboy817 View Post
GTI - but material seems bit cheaper feeling than BMW or Audi.
Really? i actually love the gti interior. I think IMHO the dash is much nicer than any 1 series/3 series. The 1 & 3 series has the basically the same dash since the e46, esp. with out nav.
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      08-16-2011, 10:54 PM   #10
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My GTI interior and dash is on par with my three except of course, I don't have leather and wood in the GTI although leather is avail. The dash and steering wheel controls are exceptional and at night, the red backlighting is way awesome.

The GTI handles great and is much more fun to drive than a non ZSP three. Never driven a 128 so I don't know. My 335 has ZSP BTW

If I baby it, I can get almost 30mpg out of it. If I thrash it around it drops to 20.

Some pics: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...34427ae&type=1

Actually, the R comes out this year and will still be within your budget. Haldex AWD and about 260HP.
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      08-17-2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.hasan546 View Post
I disagree. The GTI to me def. feels like it handles better than the 128 + better mileage + more room + better in snow + $600 chip makes it faster than the 128 + cheaper overall. Also includes 3 yr/36k miles maintenance.
torque steer? that and the squishy brakes didn't make me like it.

Of course, I love the GTI as a car and what it represnets. wasnt even planning on getting a 128i. The interior is amazing(on GTI). I am waiting for golf R It is the best bang for your buck
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      08-17-2011, 12:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenkirby21 View Post
torque steer? that and the squishy brakes didn't make me like it.

Of course, I love the GTI as a car and what it represnets. wasnt even planning on getting a 128i. The interior is amazing(on GTI). I am waiting for golf R It is the best bang for your buck
agreed. Golf R might be the next DD after the gti lease is over
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      08-17-2011, 03:44 AM   #13
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it depend what you need. if you still single i suggest you to buy VW Golf Gti; but if you have a family i suggest you to get BMW 328iC coz this 2 have a better performance than the other
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      08-17-2011, 05:15 AM   #14
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I am a bit biased towards the 128i, but definitely buy it with the sport package and manual transmission. It really is fun (and most of the ones listed will be too) because you can really push it and not be doing anything too crazy. In the 135i, you get into crazy territory rather quickly.

I autocrossed mine and it did quite well, often times beating 135's (of course the driver plays a large role). All I had was better tires. Here a few picture from a local BMW-CCA driving skills school... also fun.







I will agree that it could use more torque, and if it had the 3.0si engine, it would really be exceptional.

My brother has an 07 GTi and has really enjoyed it. I would consider getting a GTi if I wanted a hatchback.

The Golf R will probably be a great car too, so if you can wait it out, it may be the perfect option.
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      08-17-2011, 06:29 AM   #15
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^^^ All great posts and great feedback. I will take it all into consideration. I'm impressed that several of you like the GTI.

Considering all of the posts thus far, I'm leaning toward a 128i w/M sport pkg, with the Audi A3 & the GTI following close behind. I suppose I am a little brand loyal. I sort of want a Bimmer, but the Audi/GTI are impressive, especially given their lower price point, and their FWD benefits in snow.

I will drop my price point to less than $40k, so the 135i will lose out.

The C30 is out.

I will wait until Feb. 2012 to order a car to my specs. This will be the first car that I will order spec'd out the way i want it... This will be fun!

Thanks all for your valuable input.

Cheers,

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      08-17-2011, 09:12 AM   #16
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I think you got it right. Not hatin' on the GTI- it is a great little car for the $- actually came pretty close to buying one (twice), but 128 with sport package and manual is more refined and more fun. Clutch, and gearbox are no comparison and you can't wag the tail with the throttle with a FWD car. As for snow- either way (FWD or RWD) winter tires are not optional IMO- get them on and you should be totally fine and be able to have way more fun then too...good luck. Also should be more reliable (no issues here) and you don't have to worry about maint. for the first 4/50 of course. Oh, as for 328ci- it is more elegant, but its: heavier, less agile, more common, and significantly more $ for not much more than looks and 1" of rear leg room. I prefer the intimacy of the 1's interior.
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      08-17-2011, 09:30 AM   #17
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GTi.
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      08-17-2011, 09:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monterra View Post
I think you got it right. Not hatin' on the GTI- it is a great little car for the $- actually came pretty close to buying one (twice), but 128 with sport package and manual is more refined and more fun. Clutch, and gearbox are no comparison and you can't wag the tail with the throttle with a FWD car. As for snow- either way (FWD or RWD) winter tires are not optional IMO- get them on and you should be totally fine and be able to have way more fun then too...good luck. Also should be more reliable (no issues here) and you don't have to worry about maint. for the first 4/50 of course. Oh, as for 328ci- it is more elegant, but its: heavier, less agile, more common, and significantly more $ for not much more than looks and 1" of rear leg room. I prefer the intimacy of the 1's interior.
^^^ Spot on. I agree w/your comparo w/the 328ic too. I also prefer the 1 series interior to the 3 series interior.

Boy oh boy, that GTI is still talking to me too, though. Aargh!

Decisions, decisions! I believe my waiting until next year will allow me to stew over this some more, too - lol...

Cheers,

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      08-17-2011, 09:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDiem View Post
^^^ All great posts and great feedback. I will take it all into consideration. I'm impressed that several of you like the GTI.

Considering all of the posts thus far, I'm leaning toward a 128i w/M sport pkg, with the Audi A3 & the GTI following close behind. I suppose I am a little brand loyal. I sort of want a Bimmer, but the Audi/GTI are impressive, especially given their lower price point, and their FWD benefits in snow.

I will drop my price point to less than $40k, so the 135i will lose out.

The C30 is out.

I will wait until Feb. 2012 to order a car to my specs. This will be the first car that I will order spec'd out the way i want it... This will be fun!

Thanks all for your valuable input.

Cheers,

BB
I agree with the above about forgetting the 328ci. The only valid reason to get one would be if you really can't stand the looks of the 128i. The 128i will almost certainly be more fun because it weighs less (and has a shorter wheel base?).

If you are waiting until early 2012, definitely give some consideration to the Golf R. It should be out in early 2012 if all goes to plan:


It is supposed to be much better and more balanced than the previous R32 model.

You could also get a Subaru WRX Sti (even a regular WRX) for under $40 if you want a really sporty DD. It wouldn't be as upscale, but very fun.

Another interesting possibility would be the 2012 Ford Focus ST, but it probably won't be out until mid-2012.


... and if you want to go a bit lower-class, the Mazdaspeed3 is always a fun, FWD pocket rocket.
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      08-17-2011, 10:56 AM   #20
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      08-17-2011, 11:26 AM   #21
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I recently picked up a GTI as a daily driver and have been happy thus far. Sure, it isn't as refined and the seats aren't as nice as a BMW but that is why it is 25K instead of 35K+. The GTI is fun to drive, gets decent gas mileage and is very easy to parallel park. Like others have said, some minor mods and the GTI turns into a different car.

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      08-17-2011, 08:08 PM   #22
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I say go for the GTI. Has a mkv GTI before my m coupe and I loved it. The 2.0t is a great engine and a good deal more power can be added via an ecu tune if desired. The interior is top notch for its price range and even rivals cars $10+k more imo.
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