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02Pilot Dork
7/26/17 10:18 a.m.

I recently came to the conclusion that my 200k-mile 2001 525i, in spite of having no debilitating issues (but a few small ones), was no longer the best option for my DD needs. After an exhaustive (and frankly exhausting) search, my new car was found, purchased, and retrieved in a short period of time last week.

It's the one on the left. 2009 128i M-Sport, 6-speed, just over 100k miles, big pile of service records from previous owners, and a few nice upgrades (notably a Bilstein/Eibach suspension). Remarkably clean and tight for an eight year old car with 100k miles.

I can't keep them all, so as much as it pains me to do it, stay tuned for a FS thread for the 525i.

chandlerGTi PowerDork
7/26/17 10:23 a.m.

Very nice!

Duke MegaDork
7/26/17 10:35 a.m.

This thread is relevant to my interests. My 2003 325i is getting long in the tooth, and needs all the things a 14-year-old E46 needs. But new BMWs scare me a bit.

That's a nice looking car, and the history is a plus. Good work!

dj06482 SuperDork
7/26/17 10:59 a.m.

Nice choice!

02Pilot Dork
7/26/17 11:13 a.m.
Duke wrote: This thread is relevant to my interests. My 2003 325i is getting long in the tooth, and needs all the things a 14-year-old E46 needs. But new BMWs scare me a bit.

Believe me, I had plenty of concerns about moving to the next generation. I spoke with several BMW techs I trust, and they gave me a lot of food for thought. Based in no small part on their advice, I really wanted to get as simple a car as I could, which pushed me to the 1-series, specifically the 128i, without iDrive or navigation. Service records are a must in my mind unless you can get it cheap enough to catch it up.

There are some compromises, and I know I'll miss some of the niceties of the E39, but I think with regular maintenance it should be reasonably reliable.

dj06482 SuperDork
7/26/17 11:31 a.m.

I think avoiding the twin turbo six is the key to reliability. There have been a bunch of threads on here recently that have led me to believe the 128i is the BMW to get. It feels like the real successor to the E36. Unfortunately, my kids are growing too fast to make one of these a viable option.

bmw88rider SuperDork
7/26/17 12:04 p.m.

Glad you finally found something especially considering the hassles with that guy down in SA.

02Pilot Dork
7/26/17 12:05 p.m.

Yep, the turbo engine is rather more trouble-prone. Finding anything bigger than the 1-series without all the electrical "conveniences" (many of which I don't find terribly convenient, even when they do work) is not easy, and the 1-series rear seat is indeed not suitable for normal-sized humans.

02Pilot Dork
7/26/17 12:06 p.m.
bmw88rider wrote: Glad you finally found something especially considering the hassles with that guy down in SA.

Yep, this car came from VT (private sale). I really would have liked to find a Southern car, but this one is very solid for a car that lived its entire life in the NE.

Ricky Spanish
Ricky Spanish Reader
7/26/17 1:12 p.m.

pricing? Been waiting for these to drop below $10,000. Awesome fun to drive.

02Pilot Dork
7/26/17 1:16 p.m.
Ricky Spanish wrote: pricing? Been waiting for these to drop below $10,000. Awesome fun to drive.

They can be found. This one was under the 10k threshold; I considered it quite a good deal. Most dealer sales were over the threshold, from a little to a lot.

JBasham Reader
7/26/17 5:36 p.m.


2002maniac Dork
7/26/17 5:44 p.m.

Awesome! I love the Golf 02 as well.

Vigo UltimaDork
7/26/17 6:03 p.m.
the hassles with that guy down in SA

(not Vigo)

Just had to clarify.

Oh yeah, congrats!

Dr Ribs Revere
Dr Ribs Revere Reader
7/26/17 9:28 p.m.

Congrats on the purchase. Glad to hear you found one nearby!

drdisque HalfDork
7/27/17 3:30 p.m.

Congrats, 128i M-sports with a manual don't exactly grow on trees.

02Pilot Dork
7/27/17 4:11 p.m.

Thanks, folks. It's a little strange moving to a considerably smaller car than my E39, but I'm sure that's temporary. It's a lot of fun to drive, that's for sure.

What I found when looking was that 128i manuals weren't all that common (a few dozen for sale nationwide), and the M-Sports were quite rare (regular sports package cars were a little more common). I wasn't setting out to find an M-Sport, but I'm glad I did: the steering wheel and seats are fantastic, and I like the look of the body kit as well.

cdowd HalfDork
7/27/17 8:47 p.m.

That is a cool find!

Mitchell UberDork
7/27/17 9:32 p.m.

I was cross shopping the 128 when with the Miata. As you said, finding a manual 128 was very difficult; there wasn't a single one CPO in SoCal when I was looking at the time. Manual Miata's were all over the place.

02Pilot Dork
7/27/17 9:40 p.m.

Miata was on my radar too. I drove a nice NC, and while I liked the way it drove, it just felt too small as a DD. I might have been able to live with it, but I didn't really want a soft top either, and finding a good PRHT manual wasn't too easy (and still felt like a compromise). The 1-series is usefully larger, and the coupe body feels much more likely to work for me as a long-term DD (with a 60-mile round trip commute).

Mitchell UberDork
7/27/17 9:58 p.m.

The NC is definitely a compromise, though I have been able to adapt. I was hesitant about having a soft top at first, but it has not been an issue. Plus, flipping the top back is great.

I had a 6'4" coworker in the car today, and it was definitely a clown car experience for him.

Byrneon27 New Reader
7/27/17 10:51 p.m.

No need to be scared of modernish 1/3 series. My 335i sees sales rep duty to this day (unless I'm moody and need some Miata/neon time) over 130k still going strong. Drivebelt, coil, waterpump, HPFP, and injector replacements are all annoying but the cars are sooooooooo good you end up not caring. Just about anything is doable by a competent DIYer with some time. Most of the issues have been hammered out by BMW or the aftermarket at this point. The astonished look of the average Mustang driver as you uh let's say out merge them is worth any quirk the car may have.

thedanimal Reader
7/28/17 7:16 a.m.

Nice score! I love the 135 with the M goodies. The 6 speed feels perfect on those cars.

JtspellS SuperDork
7/28/17 8:21 a.m.

This was on the radar when I got the RX8, too expensive at the time but still love these, with the stripping of the protege these might still be an option for a DD.......

Hope many trouble free miles for you!

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) Reader
7/28/17 11:12 a.m.

Score! Nice looking car, enjoy!

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