Awhile ago I had posted that I wasn’t really too sure how I felt about my 128i:
So I guess I never really decided how I felt about my 128i. I have never been really sure if I liked it or if it was just a car to sit at the yard so my M3 didn’t. I think my 328i has answered that question for me.
So yeah I had two cars so I could keep the M3 safely tucked away in the garage on days on. My explorer died on the highway and two weeks later I was moving to San Antonio. I didn’t want to have to take the M3 and let it sit in the yard in Alice Texas, meaning the explorer would be getting replaced.
Basically I had been casually browsing cars for sale and was thinking a mid-November timeline to actually buy something. Risk driving the Explorer and worse comes to worse, take the M3 to work. I didn’t follow though with this plan because there is this 128i at the BMW dealer in Corpus Christi for 16k. 3.5 year old BMW with just under 50k on it? That sounds perfect. So basically I bought it on an impulse. I wanted a better second car and it was cheap.
The first indication of how much I liked it happened on the day I got it. I went for a joyride, in the M3. I didn’t take my new to me BMW, I took the car I’d had for over a year.
I bought the 128i on a Saturday, and moved to San Antonio the next Monday. I was on furlough at the time, and when I returned to work I found out that not only did we have a new client we also had a few new members of the crew; a supervisor and two operators from San Antonio. Since they lived there, and the supervisor had a work truck, I was able to leave with them to go to the field; I didn’t have to drive to Alice.
This meant the 128i saw a lot less miles than I had originally anticipated. As a result, I got bored with it I never drove it on days off, basically all I did was drive to the yard and back. It had one fatal flaw:
Autos are fine, in most cases there is nothing wrong with an auto. However, a small BMW should be a stick. This is not about how manuals are better, this is about how I prefer a stick. It’s that simple.
Then I got laid off, and subsequently took my 128i on a trip back to GA. I put 3500 miles on it in a month and that’s when I started to change my opinion about it. I started to really like it. Maybe it’s because I was using the car like I thought would be.
Part of the trip was a visit to my sister in Savannah. I picked her up from where she works and the first thing she said to me when she got in the car was “Oh, I’m surprised it’s not a stick.” That’s when I knew for sure I should have gotten a stick. I don’t talk cars with my sister and yes she still knows me well enough to know that I have a thing for stick BMWs.
Upon my return to Texas, it was time to sell the 128i. I didn’t really think twice about it. While that sucked, it was the right thing to do. (Holy shit, I’ve been unemployed for almost a year. I start my new job on Monday) I didn’t really feel like I had to do everything in my power to keep it, it was well I’ll get another BMW when I have a new job.
So now that I have a job, I decided to disregard most of your suggestions and found this 2009 M-Sport 328i coupe with a stick.
I love it. I haven’t even driven the M3 since I’ve had it. I put 80 miles on it today just driving around. Despite the USB/Aux input not working, I love it. It is a fantastic car. This car has made me happier than the 128i ever did.
That made me reflect on the 128i a little, and it made me realize my feelings for the 128i. It was a great little car, and while I enjoyed driving it, it was just a car. It was nothing really special; however, had it been a stick I probably would have kept it. I would have put the M3 in storage and driven it around no problem while I looked for another job. Alas no, I sold it because it lacked one of these:
Also, if you’re looking for a sub 20k coupe, look for a 328i I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
So in conclusion, the 128i a great car made not great by the transmission choice.