It really isn’t hard to decide between my three cars which is the best, but if you really want to know you can read about it here. So I’m going to talk about a car I’m still not sure how I feel about, my 128i.
I guess the logical part to start with is why I bought it in the first place. Well, I had been thinking about a second car for awhile and had pretty much decided I either wanted another BMW or a Benz. I was leaning toward a C300 or C250, mainly because I already had one BMW might as well get something different. I had gone to test drive a 2012 C250 and the salesman there were more interested in talking about the M3 than they were in trying to sell me the 2012 C250 I test drove.
At the time, I was working as a field engineer for an oil field service company so I was doing alright finically and I could afford to get something nice. I planned on keeping the M3 for a long time, so I should get something nice I can drive everyday since I won’t be in the field forever. I was basically just browsing and looking at cars under $25k, although I’d preferred to be right around 18k or so, that seemed to be the sweet spot. I was also moving from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, and at the time was thinking I was going to have to drive back and for from San Antonio to Alice, about a 140 mile one way trip, so I figured I should get a decent highway car.
I had been casually car shopping since mid 2015, and was thinking about buying sometime in late 2015, then it all changed. It’s Thursday night and I’m in San Antonio working at our office and I get a call from my boss, first thing that goes through my head is oh shit I’m getting transferred to Saudi Arabia. It’s not that bad, I’m just getting 3 weeks unpaid furlough. He’s like you don’t have to work tomorrow, just go to Alice tomorrow for the meeting. On the way home, my 1997 Explorer dies on me. It does restart, but I can’t trust this to get me from San Antonio to Alice. I either need to spend a bunch of money on it or just buy a new car.
Since I don’t have to work for 3 weeks, I make a trip home. I’m sitting on my parents porch with my laptop doing some car shopping, when I visit the BMW of Corpus Christi webpage and I see this 128i that I had test driven back in July that was listed for 22k. But now it’s $16k.
I flew back to Corpus one weekend to move my stuff to San Antonio, like I had planned. I also stopped by the BMW dealer and bought the 128i. Yes while on furlough making no money I bought a car. I make great decisions.
I had a week of vacation after my three weeks of furlough, I already had that planned and it was homecoming, so I wasn’t going to go back to work and sit around when I could get paid and chill in GA. So instead of parking a 1997 Explorer in the airport, I parked my newly acquired 128i.
Once I got back from my month away from work, I learned we had a meeting in Alice on Monday. So I loaded up in the 128i and drove to Alice. When I got there they were like we’ve got a new client, but they don’t want to start for a couple of weeks so you’re having yard days in the San Antonio yard. Great, you could have told me that over the phone and I could have slept in and not gotten up at 3 AM. The good news was that because I now lived there, I would be able to go home every day instead of back to the hotel with the rest of the crew.
Upon my arrival, I found out that a supervisor from San Antonio would be assigned to my crew. This was a game changer. I would no longer have to drive to Alice to meet up with my crew, the 128i would be seeing a lot less highway miles then I thought, also meant I didn’t have to wake up at 1AM on the morning of my first day back to drive to the yard.
Because I didn’t end up using the 1 as I thought, I never really fell in love with it. On my days off, I never struggled with the choice of which BMW am I going to drive, it was where are the keys to the M3. It was just sort of another car, I didn’t even like it as much as my explorer. I think that was because the explorer was my first car and I had formed an emotional attachment to it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked driving it and it did drive fantastic, but I never fell in love with it. I think if it was a stick, I would have liked it much more.
Since I didn’t do as much driving in it, I started looking for something else. I drove a 335d and an AMG. I
rambled on wrote about the AMG in a previous post. The real reason I didn’t get it was because I was at a crossroads in my job, I had to decide if I wanted to stay and work my ass off for my next promotion or hand in my resignation in September. I had decided if I was going to stay and get that promotion then I would have rewarded myself with an AMG.
However before any of that could materialize, I got laid off.
That’s the part of this story where everything changed. I used to work a lot. I worked in the oil field and worked a 6 on 3 off schedule, 2.5 days if you got off of nights. Try enjoying your days off when you get home at 9 AM and you’ve been up since 3 PM, it’s not easy. So I figured I needed to take a trip and see my friends. I had a choice I could take the M3, or I could take my 128i. The answer was obvious, as my calc 1 prof would say when getting half way through a really advanced proof, I was taking the 128i.
During this month long trip I drove from San Antonio Texas to Roswell Georgia, stopping in Tuscaloosa Alabama along the way. I also made trips up to Greenville South Carolina, Rabun County Georgia, and Savannah Georgia. Put 3500 miles on it and even made it onto google streetview.
I also think I kinda fell in love with the car during the trip. I didn’t have the choice between the M3 and the 128i, but I wasn’t thinking I hate this car I can’t wait to get back to my M3. It preformed excellently on the highway, it got between 28-30 mpg even with the way I drive. It also handled the 800 mile trip between San Antonio and Tuscaloosa no problem. I wasn’t even that tired on the end of the trip; it did need lumbar support, that was one option that wasn’t selected.
Despite the fact I liked the 128i, I was unemployed and since it wasn’t my dream car, I had to sell it. That was a pain in the ass, I had to sell it to Beepi, since no one else wanted it.
Here’s where we come to another point. While I was trying to sell it, I hardly ever drove it at all. The month it was listed for sale I put all of 90 miles on it. Beepi said I could put 1200 miles on it, but I hardly ever drove it. I always took the M3, the only exception was when I went to the junkyard with my friend; we took the 1.
Looking back I’m not really sure how I feel about it. Did I just want something different because I could afford something like a C63 or would I have liked it a lot more with a manual. I find myself looking at 1's again for
when if I get another job as a second car. I’m not DDing the M3, it’s going to cost too much, plus I want a car I have no problem putting 400 miles on in a weekend. So I guess I’ll find out how much I liked it if I end up seriously thinking about another one.