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Old 02-22-2010, 11:09 AM   #1
Mk6golfer
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GTI vs used BMW 135i?

Just wanted to get your thoughts on this. 300hp twin turbo and RWD is hard to ignore, when you could buy one used (with less than 20k miles) for the same price as a new GTI.

Anyone have experience with this car at all? Drive one? etc?
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:45 AM   #2
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When I took my BMW in for a recent service, the loaner car was a 135i. It's an awesome car. Is it better than the GTI, yes, probably. Would I trade my "tricked out" Fahrenheit for it, no (I have too much money into it).
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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I looked at the 1-series, and as new cars the pricing is all wrong. The 128 is more expensive than a GTI, but not really a better car. The 135 looks good, but for that kind of money, why not get a 3-series instead?

A used 135 for that price does make sense. Except it's ugly and isn't a hatchback.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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You have consistently talked about quality concerns for your reasons for not having purchased a GTI yet. CR and other sources say the 135i is a less reliable vehicle than the GTI. So why would you consider this car since quality is your biggest concern?

BMW is moving away from the twin turbos to single twin scroll, and I suspect it may be related to reliability issues.

I cross shopped this vehicle and the 128i before purchasing the GTI. It drives very well and has a ton of power. I liked the versatility of the hatchback (I'm a cyclist and outdoors person), I got the I-Pod interface, better radio, Xenon's, and blue tooth for a LOT less money, and my insurnace and fuel consumption are also much improved versus the BMW. I wouldn't by a used turbo car unless it was really low miles.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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its an ugly car, but damn the 135 can GO. I would take a clean example over a new GTI.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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135 will have higher long term maintenance costs, but it's a GORGEOUS car - I'd probably take it over the GTI, especially if you can get it at that cost CPO. However, I'm not sure where you're finding used ones that aren't just totally beat on for 25k, but if you've found a good, low mileage, good condition one for that - jump on that!
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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HPFP

the N54 is a good motor with a massive problem that BMW was never able to fix. the N55 hopefully addresses those issues but looses the ability to be easily tuned.


and comparing the GTI to the 135 is like looking at a grape vs an apple. the GTI has more interior space, is a hatch and is better looking imo. The nav screen looks tacky on the 1 its like an afterthought.

in the end its new vs used. who knows how the car was treated.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #8
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I'd take a 135i and a 130i over a GTI. I've ordered a GTI but only because the price difference between a GTI and 130i is 22725 USD here in Norway. They are all great cars but the 130i and 135i are better to drive in my opinion. Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
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As stated above, if reliability is of any concern than a used twin-turbo BMW 135i should absolutely out of the question. Period. I imagine that you have also been on some BMW forums and seen the issues that they are having with the car. If RWD and power is a priority, why not look into something like the Nissan 370Z or even the Hyundai Genesis V6? Or does the badge on the front matter a lot to you?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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Not knowing you all that well, I'd first ask what do you value and what are your priorities in this car purchase?

Of course, you can make all the sense you want on paper, but you still have to drive your decision once the paperwork is signed.

Once you determine what you value out of each vehicle and then figure out your priorities of those values, go drive the cars.

I'd say more times than not, the way a car drives makes up for differences in the priority-value list I mentioned.

Most do this without even realizing it.

Put it this way, once someone has narrowed down their list to what is affordable, I know very few car/driving enthusiasts that make their final decisions based on lists and numbers. Instead, they base it on how the car drives and feels.

Given you frequently post on a car forum like this, I'd say you fit the car enthusiast profile.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:07 PM   #11
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Adding to my previous post, here's my 2 cents for the two cars you've listed here...

New GTI Pros(+) / Cons(-):
+Great Bang for the Buck
+Attractive Styling (somewhat subjective)
+Drives like Cars that Cost Much More (w/great feedback)
+Brand new car (no history, no stories)
+/-Upscale Interior for its class (depending on how you approach this)
+/- Front Wheel Drive (depending on how you look at it)


Pre-owned BMW Pros(+) / Cons(-):
+More Powerful (stock vs stock)
+Better Handling/Driving Characterstics (stock vs stock)
+More features/Options
+Improved Preceived Social Status
+/- Rear Wheel Drive (depending on how you look at it)
-Higher longterm cost of ownership
-Uncertain history (wrecks/paintwork/abuse/etc)


BOTTOM LINE FOR ME:
Because cars and driving are so important to me, I find it nearly impossible to find a used car that meets my expectations and the whole risk of buying "someone else's problem" keeps me from pulling the trigger on pre-owned, no matter how many CPO checks were done.
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Last edited by MrClean; 02-22-2010 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk6golfer View Post
Just wanted to get your thoughts on this. 300hp twin turbo and RWD is hard to ignore, when you could buy one used (with less than 20k miles) for the same price as a new GTI.

Anyone have experience with this car at all? Drive one? etc?
I actually was deciding between the 3 series and GTI. And as you can tell, I went with the GTI but here was my reasoning:

0% APR vs pre owned was a nice attractive point but if money is no issue...

The BMW had a good interior, and great looks, I like both the GTI and 3 series, however, when it came down to the driving- the GTI was just more "fun" and really had some nice bells and whistles. As far as I'm concerned I feel like the GTI is just overall, a much better bang for your buck.

Both are German, so they share very common styling, and driving feel, but if you wanting a more "sporty" feel, the GTI won it over for me. The suspension is the HUGE difference when I was test driving (2007 328i and xi vs 07, 08, 09 and 2010 GTI). Your turning speeds feel tighter.

As for back seat passengers, more headroom in the gti, if that even matters.

Radio package, at least what I looked at, the GTI offered more options (in dash changer, mp3, AUX input, the data input and SD card etc)

The "social" recognition is higher I think with a BMW but, I think I like the fact I get the "whats a GTI?" from some co-workers.

Overall I think until I can pop on the $50k range for an M3, or a nice decked out 5 series, I will be choosing the GTI over the 3 series. Now my fiance...shes won on the 3 series..so in a few months, I should be able to tell you more about how each hold up! As for the 1 series styling.....

Last edited by Randum; 02-22-2010 at 02:12 PM. Reason: was thinking 3 instead of 1 series..oops
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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if we will get this car in north America , I will get this one 135

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Old 02-22-2010, 04:14 PM   #14
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if we will get this car in north America , I will get this one 135
BMW will never sell hatchbacks in North America. And the hatch 1-series is even uglier than the coupé.

Last edited by ExplodingBrain; 02-22-2010 at 04:15 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:34 PM   #15
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Lots of insightful responses here.

I only just started looking at a 135i, and dont know that much about it other than the specs of the car. The GTI is much better all around car IMO, and has much lower cost of ownership than any BMW would I assume. I was just getting some fellow GTI fans' opinions. Yes, a used 135 for the same price as a GTI may have some issues, which scares me a lot. So for now I'll stick with the GTI and maybe look at a 1 or 3-series down the road when I have a little more money to throw around. I like the GTI interior a lot better btw... I was just attracted to the RWD and 300 hp/ft-lb... not so much the perceived social status and service costs :P
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #16
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i would like one of these
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:04 PM   #17
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i would like one of these
They forgot to black out the front plate and fogs...
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:23 PM   #18
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i know.. those bastards..
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:40 PM   #19
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Lemme know where you see a "decent" used 135i for the same price as a GTI ($23,500 in my case). I can at that point kick my own ass for buying the GTI.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:01 PM   #20
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Like toady, I cross-shopped the GTI and the 128i, though the only 1-series models I got to drive were both 135is. It was ultimately a tough decision, but I'll give some of my thoughts of the subject, in case they happen to be relevant.

First off, the interiors. I found the GTI's to have a nicer look and feel to it, though both were very high quality interiors, and certainly better than anything Japanese in this price range. The seats were very comfortable in both, with maybe a barely perceptible edge to the BMW in comfort, though the GTI's looked a lot better. Premium stereo for premium stereo, the GTI has a huge lead there, which was a fairly big deal to me.

Exteriors are pretty subjective, but I like the 1-series a little more. I've never been a big hatchback fan; I'm still not, honestly. But the GTI does something for me. The 1-series does a little bit more, especially considering that it's available in coupe form. And though I realize I'm in the minority, I think the 1-series coupe looks a million times better than the current 3-series coupe (which looks friggin' huge in person, and ill-proportioned). Even with the preggers' belly of the 1, it still looks better than the 3.

The most important aspect of a car for an enthusiast is how it drives, and here's where it got weird for me. The 135i was definitely the faster car, but fun isn't always fast, and faster isn't always more fun. The GTI's chassis and suspension felt a little more playful to me, and didn't sacrifice ride comfort to do so. And this is coming from someone who's always been a huge RWD fan. I vowed that after graduating college, getting a job, and having the lease on my Impreza ending, I'd get another RWD car (my first car was a 240SX), but the GTI changed my mind here.

As for your current situation, if it were me, it wouldn't even be a decision, because I can't do used cars unless they're immaculate, and I do mean immaculate. If it were new vs. new at the same price, it'd still be a tough decision for me, even with the surplus of power in the 135i. Once you take the price differential into account, the GTI takes a huge lead in grins per dollar, in my book.

All of that said, the 1-series is my favorite of the current BMWs, by far. I wasn't even alive when the 2002 was new, but I think the 1-series will be analogous to the 2002 for my generation. I'd take a 135i with a LSD (hell, even a 128i with a LSD) over the E90 M3--and a pristine E30 M3 over both of them, hah.
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