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2008 BMW 128i ConvertibleMost of my regular readers know how I feel about BMWs. (If you don't, read the beginning of my 2008 BMW M3 test drive.) It's not the cars I have a problem with -- it's the image. And the people who own them. Not so much the people themselves, but the way they... (Stop, Aaron. Breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. That's it. Calm.)

So, anyway, yeah, it's tough for me to get excited about a BMW. But I loved this little 1-series. Just loved it. It wasn't like the M3, a car whose utter brilliance simply can't be ignored. No, this car just felt right to me. It reminded me of the Volkswagen Jetta SE I reviewed a few months back -- it was as if BMW knew about all my objections and designed the 128i convertible with the specific intent of winning me over.

Now, I've heard some complaints about the price of the 1-series, specifically that it's a smaller car than the 3-series, yet it costs (and weighs) almost as much. To which I say -- so what? When it comes to cars, bigger is not necessarily better. And in the case of the 1-series, smaller is just awesome. Get the full story in my 2008 BMW 128i Convertible test drive. -- Aaron Gold

Photo © Aaron Gold

Comments
August 4, 2008 at 3:34 am
(1) John Matras - carbuzzard.com says:

It’s always unfair to pick out one sentence our of an article to comment on, but the comparison to the Miata is interesting. I’ve recently reviewed both and I put them in different camps altogether. The Miata is a sports car, the BMW a convertible, and it’s more than just hte number of seats.

When BMW introduced the 3-Series convertible the most pointedly made the point (I’m getting to the point, really) that the convertible was tuned differently from the 3-series coupe. The customer for the two would be different. Ditto the 1-Series convertible.

If it’s a BMW sports car you want, there’s the Z4. And that’s where the comparison should be made with the Miata. Although it’s also a good jumping off place for a discussion of buying topless within the BMW brand.

So if the 128i (and this applies especially more to the 128i than then the 135i) doesn’t compete with sports cars, what are the cross-shopping choices? I see the Mercedes CLK, Saab 9-3 Convertible and Volvo C70, all having the Euro convertiblocity, in spirit if not in price (which at the lower price range I’d pop in the VW Eos, if only to get some dander up in certain folks…and you know who you are).

August 4, 2008 at 9:24 am
(2) Scott says:

Ok. Awesome! My dad is currently saving to buy a convertible and the 128i is on our list. Although the 128i will really have to compete well against the VW Eos, Ford Mustang, Volvo C70, Pontiac G6, and the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro(and yes, I know what the new convertible production model looks like). And we just spent a week in the mustang V6 pony package convertible. we liked it. And whatever convertible we get, My mom is gonna test it too as it would eventually take over as the second family car.

August 6, 2008 at 7:42 pm
(3) J Kyle says:

I feel somewhat similarly to Aaron about BMWs… though for me, it’s not the owners, it’s that the cars seem just a bit too antiseptic for me. Some time spent in a 3-series also shocked me at how small they are inside.

That being said… the 1-series is the first BMW I might actually consider putting in my garage.

Well, if it weighed less. And cost less. But really, other than that, it seems to be quite the package – I’d have to go for the 135i, of course.

August 6, 2008 at 9:06 pm
(4) Ben says:

Interesting about the owners, there are a ton of them here in the DC area, but they dont seem to stand out. I know the majority of them are just driving a badge and dont care how the car drives, but I dont really care. I am sure 128i is a great car, I think people have an issue with BMW saying they are returning to their smaller roots, but delivering a car that is not that much smaller (weight wise) than a 3 series.

August 8, 2008 at 6:59 pm
(5) hawaiian don says:

I like the concept and execution of this car except for the very mundane styling. The 3 series oozes understated style and a sense of speed. This model is boxy and kind of boring to me. Nothing here stirs my soul.

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