Sorry, I can't agree with the other 128i reviewers. I bought this 2013 128i used, having previously owned a 2004 330ci for 6 years. Granted, the 330ci had Premium package and the 128i is base. But the Sensatech seats and door material on the 128i look cheap, and the black shiny plastic in place of the wood grain or titanium trim is just plain tacky. The 330ci felt like a luxury vehicle. The 128i feels like an entry-level Hyundai or something. I actually just sold a Hyundai Genesis 2.0T Premium, which had keyless entry, keyless start, universal remote, moonroof, nice trim, automatic dimming mirrors and good bolstered seats. It cost about $24k new. The base 128i has NONE of those things, and cost over $33k new. Yes, the driveability is much better than a Genesis (but noticeably worse than a 330ci). The gas mileage is worse than both of these other vehicles. Overall I'm not overly impressed with the 1 series. It feels like a step down (even with more power than the 330ci and the Genesis) and a step backwards in time. The BMW enthusiast in me wants to get rid of it as soon as possible and get a 2 series!
After coming out of a Scion FR-S, I felt the suspension in the 128i M Sport to still be too soft and sloppy (lots of roll and bounce). Car improved with a Dinan Stage 1 suspension (Konis and shorter springs). Then ditched the Goodyear Eagel Run on Flat tires for Bridgestone Potenza S-04 summer tires and now it is comfortable, sporty, and actually quieter in the cabin. Car has adequate power but could use a little more horsepower for freeway passing - I guess they could not step all over the 135i. Best part is the silky smooth Inline 6 cylinder engine without the turbo issues that plague many BMWs. Cabin and trunk are a little small, but enthusiasts actually love this chassis more than M3.
After test driving many coupes in the $30-$40K range, I drove the 128i on a whim thinking I would check it off the list and move on. After driving it however, I pulled out the checkbook. There are cars with more power and better styling, but I couldn't find any that had the combination of performance, handling and quality for the money.
Purchased this 135i in 2013. My first new BMW. I am a big time auto enthusiast and had to jump on the 135i before the electric steering came in. The 135i has been pretty reliable but there are a few issues that are worth noting, such as dash and suspension squeaks. The car drinks gas, I avg about 13mpg on NYC roads. Also the DCT has a horrible lag on initial take off, I took it to the dealer for a software update and it helped but still not satisfactory to me. The only benefit I have seen with the DCT is the lightning quick shifts which is only great at high speeds. If you won't track the car often, I suggest the regular auto over the DCT.
Great car for the young or the young at heart. Most should consider the car as a two seater with occasional back seat use for young kids. Very fast, very reliable, and very smooth running in line 6 cylinder. This BMW was my 2nd after my 1989 325is. I've always been a fan of BMW but think the company has lost its way over the last few years. This car along with the new 2 series is as close as one can get to the old E30 BMW.