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After reading through this I've come to one conclusion. If you think the quality of the car is not of a high enough quality for the price tag, walk away.
When I looked at my F30 M Sport the only thing I wasn't too keen on was the Dakota leather but as I paid 50% of the original list price for it at seven months old I was happy enough to part with the cash.
 

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Mr Whippy said:
RichT001 said:
marco_polo said:
This is my bugbear. I don't think the interior is particularity bad for an entry level FWD hatchback, but they're not priced like entry level hatchbacks. My M135i was £25,500 with metallic paint and a few nice options, the new ones just don't feel like £10,000 higher quality (although the seats are very nice).
One of the things with BMW is nobody ever pays list price. I've seen the discount they did on mine to get to the lease figures they've done, and already the discount is huge.
I'd be weary if everyone gets a different 'deal'... getting told price X, then buying with a deal at price Y, then finding out someone got price Z (cheaper) a month later, is a sure way to alienate me from even entering this 'market'

Yet buying AUC seems much easier. They don't move on price, and you get a competitive market price because they assess the market actively.

It's backwards really.

You used to get the deal on used. And a fixed buy price.

Now it's all on it's head.
That's exactly why I'll never buy another new BMW outright. I got 10% off my M40i as a pre reg, then a couple of months later, there were £8k dealer contributions and deposit contributions on top. There will always be a better deal than the one you get.

They're always doing different deals & discounts. Some dealers will throw more money into the deal than others, which is why you have to shop around.

I'm past getting pissed off now, but after losing over £1k a month on my last car, won't make that mistake ever again.
 

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RichT001 said:
Mr Whippy said:
RichT001 said:
One of the things with BMW is nobody ever pays list price. I've seen the discount they did on mine to get to the lease figures they've done, and already the discount is huge.
I'd be weary if everyone gets a different 'deal'... getting told price X, then buying with a deal at price Y, then finding out someone got price Z (cheaper) a month later, is a sure way to alienate me from even entering this 'market'

Yet buying AUC seems much easier. They don't move on price, and you get a competitive market price because they assess the market actively.

It's backwards really.

You used to get the deal on used. And a fixed buy price.

Now it's all on it's head.
That's exactly why I'll never buy another new BMW outright. I got 10% off my M40i as a pre reg, then a couple of months later, there were £8k dealer contributions and deposit contributions on top. There will always be a better deal than the one you get.

They're always doing different deals & discounts. Some dealers will throw more money into the deal than others, which is why you have to shop around.

I'm past getting pissed off now, but after losing over £1k a month on my last car, won't make that mistake ever again.
That's my issue too.

If you're willing to spend weeks at it, like your time is worthless, you can get better deals.

But we don't all have that time.

And being made to feel like a chump for paying through the nose isn't a good feeling to have, when you've already paid a good chunk for brand new!

It's yet another side of buying a BMW that makes the brand feel cheaper to me, not more premium or exclusive.
 

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Octavius said:
RichT001 said:
The days of BMW being exclusive are long gone, unfortunately. And if the accountants keep running the costs down to the ground, they won't even be a premium brand.
Are they still a premium brand ?????
Is the current quality significantly different to your Skoda G?
 

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Skoda has long gone Marco. F30 M Sport now and to be honest there's not much difference in build quality as the Octavia was a solid car. The interior obviously is better equipped being an M Sport but one thing that is definitely worse is the paintwork. The Skoda's must have been twice the thickness and a better finish. The auto boxes are comparable and the engines were as refined as each other after a tuning box sorted out the turbo lag. Suspension wise the Skoda was far too soft but a new set of 18 inch alloys and decent tyres made the ride much more compliant. Really the only thing that let the Skoda down was it being a Skoda. Would I hesitate to buy another ? No.
 

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Octavius said:
Skoda has long gone Marco. F30 M Sport now and to be honest there's not much difference in build quality as the Octavia was a solid car. The interior obviously is better equipped being an M Sport but one thing that is definitely worse is the paintwork. The Skoda's must have been twice the thickness and a better finish. The auto boxes are comparable and the engines were as refined as each other after a tuning box sorted out the turbo lag. Suspension wise the Skoda was far too soft but a new set of 18 inch alloys and decent tyres made the ride much more compliant. Really the only thing that let the Skoda down was it being a Skoda. Would I hesitate to buy another ? No.
The paint in my vRS was pretty bloody thin and was stone chip heaven after four years / 84k. The ride wasn't great on 18's a d was pretty crashy despite the tractor ride height. But it was a bloody great car (nicknamed the taxi); comfy, pretty refined, brisk, economical (mine had a tractor engine) bloody massive inside. It never excited me but equally it never pissed me off in four years. I used to get a lot of **** taking for driving a Skoda from mates. I nearly leased another because there were some crazy cheap deals in vRS 245 estates but I didn't want another two years in the same car.
 

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After reading/watching dozens of reviews about the F40, all gushing about the "step-up" in terms of interior quality, I'm really pleased to see some more balanced opinions coming out on this forum. I was starting to think I'd been looking at a different car to everyone else!

So far I have driven a 118i and 118d (both M-sports) on two separate occasions and whilst the driving experience was impressive, I felt that the interior quality is a signifcant step down; not only from my existing F20 but also compared to many of BMW's non-premium competitors in this segment.

The doors appear to have lost the solid "clunk" of the F20. The interior dashboard materials, whilst soft-touch, are predominently textured vinyl. The speaker grilles in the door flex when pushed lightly. There's a weird asymmetry between the (cheap feeling) "carbon fibre" trim around the air vents on either side of the cabin (i.e. there's none on the passenger side) and those silver plastic dials/switches for the central vents and AC controls look (to me) like something off a cheap 90's hi-fi. It feels like BMW have somehow attempted to keep pace with the ostentatious A-Class interior and missed the mark whilst also forgetting their talent for understated, solid, sober interiors. Maybe those are too dated now. Maybe I'm too dated now. :)

Sure, the design elements are a matter of personal taste as opposed to specific quality issues but just in terms of materials, I strongly feel that the interior quality of the F40 is on a par with my previous car (18 plate SEAT Leon). Similarly sit in the latest Mazda 3 back to back with the F40 and the BMW seems very, very average in comparison. That would be inconsequential of course, if it weren't for the nearly £10k difference price for these cars (spec for spec)!

I read one thread where someone said they soon forgot about (or got used to) the interior when changing from car to car but my opinion is the exact opposite: as a place that I spent 100% of my driving time in contact with, I want my car interior to feel solid, classy and comfortable and generally a nice place to sit in for two hours in traffic! I'll be watching with interest for their interior facelifts/refreshes in time, but I'm sad to say that I've struck the F40 off my next car list completely just on the grounds of the interior. Fortunately, I love my F20 so much I don't expect to change for a while!

Interested in others' views!?
Interesting comments! Having looked thoroughly at the new F40 and test driven a 128ti, in my opinion the quality is excellent and actually far better than even my F30 3 series. The dash and centre console feel very solid and apart from lower down in the cabin, where it’s not so important, everything looks and feels to me better than pretty much anything else I’ve looked at and certainly beats the Golf and Focus hands down. I've heard great things about Mazda interiors but haven’t actually sat in one! Maybe i just didn’t poke around enough as I was too busy enjoying the drive! I was considering an S3 but I only had to sit in one to rule that out. Audi quality has definitely plummeted since dieselgate!
 

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Interesting comments! Having looked thoroughly at the new F40 and test driven a 128ti, in my opinion the quality is excellent and actually far better than even my F30 3 series. The dash and centre console feel very solid and apart from lower down in the cabin, where it’s not so important, everything looks and feels to me better than pretty much anything else I’ve looked at and certainly beats the Golf and Focus hands down. I've heard great things about Mazda interiors but haven’t actually sat in one! Maybe i just didn’t poke around enough as I was too busy enjoying the drive! I was considering an S3 but I only had to sit in one to rule that out. Audi quality has definitely plummeted since dieselgate!
Couldn’ agree more with this 👆🏼. I think the interior quality is excellent. Similarly trumps that of my previous f30 3 series, 7.5 GTI and other cars in the segment I’ve sat in (mk8 golf, Audi A3 and A class). It’s actually what swayed me to get one! Everything feels solid, I’ve got no annoying rattles really to speak of except a bit of squeaky trim on the steering wheel that is the same wheel found in most m sport cars.
mazda interiors are nice, but, they don’t feel that solid and you get a lot of movement when you prod and poke around. But for their price bracket they are excellent.
 

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That’s an interesting topic!

Up until yesterday, I’ve been looking at and test-driving different cars to potentially change (I have a 2020 M135i). I tested a CLA 35, Alpine A110, Z4 30i, M240i (both previous and new gen) as well as an XC40. I also regularly drive a Volvo S90 and an older V8 S80.

All these test-drives made me fall in love with my M135i all over again. It just feels high value for money. The interior is perhaps not as fancy (tacky?) as the interiors you find in recent Mercedes, but it feels way more solid and I personally like the design more, it feels a bit more special. Even the buttons to control the windows feel more solid. You basically get an interior very similar to what you find in an 8 Series and everything feels rock solid. The first thing I noticed when I first tested an M135i was the sound it made when closing the door, it just feels and sounds well built. Hasn’t changed after over 47000 kms.

The main reason I wanted to change is the exhaust sound, but I can now confidently say that all the other pros of this car outweigh the (relative) lack of sound by far. And to be fair the sound is not that bad…

One thing I particularly admire in the M135i is its transmission. It’s not a ZF, but it’s 95% as good. For daily driving, the auto trans is much better (smoother) than a DCT (which you find in basically all the competitors). For sporty driving, it might be 0.01s slower than a DCT, but you can barely notice the difference.

Right now, I cannot find a car that is better value and build quality than my M135i. I use it as my daily driver (2500 kms per month) and take it for spirited drives at least once a week. For this use, it’s perfect. I haven’t tested the S3, but I definitely don’t recommend the A/CLA/GLA 35. The Golf could be an alternative but it’s just not as premium as a BMW or Audi.

I know I went a bit off topic, but it might help someone to decide whether to get/keep an M135i. Also, all the lower spec 1 Series loaners I had were great as well (same quality).


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I agree with just one point, closing doors with frameless windows will never sound as solid as doors with frames. It's not a failing it is just how frameless doors are on any car will sound...
 

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As a lowly 116d company car user for the last 2 years I have to say the quality and reliability have been excellent, no issues at all and thoroughly surprised just how much I like the car after what was a consistent hit hatch history. When the F40 first came out I wasn't a fan but time has proven that first impressions don't count for much.

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I’ve had numerous BMWs and an E91 335d touring individual was simply fantastic. Individual sound system aside (incredible), it had upgraded carpet, individual leather everywhere, inc. the whole dash, centre console, glove box, whole door cards etc etc. that alone was a £7k option at the time. It was sublime - luxury, elegance and superb build quality. I came from an Audi and the Beemer was several levels up. Since had 2 M140i 5 doors, which i considered superior to the VAG and Merc alternatives in the way they went but also preferred the cabin design and quality. Stepping in to my 2022 M135i I miss the engine and gearbox, of course. It may primarily be the XDrive but while the B48 feels very strong it can’t match the B58 of course, particularly in the mid and upper range. The F40 chassis is miles better in my experience and I’m really starting to appreciate its quality in this area.

As for cabin quality, I was initially not disappointed but not blown away either. Now I have done 2500 miles I have to say it is better in every way. Build quality is there all the controls and surfaces have the premium feel you expect from a BMW and are in my view as good as anything else in the class and definitely better than the A35 and the horrible Golf R. I can’t fault it but in particular the space is a big improvement, the seats are a huge upgrade (the alcantara is so nice) and everything feels solid and has the familiar precision in operation. The doors ‘thunk’, the ambient lighting and cabin highlights really lift it and about the only thing I suppose I miss, as a driver, is oddly the high transmission tunnel - which certainly wouldn’t be the case sitting anywhere else! Oh and the false floor in the boot I’m not sure about.

I’ve just done 220 miles and spent 2 hours crawling on the M25 and as a daily and proper hot hatch, it is, in almost every way, much, much better than the F20, which I also loved my 6 years with.
 
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As for cabin quality, I was initially not disappointed but not blown away either. Now I have done 2500 miles I have to say it is better in every way. Build quality is there all the controls and surfaces have the premium feel you expect from a BMW and are in my view as good as anything else in the class and definitely better than the A35 and the horrible Golf R.
Have you done the same miles in the A35 and Golf R as well though? Just asking.
 

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My relatively recent car journey (It does go back to RS2000's) has been A3 8P Audi Quattro and then onto MK 7/7.5 GTI (63) R (66) TCR (69)

The MK 7 series was definitely a drop down in terms of quality to the 8P A3 Quattro, which had some real quality and solidity inside the cabin. But there was a lot more of the modern features we now used to on offer, with some great deals, so made the switch. The media units in particular were quite average. Having said that, the MK 7 cabins were still a nice place to be, and by time came out to my run out GTI TCR, there was really nicely upgraded media units, and digital driver display, plus some added nice touches., like alcantara door cards. So the MK 7.5 upgrades and them added touches makes the TCR a very nice place to be.

But time to change, and wow, having seriously looked at options, including buying TCR and leasing something 'lesser' we looked in some great detail at MK 8 Clubsport, the new Polo GTI and the Audi A1 S line competition, seeing all in flesh and spending quite a bit of time with each and the overall takeaway was quality has really dropped, there is cheapening everywhere, the VW in particular, the MK 8 Clubsport still had some nice touches, but material in places was just plastic, and the GTI Polo was even worse, really did not like the cabin, looks ok aesthetically, but when start touching and moving things the lesser quality of everything is evident. Current 2nd car is a A1 S Line Black Edition 185BHP Mythos (14 Plate) and interior is so much better than the new A1, again it looks quite good aesthetically and media unit looks quality and sweeps nicely together, but you spot the cheapening everywhere, and especially (for me) the sweeping, fake metal effect feature dashboard trim.

So, was despairing, do not like any of these cars, and then the 128Ti came into view, and saw a few reviews and videos, and it seemed to stack up with experience that personally always been drawn to and why have never considered BMW previously, a front wheel, performance car.

Went to see and sit in one, and wow, the interior really blew me away, so much nicer than the MK 7x and far more reminding of the Audi A3 8P had 2008-13, there was so much to like, materials felt quality all over, and the way the tech is laid out and can be manipulated, was excellent, and as the 128Ti has some GTI aspirations, the red trim that very used to, was a nice cabin enhancement. Finally got to test drive in February and March, and 128Ti reminded me of my TCR in how performs, and in the fading light, the cabin jumped out as an even nicer place to be, the ambient lighting is nothing like experienced previously, and my wife in particular was very impressed with the fading light cabin experience.

Imagine the 135i is the same, but my R experience kept me away from that, great car, super fast and on rails, but after initial 18 months, got little bored with it, much as did for the Quattro's, and realised that enjoyed much more the GTI experience, little livelier and engaging, and if did not have to give the TCR back (makes no financial sense to keep at current inflated prices) I would keep long term, but it had to go, and had to choose a change,

So, for me, the 128Ti feels like a complete saver, as feel any change that normally would do, would feel like a downward step even if there is some more modern tech and touches to the newer models, whereas the 128Ti feels like a significant step up from at least the last 9 years, and retaining the switches, buttons and dials to manipulate the tech opposed to being forced to touchscreen, menus and haptic, is a huge, huge relief! The other kickers are that its so well specified, that only added £1000 worth of options, and price came in £3000 under price for the TCR in 2019.

Obviously those who have changed BMW regularly may feel there is some drop off/or not with the new 1 Series, but as an outside, objective view, the VAG range which is where my knowledge is, has significantly dropped quality (and the ball in tech and its issues) and the 1 Series to me, is an exciting transition, retaining all that enjoy in front wheel performance, and much, much nicer cabin experience.

As did with the R and TCR, stayed signature, so the order is
Alpine White
Boston Trim
18" (Performance Tyres)
Electric Lumbar (seems much improved from VW Lumbar, hopefully long miles validate that)
Split Folding Seats,
Sun Protection Glass,
Park Assist (mainly for camera)
Heated Steering Wheel

Intend to add a Maxton Lip Spoiler and boot liner, and that's it.
 
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