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      04-09-2020, 09:08 PM   #1
m1jen
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Smile 128i 6MT vs. Ford Fiesta ST

Need a car pretty quick and I'm shopping between the two. Both are around the same price and around the same miles (90k). Due to the coronavirus happenings and the fact the cars are 6 hours apart, I can't test drive both.

BMW Pros
- Silky smooth inline 6
- Great sounding engine
- Good looks, laguna blue paint is fantastic
- More comfortable

Fiesta ST Pros
- Probably more fun
- Lower running costs
- Way better mpg
- Recaro seats baby

My biggest hang up right now is that the 128i 6MT is just going to feel like a 230hp meh machine with a stick. I want something that's going to be a little fun on my daily commute. Do people consider the 1-series a FUN car to drive or is it more of a collection of things?

Hope this all makes sense. Either way, have to buy one or the other tomorrow.
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      04-09-2020, 09:15 PM   #2
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I feel like the 128i is still going to be the more engaging car because of its rwd chassis, plus more luxurious as a daily driver. If it were the 120i I would say fiesta though.
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      04-09-2020, 09:47 PM   #3
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isn't that a gamble not having car inspected by a qualified tech first ?

have you browsed through the 1-series section ?

I guess if cheap enough and willing to gamble.

anyway I find the 1-series a great looking car and I though the short wheelbase gave the car a rather pep personality.

Does the Fiesta have a reputation for poor quality ?
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      04-09-2020, 09:58 PM   #4
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128i.

i've driven the Fiesta ST. fun car....but still too 'modern' for me.

230hp is nothing to sneeze at. If anything cars with lesser power and great handling, steering, and balance are MORE fun.

several years ago i was in the market for a 'fun' commuter car and bought a 1M. Was worth every penny. ALWAYS buy a fun commuter car. Both of these will be fun!
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      04-09-2020, 10:02 PM   #5
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I think I’d rather compare a 228i M Sport 6mt to a Fiesta ST or more likely a Focus RS.
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      04-09-2020, 11:10 PM   #6
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Fiesta ST. Lots more aftermarket support. Lighter, smaller, hatch and four doors. We had a 135i and it needed a lot of suspension help and an LSD to even begin to feel composed.
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      04-09-2020, 11:59 PM   #7
m1jen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Fiesta ST. Lots more aftermarket support. Lighter, smaller, hatch and four doors. We had a 135i and it needed a lot of suspension help and an LSD to even begin to feel composed.
Yeesh. So you're pretty much saying a base 128i isn't going to be a fun car to toss around?
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      04-10-2020, 01:36 AM   #8
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Probably ST, for me, if your emphasis is on entertainment while driving. Also MPG for your commute. They're fun cars to drive, no doubt! But they're not as 'nice' as the BMW for cruising, or comfort. That said, if the 128i has HPAS not EPAS, it will probably have much nicer steering feel - for me that's a big deal.
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      04-10-2020, 07:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1jen View Post
Need a car pretty quick and I'm shopping between the two. Both are around the same price and around the same miles (90k). Due to the coronavirus happenings and the fact the cars are 6 hours apart, I can't test drive both.

BMW Pros
- Silky smooth inline 6
- Great sounding engine
- Good looks, laguna blue paint is fantastic
- More comfortable

Fiesta ST Pros
- Probably more fun
- Lower running costs
- Way better mpg
- Recaro seats baby

My biggest hang up right now is that the 128i 6MT is just going to feel like a 230hp meh machine with a stick. I want something that's going to be a little fun on my daily commute. Do people consider the 1-series a FUN car to drive or is it more of a collection of things?

Hope this all makes sense. Either way, have to buy one or the other tomorrow.
128i is detuned from the factory but you can convert it easily to 330i+ specs and the car wakes up. Don't look at hp only. This is a light short wheebase car with the lightest I6 produced that is very robust. The car will last 300k mi if properly maintained. The interior layout and the feel of controls is superior to st.

ST's interior is a no go for me. It feels cheap and chintzy no matter the seats (you can put Recaros in 128). It is probably more economical to own but not sure if it as durable as 128.

I think 128i is a gem that will deliver smiles over the long term. It's like a girl that you want to have fun with for 2-3 mo vs the one that you start thinking about ltr.

GL
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      04-10-2020, 07:38 AM   #10
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My brother has an ST and it rips! Mods include chip, downpipe/exhaust, suspension with decent coilovers and a bunch of smaller incremental mods that we do(cai etc)...

My e90(ya ya not a 128i) has a ton of suspension(bils, M# arms, all bushings including eng, trans and SF) headers, chip, 3 stage IM, and a bunch of smaller mods...

I would not ever consider the ST over the e90. I could see myself owning one, but not as a direct replacement. A lot of time and money was spent getting my car just right in the handling dept, and I think that sort of balance the chassis offers is exactly what I want out of a car. For me, at least, a FWD(or even AWD) chassis will never meet my expectations.

Ask my brother and he will say the exact same thing about his car. LOL.

Throw everything I have done to an e82, and you would have one helluva car.
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      04-10-2020, 07:54 AM   #11
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2016 BMW M235i  [0.00]
RWD > FWD.
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      04-10-2020, 10:25 AM   #12
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let us know what you pick. it really depends on your use. I had driven a Fiesta ST a few years ago and it is fun, but i ended up picking an FRS over it.

If you're just using it around town i'd go with the Fiesta. Its zippy and engaging. And like 600 pounds lighter than the 1-series.

If you're going to do any sort of highway commuting get the 128.
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      04-10-2020, 10:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
let us know what you pick. it really depends on your use. I had driven a Fiesta ST a few years ago and it is fun, but i ended up picking an FRS over it.

If you're just using it around town i'd go with the Fiesta. Its zippy and engaging. And like 600 pounds lighter than the 1-series.

If you're going to do any sort of highway commuting get the 128.
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      04-10-2020, 10:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyFSU View Post
RWD > FWD.
Hardly. Bad suspension, artificially heavy steering, no lsd, and heavy rwd is not as good as a well sorted fwd chassis. If rwd was truly awesome, Caprices and Crown Vics would still be around.

Our 135i was bad at power oversteer, understeered worse than most fwd cars I've owned and rode like it should pull 1.15g but had surprisingly low limits. A 128i has almost no tuning potential, has little brakes and isn't enough lighter to magically cross into the tossable range.

Every time we had a loaner E90 I regretted the 1er. It was so much better sorted. Suspension had some rebound control, steering was lighter and had better feedback and just the little change in wheelbase made it feel much more composed. Just swapping in the E90 control arms and adding an LSD made the 1M 1,000 times better than the regular 1er.
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      04-10-2020, 11:06 AM   #15
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Chiming in and probably a little biased but the 128i is nothing to sneeze at. They are horrendously overlooked by "enthusiasts" who see a "1" in the front of the model and dismiss it. The E82 chassis is excellent for quite a few reasons but mainly how many parts translate over directly from the E9X chassis. Will mean its well supported for the years to come and lightly used parts can be had easily.

IF you are going to buy a 128i, please hold out for at least the Sport package. It makes a huge difference in both your comfort and the daily enjoy-ability of the car. If you're really picky about bits and pieces, theres a 2013 M-Sport 6MT 128i listed in the 1Addicts classifieds for a pretty reasonable price, considering how rare they are to come by. You could likely save a few grand for a normal Sport model thats a hair older but it won't be as desirable later down the road.

And as far as mileage goes, yes, the NAi6 will be less efficient but my MPG readings have been in the 28-30 MPG when I treat it well. It doesn't always calculate the same but its not too far off.

IMO, 128i 6MT "MUST DO" mods are:
BMWPerformance short shift lever and bushing (massive difference in shift feel)
eBay clutch stop (massive difference in general drive-ability)
3Stage Intake and Bimmerlabs FREE 130i tune (make sure the DISAs are good, but this makes it a new car)
Decent tires
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      04-10-2020, 11:14 AM   #16
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Just wanted to give everyone an update. Leaning towards Fiesta but the 128i seller is giving me a killer deal ($5,500). No sport package, but great color and looks to be well kept.

I'm assuming it's worth it to pick the 1-er alone simply because I could sell it for a bit more in 4 months when I go back to school and no longer need a car.

Thoughts?
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      04-10-2020, 11:26 AM   #17
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Fiesta ST gets my vote.


I would have said 128i in the past, but my coworker bought a Fiesta ST 2 yrs ago, and has modded it nicely, and parts are quite cheap compared to BMW aftermarket stuff. The car has some punch, and is fun to drive. Coworker has had 0 issues with the car in the 20k miles driven, all fun.
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      04-10-2020, 11:36 AM   #18
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128i biased here as well especially if you plan to do any mods.

Mine is a Sport Model with all the bolt-on's. I did all the work myself.

Car is probably about 250-260 HP to the wheels, has a 3:73 rear gear, and is as fun to drive as my 460+hp Vette.

Get rid of the run-flats if it has them, add some lightweight wheels....and let it rip!
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      04-10-2020, 11:56 AM   #19
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The Ford Fiesta ST is at least 550lbs lighter and you are going to feel that ALL DAY.

Posting on a BMW forum is going to net a bias result, but the ultimate deciding factors are how you plan to use the car and how you get enjoyment out of a car.

Post pics of both!

Last edited by 86Zed; 04-10-2020 at 12:17 PM..
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      04-10-2020, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyFSU View Post
RWD > FWD.
This is the key difference, together with 6 cylinder vs 4 cylinder.

They are huge, huge differences. Either one of those is enough to determine the decision, and both should easily sway it.

My current DD is a 2015 Mini Cooper S. It has more issues putting it's pathetic power down than my stroker E90 with 500whp or my F80 CS.

It will get replaced with another M car. Life is too short to drive FWD cars.
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      04-10-2020, 12:23 PM   #21
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Smaller cars are generally more tossable.. if you plan on modding it, the Fiesta may be the way to go. These cars are obviously not, and never will be 0-60 warriors so take them for what they are good at, handling. I am a die hard RWD/MT fan but still haven't had as much fun as chucking a base early 2000s mini into corners.
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      04-10-2020, 12:35 PM   #22
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You’re a young guy limited funds at this time I presume. Don’t know if you considered feeding the car. The Fiesta gets much better fuel economy then the 128 and the BMW requires premium while the Ford will drink regular. It adds up.
Taking the car to the dealer or your mechanic of choice, parts on the 1 will be a good bit more expensive then the Ford as will the labor. The Ford might likely be easier to wrench yourself but not sure but the German cars parts will still cost more. I would check reliability lists on both cars if I were you and check insurance rates on both. Both would be a fun ride so I won’t comment on that. Good luck
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