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      12-05-2017, 08:01 AM   #1
Field Marshall
radiofrequency's Avatar

Drives: 2018 M4 ZCP
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Utah

iTrader: (0)

I am about to be an empty nester and, as a result, I am looking for a small efficient driver's car. It felt so good to sell my LX570 now that I am no longer hauling kid stuff around. My job requires me to carry some fairly sophisticated equipment in my trunk, so I need a good size trunk. I love the feel of a car that handles well with appropriate power. It also needs to be stealthy; I don't want to be a cop magnet. I am currently driving a 2018 M4 as my DD (total cop magnet - I know, I know!). I enjoy the car, but see it more as a weekend car and would like to acquire a separate vehicle for work purposes.

Given that my requirements are excellent handling, appropriate power, good size trunk, small car and stealth, my attention turned to hatchbacks. My first company vehicle was a Golf GTI (1985), so you'll perhaps get where I am coming from. That car was a total joy to drive with more than enough power, taut handling, and so darn usable! I also enjoy watching vehicle reviews on YouTube, specifically CarWow and Joe Achilles. "Why?", you may ask. These two guys typically test and review vehicles based upon their everyday usability. In other words, how most of us here tend to use our vehicles. Most of us aren't racing from traffic light to traffic light. A lot of reviewers tend to obsess about 0-60 times, but do I really care that the new M5 is 0.1 seconds faster than the AMG 63s from 0 to 60? No, I don't give a shit. I cared about that when I was 22 and couldn't afford vehicles of that nature. Now that I am able to afford them, I don't want them.

Joe Achilles loves BMW's, and specifically the M140i hatchback. What's not to love? It's a stealthy vehicle with a large trunk, superb handling, 300+ HP, and it's a BMW! If this vehicle was released in the USA today, I would head off to my local Dealer and place the order. Overseas it comes with xDrive, and yes I would add that option, as it would be my "everything car". It would take me and my snowboard everywhere during the winter, carry my mountain bike everywhere during the summer, and it would be great for my work. I can't get my head around the X1, the X4 M40i is just too big and tall, so I am stuck. These vehicles are also challenging to load your ski's, snowboard, or whatever you want to place on the roof racks. My LX had me standing on the tires to load anything on my roof racks - try that in your snowboard boots.

I am looking at alternatives, and believe me, I have researched this topic exhaustively. The Lexus NX200 hurts my eyes, the Mazda 3 has great styling, but I don't want a four banger, the Subaru's are just too weird and so low on power, and I literally bled from the eyes when looking at the new Civics. I am not convinced that the Ford Focus RS has the quality one would expect @ > $40,000, though it's a really stealthy and good looking car with 300+ HP.

The only hatchback I would currently consider is the Golf R. AWD, 300+ HP, high quality interior, superb handling - you get the picture. Though I do think that the final design of the Golf R was sent to VW's accounting department for final approval, and those folks decided to rework the design to make it as bland as possible. Although that does make it stealthy, unless you are a car guy, you really wouldn't know a Golf R from the base model Golf. So I am leaning toward the Golf R when what I really want is the M140i xDrive. I love the sweet silkiness of a BMW straight six; the effortless power of that motor is what caused me to buy my first BMW more than 25 years ago and currently has me driving my 8th BMW.

So why isn't the M140i xDrive in the USA? I keep hearing the argument that Americans don't buy hatchbacks - total bullshit! Look at all of the Mazda 3's, Subaru Imprezas, and so on out there. And arguably, all crossovers are really just a tall hatchback, and those are selling like hotcakes. My appeal to those at BMW is to bring that M140i xDrive stateside. For economies of scale, limit it to 3 models: a base with a four banger aimed squarely at getting younger buyers into a BMW early, a luxury variant with the naturally aspirated 3.0L six for Moms and Dads, and the turbocharged M140i xDrive for hoonigans like us who populate these forums. IMHO, these would sell all day long, and open another demographic to the BMW portfolio. I can't be the only one thinking about this. So hopefully someone at BMW reads these posts and carefully considers bringing these vehicles to the USA.

Any advice on what to buy, absent the 140i, from my brothers and sister here on the Forum, would be much appreciated.

Last edited by radiofrequency; 12-06-2017 at 07:19 AM..