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      06-25-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
ticamihai2003
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From MINI Cooper s to F20 1 series

Hey everyone

My name is Mihai and I live in Romania. Till a month ago I was the very happy driver of a 2010 Mini Cooper S. Unfortunately someone wanted to make a U turn 5 meters in front of me and the impact has been inevitable. My car's front end is totaled. In my opinion my Mini Cooper S was the perfect car for me.


I am currently interested in buying a BMW. I like the new F30 3 series but due to financial reasons I will go with the F20 1 series model which I like but not a lot (i haven't test drove one yet because the dealership here only has 3 series for test drives).

I have done some mods to the MINI and the estimate power was about 205 210 HP. It was very fun on B roads, even though the sport suspension was quite harsh. In Romania there aren't many highways/freeways so I did a lot of driving on B roads and in town where I live and work. My average fuel consumption was 8.2 l/100km which was ok.

I am interested in a 1 series also because I am soon to be a father so the MINI didn't meet our requirements anymore. We only had the MINI as a family car but we will conciser buying a Dacia MPV as a more room/work horse car .

I have test drove a F30 320d with sports automatic gearbox and frankly I was not impressed at all(except for being roomier). The engine was way underpowered compared to my MINI and the steering had no feel whatsoever even though it was quite precise. On my MINI I could feel every little bump or slight uneven-es on the road through the steering wheel. By the time I switched the settings to Sport in the 3 series my test drive was finished so I may not fully experienced the car's steering and acceleration, but I remember test driving a MINI before I had mine and from the start I was pleased .

I am currently interested in the 5 door 125d or 125i. Which one would you recommend after owning a MINI for almost 2 years. I know it is definitely roomier than the MINI so we'll exclude this from the discussion . I know 1 series and MINI's don't have many things in common, but the F20's being slightly above MINI's as technical features and sophistication I want to be blown away by their technical/mechanical features compared to the MINI. I am not a diesel fan but I am fan of better mileage economy and also I think the 125d has more torque.

By the way . What do you think of the new A250 sport mercedes benz? I like how it looks but most early reviews put the 1 series ahead of it, and also the A250 sport costs about as much as a F30 328.
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      06-25-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
hillbillybear
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I have a cooper s and a 1 series m sport.
mini for fun but agree fairly harsh ride (wives car) and 1 hatch much smother and i love it to bits .Feel much more secure in it and loads more space in rear.
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      06-25-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome! Sad to see your car in that state, but since you are safe som the accident and it trigged you to buy a new car I guess it's ok

I have a Cooper S myself and a F20 120d, so I know what you are talking about. I would say if you are looking for a true replacement for the Cooper S, pick the 125i. There is of course more torque in the 125d, but the fun factor is higher in the i when it comes to active driving.
I use my 120d as a daily commuter in urban traffic, so the diesel is perfect for me. But if you'll have a Dacia as your work horse, I would buy the 125i as a touring (and family) car.
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      06-25-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
MartinHattingh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superspeed View Post
I would say if you are looking for a true replacement for the Cooper S, pick the 125i.
Compared to a stock Cooper S, the 118i would be a great alternative (I can vouch that it's no slouch), but of course if you're used to a modified machine, you'll have to go with the 125i....
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      06-25-2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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DUDE!

those alloys are filthy! j/k- glad to hear everyone was ok!

125i or 335i should be what you are looking for.

good luck!
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      06-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinHattingh View Post
Compared to a stock Cooper S, the 118i would be a great alternative (I can vouch that it's no slouch), but of course if you're used to a modified machine, you'll have to go with the 125i....
The 118i is reasonably fast, but the extra weight compared to a Mini makes it less agile regardless all it's qualities.
Anyway a 118i with all available goodies to bring it in the price range of the 125i could be something too.....
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      06-26-2012, 03:19 AM   #7
ticamihai2003
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Thanks everyone. What I would like to say to Martin is that my MINI wasn't that modified. It only had a retrofit MINI JCW engine kit and an aftermarket exhaust. I wasn't into ECU modifications and other major stuff. My MINI was slightly under the stock JCW.

I would say the 118i is quite far away from my car because of the extra weight(I think about 200kg extra). When I had 3 passengers in my car you could immediately notice the difference, and 3 passengers is slightly under 200kg.

I think I would go with the 125i rather than the 125d because as Superspeed said, the 125i is more of a true replacement to my MINI and with the forthcoming M performance engine kit it would be even better , which is what I am looking for.

By the way: a 2010 Mercedes CL500 could only get away from me after 4'th gear...so you can realize why I loved my car so much . Plus there is no better car to drive on a twisty road.

I hope I can test drive a 1 series after all, if not in the town where I live, than maybe somewhere else.

Early reviews of the 125i are good and also better than the Mercedes A class which I was also interested in.
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      06-26-2012, 03:34 AM   #8
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I have driven some Minis on twisty tracks, and I think the F20 handles better. The Mini understeers too much on corner exits. The F20 feels more comfortable and less like a racing car, but it is very capable when you push it.

I had a very even fight on a recent autoX race with a very modified Mini with 220 hp. My 136 hp F20 116i had much better balance through the slalom parts, but I did of course lose some time on the straight bits

When it comes to fun on a twisty road, you should perhaps also consider the Toyota GT86, also known as Subaru BRZ. I haven't driven it myself, but based on reviews, it seems to be the class leader when it comes to handling and driver feedback. It is probably also quite reliable and affordable. Not quite as practical as an F20, though.
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      06-26-2012, 04:16 AM   #9
ticamihai2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol01 View Post
however I would also say that F30 is much better than F20 in pretty much all aspects but cost. I have test driven both on few occassions and as far as steering is concerned I would say that F30 has sharper inputs in Sports mode but the feel is very similar. also 320d with 180 BHP is more than adequate for most and in M sports looks superb
As I said I like the looks of the F30 much more than the F20 and it is also more practical, but due to costs I will go with an F20, which I am sure I will love once I own it .



Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
I have driven some Minis on twisty tracks, and I think the F20 handles better. The Mini understeers too much on corner exits. The F20 feels more comfortable and less like a racing car, but it is very capable when you push it.

I had a very even fight on a recent autoX race with a very modified Mini with 220 hp. My 136 hp F20 116i had much better balance through the slalom parts, but I did of course lose some time on the straight bits

When it comes to fun on a twisty road, you should perhaps also consider the Toyota GT86, also known as Subaru BRZ. I haven't driven it myself, but based on reviews, it seems to be the class leader when it comes to handling and driver feedback. It is probably also quite reliable and affordable. Not quite as practical as an F20, though.

I agree the MINI under steers heavily when exiting corners but it wasn't a big issue for me . If the F20 handles better than MINI's then it is only an extra point for it and I am happy you told me this...it just makes my decision easier.

If I wouldn't have needed a more practical car for me and my family I would have went with the new MINI GP. I like the Toyota GT 86 and equal Subaru but they are less practical than the F20 and also I want something with 4/5 doors.
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