Can i justify a performance/sportier car?

Can i justify a performance/sportier car?

Author
Discussion

ChrisH72

737 posts

20 months

Monday 7th June
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I did enjoy my e92 325i which had the later and more problematic n53 engine. It was a bit heavy but very well built and special feeling especially with that straight 6. The Fiesta suits my needs better for now but it’s a step down in quality and the engine, although boosty, just isn’t the same. Most of the noise is fake and piped into the cabin. Sounds okay to me but many hate it.

125i is worth a look. N52 engine and a bit smaller and lighter than the 3 series. I do like a coupe. The steering wouldn’t bother me and if you want hydraulic steering in the hatch you’re stuck with the 5dr which to me isn’t as good to look at.

Of all my cars the one that felt most special day to day was the Celica T sport. It might have been basic and plasticky inside but it looked great and the driving position was spot on. There was something about seeing 9k on the rev counter too! Hot hatches are great but most of the time they’re very similar to the standard cars they’re based on so not that exciting. They work better when driving hard IMO. I’ll most likely go back to a coupe next time and would look at the GT86. Flawed maybe and a bit overpriced at the moment but they look great and most agree are a lot of fun to drive.

ChrisH72

737 posts

20 months

Ads22

Original Poster:

145 posts

104 months

Tuesday 8th June
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ChrisH72 said:
I do like these. Do seem to command more of a premium but i think the 130i will overtake them eventually. Finding a coupe is nearly as hard as the hatch ive discovered.

Think in regards to the overall search i think its the fear of acquiring a bad example that worries me. Ive not had much luck with some cars in the past so in my mind newer = less likely to go wrong but no thats not always true. Everyone does applaud the 130i for reliability though, but think its because im dealing with a BMW (not a brand renown for reliability and potentially being quite expensive to fix) that gives me some doubts. However even though ive considered the FN2s aswell these can also potentially throw big bills.

deebs

365 posts

28 months

Tuesday 8th June
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People often agonise over decisions in life not because they want to get them right but because they are afraid of getting them "wrong". What they miss is there isn't really a right and wrong. Just a decision you made at the time with what you knew.

You roll the dice and see how it plays out. That doesn't mean don't do a bit of research or just go mad. But get on with it man. There is no right and your life is what is happening while you agonise over something that in the end doesn't really matter.

Good luck.

ajguk

194 posts

40 months

Tuesday 8th June
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I've considered selling my N52 Z4 lately but tbh I can't be bothered with the usual tyre kickers and morons who try to low ball you at every turn, so I am leaning towards keeping it and spending a few quid upgrading the suspension etc. Of course I may change my mind at any time but life's too short as other's have said. And yeah, that engine sounds fantastic with the roof down when I get the opportunity smile

dontfollowme

1,044 posts

201 months

Tuesday 8th June
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Agree with the posters saying go for it. I ended up in a car for four years that was fine but no fun. In hindsight I should of bought the car I have now fours years ago but played safe.

I think if you buy something else you'll regret it when you see another on the road.

Ads22

Original Poster:

145 posts

104 months

Tuesday 8th June
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dontfollowme said:
Agree with the posters saying go for it. I ended up in a car for four years that was fine but no fun. In hindsight I should of bought the car I have now fours years ago but played safe.

I think if you buy something else you'll regret it when you see another on the road.
Yes unfortunately i am one of those annoying people who dithers, agonising over any big financial decision. As mentioned in a different post ive chopped and change my car quite often but really want to try and go for something id like to keep long term. I do get what you mean though, if i was floating around in a Honda Jazz and saw a nice 130i rock up beside me i think id feel pretty deflated (no offence to the Jazz though!)
The problem i have is both the cars at the top of my list, Type R and 130 are both considered fun cars so struggling to make up my mind. Id say the R is the slightly safer option but the 130 seems to be the better car with most owners really satisfied by them!
I know the Civic quite well (Hondas in the family with 2 civics and have found the standard car to be decent but the suspension and build quality to be a weak point but the engine and transmission very good)
I think ill give the 1 series a fighting chance, find a really good example to potentially buy and see how i feel after driving it.

Edited by Ads22 on Tuesday 8th June 19:11

sean ie3

288 posts

104 months

Tuesday 8th June
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For 10K to 15K you can get into an early Chimaera or Griffith. I don't know if working on the car yourself is an issue but either of these would be as easy as your Honda to maintain at home.

Heathwood

2,019 posts

170 months

Tuesday 8th June
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Ads22 said:
I think ill give the 1 series a fighting chance, find a really good example to potentially buy and see how i feel after driving it.

Edited by Ads22 on Tuesday 8th June 19:11
Good man, now get yourself over to BabyBMW if you haven’t already and also join BMW 130i owners unite on Facebook. There’s always a few good cars for sale there.

Good luck

sean ie3

288 posts

104 months

Tuesday 8th June
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Yeah, what was I thinking I'd be straight into a 130i.

s m

21,096 posts

171 months

Tuesday 8th June
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ZX10R NIN said:
As a person that has a few toys & is saving for (GT350R) another, life is to short buy what you want/suits your requirements.

If you can afford to run something & you know of potential issues then go for what you want.
Mr Harris was very positive about the Litchfield GT350R I’ve just been reading
More fun than any AMG/M/RS in his words!

ZX10R NIN

21,834 posts

93 months

Tuesday 8th June
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s m said:
ZX10R NIN said:
As a person that has a few toys & is saving for (GT350R) another, life is to short buy what you want/suits your requirements.

If you can afford to run something & you know of potential issues then go for what you want.
Mr Harris was very positive about the Litchfield GT350R I’ve just been reading
More fun than any AMG/M/RS in his words!
My uncle in the states has one & everytime I'm over there I drive it, the car is just epic.

s m

21,096 posts

171 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
ZX10R NIN said:
s m said:
ZX10R NIN said:
As a person that has a few toys & is saving for (GT350R) another, life is to short buy what you want/suits your requirements.

If you can afford to run something & you know of potential issues then go for what you want.
Mr Harris was very positive about the Litchfield GT350 I’ve just been reading
More fun than any AMG/M/RS in his words!
My uncle in the states has one & everytime I'm over there I drive it, the car is just epic.
I remembered you’re a big fan of the R version ( actually read it too fast and he hasn’t got the R, just the normal one )

Still, always makes me smile to see Ford still cater for us manual lovers





Edited by s m on Tuesday 8th June 22:46

ZX10R NIN

21,834 posts

93 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
s m said:
I remembered you’re a big fan of the R version
I very much am, I couldn't have a regular 350 knowing how much better the R is, have a look at this quick review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmE9ECYw3Q0

Mr Tidy

14,474 posts

95 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Ads22 said:
Yes unfortunately i am one of those annoying people who dithers, agonising over any big financial decision. As mentioned in a different post ive chopped and change my car quite often but really want to try and go for something id like to keep long term. I do get what you mean though, if i was floating around in a Honda Jazz and saw a nice 130i rock up beside me i think id feel pretty deflated (no offence to the Jazz though!)
The problem i have is both the cars at the top of my list, Type R and 130 are both considered fun cars so struggling to make up my mind. Id say the R is the slightly safer option but the 130 seems to be the better car with most owners really satisfied by them!
I know the Civic quite well (Hondas in the family with 2 civics and have found the standard car to be decent but the suspension and build quality to be a weak point but the engine and transmission very good)
I think ill give the 1 series a fighting chance, find a really good example to potentially buy and see how i feel after driving it.

Edited by Ads22 on Tuesday 8th June 19:11
All I can say is YOLO!

If you want it go and buy it, then enjoy it while you can.

I bought the best car I've ever had in December 2019, then lockdown happened. So I still haven't quite managed to do 4,000 miles in it yet, but I've enjoyed them all.

But at least I've had one!

Ads22

Original Poster:

145 posts

104 months

Wednesday 9th June
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Just bringing things back to the 130i briefly. How much is expected to pay for a good example for one of these. They seem to have a wide range but basically must have good service history. Obviously the lower end of 4-5k is where all the very high mileage ones are at. Im wondering with my budget (max 6-7k) that i will get an average example as apposed to a good one whereas with the fn2 ive also been debating ill get a very good one, however it is not as nice to drive regardless.

TameRacingDriver

14,568 posts

240 months

Wednesday 9th June
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Ads22 said:
Just bringing things back to the 130i briefly. How much is expected to pay for a good example for one of these. They seem to have a wide range but basically must have good service history. Obviously the lower end of 4-5k is where all the very high mileage ones are at. Im wondering with my budget (max 6-7k) that i will get an average example as apposed to a good one whereas with the fn2 ive also been debating ill get a very good one, however it is not as nice to drive regardless.
Don't be so sure an FN2 will be less fun to drive than a 130i.

I went from the FN2 to a Z4 3.0Si, and while the Z4 was better looking, more refined, and faster in a straight line, the Civic on full chat was a blast, definitely a bit more exciting I thought. Depends what you want from the car. The BMW is a better all rounder but for hooning the Civic was better. Definitely get a Hondata for it though if you do, transforms the car. The standard one was a bit limp after having the Hondata. You wont lose any money on it either as it can be resold.

As for the agonising thing, I feel your pain bud, I really do, as this is me, and often overthink things so much I end up getting it wrong laugh (such as the week old tyres I spent months researching that I'm now getting rid of).

Edited by TameRacingDriver on Wednesday 9th June 19:27

Heathwood

2,019 posts

170 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
Ads22 said:
Just bringing things back to the 130i briefly. How much is expected to pay for a good example for one of these. They seem to have a wide range but basically must have good service history. Obviously the lower end of 4-5k is where all the very high mileage ones are at. Im wondering with my budget (max 6-7k) that i will get an average example as apposed to a good one whereas with the fn2 ive also been debating ill get a very good one, however it is not as nice to drive regardless.
£6-7k should get you a very good example.

RoVoFob

474 posts

126 months

Thursday 10th June
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Ads22 said:
Just bringing things back to the 130i briefly. How much is expected to pay for a good example for one of these. They seem to have a wide range but basically must have good service history. Obviously the lower end of 4-5k is where all the very high mileage ones are at. Im wondering with my budget (max 6-7k) that i will get an average example as apposed to a good one whereas with the fn2 ive also been debating ill get a very good one, however it is not as nice to drive regardless.
To give you a feel for what’s out there, I paid £5,850 for my 70k, 06-plate 130i in May 2020, though I thought that was underpriced at the time and even more so in today’s market (I think it was worth £6,500+ then and £7,000+ now). Responding to ads shortly after they’re posted and offering a quick, trouble-free sale helps to get a good deal, which enabled me to nab this one cheaply.

The car has xenons, black leather (these both seem to be desirable options that bump up the price), heated seats, the top hi-fi system and lots of other extras, plus a full service history with a lot of preventative maintenance carried out, so you should be able to get a good one on that budget.

It had a clean MOT, though the water pump hadn’t been changed, and the suspension was nearing the end of its life. It’s easy enough to establish whether these have been done and budget accordingly, so there’s no need to stress about this. Anything on original suspension, especially if it’s 70k+ miles, is likely to need suspension soon (the Bilstein B12 Pro setup is an affordable and well-reviewed option) and if there’s no evidence of a water pump change, just budget to do this to avoid the stress of an unexpected bill.

Any mention of leaking shock absorbers on the MOTs is likely to be a sign that an imminent suspension refresh is needed. The easiest way for me to notice the tired shocks is going over speed bumps. Coming down off the speed bumps (the older, curved types, not the angular ones) at low speeds, the front sags, feeling like it’s almost hitting the bump stops.

In short, decent 130is are out there for reasonable money. If you have a big concern about a car needing work, it might help to look for those that have had some of the following done - recent suspension, water pump, tyres and brakes - even if the mileage is higher or the car has fewer options fitted. Keep an eye out on all sorts of places that advertise cars (Auto Trader, eBay, BabyBMW’s for sale page and the 130i hunters page plus other classifieds sites) and respond quickly to adverts that attract your interest. Mine was only advertised on the Facebook group and I responded as soon as I saw the ad, travelling three hours to see it the next evening.

Good luck!

RoVoFob

474 posts

126 months

Thursday 10th June
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I’ve just had a quick look through Auto Trader and eBay and these are the three that jumped out to me...

2007 (07) 130i M Sport 3dr, 143,000 miles - £6,500. This has a full service history and has been recently serviced and MOT’d, uprated suspension, new rear brakes and decent tyres that should last for a while. It also has a raft of desirable options fitted. The MOT mentions an oil leak and that the handbrake needs adjusting, but out the £500 left in the budget towards this (and anything else you can haggle off towards this and you should have all the major things covered).
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202104231...

2007 (07) 130i M Sport 3dr, 116,000 miles - £6,995. This has a full service history with 14 stamps, a decent spec (albeit the most basic audio speaker setup, I think), has been very recently serviced and MOT’d, though the MOT flags a little corrosion underneath (you can have a look under the car to gauge how extensive this is), corroded springs and one of the front shocks having a light misting of oil or limited damping effect. With that in mind, I’d expect the suspension to be original and need replacing soon. If it were me and the rest of the car was OK, I’d be haggling on the price to free up some budget to replace the suspension.
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202106033...

2005 (55) BMW 130i M Sport 5dr, 86,600 miles - £7,250. This is the kind of owner I’d want to buy from: the spec of the car isn’t the best in this case, but it looks like they’ve maintained it very well. It has some desirable BMW Performance extras (intake and exhaust) and a second set of wheels, all of which you could sell to free up some cash if you didn’t want them (the BMW Performance bits are pretty valuable and in demand on BabyBMW), plus a private plate that could also be sold. Sell those bits and you free up cash - potentially more than £1,000 I’d imagine - that you can put aside for any work that might need doing in future, so there’s no need to stress. The seller has said £7,250 ‘or nearest offer’, so I’d imagine you could get it for £7,000 or less.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265180423294?hash=item3...

Have you spoken to any owners/sellers? This can be a really good way to gauge how well they’ve looked after the car and whether they’ve actively kept the car in good condition or waited until any issue is marked as ‘dangerous’ on the MOT and they’ve been forced to change things. Many adverts don’t list all the work done and you won’t know which is which unless you speak to them. Find someone who’s kept on top of maintenance and there should be fewer unexpected issues.