Why the BMW 125i M Sport beats the Golf GTI in a very subjective game of Riggers Top Trumps
My beloved PH Fleet Golf GTI is due to return to the Volkswagen Press Office fold in a few short days and, though I will miss it greatly, I might just have found an alternative that - whisper it - pushes my buttons even more.
I know it is wrong to speak ill of the soon-to-be-departed, but the 125i M Sport we had from BMW for a few days recently might just have the Edition 35 licked as far as I'm concerned, speaking entirely subjectively ahead of a 'proper' Driven piece to follow shortly.
Indeed, that's rather the point - from an objective point of view the Golf GTI Edition 35 and the 125i are hard to separate. Both are more or less identical on price once you add a couple of options. Both are near-as-dammit equal on power and performance (218hp, 228lb ft and 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds in the BMW plays 235hp, 221lb ft and 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds in the Golf). Both fit four passengers and luggage (five at a pinch). And both will satisfy the enthusiast in you while returning 30mpg-plus if you're careful, though the 1 Series has a clear edge on the Golf in economy.
On a purely pragmatic basis, then, you would be hard-pressed to say whether the Golf or the BMW is the better car. So why do I like the 1 Series more?
This is where objectivity has to go hang, because the things that make it the car I would choose over the GTI are subjective. The way it smells inside. The slightly pointier, but less surefooted handling. The way it could actually be mistaken for a 116d if it weren't for the M Sport bodykit. The simple fact that I would call myself a 'BMW man', though not a fanboy.
The funny thing is it's these last points, the seemingly inconsequential matters of personal taste, that would be the clincher for me. And probably are in the vast majority of car-buying decisions for the likes of us. Care to share yours?
If you take only one thing from this blog, then, let it be this: we can only say that the BMW 125i M Sport is definitively better than the Golf GTI Edition 35 if you happen to be me. Because, for those of us who care about cars, our final choice is always subjective.
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