This is a snapshot impression of the 2008 BMW 128i. The car I experienced (without driving) was a black-on-black-on-black convertible version with a 6-speed manual transmission and the Sport package.
- Aggressive stance. This isn’t always the case for entry-level vehicles, even if they can be optioned with a Sport package. This car had very attractive alloy wheels and a nice (but subtle) bodykit.
- BMW-tight steering. Even without driving it I could tell the steering was excellent…just the way sporting enthusiasts like it.
- Safe, solid feel. In order to market a junior-sized convertible, BMW probably invested some time and thought into active and passive safety systems. I spent some time riding in the backseat with the top down and I felt assured that in the even of a rollover, I would emerge alive…
- Some details are off. The leather felt dry (although probably the standard for synthetic ‘leatherette’) and the hard plastic bits around the doors, glovebox and rear seating area were just that…hard and creaky. Soft-touch would have been nice.
- Body not rigid. As is the problem with most convertibles, the frame has problems remaining rigid over bumps and when absorbing potholes. The effect on the inside is a feeling that the car is swiveling ever-so-slightly sideways AND up and down over bumps, not just up and down.
Those are my 4 cents.