Back in May, Josh wrote an article comparing the BMW 135i to the Mini’s Cooper S model. The conclusion was the both cars have their advantages and disadvantages and in the end, it’s all a matter of personal preference, both cars live up to the expectations.
A few months later, the friends at Edmunds Insideline put together a new comparison review, this time, based on the lower-end 1 Series Coupe model, the 128i and Mini’s Clubman S.
Wonder who won this one? Let’s find out.
How is it possible, you say, that these two cars — the 2008 BMW 128i and the 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman — find themselves facing off in a comparison test? One is rear-wheel drive, the other a front-driver. One is motivated by a 3.0-liter inline-6 aspirated entirely by Mother Nature, while the other finds power from four furious cylinders totaling 1.6 liters and, of course, a turbocharger. One has two doors, the other has five. What gives?
Using those criteria they should go together about as well as Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell. But wait, there’s more.
Season the Mini with a few options and it costs about the same as the BMW 1 Series. Both are known for being fun to drive and both are designed to hold two people comfortably but can accommodate four if the need arises. Both have usefully large cargo areas — the rear seats in each folds flat to enhance capacity. And both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
For many drivers, these criteria are more important than which wheels do the driving or how many cylinders make the power. So we’ve got a genuine shoot-out here. Front drive vs. rear drive. Six cylinders vs. four cylinders. Quick, practical and stylish vs., well, quick, practical and stylish.
More Cost, More Car
The 2008 BMW 128i’s base price is $28,600. Our test car, outfitted with $4,500 in options including the Sport package, Gray Poplar wood trim, heated front seats and the iPod and USB adapter totaled $32,125, including destination.
Two hundred thirty buttery-smooth horses and 200 pound-feet of torque flow from the 128i’s 3.0-liter inline-6 to the rear wheels via its six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional.