2012 BMW 128i Sport

I’ve previous spent a fair amount of time dissecting the 135i lineup – one of the true gems of the late Naughts for BMW, and one often overlooked by enthusiasts. The 135i combines great handling, a gutsy motor, and good looks in a surprisingly spacious package. But if outright speed – and the more expensive repairs associated with it – weren’t your first priorty, BMW offered the same package with a little less flair.

The 128i was, effectively, just about the same package as the 135i, but turned down a few notches. It was a little less hardcore, and a little more GT. Power came not from the twin turbo N54 or twin scroll N55, but from the N52K, here rated at 234 horsepower. You could opt for a six-speed manual transmission, too, and packages included the Sport option, which gave you the same M Sport Suspension found in its bigger brother, along with effectively the same interior. But if anything finding a clean 128i Sport is even harder than locating an un-modded 135i:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 128i Sport on eBay


Year: 2012
Model: 128i Sport
VIN: WBAUP7C56CVP23482
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 48,500 mi
Location: Lavonia, Georgia
Price: $10,500 Buy It Now

2012 BMW 128i Sport package. 3.0 litre six speed auto with paddle shifters. Excellent condition, garaged, nice weather only car with only 48k miles! Bought new and serviced at Athens BMW. Never any damage, and new run flat tires. Private owner, title in hand.

People just didn’t buy them. At a $31,000 base price, it was one of the cheapest BMWs you could buy. But tick up the options like this one, and suddenly it was just a small leap to the 135i – which offered 25% more power, better brakes, and more stick in the corners. Still, it’s nice to see a beautiful example of the 128i. I love the Deep Sea Blue paintwork here, and the 128i had the benefit of fog lights not offered on the 135i, whose front end was full of ducting to cool that big motor and those huge brakes. Inside is Senatec simulated leather sport seats, and…rather unfortunately….a six-speed automatic rather than the 7-Speed DCT that the 135i gained.

Still, at $10,500, you won’t find much in the 135i world, and certainly not in this condition with 50k miles. You’d be looking at the best part of double that amount to get a turbo or two. This one is loaded, too, with basically all the nice options but in my preferred non-iDrive setup. So, for a discount, this looks like a hard-to-beat commuter package with a fair amount of style.

-Carter

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5 Comments

  1. I like the body and the 1980s 3 series thing it’s doing, but the interior, at least in this monochrome, is simply too depressing and uninspired. It looks cheap.

  2. “ and…rather unfortunately….a six-speed manual rather than the 7-Speed DCT.” A phrase I shall never utter.

  3. @Christian – you’re right. It was wishful thinking to label this car with a manual. But if it came down to the DCT v. the ZF HP26, I’d go DCT.

  4. So down to the slushbox or DCT. Still a debate, as if there were a lot of miles on the car, I think I would rather be on the hook for a slushbox repair rather than the DCT repair. But I really don’t know how each are in reliability, except the DCT is so complicated, it has to cost a fortune to fix.

  5. @Christian – the HP26 I had in our 530xi has some pretty well-known faults. The DCT is apparently more reliable, but you’re right – the HP26 is probably cheaper to fix.

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