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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decisions Decisions ......

Can anyone help me with this one?

I had made up my mine to go for the new BMW 120d Sport (having had Golf GTI Mk11, Mk111 and MkIV I had become a little disappointed with the recent models and felt like a change) but now I've read the MkV reviews I may be sticking to Golfs for a while longer!

For me the pros are as follows:-

Golf V GTI

Looks great

More practical (important as we have a baby)

BMW 120d Sport

Rear wheel drive handling

Better steering feel - as a result of above

Unique (although some may say ugly!)

Both cars are roughly the same price (although bigger discounts available on the GTI). I'd personally prefer a fast diesel but it could be some time until the GTI diesel arrives.

Having test driven the 120d Sport it is certainly a car designed around the driving experience (7.2 s to 60) although this has resulted in some compromises. I'd say the 120d is by far the more technically advanced with some quite novel features:-

eg.

run flat tyres,

2 stage brake lights,

Ipod compatible with multi function steering wheel,

Adjustable side bolsters on sports seats that really grip you,

keyless entry,

etc, etc.

Having said that it does look quite ugly, but getting used to it. The interior is also very sparse with lots of cheap plastic.

Decisions Decisons!!

Can anyone help convince me that the Golf is the better buy?

Thnaks,

ZMan
 

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I have to agree the mk3 was a let down and the mk4 was a bit better but far to soft for a GTI badge but I have been to Wolsburg and sat in/driven and had a good gander around the mk5 GTI and other than the 'checked' pattern seats cant really fault it, and as for the steering, didnt you think the bmw was a bit to 'floaty' for a modern car, and you are right, no doubt about it, the bmw is seriously ugly but hey renault got off with it, oh did I say renault and bmw in the same sentince lol
 

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Run flat tyres are terrible! Have you test driven a car with them on? shudder [:O]

Bit of an odd comparison? A sport petrol Golf or a diesel 1-series. I know BMW haven't released their sport petrol model yet (M1?) but they're two very different cars.

If your not bothered about fuel costs/milleage that much then definitely go for the GTI.

TBH I think its a very easy choice between the two [;)] If it was an M1 vs GTI then I could understand the dilema. [:D]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have just sold my Z4 and you are right - the runflats were terrible on that car. However, they seem ok on the 1 Series from the extensive test drive I arranged.

The comparision is not as odd as you may think. AutoCar ran this comparison a few weeks back with 2 other cars I don't recall. The 120d is as fast to 60 as the GTI and has 250 lb/ft torque which is not to be sniffed at!

However, for me, speed is secondary. It's all about the driver feedback. All front wheel drive cars suffer with this due to the compromises of steering and feeding the power through the same pair of wheels.

I've raced both rear wheel and front wheel drive cars around most of the national circuits and once the front wheel drive car has had enough of under steer and decides it's time to over steer its very difficult to get it back - there's a lot of unwinding of the steering wheel to be done very quickly before you can even begin to steer into the skid. Ok, its possible, but not a technique to attempt on a public road!

The 1 series is more akin to driving a go kart! On a wet road turn into the oversteer and balance the car on the throttle.

If it was an M1 then there would be no dilema for me [:)]
 

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Can you 110% stand behind that the 1 series is quicker to 60? I find it hard to believe as the GTI revs so high and has 200 bhp.

250 lb/ft is all well and good but how much of that can you use low down to achieve a quick 0-60? Diesels are not exactly renowned for their 0-60 times are they? In gear for example the 2.0 TDI VAG engine was proved quicker than BMWs 2.0D and there is no way that my A3 will do 0-60 in the 7 or whatever seconds VW say the GTI will do it in.
 

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Maybe Autocar was comparing the 2.0 GT-TDI to the 120d Sport?

2.0 TDI - 140BHP and 236LB/FT Torque

120d - 163BHP and 251LB/FT Torque

I don't see the 120d being quicker than a GTI - 200BHP and 200LB/FT torque, reving upto 6500-7000.
 

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The BMW engine they quoted was 150 bhp...IIRC

IMO the 1 series is the Compact all over again...a car to get people into a BMW with cheap looking interior. The interior of the A3 is a much nicer place to be IMO!
 

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I'm going for the 120d Sport next and as a suggestion I looked at it from 2 angles:

1. Practicality - I've got 2 small children and would think that they'd both be able to travel in the back of the 120 easily. More important is the boot, have you done the 'pram test' to see if it fits easily? 'cos I found the boot on the 120 quite small. I do have the slight advantage of a 320d Touring at home so if we need to go anywhere with all the kit we simply take the bigger car.

2. Dynamics - I agree about the FWD v RWD debate. I haven't driven the MkV yet but the dynamics in my 320d mean that I have a completely standard car which is hugely rewarding to drive, it's fast as well as fun and the traction control still allows some playing and it drifts very well.

IMHO if you can live with the size of the 120d I'd go for that without question, the dynamic advatages of the BMW far outweigh the Golf's size benefits. Performance will be similar, the turbo grunt of the Golf probably delivering a similar feel to the diesel of the BMW, economy could be the decider as the BMW is diesel. Comments have been made about the styling of the BMW, but I see that as a step forwared, the Golf is very Euro-bland and even in GTi form still doesn't look good enough next to the BMW.

The Golf would have to be seriously good in all areas to take my money over the BMW and I simply haven't been convinced yet.
 

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I test drove a 1 series before I ordered my golf. The 1 series drove really well with fine grip and roadholding around Rockingham. It felt quick as well. The downside was the lack of interior space and very poor rearward visability.

Now I have had my golf for 6 weeks I am glad I went for the vw. The golf is a fine handling car with good body control and a high level of grip.It is also deceptively quick. The bm was around 2k more for the same level of kit. I hope this helps you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I certainly agree that the Golf interior is far better than the 1 Series and the A3 even better.

The 120d has a much smaller boot (all down to the rear wheel drive issues of engine orientation and diff etc) and it didn't pass my 'pram test'. The solution is to buy a new pram as many strollers will fit just not the one we have.

The AutoCar review was definately the new Golf MkV (petrol!) against the BMW 120d. The Golf is quicker but not by much. The 120d is a claimed 7.2s to 60 and it certainly felt like this on the test drive.

I had looked at the A3 diesel Sport but in comparison the engine sounds more like a taxi and it was a lot slower and less dynamic.

For those interested the 1 Series Forum can be found at:-

http://www.babybmw.net/

Don't get me wrong, I like the Golf and I'm going for a test drive before I decide but for me its going to be a close run thing. I'd advise everyone to try before you buy. If you like petrol there is the 120i which is cheaper but slower than the 120d.

ZMan
 

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Guys, he doesn't say that the 120 is faster- he says that its AS FAST which is true if you look at the figures. The 120d is 7.2 to 60, the GTI is either side of 7secs depending on whether it has DSG or not.

As for whether it is a fair comparison and whether they are rivals then I would say of course they are!

How many people choose their car by saying "I want a 200bhp hatch, which one can I get?", and how many people choose their car by saying "I have ?20k to spend, what can I get for that?"

See my point? They are both 'premium' quality cars in the same price bracket so they are definitely direct rivals. No one is going to choose between a GT TDI and a 120d Sport.

As for what you should choose, its a tough call mate. My next car will be chosen between a GTI diesel, a 120d Sport and a 2nd hand 320Cd Sport. I cahnge my mind every day about which I would pick!
 

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I had a look at a 120d before buying my Golf. I just couldnt live with the looks or the interior though. Whilst I like the Bangle look of the new Z4, 5 and even the maligned 7 series, the 1 series is poor. It looks like a shoe thats sagging in the middle and I'd agree with the comments above about the return of the compact.
 

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other than the 'checked' pattern seats cant really fault it

They look fantastic, it was one of the reasons I didn't order leather on mine

Posted Image


and....the 1 series is absolutely horrible, it might have a superb chassis and RWD (and I am a big beemer fan) but it looks awful [:(]
 

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Quote: posted by ZMan on 02/12/2004 12:32:05

I had looked at the A3 diesel Sport but in comparison the engine sounds more like a taxi and it was a lot slower and less dynamic.

It was the A3 2.0 TDI which was quoted as being faster in gear than BMW's 2.0D.
 

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other than the 'checked' pattern seats cant really fault it

They look fantastic, it was one of the reasons I didn't order leather on mine

Agreed and that's one of the reasons why I didn't order leather on mine as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks for the replies folks.

Looks like I'm just going to have to sit tight until the GTI test drive and hopefully all will come clear.

For me it comes down to practicality and good interior versus driver dynamics.

The 1 Series is ugly (but the best Bangle design so far IMHO) but the Golf isn't radical enough. The have tried to spice it up a bit with the extra GTI bits and bobs but it does look a bit boy racer ish (sorry - please don't shoot me!! - maybe I'm getting too old!!)

Anyone care to speculate when the GTI diesel will be avilable?

ZMan
 

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Quote: posted by ZMan on 02/12/2004 19:30:15

Anyone care to speculate when the GTI diesel will be avilable?

....No earlier than March/April at a guess, I think they want to let the petrol one settle in the market first before releasing the diesel.

They've also got the dynamics to sort out, if they want to keep the good reports going they'll have to retain the 'package' feel that they appear to have with the turbo. The 120d will be a thorn in their side so I guess they'll also be trying to match/beat the power output.....
 
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