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128ti Faces Off Against GR Yaris, GR86, MX-5, and Caterham

The 128ti preserved BMW’s front-wheel drive design and demonstrated it could still be exciting. This model was produced after complaints about the BMW M135i’s dullness. So the 128ti, with its lower price tag and front-wheel drive, became the entry-level BMW for fans.

The Toyota GR Yaris, with its turbocharged three-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, proved to be an exciting and formidable opponent. Its power surpasses that of the 128ti’s turbo-four engine, while also offering a level of fun that the M135i lacks.

The Toyota GR86 also showcases the potential for thrilling sports cars at an affordable price point. The classic Mazda MX-5, a long-time favorite for budget backroad adventures, also held its own against the 128ti.

Despite its impressive specs on paper, the BMW 128ti falls short in the fun department. BMW seems to prioritize comfort and technology over dynamic driving, even in a car that boasts red accents meant to evoke a sense of edginess. This departure from BMW’s traditional focus on driving pleasure is a disappointment, as the other cars in the test demonstrate that great driving experiences do not have to come at the cost of other features.

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