Originally Posted by MarkW83
As with anything, it depends what you're used to. When you've owned a powerful car, you really can't settle for anything else.
I'm sure I won't be alone in saying that - after sampling BMWs finest diesels, in the shape of the 335d and 330d, and also the petrol 135i - I would never personally be happy with a model with less performance, and 4 cylinders vs 6. The car, for me, is all about the engine, and I'm used to a powerful engine, the driving experience is different, and a lot more effortless. Even when you're just pottering about, you can feel the difference - like how a higher-end, more powerful Hi-Fi system, will play music at a lower volume with more depth and detail, it's not just when "loud" that there's a difference - in every day driving; and you have the power available for when you want it.
Just depends on your expectations and what you want from the car personally, we're all different, hence the choice.
I think your comments sum it up for many of us. I've tried the down sizing in engine performance and have considered it with BMW. Hard to pull the trigger, knowing you just won't be happy with how it drives long term, even if you do save a few ££££'s.
As you say, the feel of a more powerful car is something it itself, even if you are not pushing it. Bigger brakes, higher gearing on the cruise, refinement, all help to enjoy the driving experience.
That's not to say the 320 (d and i) don't fit the requirements and budgets of many BMW drivers.