Originally Posted by 328IScreamer
I'll admit the styling of the 1 series is a bit subjective but I wouldn't call it an entry level bimmer. The interior of the 1 series looks exactly the same as the M3 right down to the same style of dash and stearing wheel. It may be missing a few "M" options but it is very close to as fast as an M3 and with a tune it is easy to squeeze a lot more power out of the car. The 1 series is the cheapest series on average but also the smallest.......but with the 135 m package I would hardly call 6 piston brake calipers, twin turbo, and pretty well every option available to the 3 series entry level. I believe there is an entry level to each series it's just a matter of the options you get.
Granted my opinion is Biased and I would take an M3 over the 1 series (unless we were talking about an 1M) but I still just don't see why the M3 is literally almost double the price.
Ironically you're focused on features and numbers, which isn't where M cars shine. Your priorities actually lead me to believe the 135i is ideal for you.
It's the same deal with the 335 vs M3 debate. If you're willing to claim your car is faster than an M3 with mods, then you're missing the point of the M3. The tactile feel through the controls, the 8400rpm V8, the exclusivity of the whole package...that's what makes it an M car. If you're going by features, potential power, and brake caliper piston count the M car will always lose. But that was never their purpose, either.