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The BMW 128ti Is Bavaria's Answer to the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI Hot Hatch

There are some cars that are slightly underwhelming or too expensive and can only be understood from within a community. The Abarth is like that, and we'd even add the Miata or the 86 to this list. Meanwhile, BMW just launched the all-new 128ti in Europe, and it's not going to be the hottest of hot hatches, but we appreciate the effort.
The BMW 128ti is Bavaria's Answer to the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI 4 photos
The BMW 128ti is Bavaria's Answer to the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTIThe BMW 128ti is Bavaria's Answer to the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTIThe BMW 128ti is Bavaria's Answer to the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI
If you think about it, nobody ever truly wants a BMW with a four-cylinder engine. Sure, you can argue that a 320d or 330i is all the car you need, but an M3 going sideways is secretly at the back of your mind. It's a real shame, considering the Bavarian automaker spends a lot of time and money developing the 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine.

The 128ti is their attempt at making a 2.0-liter car that's intentionally cool... if you ignore the MINIs. Behind one of the most offbeat names in many years is essentially a premium hot hatch. Volkswagen makes the Golf GTI and R, while BMW has this and the M135i to directly compete.

We love a good Golf GTI, and the Mk8 model is especially interesting because of its modern interior. But it's often described as overpriced and underwhelming, so the 128ti isn't going to be groundbreaking either. If you want lots of power at an affordable price, just go to Hyundai N.

Upon closer examination, the 128ti isn't that bad, making 261 hp (265 PS) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm), which puts it right between a GTI and Focus ST. BMW claims the 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint takes 6.1 seconds with help from the eight-speed Steptronic Sport auto, and that's very acceptable for this class.

Prices start from €41,574 in the home market of Germany, where a DSG-equipped is €37,600. Of course, if you go anywhere near BMW's options list, things quickly get out of hand. But let's see what YouTuber and hardcore fan of the rand Joe Achilles has to say about the 128ti.

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