I ordered an 120d last week, nearly ordered a new e90 320d,but what finally did win me over for the 1er was (exept 3,5 k euro less for a similar equipped car)the much sportier seating position in comparision to e90 and my current e46.In the 1er you really sit "inside" the car,it fits like a glove.e90 and even more the e46 feel like mainstream family sedans in comparison.In both the e46 and e90 the upper parts of the A-pillars are very close to your head,in the 1er they´re further away,there is an airier feeling where you need it.On the other hand because the car is a bit narrower the thick door armrest can actually be used. material quality of the e90 is definitly better,e87 looks and feels more spartan inside.There are some nice details.The inner door openers of the e90 and e87 are the same, they may look a bit weird,but they´re ergonomically perfect,much better than in my e46,even opening the door is fun now.
Looking out front you can actually see the hood of the e87,its like in the old days again,great.Sitting in an e46 or e90 you want to enjoy the interior and feel comfy,in the e87 you just want to drive(that was at least my impression)
I didn´t drive the 320d but the 120d naturally,it has more than adequate power.Turbo lag and tractor sound at idle are there,but between 2k and 4k revs the engine has more power than a 330i and you really can feel that,in gear acceleration leaves nothing to be desired and there is no wheel spin like with fwd tdi´s. Altogether a great car,still cannot understand why some critisize it. 30 k euros here in germany for a halfways adequatly equipped golf sized car may be a bit much,but what you get you won´t get for less elsewhere.