I'm not much help with the R I'm afraid, but I've driven a bog basic 140bhp diesel car and I thought it was fantastic - proper rollerskate handling. Thumbs up from me.
Gone but not forgotten:
325i M Sport (E92), Black Sapphire, Coral Red Dakota, 19" 225's, Seat Heating, 6FL and de-badge
Replaced by 6.2 litres of AMG powered C class.