Did you also consider a 1 before you bought your 3?
I posted this same topic in the 1 series area last week and have enjoyed the discussion and some of the opinions offered there.
I'm in the process of selling my current car and am looking at either a BMW 1 or 3 series (preferably coupe) 2009-2011 as my next car. I'm pretty set on manual transmission and sport seats and the sound system quality is important to me as well.
I prefer the looks of the 3 both inside and outside but I currently drive an 07 Porsche Boxster and before that I owned an 06 Mitsubishi Lancer so I'm used to smaller, lighter cars. I've yet to drive a 3 but I have had 1 short test drive in a 2010 135i about a month ago. Fun car but it also felt narrow and I found myself nitpicking the interior a little bit.
Anyway, tomorrow is my next off day and I plan on driving a couple of 3 series cars, both 328i and 335i (I don't think I need the turbo though) in hopefully coupe and sedan form and will then go drive the 135i again for comparison sake.
Did some of you folks also cross shop the 1 before you decided on your 3? What made you ultimately decide to go with the 3 over the 1?