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Monday, May 2, 2011

Trim Level Discrimination: 1-Series Case Study

They say that you should never purchase the lesser of available trim levels on a new vehicle, for fear that while stopped at a traffic light, a better one would pull up next to you. Forcing your pride to shrink like a dick in a snowstorm. The similar scenario also plays out in the mind of the other owner; for them, the vehicular superiority manifests itself in an ugly phenomenon known as Trim Level Discrimination (TLD).

While not particular to any one specific make or model, TLD is easiest to analyze through the the small sect of BMW 1-Series owners. This heightened observability of TLD is largely due to three things:
  • low numbers of 1-Series' on the road
  • the split between only two trim levels (disregarding the recently released special 1M): the 128i and the 135i
  • BMW owner's believing in the inalienable superiority of their purchase

Being a 135i driver, I thought I'd bring the issue of TLD to the foreground by illustrating what happens during my roughly once-weekly run in with another 1-Series:

* All depictions and comments below are typical mental extrapolations from the mind of 135i drivers

"Oh my, what's this I see? Does another 1-Series join me in the graces of all these inferior automobiles? It's been so long since I've seen another one. Welcome brother."
"Is it a 135i or 128i though?"
"Alright! It's a 135i! I almost never see those. Nice to see someone else is interested in spirited driving like I am."

Moments later...

"His better not be better than mine..."
"Awwwwww, how cute; it's just a 128i. That's too bad."
"They're probably off to pick up some food stamps."


"I didn't realize BMW was in the Section 8 program."


"I hope their 128i came with one of those barrels with straps on it they can wear."


"That's a nice looking BMW...hobo Willy. All your baked bean cans fit in there?"

Thank you for your time. Remember: the owners of all lower trim level vehicles have feelings too. And they desperately need any canned food or winter clothing items you can donate to them.

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