BMW M135i M Performance 3dr auto
BMW car review: LUKE MADDEN
What is it?
It’s a 1 Series wearing BMW’s famed ‘M’ badge, but it’s not quite a full-blown ‘M’ car. It’s called the M135i and it’s powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine that develops a stonking 316bhp – that’s in a rear-wheel drive hatchback the same size as a Golf!
Go for the excellent eight-speed automatic and you’ve got a car that can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. With a price-tag of £31,545 this surely has to be one of the fastest accelerating business cars on sale at around the £30k mark. (The manual costs £29,995.)
It’s also available as a 5-door hatch – even more sensible
BMW has tweaked the suspension, the steering and pretty much everything else you can think of to sharpen up this 1 Series, and it feels like its second nature to drive this car quickly.
Also available as a five-door hatch too.
- Subtle ‘M’ badges, some larger alloy wheels and an understated bodykit all help the M135i fly under the radar – it’s perfect for turning up at a business meeting. No one will suspect this business car could give a Porsche 911 a run for its money.
- You won’t doubt that from behind the wheel, though. In-gear acceleration feels supercar-quick, and while it may struggle with traction away from the line the M135i still feels brutally fast.
- The engine sounds fantastic, too. There’s a growl from the exhausts when you’re accelerating, interrupted – only briefly – by the ultra-quick shifting auto. A six-speed manual comes as standard, though.
- Quicker steering, firmer suspension and uprated brakes make this car a great all-round package. The wheels seem to have reacted before you even turn the steering wheel and there’s next-to-no body roll in the bends.
- There aren’t many business cars this fast that can fit five adults and carry 360 litres worth of luggage, but that’s exactly what the M135i is capable of.
- Despite all of its performance the M135i is very easy to live with. It’s refined on the motorway and if you stick it in ‘Comfort’ mode the suspension is actually surprisingly supple. So long-distance business meetings aren’t a chore.
- The fuel economy and CO2 emissions are high (although actually pretty good compared with models boasting this kind of performance). The good news is that the relatively low P11D value means standard rate taxpayers will only pay £1,623 a year in company car tax.
- You might get through some of your consumables quicker than you would in any other car. The tyres, for example, will need changing a little more regularly.
- The danger this car represents to your driving licence…