BMW’s M135i is much better than it looks

BMW M135i

If you only read the spec sheet of the BMW M135i there’s a fair chance you’d want one. A hot hatch featuring an N55 turbocharged straight-six, sending 235kW/450Nm directly to the rear wheels, is a compelling package. Indeed, with a new slick 8-speed auto you can see off 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds. But there’s a catch. Of course, there’s a catch.

The elephant in the room with the M135i is the way it looks. Being polite, it’s just bloody ugly. To be fair, BMW has slightly improved the troublesome front end with a new styling package compared to the regular F20 1 Series.

But a question only you can answer: if the M135i was head and shoulders the best car in its class, could you do it? Because, as it turns out, there’s a fair chance the M135i is the best car in its class. Here’s what the early reviews are saying:

Autocar (Richard Bremner): “While some may desire the more uncompromising character of the 1M Coupé, the fact is that this M135i’s ride is less maskingly firm, its steering more delicate and its character easier to live with. And it’s also a whole lot cheaper, being almost £10k less.”

Car (Chris Chilton): “It might not look as sexy as a Scirroco, or feel quite so single-minded as a Megane RS, but the BMW is faster, better built and just feels more special than any of them. We can’t think of a more desirable, more exciting top-drawer hot hatch on the planet than this M135i.”

Evo (David Vivian): “The best thing about the M135i, though, is the grin it puts on your face on a twisty road… But I can’t help thinking the real achievement is the focus on something I’d feared the M people had lost sight of: the bloke behind the wheel. Three hearty cheers for that.”

So when can you get your hands on one? BMW Australia is bringing the M135i here in a five-door layout only and hope to have it in showrooms before the end of the year. And we hear BMW is hoping to have M135i on sale with a list price of around $68,900. Assuming it’s relatively well equipped, and doesn’t require too many ticks on BMW’s expensive options list, that pricing is quite good.

So, we ask again, could you do it? We’ve got a couple of videos for you after the break that may or may not seal the deal.

17 replies on “BMW’s M135i is much better than it looks”

RS3 performance with BMW fun for S3 money. Audi has got it’s work cut out for it.

At least it will look better. But the ugly duckling BMW is growing on me.

I agree. Front end is growing on me too. Or at least its degree of offensiveness is waning. But it’s still a real disincentive to purchase this car.

I spose you don’t have to look at it from the outside when you’re behind the wheel.

I think it’s quite good looking. With the M sports kit, it makes the nose look less “piggish”. The less people like the looks, the rarer it will be and therefore more desirable in my book. Let the others have their boxy shaped GTIs I say.

It’s butt ugly and the interior is more busy than a boat dock full of illegal immigrants…
I think you mean a Golf R as it’s more price comparable and power wise. Next minute you’ll be raving how good the 86 and BRZ is… Oh wait you have LOL

It’s growing on me, big problem. I’d have to look at the interior though.

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