BMW M135i review.
This time on Road and Race I investigate the mystery that is BMW’s M135i. With almost as much power but at much lower cost could it really be better than owning an M3?
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I agree with everything in this video, but as a matter of personal preference, I love the in line 6 sound. No it is not better than the m3 V8, but damn I think it's close. Way better than all the 4 banger performance cars of today.
Also just in addition to this, I have a 2016 m135i LCI. There was a minor bump in rated power to 240kW and some suspension and transmission tweaks for the auto which makes the car feel more identical to the m235i which has been touted as the more "sorted" car. I have driven a pre-LCI model like the one in this video and it does feel a tiny bit more floatey in the rear and and the understeer is a little more pronounced. This could all be a placebo effect, would love to track them both.
Of course there will always be better cars than the E92 M3. If you compare it to the range of M Cars BMW has released over the last few years it already has become a dinosaur. But thats exactly what makes it more appealing to me then say an M2 or M4.
The M135i is a really nice toy and quite afordable for the performance that you get in return... but the M3 E92 is way much better sports car than the M135i.
If you consider a car as an overall package, then clearly the M3 is not your car, if for example you pretend to use it as a daily car. But if you consider the sensations when driving an M3, and the feedback that you get in return when you are driving it, is a much more complete set for having fun on a track or in a nice mountain road.
Sportiness is not only equal to power, there are other factors that matter here, and apart from pure technical stuff (LSD, much better chasis, much better car balance, etc) from my point of view other variables need to be considered like the feel of a non-electrically assisted steering wheel, the joy of a manual gear box, the adrenaline generated when revving an engine up to 8300 rpm (who gives a pigs ass about the torque arriving earlier when all you want is to have fun), etc. And then the noise of the car ...
Just wait some years, and lets see who remembers the M135i and who remembers the M3 E92.
M135i - cracking car. NEEDS a sports exhaust. I have had all the m performance trim and a M performance race wheel put it OEM. Yes, you can lower, spacers, LSD, and you will have a weapon(may do this next). Also has a great business Navigation in..I also own 911 c4s - let me tell you, for a little hatch, it's probably as fast in a straight line- but feels faster. So, I have put in 25k total and only 15k miles on clock.
Will it appreciate in value like M3? ..................................No, it''s just a little hatch. Yes the e92 m3 is only one with v8... but it's not just about the engine.. just look at the e30 M3 example..but it is one of the most beautiful and their values now...sheesh..
Is it better bang for your buck, and more useable? .......Probably...but still drinks though
Side by side with M3?......................................................M3 is better looking, i hate the rear lights on the m135i but with a few cosmetics might be able to make it look better. M135i with sports exhaust next to V8 out does it if you like that crackle&pop. F80 m3 competition pack sounds even more mental..
If you want a hatchback for 15-18k with average miles. Get M135i with RWD as they are changing to to FWD/4WD.. I am shocked they are as cheap as they are right now, it's a joke.. surely will appreciate back up a bit soon
Unfair to compare a 1 series with a 3 series, but... it's testament to the M135i that Bmw improved the 1 series that the suggestions are even being made...
Love my M135i but it's a sub branded M car. Awesome value for the money but really push it in the bends and it's a fidget even with the adaptive suspension. Needs a LSD but they guess they needed to leave something for the M2.
I had an m135i with stage 2 and so nearly 400hp but more impressively 600nm which is slightly more than new M3. The real difference was when I lowered it and put spacers on. Much much better and made me realise how rubbish it was standard even with adaptive when pushing. I bought mine as a daily after spending 7 years dreaming of the e92 M3 but realising the V8 not economical enough for a daily. Don’t regret it one bit.
Road and Race Yeah thanks. Well I was sucked in by fan pages. I’m too old for it really but made a very fast, great handling car. Went for £19.5k which was a bargain for the condition, extras and miles.
Feel like the people that have a dig at the m135i own a m series and have the shits that the 135 is almost as good or can't afford the other m models and don't want this... no one has a whinge about the 1m.
If you want a proper drivers car buy a porsche cayman and have a turbo fitted to it, best car ever it will out handle a 911 and with a turbo fitted have the same amount of power
Serious it's the best option as long as you don't need 4 seats 😎
I own a modded M135i xdrive auto.. xdrive you say.. yes once you tune to 400+ it makes so much sense, and you have a different beast altogether! The slight softness the car has default is easily fixed with a eibach kit and some proper lighweight 19” wheel/tires. You cannot beat the value this car offers in this pricerange!
Road and Race I thought that might be the case, always had a soft spot for her lol!....I was hoping secretly you still had her, That car got me into road and race and the DIY projects inspired me to buy one my self, so thank you very much for all the great content....
Watched afew of your video's now. Didn't realise that you must live quite close to me to be going to cullum (this is my garage). I've never owned a bemmer though. Perhaps when I can afford an xdrive model but for now I'm Audi Quattro on Oxfordshire b road blast's 😊
Get videos though and I'll continue to watch as a car enthusiast.
the m135i, bless it, is so inferior to the M3 at higher speeds and doesn't handle anywhere as well either. it starts to struggle which is disappointing. other than that it Is a good car.
the E9x m3 is v8 and sound much better than the 135. for my money it would be an e92 m3 any day of the week.
Just here to read the funny comments as its an obvious click baity crap title. Of course it's not going to beat an M of any kind. Only M is M and all the rest is....well, NOT an M :) Especially not some crappy hatchback. It's for entirely different situations. Non M's are (sometimes sporty) daily drivers while a true M is a sports car than can be daily driven, with some drawbacks.
Road and Race I've only driven the lower model 1 series and it's seriously rubbery without heft or definition. The M3 I've read has decent shifter though not amongst the best. Can you compare it to some other cars ?
+Road and Race
Hi, I have a friend who has a 135i fitted with a LSD and it was awesome. If you have a chance of trying one , do it. You'll be pleasantly surprised how different they feel. It totally transforms the car.
Just stop it.... Needs much better suspension, diff and wider tracks for a start..... The M3 is just wayyyy more fun out of the box .... unless you are Mr. Sensible.....
Sort exhaust and you will never ever look positively towards an M135i ever..... unless your broke and need to downsize.. and looking for a hatch with a BMW badge and a straight six.....
No hate... just need to nip the foolishness at the bud.....
Came from an E46 330ci to our M135i, we were looking at e92 m3's the car was to be used as a daily and it came round to running costs/value for momey/practicality. You can put an LSD in get some spacers beef up the brakes and suspension for reasonable money, but mines not going on track. ( that's what the Lotus is for ) if you're a BMW fan then these little hatchbacks are a massive bargain. The 1/240s are the last of their kind as new one is likely to be a 4pot xdrive. Great video, nice comparison.
@m3conv i see you have a e46 m3 uploaded on your youtube page, that means the e46 m3 is a 316i? beacuse my m135i or sorry i mean 318d* won easy against the e46 m3. Felt like one of those ppl with a 318d who had stuck an M badge on with 135i. Most retarded comment i have ever seen.
Thanks mate, thrown a right spanner in the world here!😆
Just found my M3, of to look tomorrow with the intention of purchasing and now looking at M135i’s near buy.
Guess what, found one and with every option, inc. adjustable dampers. Which, the M3 I’m looking at does not. 😂
Superb video by the way 👍👍
Road and Race Chances are I wouldn’t be tracking either. And, if I tell the truth I have owned a M135i before in 2014. Lovely car and a tough one to beat, I think it’s maybe time to give the M3 a go, it’s always been a dream! 😄
Agree....Ive driven a few N54/55 cars over the years and they are brilliant, but they dont quite match that fizz the E92 M3 gives when those gear change lights are blinking away. I'd be perfectly happy if the 135i left an e92 M3 for dead in all situations simply because they just arent as engaging to drive.
I swapped out an e46 330ci for an M135i and have to say very impressed with it, bags of power, plus for around the £500~£700 you can get another 70+ HP out of it, my first upgrade will probably be handling related though, just to firm it up a little, every time I’ve driven it, it certainly puts a smile on my face, would love a full M car but financially just not viable for me,
Not sure what your talking about there no we’re close to each other the M135i does not handle the same it does nothing the same or close to it. Your trying to over exaggerate the car. Your comparing it to a non turbo to a turbo so don’t say the power comes in at 1400 rpm to your non turbo that comes in at 4000 rpm.
The car has to small wheel base is to short, I can keep going but you get the idea, just because they put a few M performance accessories does not make it a performance car. Here’s a thought compare it the the 2015 M3
It has a 6 cyl with turbos then talk about the performance what a moron !
Aaaaand you did it again......
Again a seriously great and interesting video to watch.
Those cars are somehow different and somehow really comparable.
For really hard track use the M3 will be more built for, but if you use it as a daily, the M135 is - at least in my opinion - the better car. Plus: remove the badge and most people think it is nothing special. A bit "stealthy" somehow.
Greetings from Bavaria!
Good, honest video Neil. Love the M Performance cars. I’ve owned a M235i and now a M240i. The 235 I took to Germany and touched an indicated 165mph on the Autobahn towards Stuttgart, a couple of years ago. For the money, it’s hard to beat these. They are properly fast and great all-rounders. A relatively affordable supercar for us mere mortals. Keep up the great content!
Neil - would you do me a solid and check out my channel and provide some critical feedback? I realize there's little incentive beyond helping out a likeminded wrencher. Net-net, I'm starting out, have a few videos under my belt and want to keep improving. Understand if time is your enemy too ;))
Road and Race Much appreciate the feedback. Validates some of my thoughts. Really like the posting venues idea. Friends and family are great but not necessarily into cars the same way. Need to spread my wings and you've shown me where to fly. Cheers!
Happy to help out. Your channel is well shot and the audio is good so technically you are better than a lot of channels already! You’ve already got a variety of content which is good. I found I got more views posting links to my how to guides on Porsche forums so maybe you could try that. Nice 987 by the way! My top tip is to simply make content you would like to watch yourself and enjoy what you do. Keep up the good work.
There’s a reason folk call these m lites. Up to 8/10th they are fantastic but push harder and it starts to feel ragged.
An M2 in comparison starts to shine when the x35i/x40i starts to struggle.
Whether it is worth the extra money is subjective, but having owned both I’m happy with the M2.
KEVIN MANSFIELD he wants a car that’s cheaper to run but also delivers similar driving thrills. Did you not understand the concept of the video? The comment is actually a bit of banter between friends so wind your neck in 🙄
You need to drive one with the ZF auto box. So much better when mated to that engine. Like you I owned an 07 E92 M3, then a 2010 911 Carrera S. I was skeptical about the M135i at first but grew to love it. Now have a brand new M140i Shadow Edition with Adaptive suspension. A brilliant car and so much more usable and fuel efficient that the M3. You need adaptive to make this car. These are weapons
I guess the market has split up from true M cars to 'performance' models which are M cars im their own right. Like the other german powerhouses Mercedes/Audi with amg and S cars, consumers now have something in between to choose from.
Time and technology marches on, I can appreciate the 1 or 235i, if I ever sell my m3 that is something I would look into to save money. What strikes me about the 135i is the lesser quality interior plastics, cheaper manufactured switch gear , the leather on the seats is more like cheap vinyl, no rear armrest, fake sound through the speakers, this car was obviously built to a price, as you said half the price of an m3. Thanks to those cheap PCP deals they are now ten a penny and will bomb in value over the coming years, where as the e92 m3 last of the N/A V8 's will only go up in value, my comp pack is 1 of 1570 spec cars made world wide, Yes the turbo engine has torque all over the place, the S65 was always designed to be a high revving race engine. Even now on the forums they debate that the M2 is not a proper M car because it has an N code engine and not the S code engine on the previous M cars.
E92 M3 GUY
Dude you sound like the morons on YouTube that only dream of M-cars and actually never owned or driven one. You just recited the 3 most common things I here on YouTube.
I’m pretty sure your just another poser. That’s clueless
I bought an M135i a few weeks ago, and I love it. I have noticed the need for an LSD pretty quickly especially in the snow. The whole car is remarkably complete and puts over hot hatches to shame. It’s not as good as an M3, but it’s not meant to be, but a little fettling will make it a truly great car.
You should have a go in my M135i, it has the 8 speed zf auto gearbox and adaptive suspension which may put it a touch closer to the m3..
P.S I enjoy all your vids by the way all very informative and honest.
What worries me about the M135i. When Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear was doing approx 120mph and he spins off as shown in this clip https://youtu.be/RrVaKgNaUEI But I really like the M140i because Ive actually driven that car and boy is it fast.
Clarkson was being a dishonest dick in that video and I addressed it ages ago on another posting of that video here:
If you watch carefully, he's turned off the DSC and then bitches about it spinning out.
Furthermore, Tiff tests the E39 M5 earlier and sings the praises of DSC and shows you the difference with it on and off:
In short, don't believe everything Clarkson says. He often spouts shite ( He also said on one video that the Jagsur V12 engine was made of cast iron, when it has always been aluminum block and heads )
Mancunian Gooner I drove my M235i in Germany at an indicated 165mph on the autobahn. It was totally stable and clearly designed to do it. I had every confidence in the car. As proof, I now own a M240i. Believe me, these are cracking cars. Buy the latest you can afford. The M235i has a slightly better suspension set up at the rear vs the early M135i. May benefit aerodynamically too being slightly longer and with a boot. The M140i and I think maybe the updated (LCI in BMW speak) M135i gained the suspension set up of the coupe, so latest versions feel identical so I understand. Many recommend adaptive,, both of mine have had the standard suspension, which seems fine to me, though I’m not a racing driver.
If you can afford it like you say then buy a real M-Car
M3,M4,M5 or M6
The M2 is a far cry from a true M-Car
For so meany reasons but it’s the cheapest for the posers that want to say they have an M-Car. You could say it’s a beginner/trainer car.
I’d argue against the lack of iconic status, it is what it is and for those that know it’s a great car. I chose an M140i for its subtlety, no one asks questions on how you can afford it, fits in perfectly with other traffic, uninitiated drivers mistake it for the mundane. This car is iconic as a giant slayer, or at least a giant botherer.
Fade one I’m not idiot, no need to be a dick, 2 M engines even though they may be similar sizes to other models they have had many upgrades to the standard engine of the same size, for instance even though the M2 engine is the same as the n55 in my car it has different internals to that of the standard n55, this is pretty much the same for all M engines
For £15k that's a huge amount of car, I mean we're talking golf 2.0d prices and look how much more you get for your money over a diesel golf. Also, isn't a BMW 335d engine that's been chipped meant to be almost equal to an M3? or have I mistaken the rumor mill for fact ?
Thanks for your feedback on this. It's a difficult decision because I'm a high mileage driver (mainly motorways), but my BMW dealer has offered me a two year unconditional warranty on an E92 M3 - which is amazing! However I still have concerns that the fuel bill will cripple me. Hence looking at M135 / M140.
The M135 or the M240 both are bad choices if you have ever driven an M Car you will quickly see and feel the difference after my M3 was totaled buy someone not paying attention I tried non M-BMW’s and hated them there no were close I gave the car to my daughter and bought the M5.
But if you never driven an M-Car then go with the others you won’t know the difference.
SodenCine Video Go for it. I’d be extremely surprised if you are disappointed. These are great cars. I’ve owned a M235i and now a M240i. As a road car, they are hard to beat for the money and, for drivers, one of BMW’s best currently in sale.
The M3 was never about pure straight line speed, it was always about how the whole package works together. The power, the chassis, the handling etc. Day to day from A to B the M135i is a no brainer due to efficiency and (relatively) low running costs (seriously, call BMW and ask how much a brake job costs for the M135i, you will be shocked). The M3....it is a whole different experience, even if it is slower than the M135i. Since it is turbocharged, aftermarket tuning can go crazy, but again the whole point of the M3 is completely different.
course the 135i is better than the m3. i mean it gets better brakes, better perfomance potentail as ive seen these things make 450bhp and destroy the e92 m3 and also keep up with the f80 m3.
All in all why would anyone buy a e92 m3 over a 135i or even better a 140i is beyond me?
good vid thou
My experience is that the M-Series BMW do not only have M-engines, but that also the full suspension and geometry is completely different. Compared to an M-Model, all the standard BMW feel pretty...standard. On the track I mean. That undesteer he talks about in that video is killing all the fun.
And considering track use, both cars definitely have more power than I can handle anyway. When the 135i was new, I talked to quite a few professional drivers who did not like it very much because the turbos kicking in would make it rather unpredictable. And that was drivers with several thousand VLN race laps on the Nordschleife.
And considering Mercedes: Considering track use, I am pretty sure a C63 is not even half as much fun as any of the two BMWs. I did not drive any C63 myself, though.
Just because M3 ? The 1 series will always be a one series, an older M3 will be slower, but even if it's not an inline 6, it was the last n/a, and it looks a million times better. The 135 fake soud is terrible, and no lsd feels really wrong to me. So M3 e92
That C63 AMG is indeed a monster machine, but if you thought maintenance on the M3 was expensive, here in Germany Mercedes is retarded in their costs, more than Porsche. That is another thing you need, or should account for when looking at cars, maintenance.
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