The M135i is available with a choice of three or five doors. You get leather upholstery and a three-berth rear bench as standard; other 1-series offer a strict four-seat option. Shame. We can’t help thinking M135i owners might quite like individual rear chairs.

Access to the rear in the three-door is quite good, thanks to the long side doors and easily folded front seats, which can be motored forwards and backwards via a handy button on the backrest – but only if you’ve spent £600 on the right option.


Road tester
There is an additional 12v socket in the passenger footwell

Space in the back is acceptable rather than good – probably not ideal if you’re likely to carry bulky child seats or more than one average-size adult with any regularity. But if you’re choosing to spend £30k like this, such considerations are probably secondary anyway.

The situation up front is much better. Like every 1-series, the M135i seems over-specified for legroom and headroom thanks to generous adjustment on both the seat and steering column. The driving position is all but flawless and quite unlike a hatchback in its low-slung cosiness.

The way that the cabin has been appointed and equipped is less impressive. There are precious few traditional performance flourishes to distinguish it from a lesser model in M Sport trim, and plenty of gadgetry remains on the options list that other hot-hatch makers wouldn’t dream of omitting. Enough, at any rate, to mean that not many M135is will come in at their £30k starting price.