Dan’s car is a 2012, 62-reg three- door with the rare six-speed manual gearbox. The eight-speed auto was more popular with new buyers impressed with its paddle shifts and quicker changes, 2mpg superior fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Dan’s M135i has done 30,000 miles and cost £17,500. You’ll find prices leap around like this but around £17,000 is where you’ll find straight 2013-2014 cars with solid histories.
The M135i was launched in 2012 costing, in ‘basic’ three-door manual form, just shy of £30,000. That said, a few choice options could easily send the price to £40,000. Fortunately, today’s prices don’t ref lect the value of all these extras, so fill your boots.
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It was powered by the new N55- series 3.0-litre straight six with a twin-scroll turbo and was capable of 0-62mph in less than 5.0sec. Crucially, the new car was described as an ‘M Performance’ model, as distinct from a full-fat M car – so no limited-slip diff but a suspension set-up tuned by BMW’s M division.
Adaptive dampers were a £550 option. Standard equipment included twin-spoke 18in alloy wheels, Alcantara upholstery (leather was a popular upgrade), BMW Professional radio and iDrive infotainment witha 6.5in display. Cars fitted with the optional Professional Navigation system got an 8.8in screen.
A facelift in 2015 ushered in revised front and rear ends with LED daytime running lights and optional adaptive headlights, standard navigation (the car’s full name became M135i Nav) and improved manual and automatic transmissions. It also brought a modest hike in power to 321bhp.
The 0-62mph sprint remained unchanged at 4.9sec for the manual and 4.7sec for the auto. These last 2015-2016 cars cost north of £20,000.
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Rivals for your cash include the Volkswagen Golf R Mk7, available from around £16,500 for the first 2012-reg cars, or the Mercedes A45 AMG, whose high new price means even the first 2013-reg cars cost from £21,500. No doubt about it: the M135i is value for money.
How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s view - KEVIN BIRD, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, BIRDS: “The M135i sold well when new and we see around 10 a month through the workshop. Rear-wheel drive, a beautifully torquey engine: what’s not to like? Well, traction could be better. Especially in poor weather, you need to be very careful on the throttle. When buying one, check all the gadgets such as the iController work. When those things go wrong, they can cost a fortune to fix.”