An M135i for less than £10,000? Tempting, especially considering the 2012-reg car has done a reasonable 75,000 miles and has full BMW service history, faithfully recorded in its iDrive system. It’s the rare manual version, by the way, and being the three-door, it looks sportier than the practical five-door version.
So it’s all looking good, and in case you’ve forgotten, its 3.0-litre straight six produces 315bhp and 332lb ft, enough to launch it from rest to 62mph in 4.6sec. Those rear tyres take a hammering, so the first thing to check is how much tread is left. In the wet, you might wish you were at the wheel of a four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R. Otherwise, the rear-drive M135i is the car to have.
That being so, and rear rubber checked, we’d want to try it from cold to check how the coolant system behaves and how stiff the gearchange feels. (It should free up as the ’box warms through.) If the service record is as good as it appears, the brake discs and pads should have plenty of life left. Don’t just check the fronts. The rears, too, can wear badly from the stability control system braking the wheels during hard driving.
Next, we’d check that the front suspension is quiet and exhibits no looseness. On that point, ball joint wear is not uncommon.
Body-wise, we’d make sure that the date stamped in the headlights corresponds with the car’s registration year and, inside, that the head-up display and iControllers are free of glitches. Sourcing replacements can be a drawn-out affair because they’re often uniquely coded to the car. If it all checks out, it could be a great new year buy.