Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: 2013 BMW 135is Coupe

While some new BMWs are fairly affordable, used cars from the German brand are even more so. Plus, sometimes the used models still compare favorably to their new counterparts, especially when it comes to handling. And there’s an opportunity this week on Cars & Bids to confirm this notion for yourself. That’s because there’s a 2013 BMW 135is Coupe up for sale.

It’s not a 1M Coupe, but the E88 BMW 135is Coupe is the next best thing

A blue 2013 BMW 135is Coupe
2013 BMW 135is Coupe front 3/4 | BMW

Although it’s sold in other markets, BMW no longer offers the 1 Series in the US. It was replaced in 2014 by the slightly larger 2 Series, which today remains an enthusiast favorite due to its driving dynamics. However, in some ways, the earlier E88 1 Series is held in even higher regard, due to the now-iconic limited-production 1M Coupe.

The 2013 BMW 135is Coupe isn’t a 1M copy. But at the time, it was the closest alternative, Road & Track explains. And it offers even more performance than the already-fun 135i it’s based on.

Like the contemporary 135i, the BMW 135is uses the N55 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine. But instead of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, it makes 320 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. That’s sent to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. With the manual, the 135is goes 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than the 135i, Car and Driver reports.

The 2013 BMW 135is Coupe doesn’t just have more power and torque than the 135i, though. It comes standard with a performance exhaust, auxiliary radiator, upgraded radiator fan, recalibrated stability control system, and M Sport suspension, MotorTrend says. Plus, an M Sport steering wheel, sport seats, stainless-steel pedals, upgraded brakes, and some model-specific trim.

Put all this together, and you have, to paraphrase R&T, the distillation of what made BMWs of old great. The BMW 135is Coupe’s hydraulic steering is accurate, communicative, and full of feedback. Its seats are comfortable and supportive, and deliver “the perfect driving position,” R&T gushes. And while the ride is a bit harsh, it brings sharp handling, Car and Driver notes. In short, it’s an excellent sports car.

The 2013 BMW 135is Coupe on Cars & Bids

A white 2013 BMW 135is Coupe in a parking lot
2013 BMW 135is Coupe | Cars & Bids

Although the BMW 135is Coupe was a 2013-only model, it wasn’t a limited-edition car. The example currently listed on Cars & Bids, though, is a bit special. According to the site, it’s the only 135is Coupe sold in this spec. And that spec is, in a word, well-equipped.

Besides the standard features, this DCT-equipped 2013 BMW 135is Coupe has the Technology and Premium Packages. That means it has keyless entry, auto-dimming mirrors, ambient lighting, GPS navigation, voice command, and smartphone integration. It also comes with rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, and a Harman/Kardon audio system. Plus, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and adaptive xenon headlights with washers.

The tan-leather front seats and black dashboard of a 2013 BMW 135is Coupe
2013 BMW 135is Coupe front interior | Cars & Bids

This 2013 BMW 135is Coupe is mostly stock; the only modifications are a K&N air filter, ARM Motorsports charge pipe, and carbon-fiber spoiler and rear diffuser. It does have a few scratches and a replacement front bumper. But it only has 58,010 miles on the clock. And the current owner changed the oil and brake pads roughly 3000 miles ago.

It’s a 1-of-1-spec sports car bargain that should be fairly reliable

As of this writing, this 2013 BMW 135is Coupe is listed on Cars & Bids at $13,235 with three days left in the auction. Considering it likely originally cost about $50K in this spec, that’s a significant discount. Not to mention the fact that 1M Coupes easily go for more than three times what this 135is Coupe is currently going for.

Given that it’s a used BMW, reliability may be a concern, especially in the engine department. As always, it’s recommended that potential bidders try to schedule a pre-purchase inspection. However, while the N55 engine in the 135is isn’t fault-proof, it’s more reliable than its N54 predecessor, BMW Tuning notes.

This 135is’s valve cover and oil filter housing gaskets appear to be in good condition. That leaves only the water pump and high-pressure fuel pump as potential failure points. And stronger replacement versions of both are available. Plus, being a 2013 model, this BMW 135is avoids the N55 VANOS bolt recall, BMW Tuning reports.

So, if you’ve wanted to know what makes older BMW sedans and sports cars special, this car is an affordable way to find out.

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