The BMW 135i was never the fastest or most luxurious car in BMW’s lineup, nor was it the best looking. But as our friends at The Smoking Tire demonstrated recently, if you’re in the market for a used sports coupe, the 135i should be one of your top choices. Considering all that you get for the money, the BMW 135i really is a bargain.
1. Racecar features without the price
As part of the 1 Series by BMW, the 135i is in the smallest, but the least expensive model group in the entire BMW (https://twitter.com/hashtag/BMW135i?src=hash) family. It’s almost nine inches shorter than the 3 Series was at the time and a few inches shorter at the wheelbase, making it one of the lightest, smallest, quickest, and cheapest sports coupe in the lineup.
The BMW 135i can hit 60 mph in just about 5 seconds and tops out at 155 mph. The 135i comes standard with 18-inch wheels that are designed for performance and a suspension system that’s sporty yet smooth over bumps. Light on its feet, the BMW 135i is designed to transition quickly between tight corners and fast straightaways. Reaching top speeds in the small and nimble 135i never feels reckless.
2. Quality BMW engine and transmission
The BMW 135i has one of two powerful engines. Models made during the 2007-to-2010 model years house a 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine, while ones made from 2010 to 2013 saw a switch to a single-turbo engine. Either way, the 135i puts out 302 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque. With the sport trim, the 135is, you’ll be pushing out 317 lb-ft torque.
BMW gave buyers the option of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic for model years 2007 though 2010. After 2010, that changed to your choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch. The differential uses ball bearings that reach their operating temperature quicker and continue to operate at lower temperatures to reduce wear on your drivetrain.
3. Extras you won’t have to pay for
You don’t have to sacrifice size for comfort with the 135i. Though it’s one of the smallest BMWs you can buy, the driver seat is spacious, allowing for plenty of headroom. BMW enthusiasts find they love the stock suspension in the BMW 135i as well. A sport suspension comes standard with the BMW 135i, which holds firm on any impact and allows for razor-sharp steering that racers dream of. Even an aerodynamic kit that was once optional became standard with the 135i, including a more chiseled front end and a trunk lid spoiler.
And even though the 135i’s engine is powerful, BMW’s direct injection and intake technology won’t sacrifice your fuel economy, with an average of 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Modifying the 135i is easy to do, with every design by BMW catering to drivers, racers, and people who love cars. The motor, suspension, and features can all be upgraded or modified easily; though they won’t need to be.
All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.