John Webber
John Webber
2/25/22 2:28 p.m.

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2008 issue of Grassroots Motorsports, back when all three BMW 135i was first introduced]

Unless you’ve been making like an ostrich, you’ve heard plenty about BMW’s just-launched 1 Series. Reacting to the heavy marketing buzz that surrounds this car, enthusiasts are getting downright misty-eyed about the 135i, the sporty twin-turbo version …

Read the rest of the story

philacarguy
philacarguy New Reader
4/25/22 1:43 p.m.

I've got a 2013 135i, msport version (not a full M).  I bought it used about three years old. It's my second/3rd car, still under 35,000 miles.  I totally love it.  Plenty of power and usable RPM (really, how often do you need to be able to go more than 69 mph in second gear?), great brakes, handles well for street use.  I really like the small size - no need for a bigger car.  I tracked it once.  Yes, it could use different pads, tires, springs, shocks, etc for track use.  However, my conclusion was that then I'd have a lesser street car. 

Prior bimmers include a Z4 3.0 (nice, but too noisy for highway use) and an 1999 M coupe.  Yes, I wish I'd kept the clown shoe, but it was chipped, lowered and as such was a fun street car that was only good for short rides.  It was exhausting as a highway car.  My normal habit is to get bored every 2-3 years and move on to something else, but i struggle to think about finding a replacement for the 135 that fits the requirements of small, somewhat light, powerful and competent (and not ridiculously expensive).

My track needs are satisfied by the Triumph GT6 I vintage race.  

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/7/22 10:18 p.m.

In reply to philacarguy :

I am a car guy at heart but hardly so in practical experience; almost the only cool car I've ever had is my E85 3.0. I'm always trying to get a feel for where it fits in with the rest of the pack, like how good of a car it really is. Somewhat O/T then but how did your Z4 rank performance-wise compared to the others you've had?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/8/22 8:28 a.m.
philacarguy said:

I've got a 2013 135i, msport version (not a full M).  I bought it used about three years old. It's my second/3rd car, still under 35,000 miles.  I totally love it.  Plenty of power and usable RPM (really, how often do you need to be able to go more than 69 mph in second gear?), great brakes, handles well for street use.  I really like the small size - no need for a bigger car.  I tracked it once.  Yes, it could use different pads, tires, springs, shocks, etc for track use.  However, my conclusion was that then I'd have a lesser street car. 

Prior bimmers include a Z4 3.0 (nice, but too noisy for highway use) and an 1999 M coupe.  Yes, I wish I'd kept the clown shoe, but it was chipped, lowered and as such was a fun street car that was only good for short rides.  It was exhausting as a highway car.  My normal habit is to get bored every 2-3 years and move on to something else, but i struggle to think about finding a replacement for the 135 that fits the requirements of small, somewhat light, powerful and competent (and not ridiculously expensive).

My track needs are satisfied by the Triumph GT6 I vintage race.  

All 135i's are MSports. Glad you had a better experience. 

In 2017, I bought a 2013 135i with the DCT with only 25k miles on it. Loved the car, it was a maintenance nightmare. Plugs, OFHG, valve cover gasket, belt and tensioner, etc, had the DCT computer reprogrammed 4 times because it wouldn't behave in traffic. 

I traded it in 18 months (which was only 7k miles later) later after it developed a high-RPM knock that we couldn't determine was the engine or the $10k transmission. 

Great car, but you've got to be prepared to open your wallet to have a BMW past the E46 series. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
8/8/22 11:11 a.m.

Sad. N54 in my experience was pretty stout AZ long as you kept fresh plugs, coils, and valve cover gaskets on it.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
8/8/22 11:52 a.m.

My good friend that owns a BMW/Porsche shop told me that he'd stop talking to me and refuse service if I ever personally bought an N54 equipped car...  That's enough for me to be terrified of them, which is sad because they can be beasts of a platform. 

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/8/22 12:19 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Sad. N54 in my experience was pretty stout AZ long as you kept fresh plugs, coils, and valve cover gaskets on it.

2010-2013 135s, and 335s as well, were the single turbo N55s. Apparently they had a penchant for wiping rod bearings. 

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/22 12:31 p.m.

While not nearly as fast or tunable, we have a 2010 128i M-Sport with 6 speed. Slicktop and no iDrive. I absolutely adore the car. It has an intake, headers, exhaust, coilovers, wheels, etc and is a blast to drive!

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/8/22 1:21 p.m.
dyintorace said:

While not nearly as fast or tunable, we have a 2010 128i M-Sport with 6 speed. Slicktop and no iDrive. I absolutely adore the car. It has an intake, headers, exhaust, coilovers, wheels, etc and is a blast to drive!

I want to buy that car from you. smiley

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/22 2:12 p.m.
z31maniac said:
dyintorace said:

While not nearly as fast or tunable, we have a 2010 128i M-Sport with 6 speed. Slicktop and no iDrive. I absolutely adore the car. It has an intake, headers, exhaust, coilovers, wheels, etc and is a blast to drive!

I want to buy that car from you. smiley

I don't know that I'll ever sell it. I found it on a BMW forum a few years ago and did a fly and drive to PA back to FL. It hasn't been totally trouble free (like any BMW of that era) but it's such a great analog car!. My son and I autocrossed it for the first time a few weeks ago and it was incredible fun!

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/22 2:14 p.m.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/8/22 3:10 p.m.
dyintorace said:
z31maniac said:
dyintorace said:

While not nearly as fast or tunable, we have a 2010 128i M-Sport with 6 speed. Slicktop and no iDrive. I absolutely adore the car. It has an intake, headers, exhaust, coilovers, wheels, etc and is a blast to drive!

I want to buy that car from you. smiley

I don't know that I'll ever sell it. I found it on a BMW forum a few years ago and did a fly and drive to PA back to FL. It hasn't been totally trouble free (like any BMW of that era) but it's such a great analog car!. My son and I autocrossed it for the first time a few weeks ago and it was incredible fun!

No doubt! I loved my 135i, I used to let the better half take it to work sometimes, she adored that car white with red leather. It's what got her into understanding my love affair with cars. 

Unfornately, my wallet didn't love the 135i equally!

Our Preferred Partners
2Slz3gokkeDPqzBDYOWBPF0zRPIOM1PXe2pKW5tCfytZxLekXUw4MBqisDAoW6Ih