BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > 2012 BMW 1-Series Sporthatch (F20) Discussion > M235i driven - from the perspective of an M135i owner
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      03-14-2014, 12:22 AM   #1
he3at
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M235i driven - from the perspective of an M135i owner

Hi all,

Had the chance to take an M235i for a drive today. I own a Sep-13 built M135i 5dr auto as my daily driver with around 4000km, so was keen to compare the two.

The M235i had around 3000km. Front interior and dash is identical except for the steering wheel from the 3 series M-sport, and a longer reach over the shoulder to the seat belts. The steering wheel diameter is slightly bigger, has a slightly-thinner-but-still-chunky-rim (with nicer non-scratchy leather than mine) and a much smaller boss (centre part), which helps the view of the instruments and gives a nice retro look, but the button layout is not as cohesive IMO. It's as if the designers prioritised aesthetics over function. That said, I'm sure once you get used to it, either wheel is fine. Much wider view out the rear window compared to the postie slot rear window I have to live with.

Handling... well, I was on public urban roads, so suffice to say they felt the same as far as I could tell in that environment. The 2-er's Adaptive M suspension (both cars have it) was actually a bit noisier than mine over speed bumps, but that's splitting hairs, and probably representative of the hard life the car's had to date (press demonstrator, tyre shoulders were pretty scuffed).

They've refined it a bit. Suspension and drivetrain are a bit smoother at low speeds. Engine noise is different, but I suspect still synthesised. Sounds more naturally-aspirated, with more of that straight-6 zing, and less of the Chewbacca exhaust roar (if that means anything to anyone!) Coming from a naturally aspirated straight 6 in my previous car, I've missed that sweet sound, though admittedly the 1-er sound has more impact when you floor it. The low speed shunt that is so prevalent in my car was not to be found.

No I could not detect the extra 5kW. If anything, because of the added refinement, it probably felt slightly slower. Still crazy fast for road use, though.

Overall it just drives like a grown up, more mature M135i. Other than the new steering wheel, I like the improvements they've made. What I don't like is the AU$15k price premium, and I do need back doors for kid-carting reasons.
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      03-14-2014, 03:58 AM   #2
SteveC
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Interesting

Interesting write up. Thanks. I've been really keen to hear first impression on the new M235i and how/if its different to the M135i that I have.

Other than all the great performance characteristics, I also find the M135i extremely practical. I also like the fact it doesn't draw attention to itself when left parked like some other cars may.

I'm seriously looking at the new M3 but would maybe be more interested in an M2 if they ever launch one. In the meantime I'm very happy with the M135i
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      03-15-2014, 02:28 PM   #3
ILUSV
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Thanks for the review, I had an opportunity to drive the M135i while I was visiting home (Portland, OR) but decided not to. Having only put 350 KM on my M135i, I didn't want to impact or alter my perception of my car... Crazy I know... It could've gone either way but didn't want to take that risk
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      03-15-2014, 02:38 PM   #4
ovekvam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILUSV View Post
Thanks for the review, I had an opportunity to drive the M135i while I was visiting home (Portland, OR) but decided not to. Having only put 350 KM on my M135i, I didn't want to impact or alter my perception of my car... Crazy I know... It could've gone either way but didn't want to take that risk
I am guessing that you mean M235i in Portland?
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      03-15-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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That's correct M235i
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      03-16-2014, 02:42 AM   #6
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15k premium over a 1 series
Thats just insane!
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2012 - BMW F21 116D ED

Please check my amazing car rental website at http://www.bscc.eu!
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      03-16-2014, 07:38 PM   #7
he3at
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Quote:
15k premium over a 1 series
Thats just insane!
AU $65k base for M135i
AU $80k base for M235i

Agreed it's not logical, but then some might find it worthwhile for the looks alone. Not sure if you get any additional standard equipment on the 2-er.


Quote:
...doesn't draw attention to itself...
Same reason why I was happy to go with the 1-series in black.

Case in point: I had them parked side by side as shown in the photo. Had two people passing by who wanted to crawl through and check out the M235i. The M135i was ignored. Or maybe it's the Estoril Blue colour...
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      03-17-2014, 02:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by he3at View Post
AU $65k base for M135i
AU $80k base for M235i

Agreed it's not logical, but then some might find it worthwhile for the looks alone. Not sure if you get any additional standard equipment on the 2-er.
The M135i has been labelled the performance bargain of the year. Maybe BMW priced it a little too aggressively, certainly vs. Audi and Mercedes. Its been flying off showroom floors so I guess this is their response.



Quote:
Originally Posted by he3at View Post
Same reason why I was happy to go with the 1-series in black.

Case in point: I had them parked side by side as shown in the photo. Had two people passing by who wanted to crawl through and check out the M235i. The M135i was ignored. Or maybe it's the Estoril Blue colour...
M135i has already been around for quite a while whereas the M235i is brand new.
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      03-30-2014, 02:10 AM   #9
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Ive driven both as well... and its like the 435i.. the chassis on the 235i is so well refined it seems slower than my old e82 135i N55... needless to say its faster.

I recently bought an m135i.. over the 235i. I like the added space and didn't see value in the huge price difference to be honest!

Both nice cars
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