BMW M135i review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£36,430
What Car? Target Price£34,505
BMW M135i xDrive 2019 rear seats
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The M135i is priced very closely to the AMG A35 and Audi S3, but adding a few option packs can send its cost rising sharply. Thankfully, it should hold its value well, if not quite as tenaciously as the AMG A35. Official fuel economy is 35.3mpg, while CO2 emissions start at 155g/km. That means it avoids being in the top tax bracket for benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax, but only just.

The M135i comes with a reasonable list of standard equipment, including automatic lights and wipers, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, 18in alloy wheels and a racy bodykit to set it apart from lesser BMW 1 Series models. As an option, you can turn your smartphone into the key for the car, this feature even going as far as allowing you to unlock and start the car with it.

The 1 Series is too new for specific reliability data to be available, but in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, petrol-powered versions of the previous generation shared seventh place (out of 31 family cars) with the Mini Clubman. As a brand, though, BMW fared less well, placing 21st out of 31 manufacturers surveyed. That’s one place behind Audi but three ahead of Mercedes. The M135i is covered by a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, matching that provided by Mercedes for the A35.

BMW M135i xDrive 2019 infotainment
BMW M135i xDrive 2019 front head-on cornering
Open Gallery9 Images


Amongst its closest hot hatch rivals, the M135i stands out for being more fun to drive, yet perfectly comfortable day to day. The Civic Type R might bring even greater thrills and interior space, but the classy ambience of the M135i’s is a big draw.

  • Sharp and enjoyable handling
  • Well-judged ride
  • Excellent infotainment
  • Engine could sound fruitier
  • Digital dials less configurable than rivals’
  • Gearbox can be hesitant