Last week, BMW revealed its facelifted 1 and 2-series ranges. At least we think. Other than some new headlight clusters at the front and rear, you’d struggle to tell it apart from the pre-update cars, but that certainly wasn’t the case with the last 1-series facelift.
The styling changes brought on in 2015 made a huge difference to the once ungainly front end of the 1er, introducing a re-shaped bumper with new headlights and a new set of kidney grilles. However, if you can put up with the whole Mater from Cars look the original F20 has going on, there’s a performance car bargain to be had with the hot M135i.
The current version may have a different name (M140i) plus a new and more powerful engine, but the recipe for the original M135i is much the same. We’re looking at a 314bhp, 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six sending power to the rear wheels, hooked up to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox.
0-62mph happens in 4.9 seconds in the automatic, and 5.1 seconds in the manual. The majority on the used market are automatics, but there are plenty of manuals around if that’s what you’re after.
Now for the ‘bargain’ part. With the earliest models now around five years old, they’ve depreciated to about half their original price. The cheapest have dipped below the £15,000 mark, and if you spend £16,250 on this example, you’ll be the proud owner of a manual M135i with a reasonable 45,530 miles on the clock and a full service history. If it was us we’d be tempted to get a limited-slip differential fitted (as standard the M135i makes do with a diff of the open variety), but other than that, one of these arguably offers up all the performance you could ever need.