The new BMW M135i is a point of contention for purists, so, is it better than the outgoing M140i? Let's find out...
BMW has made a few significant changes, and that is what fans are whining about. The outgoing M140i xDrive is a 3-litre straight-six turbo with 340hp and 500Nm of torque, sitting longitudinally, quite far back in the chassis for a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Its power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission manufactured by ZF. The X-Drive system in this car distributes the power to the wheels that can use it best, but in this model, 100% of the power can go to the rear wheels.
The BMW M135i xDrive is different. Under the hood, you will find BMW's latest 2.0-litre turbo with a sprinkling of M-Performance here and there. It forces out 306hp and 450Nm of torque, making it the most potent four-cylinder BMW has ever made. This engine sits transversely, in front of the front axle, and thus, weight is split 60/40 with a front bias. Its also got an eight-speed transmission, but this one is made by Aisin and delivers power mainly to the front wheels which have a limited-slip differential. However, it can send up to 50% of this to the rear if required.
These significant changes are revealed in real-world tests, with the old girl claiming victory in the 0-60 as well as the rolling acceleration departments.
The new M135i has bigger disks and breaks than on the M140i, and the latter is also 15kg heavier than its newer sibling, which means it stops quicker.
In terms of design, which are naturally objective, the new car has a stumpier nose with BMWs new, swollen nostrils, while the old car has a slightly more saloon-car vibe to its front half. It's the interior where the new M135i outclasses the M140i, its dashboard and infotainment are superior, as are the sports seats, taller people can fit in the back, while the boot is bigger too.
Ultimately, though, how does Mat from carwow on YouTube feel after comparing the two? Click play on his review below to find out.