On paper the brand new £36,430 BMW 135i xDrive has all of it. A model new 2.Zero-litre turbocharged engine that produces extra energy than some other four-cylinder manufacturing motor in BMW’s historical past. A extremely refined new part-time four-wheel drive system that generates sufficient traction to make your hair fall out. Plus an interesting new design, in and out, that features probably the most superior communication packages ever seen in a small to medium-size automotive.
So to start with, you may’t assist however be impressed by BMW’s sporting new flagship for the newest 1-Collection. And for those who dive a little bit deeper into its specs, issues get higher nonetheless. The engine could solely be a 2.Zero-litre petrol, however it develops a thumping 301bhp between 4500-6250rpm and 450Nm between 1700-5000rpm. That’s sufficient to fireplace the M135i from Zero-62mph in simply four.8sec, thanks partly to a standard-fit launch management system, after which on to a ruled prime pace of 155mph. So the 135i is fast with a capital Q.
On the similar time, its new engine is a few 35kg lighter than the outdated straight-six turbo from the outgoing M140i, and is way more environment friendly in consequence, with a claimed mixed gasoline consumption determine of 41.0mpg and CO2 emissions of 155g/km. Mate these numbers to the rabid efficiency figures and the 135i’s vary of skills are simple to understand.
If something, although, it’s the automotive’s new 4 wheel-drive system and the chassis’ intelligent electronics which are arguably extra spectacular nonetheless. In regular working the 135i xDrive is front-wheel drive, similar to most different new 1 Collection’ (the engine is mounted transversely this time in all variations).
However as quickly as you set your foot down exhausting, the automotive’s “clever management logic” system sends something as much as 50 per cent of the torque to the rear axle and, inside a few milliseconds, the 135i turns into four-wheel drive.
On the transfer the transition is undetectable. As an alternative the 135i xDrive appears to ship 100 per cent traction always, seemingly on any floor and below any throttle load. But the entire time the system is monitoring whether or not you want all-wheel drive or not, and switches the rear axle on or off accordingly, thereby utilizing the minimal quantity of power within the course of. Therefore the superb gasoline and emissions claims. And the monster efficiency.
From the surface the huge new kidney grille dominates the automotive’s character, though the five-door solely 135i xDrive is, it have to be stated, a handsome automotive full cease, with loads of sporting intent alongside its flanks and on the again as properly. However the inside is arguably extra of a star attraction, not merely as a result of this can be very properly specified (all 135i xDrives are available M-Sport spec as normal) and excessive in high quality but in addition as a result of it’s roomier than the outdated automotive, too. The boot is 20 litres greater than earlier than and there’s extra leg and elbow room in all 4 seats, particularly these within the rear.
Having stated that, rear headroom stays on the tight facet for anybody a lot over 5ft 10in, so though the brand new One is most positively greater inside, it’s nonetheless not the roomiest automotive of its ilk.
So, rear headroom apart, it’s an absolute peach of premium scorching hatch to drive and to reside with, appropriate? Not fairly, for though the dealing with, steering, brakes, traction, specification and inside design are all very a lot the fitting facet of fantastic, the identical can’t fairly be stated of the efficiency. Or, to be extra correct, the character of the efficiency, as a result of there’s nothing in any way flawed with the 135i’s goal acceleration.
No, the problem is all about character, about the way in which the automotive delivers its thrust. The way it makes you’re feeling once you’re going for it. Which is to say, it simply feels a little bit bit peculiar by some means, a little bit bit anodyne in its supply, primarily as a result of the engine by no means actually sings, not even for those who rev it as much as 6,000rpm and past. Nor does the exhaust make an particularly memorable noise.
Which is a disgrace, as a result of the eight-speed auto gearbox works brilliantly in all its modes, the mid-range torque is borderline sensational, and the grip on supply is all the time shocking. With a bit extra va-va-voom from the engine, the 135i xDrive would go straight to the highest of its class. However because it stands, it’s merely a really spectacular automotive, however not one which wrenches too exhausting in your coronary heart strings. It’s solely as much as the person how a lot that issues total.