BMW’s cult classic

BMW M140i

The BMW M135i has become something of a cult classic among car lovers, says Neil Winn in Autocar. First released in 2012, it’s one of those machines that doesn’t look particularly exciting, but offers a truly special driving experience. It is, without doubt, one of our favourite hot hatches.

The new M140i is as rewarding as the car it replaces, says Winn. The sonorous 3.0-litre engine has been replaced with an even more powerful 335bhp motor, and that makes the car “properly quick” in a straight line. But it is its flexibility that’s most impressive for real-world driving. It responds almost instantaneously at any number of revs, which means it’s as happy being a “long-legged cruiser as an M car screamer”. Guiding it down your favourite B-road is a rewarding experience and will put a smile on your face.

The car is an ideal fit for British roads, says Will Beaumont in Evo. Its compact dimensions mean you can exploit its attributes to the full on our narrow lanes, and the power and torque the engine puts out means you’ll never feel out of your depth on the wide open road either.

Keen drivers will love the car’s focused handling, smooth six-cylinder engine and sweet chassis, says Sam Naylor in Auto Express, but anyone can appreciate its upmarket interior and exciting exhaust note. It’s not cheap, but for what could well be the last rear-wheel-drive, straight-six hot hatch, many will be happy to pay up.

If you push the car very hard you’ll notice a slight float and lack of traction at the rear, says Ollie Kew in Top Gear, but for most people most of the time you’ll enjoy every moment of your time in this car. The driving position is spot on, the engine is great and the handling rewarding. It is a “very enjoyable place to be indeed”.

Price: £31,875
Engine: 2,998cc, six-cylinder, turbo, petrol
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
Power: 335bhp