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jimdiesel

BMW M135i Test Drive

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A brief write up of my thoughts after driving an M135i yesterday.

Stratstone Hull had a BMW supplied demo available over the weekend, so after the Indian GP was finished I went to see what all the fuss was about.

The spec of the car was a Sapphire Black 3 door with Auto Box, Pro Nav, Passive dampers and disappointingly on first acquaintance, the no cost run flat tyre option.

It was a typical dank, grey, 8 degrees in Hull and the dark colour made almost all the model specific differences invisible. Only the Grey 18’’ wheels and the Ferite mirror caps standing out. This in the right colour combo is a very stealth car.

So to driving. Driving position was spot on, even for me. Interior with the right options is a very nice place to be. Driving through traffic in drive and the steering and throttle set to comfort, it was relaxing, quiet and very civilized. Refinement at motorway speed was very good and the ride was the real eye opener. The fun flats and passive dampers seemed to work incredibly well together. I later went on to some bumpy back roads and this still remained the case.

On to more interesting roads and the car changes character completely. The straight line performance does not need expanding on as we have all seen the videos, but I will say this level of performance combined with the sleeper looks is going to provide endless fun. The gearbox in manual is almost as good as a twin clutch for pressing on, with one small gripe from me. BMW have decided to add a small jolt on full throttle manual upshifts to add to the drama. I am sure I would find this annoying after a while. Maybe it can be dialled out in the car settings, or maybe there is a way of driving round it. This was the only flaw in the drivetrain. The noise is fantastic under load, and just the right side of load for me. Steering was the best electric system I have driven to date and the rack is very quick (too quick, until you get used to it at low speeds). Feel is ok and there is no kickback. Weighting is spot on in comfort but perhaps a little too heavy in sport for my taste. The balance felt great, and traction, even in the slightly greasy conditions was pretty good. The brakes were excellent. They just worked and worked well, with nice consistent pedal pressure and smooth low speed characteristics.

From what I had read, I knew the M135i was going to be great, but to quote Top Gear when they first tested the Monaro VXR. It feels like someone has specifically designed a car for me. The Jekyll and Hyde character is perfect for my life style. The ability to be smooth and relaxing in traffic and on motorways, and then be involving and exciting (and bloody quick) when pressing on is rare, and at this price point unheard of.

The most interesting thing for me was the combo of the run flats and passive dampers. It has made ordering one a much simpler process for me.

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Interesting what you say about the steering, i'm really not that keen on it in sport mode, too much feedback particularly from poor motorway surfaces, agree that's it's good in comfort though. Would it look suspicious if I went and took a test drive having only picked mine up 2 months ago, I feel like I need a go :eclipse:

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nice read Jimdiesel, sounds like you had a decent test-drive too +++

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Deposit now placed on a mineral grey with coral interior 3 dr auto. Mid jan delivery.

Top service so far from Stratstone Hull.

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Delivery mid Jan? Wow thats quick

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very nice, perfect colour combo too - look forward to seeing the pics :)

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Delivery mid Jan? Wow thats quick

That is quick. If it was VAG you would need to add the year :roflmao:

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Nice one Jim+++

I ordered my 640d on 27th September and I pick it up on Wednesday.

The BMW factories seem infinitely more efficient than the Audi ones!

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I suspect it will be sooner as one of the free upgrades is dependant on the car being built this year.

Blimey yours was quick, Booster.

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Wednesday? You pay a months tax to drive it for just the last day of the month!

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Good write up Jim. Sounds like you'll be very happy together +++

The BMW factories seem infinitely more efficient than the Audi ones!

Audi seem to let themselves down with the shipping. It seems you can have the car built (approx 8 weeks) and then wait ages for delivery. I wonder if Audi just have fewer build slots free at the moment?

Dunno but it's impressive from BMW.

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At £135 for the year in the grand scheme of things it isn't worth worrying about! It is also the only day I am free this week to go and get it.

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Don't dealers have a flex period built in for the tax to enable them to get them all prepared etc I thought they had a week or two?

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The BMW factories seem infinitely more efficient than the Audi ones!

BMW have an over-supply issue in Europe due to a 10% decline in orders. At a recent BMW meeting there marketing director said that they have shifted “tens of thousands” of cars originally made for Europe to the USA and Asia :secret:

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You no longer lose a month's tax. Scotty is correct, dealers can tax upto a week before and pay the pro rata duty.

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You no longer lose a month's tax. Scotty is correct, dealers can tax upto a week before and pay the pro rata duty.

Bonus!! +++

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Wednesday? You pay a months tax to drive it for just the last day of the month!

Only you :rolleyes: would worry about £10-£30 of lost rfl on a new car worth well over £5x xxx.

Do you turn your collars round when one side starts to wear?

Anyway back on thread, nice one +++- did you manage to nip and tuck with the dealer, or we're they giving it the high demand, long wait, no negotiation routine?

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Deposit now placed on a mineral grey with coral interior 3 dr auto. Mid jan delivery.

Top service so far from Stratstone Hull.

Great choice and nice write up! +++

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At £135 for the year in the grand scheme of things it isn't worth worrying about! It is also the only day I am free this week to go and get it.

Bargain! The RS4 is over £1000 first year!

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BMW are generally excellent on new car delivery times. The only time we waited more than 3 months was on the X5, although that turned out to 9 months after they cocked up the original.

Think I waited 3 weeks for my first M3 Coupe, a week for the M3 Cab, 6 days for the 645 and, perhaps rather oddly, 6 weeks for MrsMe's 320d SE many moons ago.

Jim, was it the stereo/speaker upgrade they're pushing through?

Also, did you go for all the packages (Glass/Media/Driver etc)? I think the colour combo you've gone for is probably the same I'd choose. Mineral/Coral reminds me of the first E46 M3's in grey/red. I ordered Titanium/Red and within a few days I'd seen a grey/red car and realised I'd chosen the wrong colour. It still looked nice, but nothing like as good as the grey.

Have you gone for manual or the auto/paddleshift box?

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At £135 for the year in the grand scheme of things it isn't worth worrying about! It is also the only day I am free this week to go and get it.

Exactly, it's just not a factor. When I part-exchanged they 645 they gave me its tax disc back as it had 10 months on it. So I could cash it in.

Except I forgot. I found it about 4 months ago.:roflmao:

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Think I waited 3 weeks for my first M3 Coupe, a week for the M3 Cab, 6 days for the 645 ...

Yeah but no but, isn't that simply because they were already at the dealer, showroom cars in a spec nobody else could possibly want?

:bike:

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It is possible that the Phoenix Yellow M3 Convertible was sat in the showroom with 13 miles on the clock. Maybe.:roflmao:

Just remembered, my 318i SE (my first BMW) took 2 months to come. That had a very basic spec but for the 17" Star Spoke alloys.

It was one of the first E46 3-series and even the boggy base models were on decent waiting times. They seemed very popular indeed at launch.

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