Road Test

Road Test: 2013 BMW M135i xDrive

September 9, 2013

BMW M135i xDrive 2013_SpeedDoctor  Road Test_09If you didn’t get hands on one of those limited edition BMW 1 Series M Coupe cars, you might consider this BMW M135i instead. As part of the BMW M Performance Automobiles lineup, the M135i is a bit more comfortable than the track-focused 1 Series M Coupe. However, the BMW M135i still has more performance capability than most of the drivers will ever need or use.

Like the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, the BMW M135i is powered by a 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The straight six petrol engine features a TwinScroll turbocharger, Direct High Precision Injection with central multi-hole injectors, Valvetronic variable valve control and Double Vanos variable camshaft timing. The engine delivers a maximum power output of 235 kW/320 hp at 5,800 rpm. Maximum torque of 450 Nm is available between 1,300 and 4,500rpm. So the M135i has 20 hp less than the 1 Series M Coupe, but that doesn’t mean that it would be much slower.

There are some differences in the drivetrain of these two cars. The BMW 1 Series M Coupe came with the six-speed manual gearbox and had the variable M differential lock to put its power on the road through the rear wheels. It could sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4,9 seconds. The BMW M135i is available with the 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. It can sprint from zero to hundred in 5,1 seconds with the manual and 4,9 seconds with the automatic. However, unlike the 1 Series M Coupe, the M135i is also available with the xDrive four-wheel drive system.

If you choose the xDrive version, the car comes as standard with the 8-speed automatic. With the automatic transmission this performance car feels like a bit too easy to drive. All you have to do is hit the gas pedal, and this car starts to gather speed with an increadible rate, while the xDrive makes sure that there is as much traction as possible. In normal situations, the permanent all-wheel drive system sends 60 per cent of the drive torque to the rear wheels and 40 per cent to the front wheels. From standing start, it takes just 4,7 seconds to reach the speed of 100 km/h. We didn’t test this with the stopwatch, but it feels like pretty close to the truth. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

While the BMW 1 Series M Coupe had a very powerful looking exterior with flared wheel arches, this BMW M135i keeps its true performance potential hidden. The M135i looks like a sporty version of the BMW 1 Series, but you wouldn’t guess how fast it actually. The car does have many individual exterior details, like the M style front apron with large air intakes to provide cooling air to the high-performance engine, auxiliary units and oversized brakes. The air inlets are separated by horizontal struts in Ferric Grey metallic. This same colour is also used on the exterior mirror caps. M135i also features special side skirts, dual exhaust pipes and 18-inch M light alloy double-spoke wheels.

The interior details include exclusive cloth Hexagon/Alcantara upholstery, an M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and blue accent stitching, the BMW Individual roofliner in Anthracite, interior trim in Aluminium Hexagon with matt Estoril Blue or high-gloss black accent lines, M driver footrest, and speedometer and rev counter with red chronoscales. The door sill finishers with aluminium inserts feature M135i lettering.



  • Petrol
  • 6-cylinder
  • 2979cc
  • Turbo


  • 235 kW (320 hp) / 5800rpm


  • 450 Nm / 1300-4500rpm


  • 8-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 4.7 seconds

Top speed

  • 250 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 7.8 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 182 g/km

BMW M135i xDrive 2013_SpeedDoctor  Road Test_06