The BMW 135i is an M without the M price tag

March 5, 2018



My name is Robert Fu and I just graduated from the University of Sydney with a mechanical engineering degree. I currently own a BMW 135i E82 coupe in Glacier Silver.


How long have you had the car for?

I’ve had the car since December 2016, so over a year now.



What do you like or dislike about the car?

The 135 is a small car with a powerful engine and the classic BMW look - indeed, there are many reasons to like the little 135. The N55B30 is a 3-litre turbo-charged inline-six - it is pretty damn fast. Since all manufactures are downsizing engines and the turbo-four are becoming more and more popular, the inline-six is unique and much more appealing to me. The car is fairly small which means manoeuvring and parking is quite easy. There is enough space to fit four people inside (unlike 86, which is really a two-seater), though getting in and out is a bit difficult those in the rear. The boot is also surprisingly big for such a small car. The gear box is a dual-clutch 7 speed automatic transmission, the same as the M3 E92 but with different gear ratios - it is brilliant.


However, there are some small issues. Firstly, there is no cup holder in the car (there is one but it is utterly useless due to the location).Then there are the tires, the stock ones are RFT with very stiff side walls. These tires offer limited grip and an unpleasant ride. Next is the turbo lag. The lag in the lower RPM range is very noticeable, especially when it is below 1600 where it takes time to reach the power and torque (which is rather dangerous, especially for someone who has never driven a turbo-charged car). Handling is not great with the stock setup and the car does under steer once being pushed, the tires being a big reason behind this.


What modifications have you made to the car? 

I haven’t done much to the car yet. I’ve changed the front rotors with some cross-drilled ones and the boot lid and mirror caps to carbon fibre parts. The latter wasn't really to save weight but rather achieve a slight change in the looks of the car.



Is this your first car? If not, what was your previous car?

This is my first car that I've owned, but not the first that I've driven.The first car that I drove was a 2004 Ford Mondeo which was my dad’s, followed by a Toyota Crown and a BMW X5 after the Mondeo was sold.



What are your plans for the future with this car?

I will definitely change the tires once they are done, probably going to try Michelin Pilot Super Sports. I'm also thinking of replacing the rear diffuser with a carbon fibre one and possibly a quad exhaust system.



2010 BMW 135i


Price guide: $29,000 - $35,000 with approx. 45,000 on the odometer

Body: 2-Door Coupe, 4 Seats

Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive

Engine: 3.0L 6-Cylinder Petrol Turbocharged N55B30M0

Transmission: 7-Speed Auto (as reviewed)

Power: 225kW @ 5800rpm

Torque: 400Nm @ 1300rpm

0-100km/h: 5.3 seconds

P Plate Legal: No


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