BMW M140i – MPower on a budget

The 135i has been the flagship 1-series hatch for a few years and I must admit it was really a gem of a car. Awesome performance and practicality rolled into one. For those who love 135i you will go nuts about the M140i.

The M140i is just as practical and good looking as the 135i but with some extra punch!

Even though the M140i is not the purists’ M car like the M2, M3 and so on, it is pretty damn close and price wise it under cuts the “pure” M-cars price with quite a bit. The M140i comes in at around R700k whilst the M-cars are hovering around a R1mil and more.

BMW M140i – Front Quarter


BMW M140i – Rear View


BMW M140i – Rear Quarter

So yes, you can say the M140i is a budget M-car, but believe me you will be quite impressed with the driving dynamics and performance.

Under the bonnet it uses BMW’s familiar 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine and produces a staggering 250kW/500Nm. You will reach 100km in an eye watering 4.6 seconds, and the speed limiter will limit you to 250km/h. The fuel consumption figure claimed by BMW is 7.1 litre/100km whilst obviously driving conservatively, but I really don’t see the average M140i owner achieving that consumption figure at all…

The 8-speed auto gearbox works well with the monster performance at hand, there are various driving modes to choose from, (Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Eco), which alter the power delivery and responsiveness. Irrespective of which driving mode you are in the steering is precise and does not feel over assisted. The ride might be a bit firm for some but believe me this car grips well in the corners.

Something to keep in mind is that this is a little monster of a car and it is lighter than the 340i, so don’t overdo it, you will get it wrong in the corners if you don’t know what you are doing.

The interior is pretty much what you would expect from BMW, comfortable, premium built quality and the layout is functional. The leather sports seats are supportive and feature electrically-adjustable side bolsters that hug you during hard cornering, while interior space is great for a driver who wants to be cocooned in a tight space behind the wheel but less great for other occupants. Head and leg room at the back is a bit tight for taller occupants but if you are less than 6 feet tall you will not have a problem.

BMW M140i – Interior


BMW M140i – MSport Alloy Wheels

The interior is jam packed with goodies, driver aids and BMW’s awesome iDrive system and infotainment system. If you have owned a BMW before you will feel right at home.


Even though it is not a “race track ready” M-car it is still thrilling to drive and is loads of fun. In the daily commute it might be a bit “overkill”. So if you can afford it, go for it! If you want a compact BMW for the daily commute which is also comfortable and fun to drive, go for a 120i

The Rivals:

Audi RS3,

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG,

Volkswagen Golf R,

Ford Focus RS,

Honda Civic Type-R,

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Murray Kroucamp

Murray Kroucamp Has a passion for cars and the wonderful world of motoring journalism. Background includes: Regulatory liaison; Customer Experience Executive Complaints Management; Data analyst. Founded the Mazda 2 Owners page on Facebook in 2008. Founded Murray’s Car Reviews (South Africa) on Facebook in 2015 which has around 800 active members. Also started writing car reviews on Linkedin in 2017. Working on turning the hobby into a profession.

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