Last time I was here I discussed why I thought the BMW M140i was the best car for our needs. It offers something which no other car in it’s class can and as I’ve mentioned once or twice, that’s its ability to form an emotional connection.
So I left it last time with the start of the 3 month wait until collection. Anyone who has ordered a new car, knows just how hard this wait is. I spent my life scouring YouTube looking for videos to watch, which at the time were few and far between.
After exhausting every possible video on YouTube the collection date started to loom, we finally had out collection date confirmed a week before. As soon as we knew this we started to look at travel arrangements to get down to Berry Heathrow.
The day came and the 4:30am alarm went off. I normally wouldn’t see this time in the morning but this, I knew, was going to be worth it. After several trains and a nice walk, we arrived at Berry Heathrow.
The actual collection process of the car was pain free and getting to see the car in the delivery bay, with the sun shining through, added to the experience.
Paperwork signed, thanks said and hands shook. We were finally on our way in our brand new M140i.
The plan for the collection weekend was to drive back as scenically as possible, meaning driving through the Brecon Beacons, making our way up to North Wales, then on to Snowdonia and finally driving home through North Wales.
We managed to cover about 500 or so miles in this first weekend. Which gave more than enough time to get to know the car. As we continued to run the car and the miles built, it was slowly possible to start using more and more of the performance on offer (yes I followed the run in process!).
Having now covered 1200 miles and able to now explore all of the performance, I wanted to share my first impressions of the car:
I initially found the steering in comfort to be incredibly light and offering little to no feedback. Sport mode adds some weight to the steering and ‘tightens’ it up meaning you require less steering input than comfort. The weight is clearly ‘fake weight’, but it is adequate and up to the job, it is direct and in sport is easier to precisely place the car into the corner.
Now I could go on and on about the steering not being hydraulic…but I won’t. We all know that EPAS (sadly) is here to stay so I guess I have to accept it and move on.
Power and torque
It was clear from the off that the available power and torque available is savage. Even in comfort you can ride the torque and be quicker than the majority of cars on the road.
When you start to push on and use all of the power band, you soon realise the car is an absolute animal. Being honest it feels on par to my old remapped 335i and at the time I had that, it felt insanely quick.
Balance, handling and grip
The car feels well balanced but so far I haven’t had the opportunity to properly push it.
Driving up to around 6/10ths I really can’t complain, it turns in relatively well and the front axle appears to have immense grip, although this could be down to the MPSS tyres it is equipped with as standard.
When you do turn in you can feel the car start to rotate around the centre, allowing you to use the accelerator to control your exit.
Grip all round seems to be really good, when you get temperature in to the tyres. I have only experienced one moment in the wet where the back end stepped out, kind of unintentionally, even though I was driving in comfort and auto! The good thing is, that you can easily control it with a little corrective lock and the accelerator, so you never feel like the car is out of control.
Seats, Seating position and interior tech
Finally I thought it worth mentioning the interior as that where we spend all of our time.
I want to start by saying that I find the seats incredibly comfortable for what they are and I have been able to find an excellent position for driving. This is important as there are many long distance trips and european tours planned with this car.
Interior tech isn’t something I find myself using often. We specced ours relatively well in terms of tech, this was more for my partner as she isn’t interested in the drive as much as I am. So I find I rarely take advantage of the HK audio or all the pro nav features but from the times I have, I can’t complain for what it is.
One piece of tech I have actually used and can’t commend enough is the touch pad you get as part of the Professional Media Package. I find myself using this whenever I need the Nav – it’s intuitive and makes entering addresses extremely easy.
All in all, the M140i is a great all round car. It offers daily driver practically with ballistic performance, all for a very reasonable price.