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Thread: M235i Auto or an M140i manual- anyone had any experience of either

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    M235i Auto or an M140i manual- anyone had any experience of either

    Hi Guys, It looks like I've got a buyer lined up for my Golf R and I've got both of these on a shortlist. M2335i Auto 2015 with 78k & FSH in Estoril or an M140i manual 2017 Mineral grey with 55K and FSH.
    I like manuals in performance cars as a rule and have the ZF 8 speed in my other car (Audi A8) which I love but like the control that a manual gives as well as the physical interaction. However the Autos are great boxes and I do like both. Both are standard mechanically and similar in terms of spec. The M140 is around 2k more then the M235.
    This will be my 2nd car and wont be a daily driver, so I'm not going to clock up a lot of miles but I'm not sure if I want to be buying a car that's already not far off 80k.
    Is there anyone on here thats driven both or has a strong preference whether it's for the handling of one v the other or the B58 v N55 engines? I'd be intersted to hear your thoughts. This will be my 10th BMW, notable ones in the past 328i, 535D, F15 X5 and E46 M3 and I cant wait to be back in one.

  2. #2
    The M140i is a great car, I keep thinking of changing my 125iM Sport 3 door for one, but feel it would be wasted in London. I have driven a couple in the course of my job and do still get the temptation. I think big engined small rear wheel drive BMWs will be quite wanted

    - - - Updated
    Last edited by notnowkato; 29th June 2022 at 19:42.

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    My brother recently traded in his M140 for an M235. Both were bought brand new by him. He says the 140 was much more fun, quicker and with a smoother auto box. The 235 is bigger, more refined and better for the family.

    Personally I wouldnít buy either car in manual and I know he wouldnít either.

  4. #4
    Master
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    Iíve had my 140 since new three and a half years ago. I had no choice but to have auto but have to say I think the auto box makes the car.

  5. #5
    Master zelig's Avatar
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    I had the 2014 M135i auto (Estoril Blue) & now have the 2019 M140i auto ( Sunset Orange )



    Both are great cars & hard to beat in terms of BHP per pound & smiles per gallon, but the M140i is just that bit better all round IMHO.

    The ride is noticeably better, the slight increase in torque over the M135i is handy when overtaking slower traffic

    I think you’d enjoy either, but my money would be ( & was ) spent on the M140i Auto.

    z

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    I think that your Sunset orange M140i looks stunning in that photo.
    I like heel and toeing and rev matching, throttle blipping and dipping the clutch and dropping down the box, block shifting, shifting down for corners etc. Could be a by product of my age (50) and the performance cars I owned in the past, notable manuals included my first car, a 3 door Gt Twin Cam 16V Corolla, 2x 205 1.9 Gti's, a Prelude 2.2 vti, a 911 Carrera 2, an E46 M3,a 328i, 5 Subarus and 4 Mitsubishi Evos and of course my current Golf R plus many moree. I've owned 52 cars, normally run a couple at a time and don't usually keep anything for too long. I don't doubt that an auto would be a better car in every way including future resale, but this might be a car that I end up keeping for a very long time and I like the idea of a straight six paired with a manual gearbox.
    I guess I should drive both but have driven plenty of miles in ZF8 equipped cars to know that it is a superb box, and it can change gears better and faster than I ever could. Saying that I took the Golf out for a blast last night and had a storming drive changing gears myself. It's a superb point to point car but it's not about how fast you go, it's how you go fast.
    Thanks for all of your input guys and keep it coming, nice to see some like minded petrol heads on here.

  7. #7
    Master
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    Wifeís got the M140
    I drove it for a year
    Itís the auto shadow edition
    To be upfront itís not a pretty car but it is very rapid and also a complete bone shaker with suspension very stiff
    It has a superb engine note-a really nice burble.Cabin is a little bit low rent compared with the bigger BMís but if you are looking for bang for buck then only a couple of contenders would come close.



    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  8. #8
    I'd go for the 2 over the 1 personally, but both pretty ace

    Sent from my M2101K7BNY using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    The B58 is a better engine than the N55, much better performance (especially if tuned) and increased reliability. N55 do have a rare oil starvation issue which the B58 does not have, very unlikely you would ever get this though.

    I was all set on a manual before I got mine, but they are hard to find so I ended up with a auto, I was a little hesitant at the time but now I love it and don't think I would go back to a manual now. Daily driving so smooth and easy, and when you want to go fast the changes are slick and fast. You can always use the paddles if you want to make it more like a manual.

    I have a 2017 M240i, personally I find the 1 series looks terrible but love the 2 series. I daily drive mine for the last 4 years and its fantastic, up to 66k miles now and plan to keep it for the next 4-5 years, oil change every 10k and its been reliable and a solid car. Tyres are expensive but apart from that they get decent MPG for a 3L, around 30mpg if driven sensibly. BMW servicing is very expensive but I buy my own parts and use a indy to install.

    I have installed BM3 on mine since I got it, and the performance increase is staggering for a very little cost.

    Prob the best upgrade I did is a android headunit, all plug and play and makes the interior looks much nicer with greater features.

    I looked at a golf R before I got mine and for me the BMW was a nicer overall package.

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    I ran a M235i for almost three years , I think the N55 is the better engine , the B58 is stronger, more tuneable and more economical but the torque curve is flat and drops off quickly making the engine feel kinda diesel like, you find yourself short shifting and riding the torque not chasing the red line like you do with the N55 , also the N55 sounds much better its by far the sportier engine which is kinda what you want in a sports coupe


    Mine was Estoril with the ZF8, I did the usual stuff ie Bilstein coilovers , uprated brakes , wound it up to about 410hp, remapped the gearbox with XHP etc etc . Fantastic all round package. Great cars




    Made the move to the M4 now but kinda miss the F22 on b-roads

  11. #11
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Much lower end of things but I had four of the 116d as company cars, auto and manual. Not a chance I would get a manual BMW again. The clutched weighed the same as me.

    If youíre dead set on a manual get a different car but I could be way out as only had the low end diesels.

  12. #12
    I haven't driven either of the cars in question though it sounds as if you really fancy a manual box over an auto, OP. You already have a slushbox for cruising about in, the manual will give you the kicks you're looking for.

  13. #13
    Master
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    Get neither, the M240i is the F2X sweet spot. Some say with justification that the s55 sounds better than the b58 which is superior in virtually every other way. If you look at the torque curves, the b58 artificially tails off at around 5k rpm to keep distance to the M cars in on-paper power but makes way more torque than the N55 everywhere. More than the M2 tune too in fact until 5250rpm. The ZF8 auto used on the b58 cars is actually updated vs that on the n55 cars too so don’t dismiss it after a drive of an Mx35i car as it is better. I get why you’d want a manual box, I have one on another slower car (a 911!) but the auto really suits M-lite, it makes for a super capable super fast GT which is the M-Lite forte. It's not the ideal track car without substantial mods truth be told. For that you want an M2C or better still something that doesn't weigh 1.5 tons.

    Last thing but one. Be aware BMW drastically reduced the ride quality with the M140i hatch vs the earlier M135i, the coupe still rides well in both forms but the hatch does not as the rear spring rates are far too high, around 150 lb/in higher than before. Some swap in the earlier softer springs to bring the compliance back. Or swap the shocks and springs out altogether for something better. The adaptive are a must on the M140i because of this, less of an issue on the other models but the later hatch hops about a lot more than the coupe or earlier hatch unless you tie it down.

    Last thing. Whatever you get, consider getting an LSD as the std cars can’t get the power down well enough for various reasons inc suspension and tyre width. With one they are a weapon that is faster and more fun over any trip than any Golf R or S3 other maybe than in streaming rain, there BMWs need respect and restraint.
    Last edited by Padders; 1st July 2022 at 10:46.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    I'd go M140/B58, it's a stronger engine than the 135 in every respect, try and get a (something like a...) pre-Q2 2018 model as they sound better.

    Looking at it from an 'engagement' POV: The ZF auto is smooth but not snappy, the DCT in an M2/M4 is a much better gearbox, S55 or B58 + DCT = nirvana (M2 Comp but they ruined the noise). I'd go manual unless you spend hours in traffic, it's not long before you wont be able to buy a 350bhp, Manual, RWD car. Sure, the ZF is quicker... but we're splitting hairs, they're quick regardless.

    Nice choice to have!!
    Last edited by Chairman LMAO; 1st July 2022 at 08:27.

  15. #15
    My friend is a former racing driver and has always had fast cars, but she recently sold her M140 as, in her words, it nearly killed her twice.

    She said it was just too mental. Although she was probably pushing it more than most of us would.


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  16. #16
    Master
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    I had an M135i Auto and loathed it. The rear axle was far too skittish in tight corners and the zf8 wasn't for me. I had a 135i coupe previously and the chassis on that was leagues better.

    I can see the appeal for many, it was a nice town car and motorway car, and the idrive was ace, but as a performance car it felt poorly conceived.

    I went to a Mk7.5 GTi and despite lacking 100bhp and having a touch screen from yesteryear, I felt better off in it.

    Id think a 2 series would have a better chassis but I've only driven an M2.

  17. #17
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    I have had a m135i and now drive a golf r 7.5, both manuals. Both are very rapid. I have had the golf a year now, and although very nice, the engine note and traction make it a pretty dull drive.

    I reckon go m140i with an auto box. I was not impressed with my ability to change gear in the BMW.

  18. #18
    Master
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    The manuals on the BMW range constantly have mixed reviews. I tested a manual Z4M and M2 and both felt really notchy but maybe not all like that.

    To me the M135 feels like a hot rod, terrific engines but poor chassis/transmission, especially compared to previous BMWs I've owned (E36 Evo, E46 M3, E82 135).

    Road car is great though cos it's comfy, reliable and had a good infotainment if you get pro nav.

  19. #19
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete-r View Post
    The manuals on the BMW range constantly have mixed reviews. I tested a manual Z4M and M2 and both felt really notchy but maybe not all like that.

    To me the M135 feels like a hot rod, terrific engines but poor chassis/transmission, especially compared to previous BMWs I've owned (E36 Evo, E46 M3, E82 135).

    Road car is great though cos it's comfy, reliable and had a good infotainment if you get pro nav.
    Z4M box was a right old bugger. 1st to 2nd with a cold engine in traffic was one I always dreaded. Once warmed it was an ok box but needed a good hard shove. Nothing will ever beat the S2000 I had for the perfect box action though. Sublime!

  20. #20
    Journeyman
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    That 8 speed auto and implementation in the both the M135i / 235I is the only gearbox you should choose. Whether you are pootling along or nailing it, it has a telepathic connection to your brain. It's always in the right gear, changes very quickly and many say better than the DSG. Suggest you watch the Chris Harris video on YT where he discusses the box and also Joe Achilles review. They are old videos - but worth watching.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by s1wnw View Post
    I have had a m135i and now drive a golf r 7.5, both manuals. Both are very rapid. I have had the golf a year now, and although very nice, the engine note and traction make it a pretty dull drive.

    I reckon go m140i with an auto box. I was not impressed with my ability to change gear in the BMW.
    This is 100%

  21. #21
    Master
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    Harris raved over the automatic m135 but then specced his own long term m235 and his M2 with a manual.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete-r View Post
    Harris raved over the automatic m135 but then specced his own long term m235 and his M2 with a manual.
    Keith Harris?


  23. #23
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    The one on the left who does top gear

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