Best sports car over $50,000

BMW 1 Series M135i

Such is the competence of its design and function qualities and on the road prowess, that the M135i, metaphorically speaking, took the chequered flag after starting towards the back of the grid as an average to below-average value for money proposition.

The M135i is absolutely single-minded in the way it goes in pursuit of peak power of 235kW at 5800rpm and beyond to a 7000rpm redline. An optional eight-speed sport auto works intuitively in extracting the best of the silky-smooth, turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine. Peak torque is a brutish 450Nm, administered across a broad spread of 1250-5000rpm. Claimed 0-100km/h is 4.9 seconds.

Driving Experience Control enables adjustment of drivetrain settings: select Sport Plus mode for pursuit of fastest lap at a track day, Sport to enjoy a sinuous mountain road, Comfort when highway cruising, or EcoPro when commuting to work.

The concept of putting power to the ground through the rear wheels, leaving the fronts to simply point and steer, might be simple, but in cars like this it makes for the purest of driving experiences.

Retardation from the standard M Sport brake package is strong and indefatigable.

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Australia's Best Cars Best Sports Car over $50,000 BMW 1 Series M135i

Indicative Drive Away Price: $71,721

Criteria out of 10 – BMW 1 Series M135i


Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  6M
Depreciation  7L
Running Costs  2L
Fuel Consumption  5M
Warranty and dealer access   3H
Insurance  5L
Standard Features  6H

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  7C
Environment  8C
Comfort  10H
Ergonomics  9H
Build and Finish  9C

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  10C
Ride  9M
Handling  9C
Braking  9C
Smoothness and Quietness   9L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.