BMW M140i review - 1-series hot hatch offers more polish than precision - Design

The M140i is a polished hot hatch offering that starts to unravel when pushed to its limits

Evo rating
  • Sophisticated and impressive drivetrain, polished road manners and well priced
  • Lacks the precision of more focused rivals

Design 

To be kind, the F20 BMW 1-series had challenging looks upon its launch in 2011. The flabby body, long bonnet and odd front end didn’t sit well with buyers, so when it came to a mid-life facelift, BMW gave it a pretty substantial change.

Boasting a completely redesigned front end with new LED headlights and a new rear end too, the current car has a more cohesive design. The M140i features unique styling features over more pedestrian M Sport models, like satin silver inserts on the front bumper, mirror caps and dark finished 18-inch wheels.

The result is that compared to rivals, the M140i has a restrained yet purposeful look. It’s arguably more sophisticated than the Audi S3, and although it may not shout about its performance capabilities like a Focus RS, that in itself will be a selling point to some buyers. 

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