BMW M140i - best hot hatchbacks

Rear-wheel drive and six cylinders mark out this rapid BMW M140i hot hatch

BMW M140i - rear

With its rear-wheel-drive layout and turbocharged six-cylinder engine, the brilliant BMW M140i doesn’t follow the usual hot hatch template. Yet, like all the go-faster family hatchbacks, the 340bhp BMW is blisteringly quick, boasts agile and engaging handling, and is practical enough for everyday use. And if you factor in its huge performance potential, premium image and upmarket interior, the M140i is actually good value.

Available either as a five-door or three-door, the BMW M140i gets stiffer sports suspension and a more aggressive exterior look to turn it from a normal family hatchback into a proper hot hatchback. Plus, with the twin exhaust pipes and blue brake calipers it really looks the part.

BMW M140i review

At the heart of the BMW’s appeal is the amazing 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine. It revs up to 7,000rpm, but the highlight is that you get maximum torque from just 1,300rpm. That means in-gear performance is superb, and thanks to the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox it shoots up through the gears quickly as well.

It goes from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, and thanks to the tuned exhaust note, it’s a thrilling ride all the way there. The manual gearbox that comes as standard won’t disappoint either, as it has a well-weighted shift. The ride is well-judged, as all that performance doesn’t come at the expense of comfort while driving normally.

It’s just as practical as any other BMW 1 Series, though – it gets a 360-litre boot, which expands to 1,200 litres with the seats folded down in the back. There are plenty of interior storage spots and the car comes with run-flat tyres as standard, too.

Top 10 best hot hatchbacks 

  1. 1. Honda Civic Type R
  2. 2. Ford Fiesta ST
  3. 3. Renault Megane RS
  4. 4. MINI Cooper S
  5. 5. Hyundai i30 N
  6. 6. Volkswagen Golf GTI
  7. 7. SEAT Leon Cupra
  8. 8. Audi RS 3
  9. 9. BMW M140i
  10. 10. Skoda Octavia vRS

Most Popular

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750
Audi Q4 e-tron - front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750

Two body styles, three powertrains and four trim-levels confirmed for Audi’s compact Q4 EV, including a 295bhp quattro option
15 Apr 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
Volkswagen Transporter

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased

Next-generation Volkswagen Transporter T7 will break cover later this year with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain
14 Apr 2021
'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021