BMW M140i vs Golf R. Which is best for Britain and tuning?

BMW M140i vs Golf R. Which is best for Britain and tuning?

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Discussion

Bearings

40 posts

119 months

Thursday 11th February 2021
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Very useful info guys, thanks.

With the adaptive suspension, I was concerned I was going to be missing something but it doesn't appear to be the case.

Will see if I can pick up a car with enhanced Bluetooth and Pro Nav to make modern life integration easier but there is always iPhone & Carplay. Shame as I've been an Android user since the early days but I guess phones are pretty much the same these days.

liner33

9,564 posts

179 months

Thursday 11th February 2021
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nunpuncher said:
liner33 said:
Fitting Bilsteins is a really worthwhile mod on these cars the stock suspension is poor and the adaptive not much better
I'd say essential rather than worthwhile. Both passive and active standard suspension is gash on the M135i/140i
No Bilsteins aren’t essential there are much better options out there but they are more costly . Agree the suspension is poor stock but it’s only the rear dampers that are the real issue as said earlier in the thread just changing those will dramatically improve things

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Thursday 11th February 2021
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Wagonwheel555 said:
Although not the M140i, my next car choice is looking to be between an M135i (2013/2014) or a Golf R with a £15k-16k budget.

Just watched a Youtube video of them both being driven hard in Germany and performance in stock seems negligible but having 4WD on the Golf would be more beneficial considering UK weather. I also prefer the interior of the Golf, much more than the BMW.

Ive driven an M135i briefly but never a Golf R so once these restrictions ease, I will start looking. Couldn't buy one without test driving.

I like the idea of the 6 pot over the 4 pot but in reality, its not that big of a deal to me. I feel the R looks sporty where as the M135i just looks like a standard 120D with dual exhaust instead of single.
Honestly, that's exactly how I felt when starting this thread biggrin

I know I keep listing all these youtubers I watch but I watch a guy called Jamesr50 and he was very local to me here in the South Wales valleys. He originally had a manual Golf R which he had at Stage 2 for a while then he went to stage 3 which was making well over 500bhp. He sold it because he was tired of paying the finance for it. He has however very recently picked up an M140i. He has made a comparison video but he says they are too different to comprehensively compare because they are so so different. He compared the both as boxers, the Golf getting loads of shots in early on in the round, but the M140i holds off and throughout the rounds gets stronger while the Golf has ran out of puff. Basically explaining how they both differ throughout the rev range.

I know you're not looking for an M140i specifically but he had loads of content on his previous Golf R if you want to go check that out just to fill time between you getting a test drive in one.

But it does seem these cars are so different they are very difficult to compare despite they own the same spot in the market. The Golf for the people who may want the AWD traction and ( to me ) the better looking car. While the people who go for the M135/m140i want that RWD and 6 pot combo. But let me know how you get on smile

Edited by Dylanaledhall on Thursday 11th February 20:35

Mr Happy

5,483 posts

197 months

Friday 12th February 2021
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Bearings said:
Very useful info guys, thanks.

With the adaptive suspension, I was concerned I was going to be missing something but it doesn't appear to be the case.

Will see if I can pick up a car with enhanced Bluetooth and Pro Nav to make modern life integration easier but there is always iPhone & Carplay. Shame as I've been an Android user since the early days but I guess phones are pretty much the same these days.
Another way to check for enhanced bluetooth is the presence of a mic on both the driver and passenger side. Regular BT only has the mic on the driver's side.

Bearings

40 posts

119 months

Monday 15th February 2021
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Mr Happy said:
Another way to check for enhanced bluetooth is the presence of a mic on both the driver and passenger side. Regular BT only has the mic on the driver's side.
Useful to know, thanks!

ScoobyChris

1,118 posts

179 months

Monday 15th February 2021
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Bearings said:
With the adaptive suspension, I was concerned I was going to be missing something but it doesn't appear to be the case.
Imvho it's a personal thing and I'd try to drive both and see what you think. My car is a daily driver and I don't track it so, for me, having the ability to have a more comfortable suspension setting for the day-to-day and then being able to firm it up when I'm on the right road and in the right mood works much better for me.

Chris


Mirinjawbro

251 posts

41 months

Monday 15th February 2021
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Dylanaledhall said:
Honestly, that's exactly how I felt when starting this thread biggrin

I know I keep listing all these youtubers I watch but I watch a guy called Jamesr50 and he was very local to me here in the South Wales valleys. He originally had a manual Golf R which he had at Stage 2 for a while then he went to stage 3 which was making well over 500bhp. He sold it because he was tired of paying the finance for it. He has however very recently picked up an M140i. He has made a comparison video but he says they are too different to comprehensively compare because they are so so different. He compared the both as boxers, the Golf getting loads of shots in early on in the round, but the M140i holds off and throughout the rounds gets stronger while the Golf has ran out of puff. Basically explaining how they both differ throughout the rev range.

I know you're not looking for an M140i specifically but he had loads of content on his previous Golf R if you want to go check that out just to fill time between you getting a test drive in one.

But it does seem these cars are so different they are very difficult to compare despite they own the same spot in the market. The Golf for the people who may want the AWD traction and ( to me ) the better looking car. While the people who go for the M135/m140i want that RWD and 6 pot combo. But let me know how you get on smile

Edited by Dylanaledhall on Thursday 11th February 20:35
i had a MRC stage 2 TTS. just under 400 hp and 570nm - rocket up to 60/70 then the pull really slowed down.
i now have a stage 2 M240i - should be around 450 and 650 ish nm - the midrange pull is way way harder than the TT ever was. id like to of dragged them side by side just to see when it would start overtaking and by how much

i do really miss quattro though.

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Monday 15th February 2021
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Mirinjawbro said:
i had a MRC stage 2 TTS. just under 400 hp and 570nm - rocket up to 60/70 then the pull really slowed down.
i now have a stage 2 M240i - should be around 450 and 650 ish nm - the midrange pull is way way harder than the TT ever was. id like to of dragged them side by side just to see when it would start overtaking and by how much

i do really miss quattro though.
I've seen consistently people missing their AWD when converting to something RWD but that's always going to be the case.
Yes the AWD cars are always going to win the 0-60 but I don't think either AWD or RWD will differ massively in the mid-range.
I don't know how relevant this is but I remember when Autocar compared an A45 to an M135i and the claimed 0-60 on the A45 was 4.6 yet they managed to get a 0-60 of 4.6 in the BMW which I think was quite impressive. It of course was a dry day and if conditions were anything below perfect the AWD cars are always going to win the traffic light GP.



themule

52 posts

52 months

Monday 26th April 2021
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Reading this thread with great interest. Hopefully the OP doesn't mind if I slightly hijack. Everything in the thread so far has been around performance. My requirements are overlapping but slightly different from the OP. I am looking at both the M140i and Golf R (and possibly some others). Driving is mainly on Yorkshire B roads but often with 3 passengers, occasionally longer trips with luggage. Budget is £20k. Do other owners find these cars too compromised for 'family transport', such as comfort and space?

CG2020UK

205 posts

17 months

Monday 26th April 2021
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themule said:
Reading this thread with great interest. Hopefully the OP doesn't mind if I slightly hijack. Everything in the thread so far has been around performance. My requirements are overlapping but slightly different from the OP. I am looking at both the M140i and Golf R (and possibly some others). Driving is mainly on Yorkshire B roads but often with 3 passengers, occasionally longer trips with luggage. Budget is £20k. Do other owners find these cars too compromised for 'family transport', such as comfort and space?
The BMW is definitely more cramped than the Golf.

Top gear done an interesting video on this between the M135I and the GTI involving sawing a mannequins leg off and a fake warhead, it will be on YouTube.

I carry people about in my GTI all the time without any issues but if I was doing mega journeys on the regular I'd be moving up a size to a 3 series or A4 for sure.

Alternatively there is the Skoda Octavia VRS, the new one is quite handsome.

HM-2

8,266 posts

146 months

Monday 26th April 2021
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themule said:
Reading this thread with great interest. Hopefully the OP doesn't mind if I slightly hijack. Everything in the thread so far has been around performance. My requirements are overlapping but slightly different from the OP. I am looking at both the M140i and Golf R (and possibly some others). Driving is mainly on Yorkshire B roads but often with 3 passengers, occasionally longer trips with luggage. Budget is £20k. Do other owners find these cars too compromised for 'family transport', such as comfort and space?
Mine will carry myself, my wife, our little one in her car seat, a pram and a few day-to-day or smaller overnight bags just fine. You can get two reasonably big suitcases in the boot. The rear legroom is a little cramped if the driver or passenger is over about 6'2". The Golf is definitely bigger on the inside but not by much; in all honesty if I was regularly carrying backseat passengers I'd just buy a 340i instead given they're pretty much the same price.

The Cardinal

1,003 posts

229 months

Tuesday 27th April 2021
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themule said:
Reading this thread with great interest. Hopefully the OP doesn't mind if I slightly hijack. Everything in the thread so far has been around performance. My requirements are overlapping but slightly different from the OP. I am looking at both the M140i and Golf R (and possibly some others). Driving is mainly on Yorkshire B roads but often with 3 passengers, occasionally longer trips with luggage. Budget is £20k. Do other owners find these cars too compromised for 'family transport', such as comfort and space?
Living in a city centre, I've long needed a compact car and have had various hot Golfs, A/S3s over the last decade. I've found them perfectly fine with a roof box... even an Mk5 Golf R32 with a measly 280 litre boot, smaller than a 5-dr Mini nowadays! Beware only that the 4WD versions of Golf, A3s etc have smaller boots than the 2WD. Our current S3 is just fine, though and quite comfortable as a family hack.

These days we run a VW Transporter as well (which is rather cheating I suppose!) - but that's because my wife really wanted a camper and not because a mid-sized hatch is anything other than really practical for a family of 4.

themule

52 posts

52 months

Wednesday 12th May 2021
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I changed tack, rather than trying to get a single 'do it all' car my plan is to have a more fun car for B road blasts and an older, cheap, comfy estate for longer trips, tip runs, bad winter days etc. I got a Megane RS250 yesterday - I now just need to find a fun car 😀.
I had a good test drive in a Golf R estate, it was certainly fast and capable but didn't really excite me. Would I chuck a load of rubble in the back of it for a tip run - probably not as I wouldn't want to damage it. Was none DCC and felt almost harsher to me than the Megane with Cup chassis.

Wagonwheel555

616 posts

33 months

Wednesday 12th May 2021
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themule said:
I had a good test drive in a Golf R estate, it was certainly fast and capable but didn't really excite me. Would I chuck a load of rubble in the back of it for a tip run - probably not as I wouldn't want to damage it. .
To be fair you could get a full boot liner but its a good point. We have a Mini Clubman which only has a 360L boot but with the seats down and barn doors it can carry quite a bit to the tip but I have smacked the interior plastics a few times in doing so, even though I put a massive dust sheet down.

We have a dog and use it when going camping (plus roof) box so its taken a bashing.

I was intending to keep the car as mint as possible but that went out the window ages ago

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Thursday 5th May
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So it's been a while since I've visited this thread. I have booked to view a Golf R (DSG) this Saturday. Hopefully will get chance to drive it, I'll let you all know how it goes.

Obviously, before I've even driven it I expect it to feel more "dynamic" than an M135i/M140i and yes I am referring to the handling aspect. The only car I'll be able to compare it to (that I've driven) is my ST as I unfortunately never got chance to drive my Dad's RS before he sold it frown . Hopefully I'll be able to report good things back, and get a test drive in an M-Lite as soon as possible so I can be as fair as I can in terms of comparing them at similar times in the year.

Thanks guys smile

Bearings

40 posts

119 months

Thursday 5th May
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Just to update my earlier comments about suspension replacement - I ended up with a late 2017 M140i Shadow Edition with passive suspension.

As other people have commented, the stock suspension setup leaves a lot to be desired. The rear suspension is basically your spine as it has no damping at all.

Replaced the stock setup to a Bilstein B12 pack (B8 dampers and Eibach Pro springs) a couple of weeks ago and this really does solve 95% of my issues. Car is a lot more compliant especially when hustled quickly down bumpy B roads and I don't feel like it will launch me in to the hedges. It's firm but not in a crashy way anymore.

This video was a major point for me as you see a side by side comparison of the setups - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL_hwixVDYc

On hard acceleration, the back end still feels 'squishy' to me until it settles down but I expect rear subframe inserts (2 packs needed apparently- front and rear) should begin to solve that. The next step after that will be an LSD but that is a substantial investment so taking it one step at a time til I'm happy with it.

Edited by Bearings on Thursday 5th May 15:43

Glenn63

1,764 posts

61 months

Thursday 5th May
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I changed the suspension on mine to the Bilstein b16’s and as you say a massive improvement. Regarding your issues still with the rear I also added the chassis brace, subframe and diff poly bushes, also m4 lower arms on the front (mainly to get some proper camber as I track mine) and it’s literally a completely different car now. Feels proper planted even over mid corner bumps and the turn in is on another level to standard, super happy with it now! Just need an LSD next.

liner33

9,564 posts

179 months

Friday 6th May
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Bearings said:
On hard acceleration, the back end still feels 'squishy' to me until it settles down but I expect rear subframe inserts (2 packs needed apparently- front and rear) should begin to solve that. The next step after that will be an LSD but that is a substantial investment so taking it one step at a time til I'm happy with it.

Edited by Bearings on Thursday 5th May 15:43
RWD cars usually benefit from being a little "squishy" on the rear as it keeps the rear planted

I fitted the subframe inserts to my 235i and didnt notice a great deal of difference to be fair but mine was a low mileage car

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Friday 6th May
quotequote all
Bearings said:
Just to update my earlier comments about suspension replacement - I ended up with a late 2017 M140i Shadow Edition with passive suspension.

As other people have commented, the stock suspension setup leaves a lot to be desired. The rear suspension is basically your spine as it has no damping at all.

Replaced the stock setup to a Bilstein B12 pack (B8 dampers and Eibach Pro springs) a couple of weeks ago and this really does solve 95% of my issues. Car is a lot more compliant especially when hustled quickly down bumpy B roads and I don't feel like it will launch me in to the hedges. It's firm but not in a crashy way anymore.

This video was a major point for me as you see a side by side comparison of the setups - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL_hwixVDYc

On hard acceleration, the back end still feels 'squishy' to me until it settles down but I expect rear subframe inserts (2 packs needed apparently- front and rear) should begin to solve that. The next step after that will be an LSD but that is a substantial investment so taking it one step at a time til I'm happy with it.

Edited by Bearings on Thursday 5th May 15:43
Everyone does seem to go with the Bilsteins, speaks volumes really doesn't it? If I was to get an M140i the LSD would have to wait because I'm not on the best pay in the world at the moment biggrin I believe they're about £1500-£2000 for the diff and to get it fitted if I'm not mistaken? I guess you could get it done cheaper if you know someone, a garage etc. Personally, I'd be doing the strut brace, underbody brace, Bilsteins and M4 control arms first then see how it is.

Something else, how are the brakes on these cars? I hear they're good but can they deal with Stage 1 (400ish bhp)/ Stage 2 (450ish bhp) or is it worth upgrading those as well?

Edited by Dylanaledhall on Friday 6th May 07:57

M.F.D

385 posts

78 months

Friday 6th May
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Dylanaledhall said:
Everyone does seem to go with the Bilsteins, speaks volumes really doesn't it? If I was to get an M140i the LSD would have to wait because I'm not on the best pay in the world at the moment biggrin I believe they're about £1500-£2000 for the diff and to get it fitted if I'm not mistaken? I guess you could get it done cheaper if you know someone, a garage etc.
To be honest, I wouldn't move to the M140i and modify it for more power if you can't afford the LSD etc. Big mistake imo. You would be far better spending your money on a LSD/Suspension upgrades and adding power later, would make for a far more entertaining and usable drive. I have a mate who had around 440bhp from bolt on's and a map with the open diff and the only time he enjoyed it was from a roll in a straight line.

If you are only interested in going stage 19 and dragy times, then obviously charge on but far more entertaining options out there to progress to.