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

ScoobyChris

1,118 posts

179 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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I run an M140 and the big thing that lets it down for me are the MPSS which only really work in dry, warm weather. I invested in some winter tyres for the colder/wetter months and they let me continue to enjoy and push the car. I'll be replacing the MPSS (year 4 and I've just managed to wear out the rears!) with some PS4s which I hear are much more suited to UK weather.

When I was buying it, I also looked at Golf R, GTi, S3 and Focus ST but the BMW won out for me as it felt the most alive to drive. I did prefer the manual on the test drive, but opted for the auto and don't regret that decision.

FWIW, my neighbour has just picked up his new M2 Comp so once it's run in, I'll be blagging a ride in it for comparison.

Chris

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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thelostboy said:
I would agree the M140i is about the engine. It does not feel like an M car in any other respect. Perfectly nice, and I feel a more upmarket place to sit than a Golf R, but otherwise it was just another 1 Series.

Certainly it is rapid too. A friend had one when I had an RS6 Performance and we had to do silly speeds to notice a difference.

One of my dailies is now a MK7.5 Golf R and I think it is great; lots of low down shove and the ride and handling balance is well judged (although mine has ACC, not sure what the regular setup is like). It's great to have the security of 4WD given how miserable our weather is, and point to point it is undoubtedly the faster car.

I also don't understand the comments about it being dull either. In the recent weather I found the chassis is adjustable - it will rotate and you can feel the 4WD working. I had a MK6 Golf R years ago and, in comparison, that simply felt like a FWD which didn't run out of grip.
Hi there, thank you so much for the insight, was really helpful smile As for the "dull" comments I can't really judge as I haven't driven one, I think what people mean is the fact he Golf is so refined and so good at doing everything it maybe lacking personality in some people's opinions. Undoubtedly an amazing car though, just does everything so well.

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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ScoobyChris said:
I run an M140 and the big thing that lets it down for me are the MPSS which only really work in dry, warm weather. I invested in some winter tyres for the colder/wetter months and they let me continue to enjoy and push the car. I'll be replacing the MPSS (year 4 and I've just managed to wear out the rears!) with some PS4s which I hear are much more suited to UK weather.

When I was buying it, I also looked at Golf R, GTi, S3 and Focus ST but the BMW won out for me as it felt the most alive to drive. I did prefer the manual on the test drive, but opted for the auto and don't regret that decision.

FWIW, my neighbour has just picked up his new M2 Comp so once it's run in, I'll be blagging a ride in it for comparison.

Chris
That would be awesome if you could compare the 140 and an M2. Definitely let me know how it goes smile

I'd definitely be investing in decent rubber, trust me biggrin

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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J4CKO said:
I had a MK1 TT for a bit and the 4WD was quite compelling, launching it on packed snow was fun,I know its not proper whatever and TT not drivers car but I quite liked it, just broke a bit too much as was old and neglected, think it had either 12 or 15 owners biggrin

I think a lot buy an M140 for say 20 ish grand, then the spending starts to address all the shortcomings and add more power, couple of grand on tuning, couple of grand on suspension, couple of grand on an LSD, bit on cosmetic mods and its easy to lavish say 5 to 10 grand no problem, hmm, what can you buy for 25 to 30 grand.....


https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202010195...

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202009113...


Can add all the power you want in isolation but you end up with the car equivalent of Bradley Wiggins riding a Raleigh Chopper (A bicycle from olden times that wasn't very good at being a bicycle) even at standard power they struggle a bit.

Not saying its pointless tuning them as some prefer the hatch, like the tuning aspect or dont have the cash for a M4 etc in one go but it probably works out cheaper in the long run and you get a more rounded package.
I do love the thought of an M4, they would just have to depreciate a bit more before I'd go for one. They just don't have the B58 sound although an M4 will 100% be a better car to drive. Again, I'm not done with my Fiesta yet so I'll wait a year or two before making a decision biggrin

Dylanaledhall

Original Poster:

359 posts

42 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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culpz said:
Usual RWD vs AWD benefits. Golf for it's all-weather ability, BMW for it's playful rear. Both are nice places to sit and great daily-drivers. They're also both easily tuneable. I'd probably go with the M140i, as the B58 engine and the ZF8 gearbox are fantastic and it's going to become a rare layout. I'd also say that it'll probably be a bit more fun and engaging. That being said, the EA888 with the DSG is a very good combo too.

However, neither will be anywhere near as fun as the Fiesta, IMO.
I do love mum little Fiesta I must admit biggrin

Yeah the M140i has that uniqueness that I don't think we'll ever see again, a 3.0 six cylinder RWD hatchback. A strange combo but I think definitely works. I'd personally go for the ZF and not the manual just because ( and I'm going off other's opinions) the manuals can be a bit notchy and I'd prefer the 8 speed because I do a lot of motorway miles smile

J4CKO

36,433 posts

177 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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culpz said:
Usual RWD vs AWD benefits. Golf for it's all-weather ability, BMW for it's playful rear. Both are nice places to sit and great daily-drivers. They're also both easily tuneable. I'd probably go with the M140i, as the B58 engine and the ZF8 gearbox are fantastic and it's going to become a rare layout. I'd also say that it'll probably be a bit more fun and engaging. That being said, the EA888 with the DSG is a very good combo too.

However, neither will be anywhere near as fun as the Fiesta, IMO.
Might be me but I dont think the BMW rear is that playful really.

Sure, it will go sideways but it can be a bit scrappy, my 350Z was better at that. Might be me of course but it just never seems that predictable or whatever unless you lock it in gear (Dont want it changing gear and bogging down or dumping more power than anticipated to the rear wheels) and turn the Traction control off, in Sports plus it allows a bit of slip but not quite enough, its like "There you go, some oversteer, that's enough"

Then when you turn it off, it gets lairy pretty quickly, but you need some space to practice and in the UK getting the time and space devoid of street furniture and people, well, round where I live the opportunities arent there, need a track and someone else paying for the tyres.

I think the MPSS are too much of a compromise in the UK, mines on them and the ST is on MP4S and its much better, I struggled to keep up with a new Fiesta ST in the Wet as you effectively end up with a maybe 200 bhp car and 150 bhp of wheelspin, in the dry absolutely no problem but wet, forget it. And S3 or Golf R is quicker point to point in the dry and can just drive round you in the wet when you are doing your excitable Labrador on a shiny floor impression.





Court_S

7,647 posts

154 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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I opted out of our company car scheme and the Golf R and M140i were both on my list....

The Golf left me totally cold, not even the fancy digital dash saved it. It was bigger inside (better packaged) has better traction but for me, it was a very meh car. I preferred the GTI TCR which looks much better to my eyes. The EA888 isn’t a patch on the B58 and I prefer the ZF8 to the DSG. I preferred the BMW interior too (the pro nav is loads better than the VAG equivalent) with a better driving position for me.

I’ve had my M140i for 18 months now. I’ve had a few wobbles were the lure of an M2 became very, very strong. I really like my car; the engine is stonking, quick when it needs to be but pretty comfy too. Doesn’t cost loads to run and isn’t too shouty.

The stock suspension set up isn’t the best, but doesn’t take long to resolve. I’ve lowered my car and fitted the underbody brace which have made a positive improvement and I’ll be fitting Bilstein B8’s in the spring when it warms up a tad. I’ve stuck with the MPSS tyres unlike most and they’re fine. They need a bit of respect in the wet / cold, but my old 325 and 330 could be a bit wayward if you took liberties in the cold and wet. I’d be spending money here before chasing more power; they’re not slow stock and get to three figures with ease.

Ultimately it’ll be a tough little car to replace. I’m fully aware it’s a compromise, but it covers the bases I want it to well.

Court_S

7,647 posts

154 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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nickfrog said:
Greg the Fish said:
If you want one to devastate your wallet before you even start 'tuning' it. Get the BM
Greg I appreciate you suffer from an irrational and obsessive hatred for anything BMW but what direct experience of running a M140i do you have? I ran a M135i and it proved cheap as chips in terms of depreciation and running costs.
Mine had proved cheap to run so far..

£150 VED each year, just under 30mpg over 18 months, rear tyres were £280 and three years servicing for £299. For the perform on offer, I think those sums are pretty reasonable.

My biggest expense has been fiddling with it!

toon10

5,566 posts

134 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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You've have a good understanding of the pros and cons of each so it's down to what you value most. My thoughts...

The Golf is the better looking car and more practical in terms of inside space. It also has the all weather ability which is a big factor living in the British climate. I couldn't argue with anyone if they chose a Golf R over a M140i.

For me, I used to own an M135i LCI and truth be told, I didn't even consider the Golf. I had an XC90 for practical use so my M135i was just something enjoyable and fast to get me to work. In real world driving and as long as it is dry, the BMW is a little faster and I do mean a little. The big engine in a small body and the RWD handling characteristics just made the car more of an event, well as much as a none M daily driver can be. In four years, I got stuck once trying to get to work. It was on summer tyres and we had a bit of snow. Other than that it was fine. You just had to modulate the throttle according to the conditions. I certainly wouldn't take one on a wet track at 120 mph for example!

My next door neighbour loved my BMW and yet he has a lovely blue Mk7 Golf R on his drive now. He admits it's a bit dull to drive but it is fast. Both great choices though.

culpz

4,638 posts

89 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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J4CKO said:
culpz said:
Usual RWD vs AWD benefits. Golf for it's all-weather ability, BMW for it's playful rear. Both are nice places to sit and great daily-drivers. They're also both easily tuneable. I'd probably go with the M140i, as the B58 engine and the ZF8 gearbox are fantastic and it's going to become a rare layout. I'd also say that it'll probably be a bit more fun and engaging. That being said, the EA888 with the DSG is a very good combo too.

However, neither will be anywhere near as fun as the Fiesta, IMO.
Might be me but I dont think the BMW rear is that playful really.

Sure, it will go sideways but it can be a bit scrappy, my 350Z was better at that. Might be me of course but it just never seems that predictable or whatever unless you lock it in gear (Dont want it changing gear and bogging down or dumping more power than anticipated to the rear wheels) and turn the Traction control off, in Sports plus it allows a bit of slip but not quite enough, its like "There you go, some oversteer, that's enough"

Then when you turn it off, it gets lairy pretty quickly, but you need some space to practice and in the UK getting the time and space devoid of street furniture and people, well, round where I live the opportunities arent there, need a track and someone else paying for the tyres.

I think the MPSS are too much of a compromise in the UK, mines on them and the ST is on MP4S and its much better, I struggled to keep up with a new Fiesta ST in the Wet as you effectively end up with a maybe 200 bhp car and 150 bhp of wheelspin, in the dry absolutely no problem but wet, forget it. And S3 or Golf R is quicker point to point in the dry and can just drive round you in the wet when you are doing your excitable Labrador on a shiny floor impression.
I think an LSD is essential on these, if you like to play with the rear end of the car fairly often. My dad has an M240i and he loves it, but he does say that the rear can just be quite unpredictable and squirmy at times. I guess the short wheel-base doesn't help things. Tyres will be another factor and the standard 1-Series M-Sport suspension probably won't do great things here either.

I'd honestly leave the power as it is though. It doesn't need any more IMO and is already a rocket, especially with the ZF8. Suspension and LSD would probably be where I'd spend, if i was happy to splash the cash.

ashenfie

366 posts

23 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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I think I agree that tuning either car needs carful consideration. Both cars have far more power than they can put down and you be better getting the Car and doing mods progressively

J4CKO

36,433 posts

177 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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ashenfie said:
I think I agree that tuning either car needs carful consideration. Both cars have far more power than they can put down and you be better getting the Car and doing mods progressively
The Golf R has way more traction than it needs and the BMW way less, what we need is something in the middle, 3WD is what we need biggrin

JD

2,344 posts

205 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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Dylanaledhall said:
Did you just prefer the ability to put the power down no matter what? Also, did you think the Audi was a better daily ? Thanks smile
No question the Audi is a better car to own if you only have one car, I certainly didn't find it as dull as many on here would call it.

When the weather is like it is right now, I genuinely don't relish taking the 140 out as I feel its just a wasted. I changed from the MPSS tyres which were beyond rubbish in the cold to MP4S, which has made it better but they aren't magic.

I guess it's the combination of a bit of a wobbly chassis, and an open rear differential and lots of torque. It's desire to light up one of the rear tyres is pretty impressive and when you take it out for a light jaunt the rear brakes are hot to the touch which I assume is the stability control trying to use them to reign in the loose wheels.

Also as a side note, there can't be that many cars that have bigger brakes on the rear than the front?

BMW cabin just feels like a more quality place, controls are better weighted, seats are squishier and it sounds great when you first fire it up. BUT I actually don't think you can hear much of anything from the engine inside the cabin, and in sport mode all it does is play noise from the speakers so I certainly don't think thats a huge factor.

The Audi cabin looked better but didn't feel as good, the engine just sounds like an engine. you can hear the exhaust far more than the BMW, mainly because it lets out embarrassingly loud bangs when it changes gear (not just in sport mode either)



liner33

9,564 posts

179 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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I've not spent a lot of time in a M140i but I own a M235i which I have modified to about 400hp (Dont feel the car needs any more than this)

I think its a little OTT to say the M lites need full suspension and a diff before they are any good , a stock one needs better rear dampers true (Thats a £200 fix) and benefits from better springs and a lsd but they are not essential, they need better brake pads and tyres before either imo.

I've tried to be impressed by the Golf R many times , If I could enjoy driving one I could manage with one car as they are such a good all rounder but I just find them understeery, dull and unrewarding to drive. On paper they are uber impressive and more performance than you ever need but not a car I'd ever want to drive just for the fun of driving, that's why I love the 235

They say " There is no replacement for displacement " and they are correct these cars are the end of the line , we wont see their like again

I have always modified my cars to some degree but winding these things up to 500hp + is pretty pointless imo, you cant use it or put it down and it doesnt make it a better car

Oh and I've owned a Evo 6 and in truth the M235i is by far the better car and comes pretty close in the fun factor on the right road and costs half the money

LeeM135i

219 posts

31 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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Had an early MK7 Golf GTI Performace Pack and loved it, it’s a far far better car than the M135i I have now. It’s bigger inside, more comfortable on a long journey, can use its power, handles better etc etc but it is very business, the electronics sort everything out, it even snatches a brake to keep your chosen cornering angle. It’s not boring just artificial.

The M135i has a way of getting under your skin with the noise and smooth straight 6. I like the fact it squirms around when the roads are cold and wet, it feels like it’s keeping you on your toes and you have some input in what’s going on.

If you want to get somewhere fast take the Golf, if you want to arrive with a sweaty brow and a smile on your face get the M135i/M140i.

Court_S

7,647 posts

154 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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liner33 said:
I've not spent a lot of time in a M140i but I own a M235i which I have modified to about 400hp (Dont feel the car needs any more than this)

I think its a little OTT to say the M lites need full suspension and a diff before they are any good , a stock one needs better rear dampers true (Thats a £200 fix) and benefits from better springs and a lsd but they are not essential, they need better brake pads and tyres before either imo.

I've tried to be impressed by the Golf R many times , If I could enjoy driving one I could manage with one car as they are such a good all rounder but I just find them understeery, dull and unrewarding to drive. On paper they are uber impressive and more performance than you ever need but not a car I'd ever want to drive just for the fun of driving, that's why I love the 235

They say " There is no replacement for displacement " and they are correct these cars are the end of the line , we wont see their like again

I have always modified my cars to some degree but winding these things up to 500hp + is pretty pointless imo, you cant use it or put it down and it doesnt make it a better car

Oh and I've owned a Evo 6 and in truth the M235i is by far the better car and comes pretty close in the fun factor on the right road and costs half the money
The rear dampers are by far the biggest weak link. I’m looking forward to fitting my B8’s.

I’ve generally not found the MPSS a bad as others, I didn’t even die getting caught out in a bit of snow between Christmas and New Year. They are bloody grippy in the dry though, really grippy.


dunc69

568 posts

224 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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OP, as you like to mod your cars, have a look at this.

Might help.

https://youtu.be/TdwqbeRGapc

liner33

9,564 posts

179 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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Court_S said:
liner33 said:
I've not spent a lot of time in a M140i but I own a M235i which I have modified to about 400hp (Dont feel the car needs any more than this)

I think its a little OTT to say the M lites need full suspension and a diff before they are any good , a stock one needs better rear dampers true (Thats a £200 fix) and benefits from better springs and a lsd but they are not essential, they need better brake pads and tyres before either imo.

I've tried to be impressed by the Golf R many times , If I could enjoy driving one I could manage with one car as they are such a good all rounder but I just find them understeery, dull and unrewarding to drive. On paper they are uber impressive and more performance than you ever need but not a car I'd ever want to drive just for the fun of driving, that's why I love the 235

They say " There is no replacement for displacement " and they are correct these cars are the end of the line , we wont see their like again

I have always modified my cars to some degree but winding these things up to 500hp + is pretty pointless imo, you cant use it or put it down and it doesnt make it a better car

Oh and I've owned a Evo 6 and in truth the M235i is by far the better car and comes pretty close in the fun factor on the right road and costs half the money
The rear dampers are by far the biggest weak link. I’m looking forward to fitting my B8’s.

I’ve generally not found the MPSS a bad as others, I didn’t even die getting caught out in a bit of snow between Christmas and New Year. They are bloody grippy in the dry though, really grippy.
I have B14's with MPSS although I tootle around in my Fiesta ST this time of year

Limpet

5,298 posts

138 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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Court_S said:
nickfrog said:
Greg the Fish said:
If you want one to devastate your wallet before you even start 'tuning' it. Get the BM
Greg I appreciate you suffer from an irrational and obsessive hatred for anything BMW but what direct experience of running a M140i do you have? I ran a M135i and it proved cheap as chips in terms of depreciation and running costs.
Mine had proved cheap to run so far..

£150 VED each year, just under 30mpg over 18 months, rear tyres were £280 and three years servicing for £299. For the perform on offer, I think those sums are pretty reasonable.

My biggest expense has been fiddling with it!
Agreed. I ran one for 3 years and 40,000 miles and had a similar experience. Brilliant on fuel for the performance on tap, utterly reliable and barely any more expensive to service (or any more demanding to own, generally) than a 120d. Servicing, fuel, screenwash and tyres. That was it.

Absolutely cracking cars.

anonymous-user

31 months

Friday 22nd January 2021
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Not sure how rear dampers are a £200 fix unless you are fitting them yourself?

Edited by anonymous-user on Friday 22 January 12:36