RE: BMW 1 Series M Coupe: PH Used Buying Guide

RE: BMW 1 Series M Coupe: PH Used Buying Guide

Wednesday 15th August 2018

BMW 1 Series M Coupe: PH Used Buying Guide

A classic in its own lifetime, the 1M is still hot property secondhand - here's what you need to know



There are many virtues we could extol here about the BMW 1M, but as this is a buyer's guide let's consider money first. If you were fortunate to be one of the 450 in the UK, or among the 6,339 worldwide, to buy a 1M new, you could enjoy depreciation-proof ownership.

When it was launched in 2011, the 1M cost Β£39,990 plus whatever options were added. Today, you'll pay around Β£40,000 for a lightly used 1M in good condition. Find a minter with low miles and competition among collectors is pushing the values of these cars over Β£60,000 for the very best. All of this means the 1M is a very solid place to put your money, as this model will only gain reputation and status as one of the last fast BMWs with a manual gearbox, hydraulic steering and a slightly edgy handling character.

When new, a 135i was Β£7,000 cheaper than and almost as good to drive as the 1M, while an M3 with its V8 motor was almost Β£15,000 more. Pricey 1 Series or bargain M car? The latter has turned out to be the case thanks to the 1M having the pace and handling to match, and even outrun, its M3 sibling.


It helped the 1M borrowed suspension and brakes from the M3, while the N54 twin-turbo six-cylinder engine is much the same as that in a 335i. For this car, BMW gave it 340hp and a six-speed manual gearbox taken from the Z4. This saw the car from rest to 62mph in a claimed 4.9 seconds, though contemporary road tests often bettered this.

Top speed was limited to 155mph as usual, but more importantly the 1M comes with an M button on the steering wheel to sharpen up throttle response. Under full acceleration, an overboost function adds an extra 37lb ft of torque, while the two small turbos provide maximum torque between 1,500 and 4,500rpm to make the 1M very easy to drive quickly or sedately.

There's also an M Dynamic Mode button that raises the limit where DSC traction control intervenes. Combined with the M Variable differential, the car can oversteer but with a safety net. Or you can turn off the traction control completely. That honed hooligan nature is what made the 1M so appealing when new and now...

Search for BMW 1 Series M Coupes here


Buyer's checklist


Bodywork and interior

Make sure the Xenon headlights are working - new ones are Β£700 per side.

Check for even colour across the body panels as plenty of 1Ms have been repaired after accidents or track damage.

Look into the front wheelarches to make sure the liners are intact and securely attached as they can be damaged when reversing the car on full lock.

Options when new included a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System and Comfort Access. DAB and Bluetooth connection were also optional, so not all cars will have them.

Heated seat elements fail.


Engine and transmission

Carbon deposits will reduce performance. You can opt for a de-carbonising treatment or have the inlet manifold removed and blast-cleaned.

Engine management warning light can be triggered by worn nitrogen oxide sensor that's Β£400 to replace or a faulty knock sensor. This warning can also be caused by the high pressure fuel pump failing, which costs Β£265 plus labour.

Wastegate rattle is a common problem due to a failed gasket where the exhaust joins the turbocharger. The gasket is cheap but labour rates can easily exceed Β£1,000 for this job.

Turbochargers in the 1M are shared with the E9x 335i and it's cheaper to order for this model than a 1M.

The charge pipe can come loose, which results in a popping noise. It can often be fixed by putting the clip back on, but it will probably happen again. An aftermarket replacement will sort this and costs about Β£120.

A dual-mass flywheel will set you back Β£1200 and it's unique to the 1M. A single mass flywheel conversion is available from companies such as TTV Racing and Tuning Werk. A new clutch on its own is Β£440 from a BMW dealer.

Listen for any groans from the limited slip differential in low speed turns that points to heavy track use. This can be solved with a friction modifier booster additive.


Suspension and steering

The good news is the 1M's suspension and hydraulic power steering are rugged and long-lasting.

Birds offers an anti-roll bar upgrade for Β£818 fitted. Complete suspension kits start at around Β£2,000.

Wheels, tyres and brakes

19-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels are unique to the 1M and they cost Β£600 per corner for replacements, so make sure they're in good nick.

New discs all round will cost Β£750 plus fitting.

Tyres are 245/35 R19 front and 265/35 R19 rear, and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4s will cost around Β£800 fitted to the car.

Search for BMW 1 Series M Coupes here

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Β 

SPECIFICATION - BMW 1M COUPE

Engine: 2,979cc straight-six, twin-turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 340@5,900rpm
Torque (lb ft): 369@1,500-4,500rpm
MPG: 29.4
CO2: 224g/km
Price new: Β£39,990
Price now: Β£35,000 upwards




Author
Discussion

Aftershox

Original Poster:

106 posts

107 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
So much more character than an M2

s m

18,394 posts

152 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Would've like one but they never really dropped in price like predicted at launch ( being a turbocharged bowler hat or whatever the putdown was re a turbo M car )

mikiec

101 posts

35 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Test drove one of these and really liked it. Ended up getting an R8 but would love to add one to the garage. Unfortunately an open top is probably next on the list.

Hope I don't regret it as they are great value in NZ, where you can get one for around 36000 GBP.

cerb4.5lee

13,381 posts

129 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
s m said:
Would've like one but they never really dropped in price like predicted at launch ( being a turbocharged bowler hat or whatever the putdown was re a turbo M car )
I really wanted one of these when I was looking at buying my E92 M3 and I know I'd have enjoyed this much more. My budget was only £30k at the time and these were still around £40k...it fact they never really seemed to drop much at all annoyingly.

The looks are still a little challenging to my eyes, but I know that I would have a big smile on my face everytime I got behind the wheel though.

Alpinestars

13,253 posts

193 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Aftershox said:
So much more character than an M2
Yep. A much better drivers’ car.

big_rob_sydney

2,423 posts

143 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
I really dont understand the pricing on these.

The production run is huge, so this is in no way a rare car. While I get the RHD argument, I still come back to total numbers produced. Very strange.

That's in no way any reflection on its abilities, as I suspect its quite a handy device. It's just that for 40 large, you have a tremendous choice, within which, there are faster cars.

Kenny Powers

2,504 posts

76 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Am I imagining it or are the pictures slightly squashed horizontally?

Filibuster

1,235 posts

164 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
I have always liked the 1er M coupe!

Have a look at the Doug DeMuro video about it.

According to wikipedia, only 6331have been produced. Not much for a mainstream production run!

IMO they hit a sweetspot of usable performance. We all have gone crazy obsessed with hyper fast performance, but have forgotten what driving is all about.
This car is built exactly for this!

Also I quite like the numberplate biggrin

PTF

3,528 posts

173 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
A 130i gives you a fairly large chunk of the positives of the 1M for about 10% of the cost.

jmcc500

520 posts

167 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Looked at getting one of these a couple of years ago, prices were where they are now. Ended up buying a 987 Spyder: Hydraulic PAS? Check. Manual Box? Check. Iffy handling? Nope.

I think I made the right decision, both awesome cars and both holding value well.

Left field alternative I thought about was the Audi S1, which is also holding well, but not sure I would choose that or the 1M over another Spyder.

Swole

659 posts

70 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
The high pressure fuel pumps are also a problem on the N54, causing the car to drop in power and struggle to start. Around £500 to fix.

The water pumps are also weak. They are electric and go without warning, leaving you stranded as the engine cuts off instantly while you are driving. £1000 to fix.

Rear subframe bushes wear and are better upgraded with poly-bushes. DIY, around £70.

I liked the 1M/135i/335i because they gave you a genuine alternative to the M3. The 135i/335i could easily have M3 suspension swapped into them, and a diff, then they handled like a 1M/M3 albeit narrower track. You could then choose whether you wanted NA V8 or a turbocharged 6-cylinder dependent on your preference.

The F Series M2, x35i/x40i and M3/4’s don’t have enough to differentiate them. You chose a straight 6 turbo, and pick your power output or budget basically. I can’t see why you’d want an M2 when there is an M4’s, and surely the x40i cars are redundant now. You may as well go for a 330E.

Anyway, the turbocharged N54 6cyl lacked in character versus the V8 but lightly tuned, it would slap the V8 in the face all day. For anyone interested, the ceiling for the N54 is around 420-430hp with standard turbocharges and with exhaust, intercooler and ECU tuning. New hybrid turbos and a little methanol will happily get it to 500hp and also rid you of wastegate problems. Larger turbos or a single turbo will allow somewhere from
500-700hp from what I’ve seen but I’d class that as a heavy modification and not befitting of a 1M. N54 engine internals are all fully forged and do not need replacing at any of these outputs. The automatic gearboxes are however not up to the job; manual is fine.

Shaoxter

3,479 posts

73 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
I really dont understand the pricing on these.

The production run is huge, so this is in no way a rare car. While I get the RHD argument, I still come back to total numbers produced. Very strange.

That's in no way any reflection on its abilities, as I suspect its quite a handy device. It's just that for 40 large, you have a tremendous choice, within which, there are faster cars.
I don't understand it either, although admittedly I've not driven one. However I have owned a 335i with the N54 engine and I don't think it's special enough to warrant the price.

£40k gets you a 997.2 S and other than slightly more useable rear seats, I don't see an argument for the 1M.

Edited by Shaoxter on Wednesday 15th August 12:05

Alpinestars

13,253 posts

193 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
PTF said:
A 130i gives you a fairly large chunk of the positives of the 1M for about 10% of the cost.
And that damn awful steering?

An evoru would be quicker than a 130 for even less. But surely that’s not the point?

Sford

206 posts

99 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
The 1M has always been a bit special and that engine is excellent.

My 335i is great. It's not without its flaws (ride is hard) but it's one of those cars that ticks a lot of boxes. The steering is unspoilt and proper, none of this electric gubbins. The engine is great and while yes, there are some issues (mine currently has a failing coil) is great. Low down power for normal driving is as you would expect but when you press on it just keeps pulling. The thing I love the most is that it doesn't have loads of buttons to enable or disable settings. There's no piping this sound here or tightening something there, it's just a good driver focused car without gimmicks.

The hard ride is down to the run-flats but I like to keep it as intended. In fact, my vx is stiffer sprung and a harsher chassis but because it actually has side walls in the tyres slightly more compliant. You have to dodge potholes in the BMW a lot.




Scottie - NW

910 posts

182 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
I suspect most people who buy these will be afraid the put any significant miles on them for resale value, so from a driving perspective it's one of the worst cars to buy?

Silverbullet767

10,085 posts

155 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
I think the common faults for the engine section should be identical to the 355i N54 common faults, you're missing quite a few!

WCZ

7,441 posts

143 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Scottie - NW said:
I suspect most people who buy these will be afraid the put any significant miles on them for resale value, so from a driving perspective it's one of the worst cars to buy?
this, no one drives them anymore

nice cars but not £60k nice

Guvernator

10,882 posts

114 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Agree with others, don't really get why these have held their value so well. I had a 335i, nice car and the engine was a decent performer at low revs and made nice noises but the latter half of the rev range was nothing to write home about in a 335, let alone as a power-plant in a full blown M car but such is the way with most M engines these days unfortunately.

That N54 engine also has more than it's fair share of well documented issues, the production run isn't that limited, it still has those odd proportions endemic to all 1 series coupe's and it's been replaced by the better M2, nope sorry don't get the £40-£60k price tag either.

3yardy3

149 posts

63 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
I know it's a completely different car but the worst decision i ever made was to buy a 335i with the N54 engine... nothing but issues.


PTF

3,528 posts

173 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
Alpinestars said:
PTF said:
A 130i gives you a fairly large chunk of the positives of the 1M for about 10% of the cost.
And that damn awful steering?

An evoru would be quicker than a 130 for even less. But surely that’s not the point?
What's so awful about the 130's steering? It's hydraulic, as is the 1M's.

I never said anything about speed. I was talking about dynamics and the feel of the car compared to more modern stuff, which i think is the appeal of the 1M, but which is also offered by the 130.

Anyway. 1M. I'd love one, but they're silly money for what they are and, as someone else has pointed out, at that price-point you could have something like a 997.2.

Personally i've gone for a 130i and 986 S as that covers both bases really nicely for around £14k.