Wince-some Rocket

In BMW, Travel on June 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

The folk at westerly BMW loaned their release edition 135 when I was looking for a serious coupe.

I remember hammering it up to Bideford and just being amazed at what it could do. lazy cruiser, brilliant sat nav which could be closed whilst driving and then flipped up about a mile before the next turning point.

The Devon A Roads were smooth, and traffic free.  It seemed just the thing, and it offered 4 seats and the possibility of over 30 mpg.


It was only offered as a manual.  The clutch was heavy.

After a mile on my second test drive I was stuck in traffic, my leg started to ache.  I aborted the run, did a 3 point turn and saved myself £36,000.

A little later the nation hit a recession. BMW hater Clarkson had a run in of these and pronounced it to be a fine car.  Indeed BMW were actually offering a flappy paddle auto.  Sadly the automotive punters were staying away in droves.  BMW GB released 6 pre-built high spec cars to the dealer network.  None had more than 20 miles on the clock.

Hey presto we were now looking at a £36,000 car for £26,000! Kerching.  Williams BMW did a deal on my 2007model year  335 cabriolet, and I had the car I “always” wanted.

Day 1 – Why did I buy this?  It seemed like there was no suspension travel at all.  Oh, and I did miss the folding roof, even in January.  Oh dear.

Day 2 – Why is the steering so vague compared to a BMW 3 series.  I noticed it on those earlier test drives, but mine felt even worse.

Day 3 – Day 680 – Why, oh why do I have to wince every time I hit a small pot hole?  In Exeter one such hole broke the wheel, whilst the run flat tyre escaped unscathed.  I alter learnt this was a common for M Sport drivers.

My regular jaunt up the A303 would often leave me in doubt that I’d hit a bump or pot hole and must surely have broken yet another wheel.  These trips were often at night, and the standard (non Xenon) lights were particularly hopeless at affording a good view of the road surface.

On a smooth road, and even with 4 up and all their luggage the 135 was a rapid beast.

I am a bit of a continental traveller, and though I never hit the 155mph speed limiter I can report a 135 can do 150 mph without much drama, but you do need one and half lanes of a dual carriage way where a 335 would run straight as a dye on one lane.

I even managed to hit 150 in torrential rain, which was exciting (the road was deserted).

Friends like it.

Best of all in 24000 miles I lost only £3,500.

Why did I get rid of it?

The suspension, and the rock hard run flats.  The 135 just needed a better set up to be simply awesome.  It had a life time average of 27 mpg on regular unleaded.  I think that’s pretty good.


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