This current-generation of BMW 1 Series Hatchback is an enthusiast’s dream, especially the BMW M140i version. That car gets a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine (B58 in BMW-speak) making 340 hp. It’s also the only hot hatch on the market to send power to just its rear wheels, making it the drift-ready lunatic of the segment. It’s a shame it’s going away, then, as BMW is going to be replacing it with a front-wheel drive-based 1 Series hatch. Still, we can enjoy it while it lasts, especially with Carwow claiming it to be one of the ten best hot hatches on sale.
In this new video, Carwow lists the top ten hot hatches on the market and the BMW M140i came in fourth. While fourth isn’t typically something to brag about, it’s one of the oldest, if not the oldest, car in the segment. It’s also a bit expensive and more luxurious than most of the other cars, so in terms of pure hot-hatchery, it’s not exactly the most thrilling. Still, it deserves a spot in the top five because it’s a bit of a unicorn and it’s extremely fast for the segment.
With rear-wheel drive and an I6 engine, the BMW M140i is the only car in the test with such a configuration. So it’s sort of the hot-rod of the segment. It can roast its rear tires to bits whenever it wants, its engine sounds creamy and exotic, unlike the turbo four-pots in every other car on the list, and its a bit more mature than the rest as well. So it fits a very specific need — for someone who likes having a hot hatch but now has a grown-up job and can’t be seen in the parking garage with a Honda Civic Type R (which coincidentally took first place in this video).
So while the BMW M140i is on its way out, it’s still one of the best cars on sale in its segment. It might be a bit too grown up to be considered a proper “hot hatch”, as the name sort of implies a bit of hooliganism, but it’s a damn fine performance hatchback and one of the best on the market even in its dying days.