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I was in the exact same situation 2 years ago.

I was 21, saved up 10k and got a 12k loan for 2% interest from the bank. Way way cheaper than PCP or HP.

As for the insurance, it cost me £700 first year at 22 so really not bad.

As for options, Heated seats and pronav are the only must haves. Wouldn't even worry about an LSD if your not on track or modifying it too much.
 

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If you do get a 140 or whatever, book a couple of track days with an instructor. He will teach you how to respect the car and show you how the car handles through different situations. It will probably the best money you spend car related.
 

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Exactly my point, they are a GT not a hot hatch and for this reason they are really not that fun stock on country roads, they can possibly become fun with a good few grand spent on them but its not cheap.

I am a m140i fan, im a fan in that it makes a perfect daily driver for a family, it has a quick turn of pace and is refined and quiet when needs be, it can be a bit fun coming off roundabouts too - helped mostly by the LSD predictability, but a car id choose on a sunday to go for a blast down some country lanes? Nope

Everyone who owns one will sing their praises and i will sing its praises as above but i will be honest with the OP who is young and about to spend a lot of money on one - it is not the car i would pick to blast down a country road, especially a stock one. Living life fast bought an m140i and he has a lot of experience with many cars and he says how unnverving the stock chassis is, even after having an LSD and Birds suspension he is still not 100% on the car.
That’s fine, as your opinion. But plenty of us are very happy with how much fun they are in stock form and with plenty of driving experience.

Granted, I’ve only driven my 240 and not a 140 but I doubt they are hugely different. I’ve run modified cars since 1990 so know a thing or two about them, I.e I’m not a driver with little experience of driving fast cars, stock & modded.

So for you, you can’t drive a stock 140 & have fun, but don’t put op off with this stuff, he needs to try one himself. We all have different driving styles and plenty of people enjoy the cars. 🤷
 

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That’s fine, as your opinion. But plenty of us are very happy with how much fun they are in stock form and with plenty of driving experience.

Granted, I’ve only driven my 240 and not a 140 but I doubt they are hugely different. I’ve run modified cars since 1990 so know a thing or two about them, I.e I’m not a driver with little experience of driving fast cars, stock & modded.

So for you, you can’t drive a stock 140 & have fun, but don’t put op off with this stuff, he needs to try one himself. We all have different driving styles and plenty of people enjoy the cars. 🤷
Yes we all have our own opinion, a higher proportion of people do seem to agree than a stock m140i is fun though, and majority of motoring journalists say the chassis is unnerving or unravels when pushed.

Just worth nothing before spunking 20,000 plus 2 grand insurance plus then possibly 2000 on an LSD as the OP said it was something he would consider, its an expensive way for a weekend car that really isent a weekend car.

Also its not dangerous with traction on but it can certainly bite if your not careful, i dare say at 22 i may have written the car off, im glad i didnt get this car til i was a lot older.
 

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They are powerful cars, however when I was 22 it was Lancia Turbo's and the like, maybe not as powerful but no anticlock brakes or traction stability control to keep you from the hedge!
I've owned mine nearly 5 years and over 70k miles for mostly business mileage. I've therefore kept it stock for business insurance and extended warranty.
No way is it a car I'd use for weekend drives etc. There are far more capable cars for that, however it's okay for a jack of all trades type of car if it is the only car you can own.
Unless you need the seats, if I was 22 again I'd be looking at a MX5 or Porsche Boxster or similar, before marriage and kids!
 

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I always go back to this video from Chris Harris, who loves the 235i. He says they do handle better than the 135i, but it isn’t night & day. This car has an LSD and that’s it. He mentions having plenty of fun on road or track. Would you buy one only as a weekend/track car? No. But as a daily that can also be fun on track or the back roads, hell yes. :love:

 
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Just take it easy. In my own experience I transitioned more smoothly up the horse ladder. Like others have said, ignore the 'you'll not be able to drive in the wet' BS. Usually always comes out the mouth of someone who has never, driven a RWD vehicle.
Unless you're driving it like you've stolen it, you shouldn't lose control of it. It's difficult in my opinion. The ESP is quite good at keeping the car from losing it. It took me around a month or two to learn how to respect the differences between front wheel and rear wheel drive, which you'll learn whilst putting the power down a bit too much, in the wet, and probably on a roundabout. I started in a 330d, and then moved onto the m140i in 2017. I'm still loving the car if I'm honest, it still doesn't bore me.

Happy motoring.
 

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As mentioned, try and get some driver training like the above at Goodwood's 'Spin and Slide' course. It's worth its weight in gold in terms of giving you the chance to drive the car to and beyond its limits in a safe environment, with professional instruction. The Goodwood one is around £150 for an hour's 1:1 tuition on track with all the nannies turned off. After half an hour we were doing perfect controlled slides. There's just no way of getting this type of experience on public roads. You don't have to be a Boy Racer - the aim is to program your reflexes to react automatically when you get near the limits due to road issues or a moment's distraction. Worth seeing if there's somewhere near you that does something similar if you're not near Chichester.

Apologies to regulars who've seen this loads of time before.
 

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I always go back to this video from Chris Harris, who loves the 235i. He says they do handle better than the 135i, but it isn’t night & day. This car has an LSD and that’s it. He mentions having plenty of fun on road or track. Would you buy one only as a weekend/track car? No. But as a daily that can also be fun on track or the back roads, hell yes. :love:

The op is looking for a weekend car this is the point, plus the LSD makes the car so so much better to drive, plus the couple might ride better im not sure, either way he is looking at a stock 140i.
 

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The op is looking for a weekend car this is the point, plus the LSD makes the car so so much better to drive, plus the couple might ride better im not sure, either way he is looking at a stock 140i.
He isn’t just after a weekend car:

“The car will mainly be used at weekends on countryside drives purely for the fun of it, to make a change from being in the office in London all week, as well as being used on the motorway to make the journey from London to Durham a lot;”

So something like a Caterham, MX5, or other dedicated weekend car will be horrible for that last bit - I know as I used to do it in a track 205.

An LSD will improve the car, but it’s not one or the other. It will improve it, but not having an LSD doesn’t make it undriveable. Again, there is nothing wrong with them in stock form, especially if you’re getting used to RWD. 🤷

I‘d have no issue in my stock 240 keeping up with you in your modded 140 around any sort of weekend route. I’ve spent years in different car clubs going on Sunday blasts in Yorkshire and there’s very little in it between stock cars and heavily modded ones. Whether thats Impreza, Evo, Focus and all the other clubs I used to go around with.

The biggest difference I’ve ever seen is on track days when people use ex-race cars with slicks. Those things run circles around everything.
 

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He isn’t just after a weekend car:

“The car will mainly be used at weekends on countryside drives purely for the fun of it, to make a change from being in the office in London all week, as well as being used on the motorway to make the journey from London to Durham a lot;”

So something like a Caterham, MX5, or other dedicated weekend car will be horrible for that last bit - I know as I used to do it in a track 205.

An LSD will improve the car, but it’s not one or the other. It will improve it, but not having an LSD doesn’t make it undriveable. Again, there is nothing wrong with them in stock form, especially if you’re getting used to RWD. 🤷

I‘d have no issue in my stock 240 keeping up with you in your modded 140 around any sort of weekend route. I’ve spent years in different car clubs going on Sunday blasts in Yorkshire and there’s very little in it between stock cars and heavily modded ones. Whether thats Impreza, Evo, Focus and all the other clubs I used to go around with.

The biggest difference I’ve ever seen is on track days when people use ex-race cars with slicks. Those things run circles around everything.
LSD is essential in my opinion and most people who have fitted one (aswell as any motoring journalist) agree it transforms it.

Anyway each to their own and fair enough if he is driving the motorway too it is a good all rounder car.

Had quite a bit of fun lately in mine, never thought this would make a difference but my tyres were at 29psi cold, i complained in another thread about poor feedback and softness from the car, i pumped them up to 34 cold and the car feeds back a lot more now so im quite happy with the car again and have gained some confidence back that i had lost. It almost feels to even roll less but thats probably in my head haha.

Its hard to compare a stock 140 with a stock 240 so maybe we are both right in our own ways (bar the LSD argument).
 

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I would agree about the LSD, I was driving into work this morning and on a couple of long fast bends, I can really fell it working. Underbody brace I can feel too, I think I paid around £170 for it, a doddle to fit; a cheap fix to steady the back end.
 

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As mentioned, try and get some driver training like the above at Goodwood's 'Spin and Slide' course. It's worth its weight in gold in terms of giving you the chance to drive the car to and beyond its limits in a safe environment, with professional instruction. The Goodwood one is around £120 for an hour's 1:1 tuition on track with all the nannies turned off. After half an hour we were doing perfect controlled slides. There's just no way of getting this type of experience on public roads. You don't have to be a Boy Racer - the aim is to program your reflexes to react automatically when you get near the limits due to road issues or a moment's distraction. Worth seeing if there's somewhere near you that does something similar if you're not near Chichester.

Apologies to regulars who've seen this loads of time before.
Just booked up for next Saturday 👍
 

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I would agree about the LSD, I was driving into work this morning and on a couple of long fast bends, I can really fell it working. Underbody brace I can feel too, I think I paid around £170 for it, a doddle to fit; a cheap fix to steady the back end.
Yeh you can feel the outside wheel really pushing the car round the bend its such a nice feeling.
 

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Yeh you can feel the outside wheel really pushing the car round the bend its such a nice feeling.
I'm biased, because it's the only mod I've done to my car, but this is an example of why I think an LSD is the best mod.
It's a myth that you need to be tracking, drifting, or driving like Billy big bo**ocks to benefit from the LSD.
It changes the driving dynamics of the car in a way that no other mod can do. From pulling out of junctions, to traction, to changing the balance of the car on the throttle. It makes it into a real rear wheel drivers car and has no downsides. It will even save on rear brake wear lol.
 

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Congratulations.

You’ll be getting a lot of comments personally “that’s a big motor car for such a young fella”. Ignore the Yaris brigade. It’s how you drive it that counts. My advice is leave it in Comfort when it’s wet. Save Sport for dry days after you’re familiar with the car. Ignore Sport+ unless you’re on a track. It’s just uncomfortable.

“I come from a land downunder” where it’s not unusual for 18 year olds to buy a V8 RWD vehicle just because it’s good for doing donuts and burnouts. Sure, one or two die, but most do not. The M-lites have the advantages of that power but all of the safety nannies to overcome driver error. “Don’t be stupid”, ease the power on, and you’ll be fine. Avoid the temptation to show off. All the WRX, AMG, i30N, etc. drivers will want to race.

I’d advise, if possible, to do a “gentle” track day with an instructor, or skid pad time, or a defensive driving course. Improve your understanding of the car’s dynamics pretty quickly.

Wow - I wince every time I hear about insurance costs in the UK. Why so expensive there? I’m an old guy and I pay less than £600 equivalent annually on my M240. Factoring out my discounts and no claims, the max would be £1600.
 

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Congratulations.

You’ll be getting a lot of comments personally “that’s a big motor car for such a young fella”. Ignore the Yaris brigade. It’s how you drive it that counts. My advice is leave it in Comfort when it’s wet. Save Sport for dry days after you’re familiar with the car. Ignore Sport+ unless you’re on a track. It’s just uncomfortable.

“I come from a land downunder” where it’s not unusual for 18 year olds to buy a V8 RWD vehicle just because it’s good for doing donuts and burnouts. Sure, one or two die, but most do not. The M-lites have the advantages of that power but all of the safety nannies to overcome driver error. “Don’t be stupid”, ease the power on, and you’ll be fine. Avoid the temptation to show off. All the WRX, AMG, i30N, etc. drivers will want to race.

I’d advise, if possible, to do a “gentle” track day with an instructor, or skid pad time, or a defensive driving course. Improve your understanding of the car’s dynamics pretty quickly.

Wow - I wince every time I hear about insurance costs in the UK. Why so expensive there? I’m an old guy and I pay less than £600 equivalent annually on my M240. Factoring out my discounts and no claims, the max would be £1600.

Sound advice from downunder. Perth, the reason insurance is so expensive in the UK, apart from the car stealing scrotes, is because of the amount of cars in a tiny country which increases the chance of having an accident. I am old too :), 56 and pay £560 PA with mods and business use insurance.
 

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Mine is under £300/year, but then I’m older again. 😂
 

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Back when I was a teen, some of the cars that people used to say were the best thing since sliced bread as a weekend car wouldn't even know which way an MLite went, in any situation - power, handling, speed etc
If it was just about getting to B as fast as possible we would all buy Golf Rs, map them and be done.
Ive got an MR2 on my drive as well and while its nowhere near as fast as my 135i its a shedload more smiles per mile, despite the 135 being heavily modified.

So something like a Caterham, MX5, or other dedicated weekend car will be horrible for <the journey from London to Durham> - I know as I used to do it in a track 205.
Caterham Ill grant you but MX5s arent any hardship on the road, neither are Cayman/Boxsters, TTs or proper hot hatches, Im still advocating for buying a 2 seat car before it gets too late as well ;)
 

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If it was just about getting to B as fast as possible we would all buy Golf Rs, map them and be done.
Ive got an MR2 on my drive as well and while its nowhere near as fast as my 135i its a shedload more smiles per mile, despite the 135 being heavily modified.



Caterham Ill grant you but MX5s arent any hardship on the road, neither are Cayman/Boxsters, TTs or proper hot hatches, Im still advocating for buying a 2 seat car before it gets too late as well ;)
Ex long term MR2 owner here so I get that bit, and also agree on Motorway use for something like an MX5 or an MR2 provided they are in stock form - I was more talking about things that have been made into track or weekend specials which is what a few people were saying he should look at.

Depends on your usage I guess in terms of seats.
 
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