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What is BMW M Sport? Is it worth it?

Choosing a car can be tricky – this is why we created carwow, after all. If you’re thinking of purchasing a BMW then you’ll probably be presented with a choice of trims including SE, Modern, Luxury and M Sport. The latter of which is BMW’s top trim – its name references the brand’s ultimate ‘M’ range – and it gets the pick of the optional equipment.

Adding M Sport to most BMWs puts the purchase price up by around £3,000. This isn’t an insignificant amount of money but it still costs less than specifying each option individually. The question is, is M Sport right for you? Do you need the added style or would you be better off picking simply the options you want? And how can you save money on your next BMW?

BMW 1 series M sport vs non-M sport exterior
M Sport models (right) get big wheels and a body kit that makes them look more distinctive than basic Sport models (left)

Exterior

You can spot BMWs in M Sport trim by the subtle ‘M’ badges dotted about the car – on the wings, alloys, steering wheel and gearstick. Typically, M Sport models get a more aggressive body kit compared to their non-M Sport siblings – this features a deeper, more gaping front air intake with wider side intakes. This enhances the car’s visual width, making it look more purposeful.

Side skirts match the deeper front bumper and are flanked by larger alloy wheels which, themselves, have sportier tyres. M Sport cars tend to sit a little lower than their lesser siblings too, thanks to the sports suspension that drops the car between 10-20mm. These modifications help M Sport models corner better thanks to the reduced body roll and increased tyre grip. That said, if you would rather keep the comfort of the standard setup, you can do at no extra cost.

There are some more subtle modifications you might not immediately notice. Most M Sport BMWs are offered with gloss black exterior trim. This is usually most obvious on the finishers around the windows and on the famous ‘kidney’ grille adorning the front. Exhaust tips also usually get chrome finishers to enhance their look.

BMW M Sport vs non M Sport interior
M Sport models’ (right) look and feel more sporty inside than more basic models in plain Sport trim (left)

Interior

A handful of modifications to the interior differentiate M Sport BMWs from the rest of the range. Most noticeably is the steering wheel and gearknob which get leather covers and, on more expensive cars, full-leather upholstery (M Sport 1 Series‘ get Alcantara). Seats fitted to the front of M Sport cars are sportier than the regular ones fitted to lesser grades and hold you in place more firmly during enthusiastic cornering.

As with the exterior, many of the interior changes tend to be very subtle. Aluminium trim replaces the usual high-gloss black and M Sport badges are fitted to the controls and door sills. On models with a manual gearbox, a short shift kit is fitted to reduce the height of the gearstick to reduce gearchange times. A special M Sport steering wheel joins the gearstick and is modelled after those fitted to BMW’s full-fat M cars.

BMW 1 Series front

Is M Sport worth the extra cash?

Unfortunately, this one’s down to you – we can’t tell you which trim will suit you best. We can, however, point you towards which is most likely to fit your needs. If you just want a BMW for a reasonable price with enough kit to keep you entertained we’d advise giving M Sport a miss. It misses out on key options like sat-nav and heated seats which most buyers would benefit more from than a more aggressive body kit.

You might want to consider M Sport, however, if you don’t just want a basic BMW and value feeling like you’re in the ultimate version of that car. Additionally, if you’re a keen driver, M Sport might suit you better because the lower sports suspension and bigger alloys will generate more grip in corners. It’s worth mentioning, however, M Sport cars are a touch less comfortable than their non-M Sport siblings.

Save money on your next BMW – M Sport or not!

We’re here to help you get great deals and a wonderful buying experience for your next new car. Simply configure a BMW through the carwow configurator and wait for the UK’s top dealers to share their best offers.

 

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