BMW 135i M Sport Coupé (E82) (2008 to 2013)
Size is no guarantee of strength, as the 135i M Sport Coupé demonstrates. The consummate pocket rocket packs 306hp into a balanced chassis and boasts an impressive spec that rivals the top executive cruisers. Twenty grand buys a mint 2011 model with less than 20,000 miles on the clock and the optional sevenspeed dual-clutch transmission. 62mph takes just 4.7 seconds, yet you can easily better the 36.9mpg combined economy figure on motorway journeys.
BMW M3 Coupé (E92) (2007 to 2013)
Nothing says ‘you have arrived’ better than a V8 M3 Coupé, and the wonders of depreciation mean that a £20,000 budget is sufficient to put you behind the wheel of a 60k-mile 2008 example with a pristine BMW service history. And that M Sport spec includes all the usual goodies, including 18- or 19-inch alloys, full M Sport body kit, sat nav and Xenon headlights; whilst almost everything in the cabin is electricallyoperated and heated.
BMW 635d Sport Coupé (E63) (2007 to 2010)
Our final contender may not quite match the first two in terms of official 0-62mph times, but with 428lb ft of torque and an average mpg figure of 40.9, wise buyers won’t care. In-gear acceleration is just as good though and the 286hp 635d can also match the M3 for spec. Add in the fact that our budget stretches to an Approved Used 2009 model and in terms of value the 6 Series is arguably the pick of the bunch.