Designed to challenge the Audi S-line in price, the 2014 BMW M235i captures the essence of BMW’s high-performance models in a less-expensive car without being a real M-model. Confused? So are most people.
The M 235i is the preliminary top model of the new series of 2. Technically it is closely related to the 1 Series, yet it is eleven inches longer, a little flatter and especially wider. And as always with coupes of course also more expensive. Despite the slightly grown body the 2 is not really heavier in comparison with the 1 Series. A start-stop system is standard equipment.
The M235i comes with a 320-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine achieving 330 pound-foot of torque. The M235i accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has an electronically blocked top speed of 130 mph.
Defensive Driver? Be Alarmed, Be Very Alarmed
The BMW 235i M is not for the faint of heart. And be alarmed, be very alarmed: It even makes a defensive driver into a heater. For when once the harsh sound of the straight six-cylinder engine meets the narrow and dark cabin and the needle of the tachometer jerks through the field of view, it is there: the feeling of sitting in a small rocket. With a far lower center of gravity and balanced weight distribution, a very direct steering, strong brakes and a suspension that shatters your bones, this is an extremely precise car.
Sure, one could put the so-called Driving Experience Control switch on “comfort” or “Eco” – but then you might as well take the bus. For in this case one does not understand the appeal of this car, which is positioned much closer to the original understanding of the driving pleasure of a BMW and rear-wheel drive than about the current 3 Series or the new M3.
A Purist’s Delight
The BMW 235i is BMW’s purest, most uncompromising coupe. It’s been engineered first and foremost spirited driving. Once taken into its natural habitat, windy roads, you will discover a turbo-charged tenaciousness that is oh-so-addictive.
Not a Family Car
The driving fun in the M 235i could be a pretty solitary pleasure. The space in the rear is too short and limited to make this a car too share with your friends – let alone your family.
Where Have All the Extras Gone…?
BMW is not known for overly impressive interiors, and the BMW M235i continues in the heritage line. Yet for the luxury price-tag of $46,575 even a Spartan won’t be too impressed: Where have Navigation, Bluetooth-Streaming Audio, Smartkey-Entry or a Rearview Camera gone? Look into BMW’s catalogue of pricey extras and you’ll know.
- “As the only rear-drive car in its class, it should come as little surprise that the BMW 2 Series coupe reigns supreme in the fun-to-drive department.” — Kelley Blue Book
- “It’s small and nimble, with the sort of performance-based ethos that the company has moved away from in recent years. Offered with a pair of fast yet frugal turbocharged engines, the 2 Series just might be the most engaging car BMW makes.” — AutoTrader
- “In the end, if you’re looking for a sporty entry-luxury coupe that drives well and looks the part, be sure to check out the BMW 2 Series.” — Edmunds
- “The base 228i coupe has a strong, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that deftly balances performance and fuel economy. It will satisfy most buyers.” — Edmunds
- “This spirited driving experience isn’t reserved exclusively for the range-topping M 235i either, as the 240-horsepower 228i and its available 6-speed manual gearbox are more than capable of giving dedicated sports cars a run for their money.” — Kelley Blue Book
- “Either way, we like the manual shifter’s snick-snick throws, but the ultra-smooth automatic actually gets better fuel economy, so that’s something to keep in mind.” — AutoTrader
- “Our seat time at the 2-series launch was restricted to the M235i for a brief but informative drive. The expected rapid acceleration produced by the N55 is accompanied by a bit of extra noise from off-throttle exhaust overrun. …” — Car and Driver
- “With its 50/50 weight distribution, firm suspension tuning, and high stability-control threshold, the M235i has the responses of a cheetah.” — Popular Mechanics
- “The electric power-steering system communicates more about the road surface than in the 4-series, which itself marked an improvement over the latest 3-series. More impressive is the M235i’s balance, and the way it delivers just the right amount of body motion to let you know how hard it can be pushed.” — Car and Driver
- “The 2014 BMW 2 Series coupe’s selectable drive modes, coupled with its available adaptive suspension, make for a very smooth ride, whether you’re driving over the most pitted city streets, flat highway stretches or winding mountain passes.” — Edmunds
- “At highway speeds, the cabin is less immune to wind noise than the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA, though neither of which can match the BMW when it comes to stability and overall ride compliance.” — Kelley Blue Book