Published on April 1, 2014
The M235i variant is definitely the quickest version of BMW’s new 2 Series Coupe. Since a recent naming reshuffle, you’re actually excused for thinking that you’re looking at a 1 Series Coupe. Honestly, this is the ‘new’ 2 Series. And for buyers seeking proper rear-wheel drive thrills without having to sell a kidney, the M235i is the closest you will get to a similar car sporting an ‘M’ badge.
Looks and image: It’s not difficult to tell the difference between this M235i and a cooking diesel variant. The former has clearly been at the box marked Shredded Wheat, what with its beefy bodykit, low and purposeful stance plus those equally businesslike chunky wheels and tyres. It’s a little less in-your-face in the car’s cabin, but the sports seats, M car-like steering wheel and subtle graphics ensure you don’t forget what this car is capable of. This M-lite version offers a good balance of comfort and sportiness in the real world.
Space and practicality: The M235i is a practical car for a compact coupe. Granted, space for rear seat occupants is less than great, but it boasts a good size boot and ample storage space in the cabin.
Behind the wheel: From being a maker of rev-happy cars, BMW has fully embraced turbocharging with its latest range of performance motors. The M235i is no different, and its 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine benefits from turbocharging to the tune of 322bhp. That figure is plenty to get you to the horizon in a hurry, while the rasping from the exhaust ensures your journey is always entertaining. Crucially the M235i is a doddle to drive at modest speeds, while pushing harder reveals a car eager to please. Only when you really lean on it, does it show its hand as a hooligan. That trick BMW approved tuning bits can be bought to further enhance the experience should please the hardcore fans, while you’ll also want to pay a little extra for the slick eight-speed auto gearbox as the six-speed manual ‘box lacks polish.
Value for money: In the world of premium hot hatches or coupes, the M235i should be at the top of your shopping list. It possesses great road manners, is fun and engaging and is docile enough to double as regular transport to the shops and the office. Base trim is a little basic, but you’d be wise to spend your cash on the extra tuning bits instead of fancy paint or gadgets.
BMW M235I COUPE
ENGINE: 3.0-LITRE PETROL UNIT;
322BHP AND 332LB/FT OF TORQUE
TRANSMISSION: SIX-SPEED MANUAL DRIVING THE REAR WHEELS
PERFORMANCE: TOP SPEED 155MPH, 0-62MPH IN 5.0 SECONDS
ECONOMY: 34.9MPG COMBINED
EMISSIONS: 189G/KM OF CO2