So it’s not the full-bore M2, but the M240i is still a fantastically well-rounded sports car.
– Detroit, Michigan
Back when the M2 was but a rumor, I had already fallen in love with the BMW 2 Series. Specifically, the M235i – a thoroughbred sports coupe that, in my view, was the best-driving BMW on sale at the time. Now refreshed and renamed M240i, BMW’s second most-powerful 2 Series remains a star that I’d drive any day of the year.
- Slingshot performance from the 335-horsepower engine. BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six pulls and pulls and pulls across its rev range, with almost no lag from the quick-spooling, twin-scroll turbo. Coupled with the short gear ratios and snappy shifts of this test car’s eight-speed automatic, it’s no surprise BMW quotes the sprint to 60 miles per hour at 4.4 seconds which, amusingly, is only 0.3 seconds slower than the M2’s time.
- Outstanding chassis balance. By this I’m not talking about fore-aft balance, but about how well every component matches every other. The strong brakes, with great pedal feel, are more than enough to scrub off speed. The suspension has the control to eviscerate twisty roads without floating or crashing, and yet still is barely any less comfortable than the ride in the 248-hp BMW 230i. It’s a hugely well-rounded sports car.
- Snug, driver-centric cabin. Despite the acres of dull black plastics in here, I still like the BMW 2 Series’ interior. The compact driving position makes it easy for me to comfortably reach the wheel, pedals, and shifter (oh, how I wish this tester had the six-speed manual). Back-seat space is pretty limited, as in most coupes of this size, but up front, there’s plenty of room and easy-to-use controls that keep me happy over long distances.
- It no longer seems like a good value. When the M235i launched, I thought its sub-$50K sticker price was a killer deal – barely more expensive than a loaded Ford Mustang GT, way cheaper than an M4. But now, with the M2’s MSRP pegged at $51,600, it’s harder to see the value-for-money proposition of the M240i, which starts at $44,150 before options.
- Novocaine steering. While it’s one of the best electric-assist steering setups offered on any modern BMW, the M240i’s rack still provides little feedback about the front tires’ attitude or grip levels. The three-spoke wheel’s spongy covering doesn’t feel that great in my hands, either.
- Come on, bring the noise. For all its accelerative excellence, the M240i’s engine disappoints in the soundtrack department. There’s lots of volume, but even at full chat it has all the character of a Dyson.
Photos: Jake Holmes / Motor1.com