2014 BMW M235i review

By: Greg Leech

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Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i
Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i
Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i
Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i Driven: 2014 BMW M235i

Out with the hugely successful and in with the new. BMW's latest M badge proves that size does matter...

2014 BMW M235i review
Driven: 2014 BMW M235i

 

BMW M235i

BMW’s 1 Series range, launched in 2007, was a big winner for the Bavarian brand. BMW has impeccable timing on launching hardware; of course, what seems like good luck is indeed the result of great market analysis and clinical research.

The 1 Series sold 150,000 units globally and more than 5000 here in Oz. A great result. So, why has BMW discontinued the car and replaced it with an all-new, very different beast? Size, James. More room, please.

At the launch, the folks at BMW went to lengths (forgive the pun) to emphasise that this is ‘a bigger car’. It seems the 1 Series may have had a great reputation as a road car, but not if you wanted to pack a few bags.

In fact, the 2 Series is 72mm longer, 26mm wider, 5mm lower. It has gained 30mm in the wheelbase, with a wider track by 41mm at the front and 43mm at the rear. The boot gets an extra 20 litres, now up to 390L; soccer mums will appreciate that.

There are three engine options available, all hooked to the same eight-speed auto tranny. The 220d diesel will set you back $52,500, and delivers 135kW and 380Nm, the 220i is priced at $50,500 and makes a similar 135kW and 270Nm, but the real interest for us is the $79,900 M235i with its turbocharged 2979cc in-line six, which is good for 240kW and 450Nm. It takes just 4.8sec to reach 100km/h. I’ll bet you’re listening now...

The latest M-badged car comes chock full of standard goodies and the options list would fill these pages.

As standard, the car gets Adaptive M suspension and variable sport steering, full M aerodynamics exterior body package and the BMW ‘shadowline’ exterior. The interior has an anthracite individual roof liner, door sills with M designation, leather, sports seats, and M leather steering wheel.

It’s enough to say that this is a pure driver’s car, in that it demands your attention and isn’t going to do everything for you. If you think modern cars remove you from the experience, well this one will have you thinking again.

It is delightfully balanced, gives the driver great scope to set the car up on an individual basis and tail-out oversteer antics are the order of the day when pushing on. It’s quick, the ’box is sublimely efficient and the engine prodigiously powerful in the right places, but bring your ability and concentration. The car rewards precise inputs, but will nip hard if you get it wrong. Just as a sports car should. And more power to that, we say.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

2014 BMW M235i

 

Body: 2-door coupe
Engine: 2979cc inline-6, DOHC, 24v, turbocharged
Power: 240kW @ 5800-6000rpm
Torque: 450Nm @ 1300-4500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Suspension: MacPherson struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar (f);
MacPherson struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar (r)
Brakes: disc/disc, ABS
Price: $79,900

 

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