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RE: BMW M240i: Driven

Monday 14th August 2017

BMW M240i: Driven

Can't make it to an M2? There's still plenty to recommend that other six-cylinder 2 Series



Once upon a time it seemed you couldn't move - but were happily stuck, actually - for six-cylinder BMW coupes. Alright, so they were kind of two-door saloons, but that didn't make the combination of handsome good looks, rear-drive dynamics and silky smooth straight six any less appealing. 320i, 323i, 325i, 328i, 330i, 335i - loads of them.

Now look where we are. Yes, PH moaning about downsizing again. There's one six-cylinder 4 Series Coupe now, or two if you count the M4. Which is kind of cheating. And that solitary six-pot 4 Series is £45K.

Not many small six-cylinder BMWs left. Pity
Not many small six-cylinder BMWs left. Pity
4 into 2
However the upside of the 3 Series Coupe going all grown up and mature (and becoming a 4 Series), as you may well have noticed, is the 2 Series Coupe. Sure, it only has this single six-cylinder option as well, but the M240i is perhaps closest in spirit to those old two-door 3 Series that we so enjoyed. And that's very much a good thing.

It's £10K less than the 4 Series equivalent for a start yet without feeling that much is lost. Of course the 2 Series is smaller - and BMW's dash design is hardly groundbreaking - but the feeling of quality, solidity and attention to detail is absolutely there. When you look at the alternative coupes you might consider at less than £40K - Mustang, 370Z - the BMW's interior is made to look more competitive.

Ah yes, you're thinking, but what about a TT - that has a lovely interior. Indeed it does, and it's far from a bad sports coupe, thought you're looking at more than the base price of this 2 Series for the four-cylinder TT S. With less power. Plus it wouldn't really be fair to mention the TT RS, because then there's the M2 to consider...

M2's company
Whoops, there it is. Any discussion of the 240 is impossible without the M2 and it's key to note that the former is not a cheaper imitation of the latter - yet it's none the worse for it. The M car is sharper, keener, more aggressive, of course, though the slightly more relaxed gait of the M Performance model makes it really very pleasant. Moreover this is not the lazy, vague kind of relaxed that the old 435i Coupe was in comparison to an M4, rather a more subdued and less frenzied take on the quick coupe.

Not as butch as an M2 but very nicely done
Not as butch as an M2 but very nicely done
Quick it most certainly is too, with as much power as an E46 M3 and a chunk more torque than an E90 M3. For the 40i models it's a new engine rather than a remap of the 35i cars, with capacity at 2,998cc rather than 2,979cc, though it's retained all the traits that made it so likeable before. It zips through its rev range eagerly, displaying very little lag and all the energy you would hope of a big BMW straight six. It doesn't have the wild energy of something like the M3 engine though, as mentioned, that's because it's not an M car.

Our test car was equipped with the ZF eight-speed auto and, as well as being faster than the manual, it still feels like one of the best installations yet of this gearbox. You should try the manual - you're a dedicated PHer, after all - but there's no shame in getting the auto here. It's very, very good.

To drive the 240 is initially very nice simply because its layout is such a rarity. You don't find front-engined, rear-driven, well-balanced coupes, particularly ones with larger engines, at all nowadays (before you mentioned the GT86). A 370Z is gruffer, the Mustang heavier and less precise. You can roll along on the torque or work that straight six-hard, revel in the grip or push the benign, engaging limits. Sadly they're approached through messages from beneath you rather than via that overstuffed, chubby wheel, but there's certainly enjoyment to be had. BMW still judges its driver assists better than most too, the 'Dynamic Traction Control' setting expertly done for fun with a safety net still in place.

New engine, character very similar. Good!
New engine, character very similar. Good!
1 for the money, 2 for the show
Having not driven either of the smallest M Performance BMWs since the 1 Series facelift, the 240's dynamics come as something of a surprise. It feels more cohesive, more together and more in control of itself over bumps and undulations than the 1 Series did, boosting confidence and allowing the driver to push the car with increased belief that it can keep up. It's still a chunky little thing though - it may be as powerful as an old M3, but it's heavier too - and occasionally that weight can just struggle to be contained in successive direction changes. The test car had the Adaptive M Suspension, which it's hard to make a definitive verdict on having not driven a car on standard dampers. There's clearly still room for improvement in body control, so perhaps the money saved could go towards aftermarket items. To not have some kind of 'mix and match' individual driver mode for the steering, throttle, dampers and so on looks a tad old fashioned now too.

Mostly though it feels entertaining, dynamic and fun, which are kind of all the attributes you would want from a small(ish) rear-wheel drive BMW. The steering is still a bit gloopy however, a bugbear that seems to affect all BMWs at the moment. And the noise is a bit synthetic. And the test car was £43,570...

Traditional BMW in 2017 is really rather good
Traditional BMW in 2017 is really rather good
It's still great though. Really. Money could be saved on that list price quite easily (£650 for electric front seats, £315 for a sun protection package, that sort of thing) and, to be honest, very few cars have good steering in 2017. What's left is a fast, capable, likeable coupe, one that shows BMW can still play to its traditional strengths very well when required. And, as a 235, one that's available from half the price of the car you see here, or even less as a 1 Series. In fact, hold that thought, as next week a new member of the PH Fleet is arriving...


BMW M240i
Engine
: 2,998cc, in-line six turbocharged
Transmission: 8-speed ZF automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 340@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 369@1,520-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 4.6secs
Top speed:155mph (limited)
Weight: 1,587kg
MPG: 39.8
CO2: 163g/km
Price: £35,420 (£43,570 as tested comprised of £550 for Mineral grey paint, £520 for driver comfort package including Park distance control front and rear and cruise control with brake function, £440 for visibility package including Adaptive headlights and high-beam assistant, £315 for sun protection package, £900 for Professional media package including professional navigation system, real time traffic information, concierge service and remote services, £1,600 for sport automatic transmission, £515 for Adaptive M Sport suspension, £330 for reversing assist camera, £275 for folding exterior mirrors with anti-dazzle, £650 for electric front seats and driver memory, £175 for split-folding rear seats, £195 for Lumbar support, driver and front passenger, £295 front seat heating, £600 for Harman Kardon Hi-Fi, £235 for Apple CarPlay preparation, £160 for Online entertainment and £395 for Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

644 posts

143 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
It actually rather appeals to me aesthetically.

Edited by sidesauce on Monday 14th August 10:14

Jonno02

1,567 posts

34 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
Far prettier than it's little brother.

tosh.brice

127 posts

136 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
A direct comparison of the 240 (preferably straight suspension and manual gears) with the (preferably manual) M2 would be useful.

[Edit] https://www.carthrottle.com/post/6-key-differences...

Edited by tosh.brice on Monday 14th August 10:35

cerb4.5lee

9,224 posts

105 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
Really love these as a package, but looks wise I find them extremely bland and it doesn't have any stand out features when you see them out on the road.

As always though with modern bmw's...it's the way they drive and not their looks that sells them.

rtz62

1,318 posts

80 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
And here we are again, adding circa 25% of the base price because the BMW sales reps tell us that they are needed to ensure that the car sells in 3yrs time. Then, on some of the models, they bring out a stripped-back version and charge 25% more.
Call me a philistine, but I'll sit back and wait for Mr Depreciation to take a huge bite out of the headline price in 3yrs time, and smile at the stupidity of it all.

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MrOrange

1,363 posts

178 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
£1,300 in seat options alone redface

culpz

2,582 posts

37 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
I definitely want one of these at some point or a 235i. Great proportions and size, it looks good IMO, good power and is just generally a nice place to be when being civilised. They will become a real bargain over the years when the prices of them drop. Much preferable to the 1-Series, for me.

DPSFleet

178 posts

86 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
Yawn!

BFleming

525 posts

68 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
I read somewhere recently that BMW generally offer good discounts on these cars, and a quick look online suggests £6500 discount is readily available (I did one on Coast 2 Coast Cars, but there are loads of others).
On the topic of list prices, Pistonheads says £35420 above, but BMW say £36415 on their website.

Edited by BFleming on Monday 14th August 11:10

JackReacher

1,127 posts

140 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
You can get a new basic m240i manual for £29k after discounts available, mine arrives in September. A good deal which makes the depreciation slightly easier to swallow.

Visually it is very boring compared to a Mustang or 370z, but that suits me for the purpose I want it to.

Its biggest rival is probably the Golf R, tried it found it a better car in many ways, but it was almost too competent and less fun, and engine doesn't have the character of the BMW.

HighwayStar

1,452 posts

69 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
MrOrange said:
£1,300 in seat options alone redface
Never understand why people get worked up like this... 'Options' says it all. Don't want them, don't have them. Simples! wink

limpsfield

4,493 posts

178 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
I bought a delivery mileage M240i in December and love it - about 13,000 miles so far. I am not usually a fan of BMWs and never know what all this e36, e39 nonsense refers to, but one of the things that swung it was it reminded me of BMWs from the early 90s before all cars became so bloated.

Mine is auto, which is something I haven't had for a while, but when you put it in sport and use the paddles it does transform the experience. A lovely burble in sport mode from the exhaust when changing down. And great at just switching on cruise control on a long motorway journey.

I would agree they are not particularly striking looking - I struggle to tell many modern BMWs apart. But for a daily driver I think this will be a long term keeper for me



I can't think of any real gripes. I have never bought a new car before so will be interesting to see what the depreciation is like over the next three years.

Edited by limpsfield on Monday 14th August 12:02

Ursicles

636 posts

167 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
An M2 is £3k more than that - with a lot of that spec as standard...

daemon

19,765 posts

122 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
Ursicles said:
An M2 is £3k more than that - with a lot of that spec as standard...
Stupidly heavily spec'd car and theres big discounts avail.

I'd personally be going for close to standard spec and aiming to get one under £30K if possible

Drive the deal will sell you a standard spec for £29,600

Bullmiester

5 posts

150 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
I have run one of these for 8000 miles, mine is DCT on passive suspension. Engine Gearbox are great, steering is indeed poor. I drive predominantly on B roads and the passive set up was so poor I had to look for an aftermarket solution to replace the springs and dampers.Once done it was transformed into the car it should have been if BMW could find it in their budget to sort the suspension out !

HeMightBeBanned

454 posts

103 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
To all the people banging on about the price and the cost of options, they're irrelevant. 99% of cars sold will be on PCP so all that matters is the monthly outlay.

unsprung

1,337 posts

49 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
limpsfield said:
...from the early 90s before all cars became so bloated.
that thought crosses my mind a lot

daemon

19,765 posts

122 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
HeMightBeBanned said:
To all the people banging on about the price and the cost of options, they're irrelevant. 99% of cars sold will be on PCP so all that matters is the monthly outlay.
There are numerous threads running if you want to feel aggrieved about PCP deals for the masses however for info discount available and cost of options will heavily influence PCP payments.



HeMightBeBanned

454 posts

103 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
daemon said:
HeMightBeBanned said:
To all the people banging on about the price and the cost of options, they're irrelevant. 99% of cars sold will be on PCP so all that matters is the monthly outlay.
There are numerous threads running if you want to feel aggrieved about PCP deals for the masses however for info discount available and cost of options will heavily influence PCP payments.
I have no issue with people buying cars on PCP. Whatever works for them.

MustardCutter

207 posts

45 months

Monday 14th August 2017
quotequote all
Bullmiester said:
...mine is DCT...
I thought only the M2 was dual clutch; with the 35i/40i getting the 8 speed torque converter?