Driven - Nov 2014

2014 BMW M235i Driven Review

Read about the latest BMW M240I here!

Read about the mighty BMW M2 Here!

We at TheMotorist had the great opportunity of driving the “crème de la crème” of BMW’s 2 Series range, the M235i. A car that boasts a 6 cylinder twin scroll (one turbo with the power of two) turbocharged engine producing 240KW and 450NM of torque. all that in such a small body? Yes! The result? A big grin, a great noise and some traffic fines, OK a lot of traffic fines.

2014 BMW M235i

What we like about the BMW M235i

Power, tons of it. The BMW M235i comes standard with a manual 6 speed gearbox but for the best everyday experience, the optional 8 speed ZF gearbox is the way to go. It does of course bump up the price but it’s not as if the M235i is a bargain to begin with, especially with a start up price of R550 000. So if you’re going to do it, do it right because it is worth it. The best part of this car though has got to be the badge, simply because it has the letter “M” on it, that does not mean it is a thoroughbred “M” car though. It means that the boys at M Gmbh have lent Bmw a hand it making these car and the result in simple language is, fantastic!

Plant your right foot down and you don’t find yourself wishing you had more, the gear-changes are butter smooth and the handling is that which deserves the badge it wears. A word of caution though, there is a button. A button that can do two things, make you look like a hero or make you call your insurer and that is, the traction control button. These cars are known for their famous slip and slide capabilities and the BMW M235i doesn’t disappoint. One needs to be awake though, inattentiveness to how quickly the back end of this car comes around can leave asking “what just happened!” so if you’re a rookie, keep it on.

BMW M235i Negatives

Space, lack of it. Okay this is a small car, I can’t expect it to have Range Rover leg room, but even as a average size guy, sitting behind a not so average guy can be a challenge. So if you have little ones, make sure Mommy has a four door because cramming a car chair at the back will eventually give you a headache. The Price, a fully kitted out one of these will see you touching the R600K mark, for a 1 series??? Yes, in my warped mind I could see myself buying a used M3 for that kind of money and still have some change, but then again that’s just me…

Fuel, lots of it. These cars nowadays come with an “Eco pro mode”, which short shifts the gearbox, gives you less power and runs the car in M235i lite mode, and its good. Beneficial too but the reality is this, when you buy one of these, you most likely didn’t get it because the rims look nicer than a 220d’s. You got it so you can have fun and enjoy annoying 911 Porsches, (the standard Carrera that is). So you will most likely be enjoying the addictive burble on the up-shifts and the high pitched scream of the engine at 7000rpm. You will also enjoy watching your fuel consumption sky rocket as you do this, then again, if you can afford this toy you most likely aren’t complaining about fuel so let me hush on that.

 Our Verdict

Probably the best performance car in its segment, it rides well, sounds good, makes me smile and that’s what you want from it at the end of the day so a proverbial pat on the back is in order for BMW. Let’s see what BMW’s competitors can come up with.

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