BMW M235i 2014 reviewIf there's a better driver's car than this in BMW's line-up, then we haven't yet driven it
Should I buy one?
That depends on whether you want to wait for the M4. If you can't wait until we've delivered our verdict on that, then rest assured that this is currently the most enjoyable, well balanced model in BMW's range.
It's compact, easy to see out of, has comfortable, anchoring seats, and is also a very entertaining car for the £35,000 asking price.
BMW M235i (2014) CAR reviewSizzling 322bhp BMW M235i gets 1 Series-based two-door off to a flying start
The BMW M235i is a few thousand pounds pricier than an M135i hatch, but has more power and an M diff. Plus, it’s ultra-refined one minute, then a playful performance car the next. Cheaper and more efficient versions are available, but for pure driving thrills the M235i is every inch the junior M car.
2014 BMW M235i ReviewVerdict
This car could be the performance bargain of the year. The thing that comes close to the new M235i is the BMW M135i hatch, which has the same engine but in a (slightly) softer chassis setting with five-doors and a £3615 lower starting price. This two-door version serves up a slightly harder-edged technical package wrapped in a more attractive two-door body, costing it ever so slightly in terms of practicality, yet it’s still massively livable.
The M235i is a car that’s comfy in town, devours winding roads and is at home on long sweeping bends. Yet its agility and grip on winding technical sections will make you think long and hard about that used M3 you were thinking about. We’ll give it four stars for now, having driven only the auto version and on US roads, but once it lands here in March, this could be a five-star legend. The possibility of an even better M2 version is mind-blowing, but this car may be the sweet spot as a daily-driver.
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-L3FmpIURn8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>The New 2 With the Spirit of a 3
On sale starting in March, the base price of the 228i is $33,025 after destination charges, which is roughly $600 more than the 1 Series coupe it replaces and $600 less than a BMW 320i sedan. The M235i requires a big step-up in price to $44,025 after destination charges, but that is still significantly cheaper than the 1 M Coupe was three years ago.
The new M235i may lack a smidge of the no-compromises performance found in the 1 M Coupe, but it is a better all-around package. It truly can be considered a spiritual successor to the E46 M3, just begging for a head-to-head comparison with that decade old sports car. Having yet to try the new M3 or M4, we can safely say the M235i is the most engaging car in the BMW lineup today.
BMWBLOG.com reviews the new BMW M235i at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nMLDzPRp42Q?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>This is the launchfilm of the first-ever BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
This film explains the first-ever BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in detail.
This week we're in Spain for the launch of BMW's new M235i. With 322bhp, is this the best coupe money can buy?
On this episode of Ignition, Carlos Lago tests the new BMW M235i, the smallest and least expensive performance car in the automaker's lineup. It has the right formula: rear-wheel drive and a 320-horse turbo straight six. The problem is that the M division, despite what the badges say, didn't develop it. So is the M235i a poser or the real deal? Through instrumented testing, a drive on the winding road, and a hot lap with Randy Pobst at Streets of Willow, we find out.
We test the BMW M235i against one of the best M Cars ever made, the BMW M3 CSL.
With its 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight six engine, the BMW M235i is the most powerful 2 Series you can buy and is priced at just over £34,000. However, for the same money you can have the modern classic M3 CSL that was launched in 2004.
The BMW M235i's twin-turbo engine produces 322 brake horsepower and 450 Newton Metres of torque. That's 78Nm more than the old M3. It weighs 1,470kg, so it's also 85kg heavier than the CSL.
Launched in 2004, the BMW M3 CSL was the most extreme version of the E46 BMW M3 generation. With a carbon fibre roof, it weighed 100kg less than the standard M3 and it also had upgraded springs, dampers and brakes plus extra power. It also came exclusively with BMW's automated manual SMG gearbox.
The reason the BMW M3 CSL is quite a good comparison to the M235i is because a normal M3 around this age will cost you between £6,000 and £10,000. If you want a decent M3 CSL then you're looking at around £30,000 to £35,000 so it's very similar money. More importantly, you'll get this astonishing engine that revs to 8,000rpm.
The BMW M3 CSL's gearbox is very slow by modern standards as it isn't a modern dual-clutch system. However, there's so much balance in the chassis, you can just sense when the car is in transition from understeer to oversteer.
In the M3 CSL, you get an amazing engine that goes ballistic above 6,000rpm but in the BMW M235i, it's just really quick-revving and gets lots of torque through the rev range.
It's heavier than the CSL, but it should come as no surprise as modern cars are getting heavier and heavier. The M235i is still a really lovely road car as it's very delicate and really enjoyable.
However, the BMW M235i does feel a little bit heavy and it doesn't have the body control of the hard-edged CSL. You can feel there in the oversteer when the car comes back, there's a little bit of snapback as the lateral movement in the body starts to make itself known.
Despite the differences between the BMW M3 CSL and the M235i, they both recorded the same lap-time around our circuit.
The BMW 2 series makes a more accessible every-day drive, but the M3 CSL is a thrilling classic that's to be enjoyed on occasion, and makes a better investment than your average pension.
Fast, small German cars are back with a vengeance on this episode of Head 2 Head! Join host Jonny Lieberman as he compares and contrasts the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG with the brand new BMW M235i. Mercedes and BMW have had small car rivalries like this in the past, most notably the Benz's 190E 2.3-16 versus Bimmer's E30 M3. Fast forward three decades, and times have changed. Forget natural aspiration, as turbocharging rules the day. The CLA45's engine is even mounted sideways in a complete departure from Mercedes' tradition. Regardless of the details, both cars are fast and fun. So much so that Jonny feels the need to get racecar driver Randy Pobst involved in the decision-making process. In the end, this one proves to be the closest H2H comparison yet. Watch and enjoy!
TST Road Test Editor Zack Klapman takes the all-new BMW M235i out for a few hot laps of Laguna Seca to see what all the buzz is about.
The next installment in the series of our 2014 drag battles! Watch the BMW M235i take on the SEAT Leon Cupra -- who will win?