After the electric BMW i3s and SUV X3 xDrive30e, the time has come for a more classic and sporty machine - powered by a 306-horsepower M235i engine.
The car seems to be a small, even compact sedan. I don't understand why BMW calls this model a Gran Coupe, but it is just a small detail that does not affect the positive experience of using and driving this car. The impression is made not only by a very nice line or frameless side windows, but also metallic blue paint "Snapper Rocks" combined with black details. The body itself is a perfect match for 19-inch wheels.
BMW has already got used to a really top level finish in every class of its cars. It is no different for the M235i. Cockpit and steering wheel elements are lined with leather. Also very comfortable M seats that hold the driver and front passenger well during sharper maneuvers and provide comfort during long journeys make a great impression.
Also passengers occupying the rear couch cannot complain about comfort. Only tall people may lack a little space overhead.
The cockpit is of course two large displays. The first one is located behind the wheel and is used to display clocks and various information about the car, such as: speed in km/h and miles/h, revolutions, instantaneous combustion, fuel level, current range, information about the location (street or road number you are driving on) and speed limits and other elements chosen by the user (e.g. map with navigation). It is complemented with a hologram head up display, which displays information about the current speed, limits or subsequent changes of direction according to the route taken from navigation. The second one, located more in the middle and slightly directed towards the driver, is the touch screen of the infotainment system. This is where you can choose the settings of various car parameters, music, display the navigation map or use CarPlay. The BMW infotainment system is quite good, but I still choose the Apple solution. I will also mention that the elements displayed on the screen can be selected both by tapping on them and using the iDrive navigation knob with a trackpad placed in front of the driving mode selection cuff. The latter solution is sometimes more convenient because the screen is so far away from the driver that I had to lean forward a bit to touch it with my finger. There are also gestures introduced this year. All you have to do is make the right movements in the air with your finger to navigate through the menu.
You can, of course, hold the iPhone itself in a special pocket equipped with an induction charger, located behind the change of driving mode cuff and cup holders. iPhone with infotainment system connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, of course.
Here is a curiosity, the car has forward drive with attached rear axle (so in total it is a four-wheel drive) and an engine placed across. This forward drive may seem something unacceptable to people with higher level of testosterone who like oversteering in sharp corners, but for me BMW has succeeded in combining power with a great driving car both on the straight and in the more sharp corners. This is due not only to the forward-wheel drive and the rear axle, if necessary, but also to the original traction control system integrated with the engine controller, very hard suspension and body structure.
This hard suspension, which keeps the car perfectly on the road, of course, translates into sympathy between the driver and passengers with the vehicle all the unevenness of the surface, and especially the holes, quite common at least in my city.
In terms of engine performance and handling, the car makes an amazing impression from the moment you press the Start button. The 306 hp engine is racially growling and bubbling and provides very good acceleration. In the M package the car reaches 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
As with other BMW models, there are three driving and behavior modes and an eight-speed transmission: sport, comfort and eco pro. The combustion depends of course on the weight of our leg and driving style. In the comfort mode, i.e. without too violent testosterone shots, I obtained the following results: * in town: 9.3 l / 100 km * freeway: 8.3 l / 100 km
Who is this car for?
BMW M235i is definitely a car for people with a larger wallet, who are looking for a car that is small but clearly stylish, which drives very well and which guarantees a lot of power along with the characteristic bubbling and growling of the engine, causing even for me a distinct testosterone level jump. This is a car not only for wealthy people, but also, in my opinion, reasonable people who are looking for a solid car for everyday short and long journeys, and not just waving the back of the car. BMW probably understands it, hence this, and not its other configuration.