There’s an outdated, clever saying that goes: “It is extra enjoyable to drive a gradual automobile quick than a quick automobile gradual.” It is true. Simply consider how a lot enjoyable it’s to drive a piece-of-crap rental on absolutely the edge, than, say, a McLaren at 55 mph? However what if, simply if, there was a automobile that someway fell proper in the course of this hypothetical situation? A automobile that is not gradual, however will not be tremendous quick, both. And even higher, a automobile that no matter how briskly you drive it, is all the time enjoyable! The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe is such a automobile.
For so long as it is existed, the BMW 2 Sequence has been a well-liked alternative for a variety of patrons attributable to its handy dimension and admirable driving dynamics. By no means actually under- or over-powered, the smallest BMW has change into considerably of a fan favourite, particularly in its spicier trims just like the M240i and full-blown M2. When the brand new mannequin was unveiled in 2021, nonetheless, everybody got here out of the woodwork to complain about its questionable styling that features—sure, you guessed it—barely bigger nostrils, and a cool rear finish with what I name “Lego folks hand taillight signatures.”
However, the M240i’s specs regarded promising sufficient to offer the little 2er the good thing about the doubt till a check drive got here round; 382 horsepower out of a 3.0-liter, turbo, inline-six engine? Signal me up! On paper, at the very least, this new sports activities coupe seems to be able to placing plenty of smiles on folks’s faces. However does it truly? [Ed. note: We also ran James Gilboy’s BMW M240i xDrive review not too long ago, but The Drive is a collective of all our writers’ experiences. Your mileage may vary, et cetera, et cetera! — KL]
2022 BMW M240i Coupe Evaluation Specs
- Base worth (as examined): $49,545 ($56,845)
- Powertrain: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six | 8-speed computerized | all-wheel drive
- Horsepower: 382 @ 5,800 to six,500 rpm
- Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1,800 to five,000 rpm
- Seating capability: 4
- Cargo quantity: 10 cubic ft
- Curb weight: 3,871 kilos
- 0-60: 4.1 seconds
- Prime velocity: 155 mph
- Fast take: The M240i is proof that BMW hasn’t forgotten how one can construct enjoyable, small, sports activities coupes that do not break the bank.
- Rating: 9/10
My greatest drawback with almost each new BMW I’ve pushed during the last couple of years (so, basically each M automobile) is that they are just too highly effective. If that is the place you determine to cease studying, so be it, however hear me out. Until we’re speaking about show-boaty muscle vehicles or some very particular rides, what actually issues in a automobile is stability. And very like how the dearth of energy could make issues boring, having an excessive amount of energy could make issues so frantic that different elements of the automobile—just like the chassis, suspension, and steering—are overshadowed by an engine that continuously desires to rocket you into oblivion. Ahem, M8 Competitors.
The M240i shines the place others do not: Its weight distribution is sort of 50/50 at 53.1 entrance and 46.9 rear. At 3,871 kilos, nonetheless, it is not light-weight, however what BMW’s managed to do is give it sufficient energy to make it gentle on its ft, however not an excessive amount of that it throws the 107.9-inch wheelbase off stability. Different vital traits have additionally been improved over the earlier mannequin, with the brand new automobile being 2.6 inches wider, 0.1 inches decrease, and the entrance and rear tracks increasing by 2.1 and 1.2 inches respectively.
These enhancements are simply observed on the wheel, the place the BMW feels energetic and all the time able to please. Throughout my weeklong check, I left the chaotic and lawless streets of downtown Indianapolis for some windy nation roads, the place the M240i may sing its harmonious music. Nook after nook, the coupe wowed me with a powerful front-end grip courtesy of its excellent weight distribution and wider entrance monitor. A lot to my shock, I later realized that my check automobile—which got here adorned in a shocking Thundernight Metallic (often known as “purple”)—was truly using on Pirelli Sottozero winter tires. I can solely think about how a lot better the automobile would’ve gripped with the stickier and stiffer Pirelli P Zero tires.
Mastering quick and lengthy corners isn’t any drawback for the feisty 2er, as its super-quick electronically assisted steering reacts to the smallest enter from the motive force. Set to Sport or Sport Plus, the steering wheel feels heavier and rather more reactive than in, say, Consolation or Eco. This allowed me to essentially dial the automobile into corners and handle the trajectory relatively effortlessly. In different vehicles—even larger, extra highly effective BMWs—you continuously should make small changes through the steering all through the nook, principally as a result of the automobile desires to combat no matter you are attempting to do. The M240i, principally aided by its small-ish footprint (dimension is relative, although it’s 10 inches longer than the mechanically associated Toyota Supra), merely sticks to no matter line you selected by means of a nook and lets the tires, chassis, and suspension do their job.
Making the automobile really feel extra like a full-blown M automobile of types by way of dynamics is an electronically managed, absolutely variable M-tuned rear differential (normal on the M240i) with a locking perform of zero to 100%. This permits the pc to raised interact or disengage the surface rear wheel, serving to the automobile deal with higher and really feel extra steady throughout laborious cornering.
Underneath most circumstances, the rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system applies the ability effortlessly through the eight-speed computerized transmission to the rear wheels solely; although, in conditions the place traction have to be improved, the automobile can determine to ship as much as 50 % to the entrance wheels. And whereas there is no rear-only drive mode or “drift mode,” the automobile’s personal stellar responses did not make me want there was one. So in the event you’re trying to kick the tail out each probability you get and burn some rubber like a yahoo, I counsel asking your physician about Mercedes-AMG. The BMW is extra about precision than that.
The lively suspension performs a vital function within the M240i’s street prowess, and better of all, it comes normal (elective within the lesser 230i). Agility will not be a difficulty, although physique roll was barely greater than I’d’ve desired at occasions. I blame this on the winter tires—once more. I will make it clear that the one not-so-stellar bits of driving I skilled had been seemingly brought on by pushing these too laborious on a 70-degree day. The sidewalls on the Sottozeros versus the efficiency tires are night time and day completely different, and so they merely could not sustain throughout heavy lateral load or large braking occasions.
Nice dealing with alone is not the right recipe for a enjoyable afternoon drive, nonetheless. No, this also needs to embrace a little bit of theater. The M240i’s funky styling provides to the pizzaz of this fun-to-drive coupe, and so does its exhaust word. Sitting solidly between a daily BMW and a full-blown M, the M Sport exhaust shares this automobile’s obsession with stability. It is comparatively loud and it makes the proper popping sounds when it must, and it is simply there the remainder of the time. Even on consolation mode, nonetheless, in the event you step on the accelerator laborious sufficient you will get an offended response out of the exhaust, however nonetheless not fairly as loud as when in Sport or Sport Plus.
So, you might have a purple coupe that sounds offended, seems to be cool, and drives impeccably. What sort of sorcery has BMW pulled off with the brand new 2 Sequence Coupe? No matter it’s, it is working, and much more, it does not simply really feel like magic on again roads, but additionally within the metropolis, when the automobile turns right into a docile softy when coping with typical metropolis mayhem like stop-and-go visitors, potholes, road parking, faculty runs, grocery runs, and extra. The result’s a automobile that may make you smile day-after-day, no matter the place, when, or how briskly you drive it.
The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe has single-handedly jogged my memory that BMW can nonetheless construct cool and enjoyable sports activities coupes that do not break the bank. And sure, I understand that $56k is not precisely a discount and that the 2er is not accessible with a handbook transmission, however there are a lot of vehicles that price greater than that and but cannot ship almost pretty much as good of a bundle as this Bimmer— you, $64,000 Supra. To not point out that moving into the next-up BMW coupe, the 4-Sequence, would imply spending tens of 1000’s extra for a automobile that in all probability is not almost as sharp in virtually each single means purely attributable to its improve in dimension and weight.
If you happen to’ve been feeling paying homage to BMW’s golden years, do not fret. All will not be but misplaced. Look no additional than its smallest, least expensive providing. Excessive 5, BMW.
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Correction 6/27/22 3:00 pm ET: A earlier model of this overview said the automobile’s weight distribution was 50/50. This has been corrected to 53.1/46.9.