Miles driven: 366
Fuel used: 16.6 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 22.0 mpg
Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 21/31/25 (city, highway, combined)
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||C|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Base price: $46,450 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Special paint ($700), “Oyster Dakota” leather upholstery ($1450), Cold Weather Package ($700), Driving Assistance Package ($950), Apple CarPlay compatibility ($300), wireless device charging ($500), navigation system ($1950), Harman/Kardon premium audio system ($875)
Price as tested: $54,870
The great: Ample power, precise handling
The good: Less expensive than many vehicles of similar performance
The not so good: Cramped rear-seat passenger space
BMW is sprinkling a little hot sauce on some of its sprightly and sporting 2-Series cars for 2017. New engine outputs—and new nomenclature—for the brand’s smallest 4-seat cars result in the 248-horsepower 4-cylinder 230i and the 335-horsepower 6-cylinder M240i.
These are the latest enhancements to the 2-Series line of coupes and convertibles that bowed in 2014. Consumer Guide® editors had the opportunity to sample an M240i xDrive (all-wheel-drive) coupe with the standard 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 3.0-liter “TwinPower Turbo” inline six features a twin-scroll turbocharger. Its 335 ponies represent a gain of 13 over the engine in the predecessor M235i. The quick-acting turbo snappily gets the engine into the range where it unleashes its torque peak of 369 lb-ft for decidedly lively abandonment of stoplights, as well as eminently confident highway passing. (BMW claims a 0-60-mph time of 4.2 seconds for the M240i xDrive.) A launch-control system comes with automatic-transmission 240s. Standard Driving Dynamics Control offers a choice of “Eco Pro,” “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Sport+” settings, and either of the Sport selections delivers quicker response with a bit more of a heroic fanfare from the sport exhaust system. The smooth and cooperative automatic can be manipulated via paddle shifters; true DIYers can still get a 6-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option, but only on the rear-drive model.
The Eco Pro setting, with an engine stop/start cycle, is designed to marshal engine performance for better fuel fuel economy. As it is, the EPA rates the all-wheel-drive M240i at 21 mpg in city driving, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. However, this reviewer’s test stint of 142.4 miles, 72 percent of which was in city-type driving, worked out to just 19.15 mpg—albeit with no appreciable time in Eco Pro.
Powerteam performance goes hand in hand with handling to make the M240i the zesty driver’s car that it is. BMW boasts revised rear dampers and new front struts for the standard Adaptive M Suspension. There’s next to no cornering lean, and steering is very direct for an excellent sense of control. Meanwhile, the standard M Sport brakes deliver great stopping power. The test car came with the standard staggered-width rubber on 18-inch wheels (rear rims are .5 inch wider than those in front; 19-inch wheels are available). Ride is firm—but not overly so in the base Comfort setting or in Eco Pro. However, the Sport settings deal with road imperfections more abruptly as the suspension tries to further limit body motions. You’ll appreciate that more on twisty roads than when commuting on expressways or urban streets with their inevitable cracks and occasional potholes.
In other respects, the ’17 M240i is very much like other 2-Series coupes that CG has tested in recent years. There’s enough cabin space in which to get comfortable but not enough to really stretch out—especially in back, where headroom is limited to folks of about 5’-10” or less. A power-sliding feature on the front seats eases entry and exit to the rear. Adjustments for the front seats include side panels that match how they’re bolstered to the way passengers are, um, upholstered.
Seats are covered in standard “SensaTec” leatherette or optional leather. The top of the dash sports padded material, and the upper portions of the doors and rear side panels have a modicum of give to them. Soft-touch surfaces are found on the arm rests front and rear, and there’s an ovoid pad on the driver’s side of the console, a thoughtful soft landing spot for a knee during brisk cornering. Analog speedometer and tachometer dials are big and legible. The automatic climate control has rotating dials to set temperature in both zones and a row of buttons to handle all other tasks. Management of nearly everything else is monitored through a dashtop display screen linked to the iDrive controller on the console. It’s perhaps less complicated than systems in some other luxury-brand cars, but it still takes multiple steps to get anything done, like selecting radio presets.
Once past the somewhat narrow trunk opening, cargo capacity is fairly good for a car the size of a 2-Series, and a bin on the right side is handy for keeping small items from rolling around in the trunk. Rear 60/40-split seats fold almost flat, albeit with a gap at the base of the seats. Door pockets are large and segmented. Meanwhile, the console box, glove box, net pouches on the backs of the front seats, and a shallow open tray between the rear seats offer limited storage—and the extra-cost wireless charger for smartphones in the test car took up some of the space in the console box. There are just two cup holders, located in the console.
The starting price for the M240i xDrive coupe is $46,450. (The rear-wheel-drive model is $2000 less.) That buys things like xenon adaptive headlights, a 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, 6.5-inch color display screen, power moonroof (which can be deleted), brushed-aluminum interior trim, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with HD radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and BMW Assist eCall emergency-services notification system. As CG’s test car showed, there’s plenty more to be had—enough to get somewhat carried away with, quite frankly. Just some of its extra-cost goodies were Melbourne Red metallic paint, a rearview camera, navigation with an 8.8-inch touchscreen, and heated front seats. A few of those items, and others that cost extra on the M240i, manage to be built in to some less prestigious cars that have a lot on their plate—maybe just no hot sauce.
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