I’m on a roll when it comes to small sporty cars. I recently drove three of the top cars within this segment and each was as good as the other. To reveal some bias, I love smaller cars with biggish engines, or at least some turbo fun. Needless to say, my tester this week scratched me where I itch.
The 2018 BMW M240 coupe is chock-full of goodness and also induces the hairs on your neck to stand up in enthusiasm. On looks the M240 is one of BMW’s most conservative-looking cars. It’s meant to be an introduction/starter vehicle for the BMW line. It does that well.
It has the typical “kidney bean” grille that typifies the Bimmer brand. Evenly spaced and split headlights and running lights balance the front end. The entire front has subdued styling, as do the sides where there is only a subtle indentation. The back end is equally conservative with downplayed styling. Even the taillights lack pizzazz on this somewhat sleepy-looking little coupe. The dual exhaust pipes are the only hint of excitement but surely tip the automaker’s hand at what you can expect behind the wheel.
There are three different engines for the three 2-series trims. My tester was the M240i, which comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. It makes 355 horsepower with an eight-speed transmission standard. However, for an upcharge, a six-speed manual is available and will be what the enthusiasts will want (and pay for).
As such, the M240i with the 8-speed automatic does an amazing job. The car’s performance is outstanding. There aren’t enough superlatives to explain the driving experience behind the wheel of this little sporty coupe. There’s just enough of a growl out of that dual exhaust that will really get your pulse going.
The M suspension system is the perfect blend of performance suspension and comfort. Dynamic driving settings allow you to change up the M240’s overall performance, as if normal mode isn’t good enough.
This is one of the best-handling cars I’ve driven in a while. Cornering was a blast; even with rear-wheel drive, it remained under control. For an “entry-level” BMW, this is a great initiation into the brand. It has all the Bimmer feels!
Inside, the BMW representation and branding are on full display. As a two-door, you expect the back seat to have limited legroom, and it certainly does. The rear legroom was just enough for me, and I’m only 5-feet, 9-inches. Headroom was adequate, too. But what’s most impressive are the quality touchpoints found throughout. As an introduction to BMW luxury, the 240 hits the mark again with sophistication and luxury. There are no short cuts taken, despite the car’s smallish price point – for a BMW.
There’s 13.8 cubic feet of trunk space which is near the top in this segment. You could almost play the “what if” game and wonder how the back seat could use another inch or two and forego the spacious trunk.
BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is pretty typical for a German-engineered car. It’s high on technology but is also somewhat over-engineered. Therefore, it could be more intuitive. The 8.8-inch touchscreen is responsive and dominates the dashboard. There’s a nice combination of knobs to offset those annoyed by too many touch options. The Harman-Kardon sound system is outstanding, and there’s a WIFI hot spot (via subscription) and interaction with smart phones through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The M240 is the middle of the three trims available for the 2-series. My tester had a starting MSRP of $45,450. With features like a heated steering wheel, advanced navigation, remote start and park assist, the M240i had a final price of $53,095.
This sporty little coupe has an EPA rating of 21 mpg/city and 30 mpg/highway. I got into the turbo a lot, so my average of fuel economy of 23.6 was a little on the heavy-footed, low end.
The BMW M240 is meant to be an introduction the Bimmer lifestyle. It certainly accomplishes all that and would be ideal as a daily driver for someone who wants German refinement and enthusiastic engineering, but also doesn’t need a lot of space.
2018 BMW M240I COUPE
- Price/As-tested price………………………………………… $45,450/$53,095
- Mileage…………………………………… 21 mpg/city; 30 mpg/hwy
- Engine……………………………………… 3.0-liter 6-cylinder
- Horsepower…………………………… 335 hp/369 lbs.-ft.
- Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic
- Drive wheels……………. Rear-wheel drive
- Final assembly point……………. Leipzig, Germany
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