For the driving enthusiast who doesn’t have $80,000 to spend on a luxury performance coupe, the entry-level 2014 BMW M235i Coupe will excite any performance fan. For those of us who are lucky enough to test these vehicles, this was a fun week to test drive what truly is a performance drivers dream. What can be better than a rear-wheel drive sports coupe with 320 horsepower at your disposal? The only thing better would be 400 hp. But the BMW M235i Coupe has enough horses and torque to get anyone in trouble quickly.
What’s new for 2014?
The 2014 BMW 2 Series is an all-new model in the entry-level luxury coupe segment. The 2014 2014 BMW M235i Coupe is the performance version and comes with the 3.0-liter turbo V6 powerplant and the M Sport suspension.
Our 2014 BMW M235i Coupe tester ($43,100) came in the law enforcement-attracting Melbourne Red Metallic exterior paint color ($550), and attractive Black Dakota Leather interior ($1,450) as the only options. Luckily, we didn’t attract too much attention from the local law enforcement and have no speeding tickets to report in this review. But this in no way reflects that we drove the new BMW M235i Coupe at respectable speeds during the week we had the car. We were just careful where we chose to test its performance potential.
The BMW M235i gets 10-way power front sport seats with 2-way power-adjustable side bolsters plus adjustable heard rests and thigh support, a unique M Sport steering wheel, sport instrument cluster, power sunroof, a sport exhaust system, an adaptive M sport suspension, bigger brakes, variable sport steering, an aerodynamic body kit, xenon adaptive headlights, LED accent lights, retractable headlight washers, rear spoiler and special interior and exterior trim. Standard wheels are 18-inch alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot SuperSport summer performance tires which are ideal for getting maximum traction on dry roads.
Cabin gets special M features
This tester came with the attractive Black Dakota leather interior. The front seats are comfortable, and offer adequate support. The aggressive side bolstering on the seatbacks and cushions helped keep us firmly in place during spirited driving around the tight mountain corners near Evergreen. On the center console, the newest iteration of the iDrive button is located on the right side within easy reach. The cabin features a unique M Sport steering wheel, sport instrument cluster, power sunroof and special M trim. As we would expect, backseat space is snug for a coupe, but is fine for occasionally carrying average-sized adults on short trips. A rear center console has cupholders for added convenience. When not carrying backseat passengers, the armrest folds down, revealing a pass-through slot for long items.
2014 BMW M235i Coupe on the road
The line-topping M235i is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 that makes a healthy 320 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. This tester came mated to an optional 8-speed Sport automatic transmission. This new model has a 50-50 weight distribution and is likely the most toss-able small luxury coupe on the market. We found the BMW M235i is a real joy to drive, and it’s even more fun to drive fast.
We drove BMW M235i test car around Denver, and took it up into the mountains west of town. The 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 comes alive when you get your foot into it, and stayed perfectly stable at high speeds. We tossed the 2014 BMW M235i Coupe around the tight mountain corners leading up to Evergreen and the sports car held its ground with very little body lean. The adaptable M sport suspension is specially tuned for the M235i and in Sport+, the coupe remained planted in the corners even at higher speeds.
On the highway, the BMW 2 Series M can get you well beyond the speed limit quickly if you aren’t paying attention. As we merged onto I-70, with 320 horses on tap, we were surprised to look down at the speedometer in what seemed like no time at all to find we were doing 85 mph on the onramp. This car just begs to be driven hard and fast. From a standing stop, the 330 lb.-ft. of torque provides plenty of thrust to get the coupe moving quickly. And turbo lag is virtually nonexistent. Needless to say, we were sad to see the BMW M235i go after a fun week of driving the sports coupe.
The 2014 BMW M235i offers a beautiful design, great proportions and unsurpassed performance in the newly emerging compact luxury segment. The M235i offers loads of power for driving enthusiasts and would be even more fun on the track. It comes loaded with standard features and would be a good everyday driver.
Although its hard to call the M235i truly affordable, it offers buyers an entry point into driving a rear-drive BMW performance coupe for a little more than $40,000. For someone looking for a higher-performance coupe with great driving dynamics, the M235i is an exciting performer.