BMW

Review of the BMW M240i: Performance, Design, and Driving Experience

The BMW M240i, equipped with a 368bhp twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six engine, is a standout in the dwindling segment of sports cars with inline six-cylinder engines. Capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, it boasts excellent performance and dynamic handling, though its steering and brakes have minor issues. The interior resembles the pricier BMW 4 Series, offering luxurious features like leather seats and a user-friendly iDrive infotainment system. However, rear space is limited compared to alternatives like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé. Though more affordable than the M440i, the M240i averaged 32mpg in tests and holds a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Introduction

What Car? says…

There are few greater joys in motoring than a shiny engine, and BMW has produced quite a few of them over the years. One shining example is its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine, found under the hood of the BMW M240i.

In many ways, the thrilling driving experience of this car is centered around this engine. There was a time when sports cars with inline six-cylinder engines were plentiful, but with the trend towards downsizing, the M240i is a rare breed. This makes it distinctly old school—in the best possible way.

With 368bhp and four-wheel drive, the BMW M240i can officially accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. However, in our tests, it was even quicker than that. Of course, it’s not just about power and noise; handling is also very important. The M240i, at the top of the BMW 2 Series Coupé line, gets a unique suspension setup to match its roaring engine.

Although it comes under the 2 Series Coupé name, this model shares no relation to the more sensible 2 Series Gran Coupé or 2 Series Active Tourer. The latter two models are based on the BMW 1 Series van, while the 2 Series Coupé is more akin to the larger BMW 4 Series, which is our reigning Coupe of the Year.

Rivals

So, who are its rivals? Chances are, this is one of the few cars on sale that doesn’t have many. While there are plenty of other fast two-door coupes, none are quite as small (unless you count the Audi TT, but that’s more of a sports car with token rear seats).

Over the next sections of this review, we’ll delve into what the BMW M240i is like to drive, its practicality, and its financial aspects.

Performance and Drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The BMW M240i borrows its 368bhp 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine from the M440i. Officially, it can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds, but in our tests, it achieved 0 to 60 mph in an astonishing 3.9 seconds. That’s just a fraction slower than the more expensive Audi RS3.

The M240i sounds great too. The low woofle at low revs becomes a soulful howl as you let the revs build to 7000rpm. Just before you reach that peak, you’ll need to shift gears. The car will do this automatically if you leave the gearbox in its default setting, but in Manual mode, you can take control with paddles behind the steering wheel.

Handling and Brakes

There’s much fun to be had around corners. The M240i is certainly not dynamically detached from the BMW 4 Series; it feels more compact and agile. The nose eagerly darts into corners, with well-balanced grip levels at both the front and rear.

Surprisingly, we found the steering slightly sweeter in the entry-level BMW 2 Series Coupé—the 220i—than in this range-topping version. In the M240i, you might lose some sense of connection to the front wheels when holding a prescribed amount of lock to go around a corner, an issue we noticed less in the 220i. This small issue could be due to the different weights (the M240i is heavier) or different tires, despite BMW assuring us that the fundamental steering is the same.

The M240i’s brakes have a small "dead zone" at the top of pedal travel before grabbing the discs sharply as you push your foot deeper. However, stopping power is very impressive.

Comfort

We tested the M240i with optional adaptive suspension. In its Comfort setting, it insulates you well from road bumps, especially by performance car standards. In this form, it’s more comfortable than the entry-level 220i, which doesn’t offer adaptive suspension.

Unlike some fast cars, you won’t need ear defenders for a long highway trip. Indeed, with the sports exhaust in its quietest setting, the M240i is almost as pleasant as a regular 2 Series Coupé.

Interior

The interior arrangement, fit, and finish

Inside, there are so many similarities between the M240i and the BMW 4 Series that you’d really struggle to tell which car you’re in from behind the wheel. That’s a huge compliment to the 2 Series since it’s the cheaper car by a large margin.

There are minor differences, such as different designs for the door interiors and larger door pulls. Genuine leather seats are standard on the M240i, with options of black or tan.

Driving Position

The driving position is fantastic, with power seats (including adjustable lumbar support) allowing you to set everything up perfectly. There’s an acceptable, if not exceptional, amount of lateral support during hard cornering. However, unlike more expensive performance cars (including the BMW M3), you can’t upgrade to racing-style bucket seats.

Overall, the 2 Series features a classier interior than many alternatives, including the Mercedes CLA. The Audi TT tops it only in terms of interior class but is a less practical option for transporting passengers.

Infotainment

The BMW iDrive infotainment system is brilliant. The M240i features a 10.3-inch screen, which can be used as a touchscreen or operated via a rotary controller between the front seats. The dial is much less distracting when driving, and the operating system is very intuitive.

This system includes built-in satnav, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone mirroring. Consider upgrading to the Harman Kardon sound system if you love music, and there’s also an option for wireless phone charging.

Passenger and Boot Space

How it deals with people and disorder

Although the M240i shares much with the larger BMW 4 Series, its dimensions are significantly more compact. However, you won’t notice this difference when sitting in the front, as there’s plenty of headroom and the seats slide back a long way.

Rear Seats

While six-footers won’t enjoy long journeys in the back seats, they’ll feel much less cramped than they would in the Audi TT. If you regularly plan to transport more than one passenger, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé or Mercedes CLA are better choices. As a bonus, these cars have rear doors.

Alternatively, if you can find the extra cash, the brilliant M440i—the top-of-the-range version of our 2022 Coupe of the Year—is far more accommodating for rear-seat passengers.

Boot Space

The M240i’s boot is a respectable size and will fit a set of golf clubs or a few small suitcases. However, due to the sedan opening, the aperture is quite small, so you can forget about squeezing in a bike (we managed to fit one into the TT boot, thanks to its large hatch opening).

Buying and Owning

Daily costs, reliability, and safety

Being a sporty offering from a premium German brand, the BMW M240i won’t come cheap. However, it’s considerably less expensive than the larger BMW M440i and attractively priced compared to the Audi RS3.

Fuel Economy

The M240i is quite thirsty, averaging 32mpg in our real-world tests. There’s a diesel (220d) version of the 2 Series Coupé if you’re looking for maximum fuel efficiency, but most buyers will likely opt for petrol. Diesel is less fashionable these days.

Trim Levels and Options

The M240i is considered a model in its own right, so there’s no trim level. However, it includes a few extra luxuries, like leather seats. We recommend adding the M Technology Package and adaptive M suspension.

Reliability and Safety

The 2 Series Coupe is too new to feature in our most recent Reliability Survey, but BMW came 13th out of 30 manufacturers in the overall league table.

Disappointingly, the 2 Series Coupé earned only a four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. Concerns included weak protection for a 10-year-old in a back-side impact and poor pelvis protection for pedestrians.


For an immersive drive and a unique spot in the sports car market, the BMW M240i stands out. It may not be perfect, but its blend of performance, style, and fun makes it a remarkable choice. If you’re considering a versatile coupe, the M240i deserves a spot on your list!

5/5 - (135 bình chọn)
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