There are few rear-drive compact coupes with a six-cylinder engine left on the market. One of them, the M240i is an updated version of the sporty and involving M235i. It introduces a new engine and more standard features than before, at a cheaper price of $74,900.
- Engine. The 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbocharged engine in the BMW M240i is completely revised compared with the old M235i. It is more powerful, and has almost as much torque as the much more expensive BMW M2. More than that, power now arrives earlier, making the car faster to 100km/h from rest (4.6sec) and it uses less fuel than before (7.1L/100km)
- Gearboxes. There are two gearbox options; an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, and they’re both good. The auto is smooth and easy to live with in traffic. The manual offers the best connection to the car and adds another level of driver enjoyment when a twisty stretch of road presents itself.
- Price. A reduction of $2300 places the M240i at $74,900, which is about $15,000 less than the BMW M2 Pure, and $25,000 less than the full-strength BMW M2. Considering the engine performance of the M240i, and it’s a compelling alternative for those who don’t have as much interest in racetracks.
- Sound. There’s something so pleasing about the sound of a straight-six engine, and even with a turbocharger hanging off the exhaust system there’s still a great noise from the M240i’s engine. Low down in the revs when driving slowly it is docile and unobtrusive; open the throttle and the engine comes to life with a growling note.
- Infotainment. An upgraded interface for the sat-nav and in-car entertainment system adds a sharp, high-resolution screen and more features such as advanced voice recognition and sophisticated smartphone integration.
- Styling. From the outside the M240i could be any other 2 Series. Some people will like the incognito appearance where others will like a little more visual distinction. The M2 stands out a lot more with its flared guards, but the M240i flies under the radar.
- Interior. Unfortunately the M240i’s cabin is starting to look a little old. The dashboard in particular has a last-gen feel to it and is in need of an update.
- Room. This is a small coupe, so it would be unfair to expect 5 Series levels of comfort. The M240i is fairly tight around the front seats, and there’s no middle seat in the back. Headroom is also restricted, especially in cars with a sunroof, though the M140i hatchback has a more accommodating roofline and is an option for anybody on the tall side.
ANY COMPETITORS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
There is little else out there offering the same relatively unspoilt front-engine, rear-drive layout in a compact form factor with this ratio of performance to dollar, so M240i doesn’t really have any direct competitors. However, there are some other accessible rear-drivers out there that aren’t quite as quick, such as the Nissan 370Z and Ford Mustang GT. The Audi S3 sedan is another good alternative, though it uses a four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, as does the Mercedes-AMG CLA45.