The BMW 2 Series range is closely related to the 1 Series, but comprises the sportier models, the coupe and convertible. There’s also a station wagon, the Active Tourer, though in the complex world of BMW this wagon is more 1 Series than 2.
Anyhow, our test vehicle this week was the pick of the bunch, the hotrod BMW M240i coupe. We have always loved the BMW straight-six engines and this latest 3.0-litre turbo-petrol produces 250 kW of power and a great 500 Nm.
At $76,510 it’s reasonably well priced for the class and to our way of thinking the sportiest.
For the 2018 season the 2 Series coupe range received a mild facelift and tail tuck, and a redesign of the alloy wheels. Very BMW at the front, with kidney-grille flanked by stylish headlights, the latter are now adaptive LED units.
The roof at the rear is slightly higher than we like when viewed in profile. We feel sorry for the guys and guys who are styling small cars as they have the conflicting needs of having a sleek rear end while also providing reasonable headroom in the back seat. See the Driving section of this review for more on the latter.
At 8.8 inches the screen is clear and easy to read. However, it’s wide and shallow and when you’re using BMW Professional satellite navigation the distance in front of the car on the screen is rather short.
Control is by the latest version of BMW’s iDrive. The use of conventional buttons to access many day-to-day functions, particularly in the audio departments is appreciated.
BMW ConnectedDrive Lifestyle is standard across the complete 2 Series range. It accesses internet and BMW Concierge Services; and provides real time traffic information. Google local search and send-to-car functions are part of the impressive technology package.
Entertainment is by way of an excellent Harman/Kardon 12-speaker system.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The BMW 3.0-litre turbo-petrol produces 250 kW of power, and a great 500 Nm from 1520 to 4500 rpm.
Drive is to the rear wheels and the M240i comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual can be ordered as a no-cost option.
All BMWs do everything they can to avoid a crash, and provide maximum protection should a major event still arise.
The excellent BMW emergency call function can help save your life if you have a crash, because the car will automatically call the BMW control centre call for help. Someone from the control centre will then try to call you on the phone. If you don’t respond information will be passed to the emergency service people.
The front seats are sporty without being overly aggressive in the way they hold you. However, even tighter seats would be nice if you really want to drive hard.
Getting into the back seats isn’t too difficult considering the size of the car. There’s not a lot of space back there and adults will have to juggle legroom front to rear. Headroom is better than you would expect, but try before you buy just in case.
The BMW straight-six sounds great when worked hard, indeed even when just pottering along and is very BMW in the way it reacts to driver inputs. It teams well with the automatic and seems to sense what the driver wants to do virtually all the time. Sport and Sport+ were the settings we opted for almost exclusively. These add even more throttle control and are sure to bring a smile to the face of all keen drivers.
Naturally, we took ‘our’ M240i for a bit of a fang on some of our favourite roads behind the Gold Coast. Handling is simply brilliant with huge grip, excellent feedback through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants.
Being smaller and lighter the BMW 2 Series is even more enjoyable to punt along than its bigger brothers – and that’s saying something. The folks at Bavarian Motor Works have always specialised in sporty machines and being a topline model the 240i is simply delicious to work in.
Run flat tyres are better than they have been in previous BMWs but there’s still work to be done before you would call them as good as conventional units.
In real life driving the engine showed itself to be very efficient and in normal driving we had no trouble in running between six and seven litres per hundred on motorways. It went up to nine to eleven litres around town.
BMW’s latest M240i coupe is small, nimble and packed with power. One of the best in its class, if not the best in my opinion.
AT A GLANCE
BMW M240i 3.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe: $76,510
Note: This prices does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local BMW dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (BMW M240i 3.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe)
Capacity: 2.998 litres
Configuration: Straight six cylinders
Maximum Power: 250 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 500 Nm @ 1300 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.4 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 163 g/km
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4454 mm
Wheelbase: 2690 mm
Width: 1774 mm
Height: 1408 mm
Turning Circle: 10.9 metres
Kerb Mass: 1710 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 52 litres
Front: Ventilated Disc
Rear: Ventilated Disc
Three years / unlimited km