Offered as a coupe or convertible, the M235 shrinks the renowned virtues of BMW's high-performance “M” models down to the Bavarian automaker’s trimmest two-door dimensions. Reasonably priced, with space for four, it’s a sprightly sport-performance variant of BMW's 2 Series, which is currently the smallest model. Road behavior and performance echo its larger siblings, as the compact delivers the precision and force that has come to define the “M” designation.
What's New for 2016
An anti-theft alarm now is standard on convertibles, which can be equipped with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive as an alternative to rear-drive. Most content previously offered in Premium Package, for other 2 Series models, is now standard with the M235, including a universal garage-door opener, Comfort Access keyless entry, auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors, and satellite radio. Dakota leather upholstery is optional. Two new, darker gray wheels are available for 2016.
Choosing Your BMW M235
Beneath the M235 hood, a turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder engine generates 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. In contrast, the regular 235 holds a four-cylinder engine, making 240 horsepower.
Like other BMW models, M235 coupes and convertibles can have the xDrive all-wheel drive system, rather than standard rear-drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and launch control is standard, but a six-speed manual gearbox is available at no extra cost on rear-drive models. The M235 has an adaptive suspension, sport-tuned steering, performance-spec brakes, and a sport exhaust system. A mechanical limited-slip rear differential is an expensive option.
An M235 coupe can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds. Rear-drive fuel economy is estimated at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway (22 mpg combined) with manual shift, or 20/31 mpg city/highway (24 mpg combined) with automatic.
Sport-oriented features also include an aerodynamic body kit, summer performance tires on 18-inch wheels, aluminum interior trim, and 10-way leatherette-upholstered sport front seats with driver memory. Leather upholstery, formerly included in a Premium package, is now a standalone option. Coupes include a sunroof, while the convertible gets a black power soft top; but you can specify brown fabric with silver effects. Also standard are rain-sensing automatic wipers, Bluetooth phone and audio, and a CD/MP3 audio system with HD radio.
- The Technology package adds a navigation system with real-time traffic data, an expanded instrument cluster, Remote Services, enhanced online connectivity, and a batch of integrated smartphone apps.
- A rearview camera and front/rear parking sensors make up the Driver Assistance package.
- Also available is Driver Assistance Plus, which adds lane departure warning and an active front collision mitigation system with pedestrian detection, along with speed-limit information.
- Heated front seats are part of a Cold Weather package, which also includes a heated steering wheel and retractable headlight washers.
An automated parallel-parking system is available separately. So is a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.
There’s something curiously intriguing about a high-potency six-cylinder engine in a smaller package, making the M235 a particularly enticing two-door BMW. Previously, we’ve considered the Premium package to be rather essential in BMWs of this caliber, mainly because it included leather seats. Now, leather is available separately, with four color choices. Naturally, the Cold Weather package would be especially useful on the fabric-topped convertible.