Review: BMW M240i

Review: BMW M240i
Review: BMW M240i

The performance coupé offers a lot in a small package, but is it enough?

What was the M235i is now the M240i, with added speed, more fuel efficiency and a more sophisticated power delivery. What’s not to like?

The power delivery is delicious. The straight-six twin-turbo 3.0-litre engine now makes 335bhp, with added torque. It’s just everywhere, wherever the rev counter needle is, there is power and torque just waiting to be released. It’s really noticeable at either end, although it’s at the top end where it sounds the best, a deep roar that means business.

However, getting that power down can cause a few issues. The manual six-speed gearbox isn’t that slick and can slightly fumble some of the grunt. And putting that many horses through the rear wheels means that you can sometimes overwhelm the rubber. However, the traction control does a grand job of keeping you pointing the right way.

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If the roads are dry, and you feel like getting a wiggle on, putting it into Sport Plus mode really does bring the best out of this BMW. Everything, from the adaptive dampers (optional and fitted to our test car) to steering, sharpens up and delivers an exhilarating and polished performance.

Perhaps it’s a whisker short of the Porsche 718 Cayman, but the payoff is that its slightly softer delivery means you are a touch more comfortable in the BMW, without sacrificing anything major in terms of handling. That might be just what a lot of drivers would prefer on a day-to-day basis.

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That comfort is somewhat compromised in the manual version by the pedals being offset. The driver has to sit at an angle, and getting the seat right isn’t as easy as it should be either. We’d go for the expensive electric seat adjustment.

Still, the dashboard is clear and of course features BMW’s brilliant iDrive, so if you can get to sit comfortably you’ll enjoy the cabin. Rear visibility isn’t great, but standard rear sensors at least give you the information you need. And space in the rear is a bit restricted too – that’s once you managed to wiggle your way in there behind the front seats.

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The boot is actually quite good, being both a decent size and a practical shape, so that’s a thumbs up considering this is a performance coupé.

And for a performance coupé, you get both performance and economy. The 0-62mph sprint can be despatched in just 4.8 seconds, yet the official economy is 36.2mpg. With CO2 emissions on a par with that, you’re not looking at silly running costs.

True, it’s expensive for a company car, but private buyers won’t be burned at the pumps. They’ll also enjoy a decent list of standard equipment, everything from climate control to a USB connection.

Reliability isn’t exactly a strong suit for BMW according to surveys, but there is the standard three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, which includes roadside assistance for the full three years.

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