2017 BMW 2 Series M240i xDrive Coupe Review By Larry Nutson

2017 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe
High fun factor!

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

All too often than not, when a car model is redesigned and made all-new it invariably gets bigger. The words longer, lower, wider seem to appear very frequently these days in new car announcements.

BMW’s 2-series is the antithesis of big. Set on a long wheelbase with a wide track, the overall exterior design is very well proportioned with short overhangs, a set-back cabin and a long trunk. Only offered as a 2-door in coupe or convertible body styles helps. There’s no need to make it longer to get rear seat passenger room. Buyers of 2-door cars are not planning to move around a lot of family members or friends.

For a performance car you don’t want big; you want compact and nimble. And, on the street, especially the crowded streets of Chicago where I make my home, the 2-series is easy to maneuver making for less stress around town.

In the cockpit, the front seat area easily comforts two average size adults. The rear seat might be good for a couple of young ones, but more likely than not it will be just a place to carry some of your stuff.

BMW offers the 2-series with two engine choices, namely the latest generation of BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder inline engines.

The BMW 230i Coupe and BMW 230i Convertible are powered by the latest generation 4-cylinder 2.0 liter developing 248 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque.

The BMW M240i Coupe and BMW M240i Convertible feature a new, higher output inline 6-cylinder 3.0 liter engine that develops 335 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both models are fitted with an updated 8 speed Steptronic Sport

Automatic transmission as standard with either rear-wheel drive or BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.

Shift paddles are at your fingertips with the 8-speed automatic and can be used for multiple downshifts for better performance. A Launch Control function delivers traction-optimized acceleration off the line. 

As a no cost option, rear-wheel drive models are also available with a six-speed manual gearbox with a rev-matching function. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is in 4.2 seconds with automatic XDrive coupe…a bit less with rear drive and for the convertible.

M240i models also feature M Sport adaptive suspension lowered by 10 millimeters, 18-inch M light-alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, an M Sport braking system with fixed multi piston calipers, and Variable Sports Steering with Servotronic function.

Outside design elements include an M aerodynamic package and exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey metallic. On the inside, power sport seats and an M Sport steering wheel round out the package.

My driving experience was with the M240i coupe xDrive that had a base MSRP of $46,450. Allowing the customer lots of choices and not forcing features and equipment on someone perhaps wanting pure performance, a $700 Cold Weather package and a $950 Driver Assistance package that includes a rear view camera and park distance control were also equipped.

Apple Car Play compatibility ($300), Wireless Charging ($500), Navigation ($1,950), and a Harmon/Kardon audio system (($875) plus Melbourne Red Metallic ($700) and Oyster Dakota Leather ($1,450) brought the bottom line to $54,870 including the $995 destination charge.

A power glass moonroof is standard on the 2-series coupe but deleted on the M240I. The trunk is roomy enough, holding 13.8 cubic feet.

EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 25 mpg combined, or 4 gallons per 100 miles, with 21 city mpg and 31 highway mpg. The 2-series is equipped with an engine idle stop/start system that helps save a bit of fuel. BMW very nicely allows the drive to switch it off…and it stays off. In my drive I was getting around 20 mpg, having too much fun with the throttle.

BMWs all handle excellently and the M240I is no exception. Steering is direct with nice feedback and it’s not too heavily weighted. In the corners there’s no lean and overall the suspension tuning is very compliant and well set up.

Purists might argue for rear drive but the xDrive system does not detract at all from handling. Under- and over-steer is reduced in sporty driving while the xDrive also provides real year-round benefit in wet or snowy road conditions.

Engine response is instantaneous with very linear power delivery over the entire RPM range. The rich exhaust note from the twin tailpipes lets you know you things are happening.

More information, specifications and product details can be found art www.bmwusa.com.

For 2018 the BMW 2 Series Coupe and Convertible has new colors, new standard 17-inch Double-Spoke Bi-Color wheel on 230i models and 18-inch M Double-Spoke Bi-Color wheel on M240i models, an updated interior design with a revised instrument panel and new materials, and new standard LED headlamps and tail lamps.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2-series a “Top Safety Pick+”and it also won the inaugural JD Powers Tech Experience Index Study (TXI) in the “Best Small Premium Segment”.

I’d give the sporty and yet elegant BMW 2-series a real hard look if I was in the market for a compact-size personal performance car. It just might be a better choice than some of the two-seaters.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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