2022 BMW M240i xDrive Review

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Takeaways: The BMW M240i xDrive is the epitome of the perfect sports car, with exceptional handling characteristics and ample power reserves. The sporty-leaning coupé sits perfectly between the standard 2 Series and the forthcoming M2, which will be unveiled later this year, following the same hierarchy as the M440i xDrive. That said, the M240i is simply different from its bigger and heavier relative.

  • BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system produced stunning traction while creating a safe and secure platform in wet conditions, not to mention that our test car was still running on winter tires.
  • BMW’s variable sport steering system can change the steering ratio (the speed at which the front wheels turn from lock to lock) on the fly, optimizing low-speed handling and high-speed stability.
  • Compared to the previous model, the M240i has a new much more rigid and lightweight chassis for better performance and comfort on the road.

    Specifications:

    • Base price: $48,550
    • Engine: 3.0-litre straight-six turbo engine
    • Power: 382 hp
    • Torque: 369 lb-ft
    • 0-60 time: 4.1 seconds
    • Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
    • Drive: wheel drive
    • Fuel efficiency: 26 mpg (combined)

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      Driving

      Unsurprisingly, BMW’s M240i ticks all the boxes that make a great sports car: vast reserves of power, excellent handling characteristics and a luxurious interior. My week with the all-wheel-drive brute mostly involved short bursts through the winding farm roads just outside the Popular mechanics office in Pennsylvania. However, I also took a longer drive to Pine Grove, Pennsylvania to assess how the new Bimmer behaves on the highway.

      In terms of power, the M240i is comfortably one of the fastest cars I’ve driven. Under the hood, it uses the same 382 horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter engine as the M440i. However, with less weight to carry – 3,871 pounds compared to the 4,169-pound M440i – the smaller M240i is much faster.

      Trevor Raab

      bmw m240i in use

      Trevor Raab

      Subtracting weight will always improve cornering ability. However, BMW’s xDrive (AWD) all-wheel-drive system is the star of the show here. Whether I was riding in cold and wet or hot and dry conditions, I had way more traction than I would ever need on the road. Our tester was still fitted with winter tires, which weren’t as grippy as the stock Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S all-season tires, and I was impressed with the amount of grip.

      Unlike most AWD systems that distribute power equally between the front and rear axles, the M240i can actually send 100% of the traction to the rear wheels. This helps the front axle to be much more responsive and communicative, which allows me to feel what the front tires were when I swung into a turn. To cope with the torque on the rear axle, the vehicle benefits from an electronically controlled locking differential, which can alter the distribution of torque between the two rear wheels. When it senses a loss of traction, it can lock both wheels to spin together to increase forward traction. It can also send more torque to the outside wheel when I go through a bend to help turn the car.

      The elephant is not in the room

      kidney bmw m240i

      Trevor Raab

      For better or worse, the redesigned front fascia of BMW’s latest 3 and 4 series proved controversial. Everyone and their brother ended up coming up with obscene nicknames for the unsightly grille. That said, the M240i retains the relatively standard ‘kidney’ grilles seen on earlier models.

      Even with its smaller and arguably prettier front grille, the M240i has the same active cooling flaps as the M440i. These can be opened and closed in ten steps to keep the engine at the exact temperature. Lower down, the vehicle has horizontal ducts that adjust to supply the brakes with cool air when needed. Finally, the brake ducts at the front of the car double as air curtains to reduce turbulence in the front wheel arches.

      Our tester arrived in BMW’s new shade of purple, which he calls “Thundernight Metallic.” You’ll see from the photos that it’s not the brightest shade of purple. And this is a good thing. I would describe it more as black with purple undertones rather than some of the flashier purple tones we’ve seen previously.

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      Inside the cockpit

      The interior of the M240i is the BMW textbook, offering the right balance of comfort, luxury and sportiness. Case in point: the driver’s seat remained super comfortable on long drives while holding me firmly during spirited drives. With BMW’s Head-Up Display, I never had to take my eyes off the road to see relevant information.

      The seat and steering wheel were super easy to adjust so my driving position was set where I wanted it. It’s something I don’t take lightly, as it leads to a more comfortable and engaging experience behind the wheel.

      Interior BMW m240i

      Trevor Raab

      bmw m240i in use

      Trevor Raab

      BMW m240i carplay apple

      Trevor Raab

      BMW m240i dashboard

      Trevor Raab

      While the head-up display (HUD) are not new in the auto industry, 2022 marks the first year of implementation in the range of 2 series of BMW. In my tests, the HUD helped me stay safe and informed. The color reading allowed me to keep an eye on measures such as my speed, speed warnings, detailed instructions and even the media controls without having to look at the dashboard or the infotainment system. However, it has become essentially invisible when I wore my polarized sunglasses.

      I must admit that most of my time with any infotainment system involves Apple carplay. However, when I had not Apple Maps or Spotify on the BMW, I noticed that the interface iDrive brand was much improved compared to previous years. You no longer have to go through tons of hoops to perform simple tasks such as connecting your phone; Once I had my mobile device connected via Apple carplay wireless – a process that took only a few minutes – I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality from the Harman Kardon stereo system. This has generally been a weak point for BMW and has greatly improved over previous generations.

      The verdict

      Despite its shortcomings inherent in the practice, the M240i is quite usable as a daily driver. Its three different driving modes (Eco, Comfort and Sport) help to better serve all of a barnstormer weekend in a docile driver every day. Of course, you’d be hard to argue that the BMW M240i is this spacious with only two seats in the front. But this is not too much of a stretch.

      So it’s no surprise that the M240i is far from the most practical vehicle on the road. That said, for a vehicle capable of making the weekly trip from Monday to Friday and confront a track day during the weekend, it’s hard to beat. Rumor has it that the M2 will retail for around $60,000 MSRP. So if you’re looking for a similar sports car that won’t break the bank, look no further than the M240i.

      bmw m240i in use

      Trevor Raab

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