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BMW M240i 2022 review: xDrive Coupe

The latest 2 Series coupe is actually larger than the seminal E46 3 Series coupe of 20 years ago.
EXPERT RATING
8
As the early 3 Series models proved, BMW should know how to do compact sports coupes right. Recent efforts like the E82 1 Series and F22 2 Series coupes have their appeal, but what the latter's G42 2 Series replacement shows is a desire to broaden its bandwidth of capabilities without diluting what makes it 'the ultimate driving machine'. The M240i, especially, brilliantly succeeds in doing that.

If there ever was a modern BMW that captured the essence of the classic 1602-2002 and pre-Bangle-era 3 Series, it's the 2 Series coupe.

From the lowly 118d diesel to the sublime M2, this model line is the reincarnation of everything that the old 'The Ultimate Driving Machine' company tagline stood for.

Now there's a third-generation 2 Series (if you also count the crisp E82 1 Series of 2007), and right now the M240i is giving off the sort of exciting vibes you might have felt as a teenager looking at a bedroom poster of a 2002ti or 323i.

Does the G42 2 Series deserve to sit alongside such esteemed ancestry? Let's take a deep dive into this most intriguing of BMWs to find out.

BMW 2 Series 2022: 2 M240I Xdrive
Safety rating
Engine Type3.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency—L/100km
Seating4 seats
Price from$89,900

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

Don't worry. Even though the latest, third-gen 1 Series hatch as well as five-door versions of the 2 Series have sacrilegiously gone all transverse-engined and front-wheel drive on us, BMW knows not to cook the golden goose or poke the bear by retaining the traditional longitudinal/rear-drive set-up for the G42.

For car enthusiasts, that was one of the few pleasant surprises of last year.

Hailing from a new BMW plant in Mexico, the 2 Series coupe comes in two flavours for now: the 220i from $61,900 before on-road costs, and the M240i from $89,900 before ORC. Other grades like a 230i are likely to follow soon.

It has a 10.2-inch control display, digital radio, wireless smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) It has a 10.2-inch control display, digital radio, wireless smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Both models are decently specified, sharing LED headlights and tail-lights, auto start/stop, paddle shifters, an M Sport Package (including a multifunction steering wheel, selectable driving modes, sports seats and anthracite headliner), M Sport suspension, variable sport steering, 'Hey, BMW' driving assistant, head-up display, auto parking assistance with a surround-view camera, a 12.3-inch instrument display, a 10.2-inch control display, digital radio, wireless smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, emergency services access, three-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, electric heated/folding exterior mirrors, through loading into boot with remote-release backrests, ambient lighting and tyre-repair kit in lieu of a spare wheel.

However, the differences between the two already on sale here are extensive, starting with the M240i gaining a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder (I6) turbocharged petrol engine in lieu of the 220i's 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol unit.

There's also all-wheel drive (AWD) for the first time in a 2 Series in Australia, as well as M Sport suspension with adaptive dampers, an M differential, M Sport brakes, body kit, adaptive cruise control with full stop/go functionality, keyless entry/go via BMW Digital Key, electric sunroof, leather instead of Alcantara/artificial leather upholstery, electric front seats with driver's side memory and heaters, adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, 14-speaker Harman/Kardon surround-sound audio system and 19-inch alloy wheels, among other items, to help justify the extra $28,000.

It comes with 19-inch alloy wheels. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) It comes with 19-inch alloy wheels. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Standard safety features include six airbags, forward collision warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) front and rear, with front/rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning with passive steer assist, lane keep with active assist, blind spot monitor, 360-degree view cameras, parking assist, parking sensors and road-sign recognition, among other features. More details in the safety section below.

With two-door coupes falling out of favour, four-seater performance rivals to the M240i Coupe include the Ford Mustang GT V8 (from $64,190) and Audi TT S quattro (from $104,500), while there are various two-seater options like the coming Nissan Z (pricing TBC, but the outgoing 370Z kicks off from just $50,490), Toyota Supra (from $87,803) and Porsche 718 Cayman (from $115,900).

It comes with a 12.3-inch instrument display. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) It comes with a 12.3-inch instrument display. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Thinking more laterally, the $92,900 Audi RS3 and $99,895 Mercedes-AMG A45 S hyper-hatches are quicker while the Tesla Model 3 Performance Dual Motor sedan from $88,900 will blow the BMW away for performance, so if you don't strictly need coupe style, then the M240i does cop some unexpectedly stiff competition at its price point.

Still, few rivals balance the pricing, packaging, performance and AWD capability with the swagger of our purple coupe, which makes this 2 Series quite a unique value proposition in its own right.

The M240i is well specified, with adaptive LED headlights. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) The M240i is well specified, with adaptive LED headlights. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

What is happening with BMW design? It's as if the Germans have run out of ideas.

Though we're eternally grateful it exists, the G42 is the least pretty of the three 1 and 2 Series coupe generations, as well as the most aggressively styled. All the usual macho tropes are present – cab-backward long-bonnet/short boot silhouette with an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio, huge front air intakes, bulging bonnet and diffuser-heavy rear end.

There's also a beady eyed look to this M240i, with its squinty headlights and angry tail-light shapes further piling on the attitude. It's a far cry from the simple elegance of the E82 original, let alone the classic E30 of the Eighties. We wonder how much extra the M2 version will be when it surfaces later on.

  • All the usual macho tropes are present. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) All the usual macho tropes are present. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)
  • Cab-backward long-bonnet/short boot silhouette with an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio, huge front air intakes, bulging bonnet and diffuser-heavy rear end. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) Cab-backward long-bonnet/short boot silhouette with an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio, huge front air intakes, bulging bonnet and diffuser-heavy rear end. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)
  • In the optional purple of our press car, it certainly turns heads. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) In the optional purple of our press car, it certainly turns heads. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)
  • There’s also a beady eyed look to this M240i, with its squinty headlights and angry tail-light shapes further piling on the attitude. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) There’s also a beady eyed look to this M240i, with its squinty headlights and angry tail-light shapes further piling on the attitude. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

That said, the G42's design is in keeping with something wearing an M-something-something prefix. In the optional purple of our press car, it certainly turns heads. That said, in the Bangle era, BMWs didn't have to rely on paint to do that.

Bangle, by the way, refers to BMW's late '90s/early '00s head designer Chris Bangle, an American with a bold aesthetic, scant regard for tradition and a taste for the controversial. His effect on vehicle styling, starting with the 2001 7 Series, is still felt today.

Dimensionally speaking, comparing the length/width/height/wheelbase measurements of the M240i (4548mm/1838mm/1404mm/2741mm) with a 2000 E46 330Ci (4488mm/1757mm/1369mm/2725mm) shows how today's coupe is palpably larger.

Over the previous (F22) 2 Series, the newcomer is 105mm longer, 64mm wider and 28mm lower; the wheelbase has been stretched by 51mm, while the front and rear tracks are 63mm and 35mm further out, respectively. Result? More space inside for today's lucky occupants.

Also meeting expectations is the dashboard itself, which is essentially a scaled-down replica of every recently released BMW. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) Also meeting expectations is the dashboard itself, which is essentially a scaled-down replica of every recently released BMW. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

How practical is the space inside?   8/10

Interior dimensions may not be paramount to most coupe purchasers, but a stylish one with quality fittings and generous equipment levels certainly is, and here the M240i is bang-on brand.

For a compact two door, the M240i is pleasingly accessible. Long doors and a tallish roof help entry/egress, into a 2+2 cabin that obviously prioritises front-seat occupants. And it does that exceedingly well.

There's space to stretch – even if you're two metres tall – up front, as long as the rear seats aren't occupied, as a result of generous leg and shoulder room, while headroom should also be sufficient, even with the sunroof fitted. We're talking about a small coupe, remember, so that's impressive.

There’s space to stretch – even if you’re two metres tall – up front, as long as the rear seats aren’t occupied. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) There’s space to stretch – even if you’re two metres tall – up front, as long as the rear seats aren’t occupied. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Vision out isn't as bad as you might imagine, either, due to the airiness that the elongated side windows provide. There are blind spots, though, with the B-pillar being the worst, but at least the extensive camera and sensor network surrounding the car provide reassuring back-up.

The handsome M Sport front seat option ($2000 extra) look like they mean business, providing all the comfort, support and adjustment most occupants will ever need. They're firm enough when you need them yet restfully supple all the time. Backed up by a multitude of electronics, both buckets will brace people of pretty much all sizes, while the driver has the luxury of two memory settings that also take in mirror positions.

Remember how the new 2 Series comes via Mexico? You'd never know it wasn't built in Germany, from the solid build quality and expensive materials to the extremely welcome absence of squeaks and rattles. No area exposed to the occupants looks or feels cheap.

The handsome M Sport front seat option ($2000 extra) look like they mean business. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) The handsome M Sport front seat option ($2000 extra) look like they mean business. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Also meeting expectations is the dashboard itself, which is essentially a scaled-down replica of every recently released BMW – futuristic and fabulous iX aside – since the current (G20) 3 Series in 2018 broke the Bangle-era curse of disappointing new-millennial models.

If you're hoping for a return to classic analogue instrument dials, forget it. The M240i's instruments are modish electronic items, providing plenty of vehicle and driving data, and supported by an excellent head-up display. Like the switches and buttons, they're easy to fathom, with little familiarisation required.

As we've said repeatedly in other BMW reviews, the iDrive multimedia controller is amongst the best in the business, responding instantly to inputs. The other basics – ventilation, storage, driving position – are also first class. Nothing to complain about here. The company is on a good thing and it's sticking with it.

Once sat, with legs splayed apart, there’s just enough space for another person of similar height and proportions. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) Once sat, with legs splayed apart, there’s just enough space for another person of similar height and proportions. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Accessing the rear seats is aided by electrified front seats that slowly whir forward, to provide a big-enough aperture for your medium-build 178cm tall tester to squeeze in.

Once sat, with legs splayed apart, there's just enough space for another person of similar height and proportions, as well as surprisingly decent levels of vision thanks to the narrow front bucket seats and extended rear glass area, to offset any feelings of claustrophobia.

BMW has also provided several welcome amenities, including face-pointed rear vents with full single-zone temperature control to serve two occupants back there, armrests (with the centre fold-down item also packing in a pair of cupholders), reading lights and coat hooks.

  • All the usual macho tropes are present. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) All the usual macho tropes are present. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)
  • Cab-backward long-bonnet/short boot silhouette with an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio, huge front air intakes, bulging bonnet and diffuser-heavy rear end. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) Cab-backward long-bonnet/short boot silhouette with an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio, huge front air intakes, bulging bonnet and diffuser-heavy rear end. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)
  • In the optional purple of our press car, it certainly turns heads. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) In the optional purple of our press car, it certainly turns heads. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)
  • There’s also a beady eyed look to this M240i, with its squinty headlights and angry tail-light shapes further piling on the attitude. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) There’s also a beady eyed look to this M240i, with its squinty headlights and angry tail-light shapes further piling on the attitude. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Sadly, however, the rear windows do not retract, and the thick door pillars are fixed, so you cannot enjoy a pillarless hardtop experience. That's what the M4 coupe (and convertible too) is for.

While rear-seat space is adequate, with enough room for shoulders, thighs and feet if the front-seat occupants don't mind raising the cushion a little, the backrest is too upright to be considered comfortable on longer journeys. At least the low cushion is scalloped enough to provide some support, though, again, not over extended periods.

That rear backrest folds, by the way, to a 40/20/40 split, providing access into the 390-litre boot while still able to accommodate a single passenger. The lid opens up and wide, offering up a long, flat and wide space for storage. Along with a 12V outlet and tie-down hooks, you'll find a tyre-repair kit, since no spare wheel is carried.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   10/10

As with all of our current favourite BMWs that aren't electric on full-fledged M cars, the M240i is fitted with a variation of the divine B58 engine – a 2998cc 3.0-litre double overhead cam direct-injection turbo I6. It delivers 285kW at a heady 6500rpm, and 500Nm of torque between a low 1900rpm and 5000rpm.

A kerb weight of 1690kg (200kg more than the 220i equivalent) means the M240i's power to weight ratio is about 169kW/tonne, which may explain why it can manage the 0-100km/h time in 4.3 seconds. V-max is 250km/h.

The M240i is fitted with a variation of the divine B58 engine – a 2998cc 3.0-litre double overhead cam direct-injection turbo I6. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) The M240i is fitted with a variation of the divine B58 engine – a 2998cc 3.0-litre double overhead cam direct-injection turbo I6. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Power is channelled to all four wheels continuously via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, while the AWD system features a differential to help transmit torque to all four wheels more cleanly.

Controlling all those outputs, the M240i's suspension consists of a two-joint spring strut front and a five‑link rear axle arrangement, with M Sport suspension including variable sport steering, additional front axle struts, M Sport brakes, M Sport differential at the rear axle and adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Over exactly 503km of city, suburban, freeway and performance testing, we managed a credible 9.6 litres per 100km – and that was with the air-con on  constantly and regular visits to the 7000rpm rev limiter. No horses were spared in our quest to properly assess this vehicle.

BMW's official combined-average claim for the Euro 6d-rated M240 is 8.0L/100km flat – and 6.6L and 10.3L in the Extra Urban and Urban runs – for a carbon dioxide emissions average of 185 grams/km.

The small fuel tank swallows just 52 litres of E10, 95 or 98 RON (as tested) premium unleaded petrol, meaning an average of 650km between refills is possible.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

There is no ANCAP rating for the BMW G42 M240i Coupe, but over at EuroNCAP, a 2022 220d coupe scored just four out of five stars.

Areas singled out needing improvement include better pedestrians/vulnerable road user protection (especially for cyclists) and a 'marginal' rating for the emergency lane keeping's effectiveness.

It comes with LED tail-lights. (image: Byron Mathioudakis) It comes with LED tail-lights. (image: Byron Mathioudakis)

Standard safety features includes six airbags (dual frontal, side chest and head-protecting airbags for the first row and side chest protecting airbags for the second row), forward collision warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB, operational from 5km/h to at least 210km/h and with cyclist and night-time operation), front/rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning with passive steer assist (operational from 70km/h), lane keep with active assist, blind spot monitor, driver attention monitor, 360-degree view cameras, parking assist, parking sensors, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, stability control, traction control, corner braking and rain-sensing wipers.

There are also two ISOFIX points as well as two top tethers for straps in the rear seats.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   6/10

Trailing all of its main luxury car rivals (except Porsche) by two years, BMW only offers a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, as well as three years of roadside assistance.

BMW says its vehicles' servicing is condition-based, depending on how they're driven and other factors, with a dash warning appearing to let the driver/owner know when it's time. We advise servicing your M4 annually or at every 10,000km

No capped-price servicing system is offered. However, as long as the first one is paid for before the first service on a new vehicle, the 'BMW Service Inclusive Basic packages' is available at extra cost, covering scheduled servicing for three years/40,000km or five years/80,000km. A 2 Series should cost from $1700 for the five-year/80.000km package.

What's it like to drive?   10/10

In a word, invigorating.

Stuffing a big old engine in a little-ish car is always an exciting recipe for thrills, and the M240i Coupe does not disappoint.

Press the start button, and the sublime B58 3.0-litre turbo I6 growls into life, setting a rich tone for the level of performance as well as sophistication that's coming.

Even in Eco mode, off-the-line acceleration is stirring, with a hefty shove if you're in a hurry, or a brisk pace if you just long to just take it easy, defined by smooth upshifts from what remains one of the world's greatest-ever automatic transmissions.

That said, Normal is the default operating setting, and here the M240i can take on a Jekyll and Hyde split-personality, that goes well beyond simply possessing a strong throttle response accompanied by a soaring exhaust note. The engine sings sweetly even right up to 7000rpm, while the gearbox is uncanny in its ability to always be in the correct gear, yet will simultaneously hold each ratio in manual mode (via the shifter or paddles) if the driver needs to go hell-for-leather.

Speaking of which, in Sport mode, the 3.0-litre turbo goes into red alert, taking on a louder and more muscular mood, as it roars along with frenetic yet effortless speed. What seems like 90km/h can, in fact, be very much more, and with plenty of extra oomph in reserve.

It's so typical BMW that purists affronted by some of the brand's other niche offerings of late will cry with joy that the art of making a sports coupe has not been lost in Bavaria after all.

And that's before the first turn of that fat little steering wheel. Here the 2 Series Coupe's 3 Series-derived CLAR architecture's DNA is immediately obvious, providing subtle balance and an immersive connection to go with all that bolshy brawn.

The M240i will glide along precisely where pointed, sticking steadfast to the tarmac while cornering at speed without breaking a sweat. That mechanical rear diff helps provide both alacrity and reassuring control. Yes, it remains weighty and planted when punted relentlessly through tight corners, but it's also not as heavy-feeling as before.

Being AWD, there's grip galore to rely on for security, yet the M240i still seems deliberately rear-drive biased in its set-up, so the driver can hang the tail out if wanted with gradual ease in Normal, or with a little more of a sideways flick in Sport. The modes are configurable so the level of engine, steering and suspension responses can be tailored as desired, meaning that in the racy Sport Plus setting, with stability and traction controls on hold, the full oversteer experience is possible if you're game/brave/silly enough.

This car's brilliant performance is also down to incredibly dependable and nuanced braking, adding another layer of driver enjoyment, since it can pull up hard and fast if need be without drama or fuss.

So, it's no surprise to learn that an M-Sport-enhanced BMW can be a deliciously fast and limber along a mountain road.

But the real progress over the old F22 is just how suave and polished the G42 is if you're tired and stressed, isolating its occupants from the rigours of rubbish road surfaces. Kudos to the 'Adaptive M Suspension' and its adaptive dampers for this, for they're standard M240i fare. The resulting cushy ride completely broadens the dynamic bandwidth of this compact sports coupe, making it an everyday commuting proposition.

Ultimately, it's a bit of a struggle to find fault in the 2 Series' drivability and dynamic make-up. The usual Euro luxury car bugbear of too much coarse-chip tyre noise applies, but as this is a sports coupe, that's not such a big deal here. Even wind noise levels are subdued – all the better to drink in that glorious turbo engine wail.

BMW, you got the M240i delightfully right.

Verdict

When BMW is on a roll, the world needs to watch out.

And, as our Thundernight metallic-hued M240i so literally demonstrates, its purple patch continues after a string of modern marvels like the latest 4 Series and iX, distilling the essence of compact sports coupe and luxury cruiser with dizzying confidence.

Joining the pantheon of back-catalogue greats like the 2002ti and 330Ci, we're missing it already now that the keys have been returned. Isn't that the true sign of the quintessential BMW experience?

Pricing guides

$72,900
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$53,900
Highest Price
$91,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
220i Luxury Line 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $64,900 2022 BMW 2 Series 2022 220i Luxury Line Pricing and Specs
M240I M240I 3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $91,900 2022 BMW 2 Series 2022 M240I M240I Pricing and Specs
220i M Sport Gran Coupe 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP $56,900 2022 BMW 2 Series 2022 220i M Sport Gran Coupe Pricing and Specs
220i M Sport 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $61,900 2022 BMW 2 Series 2022 220i M Sport Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Price and features8
Design7
Practicality8
Engine & trans10
Fuel consumption7
Safety8
Ownership6
Driving10
Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$89,900

Lowest price, based on new car retail price

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