It Looks Exactly The Same

Yes, you would be correct, the BMW M240i looks exactly like the outgoing M235i, the changes thankfully are plentiful and all under the skin.

For the £35,090 base cost, you get a new engine and a new badge, although engine size remains the same as the previous model boasting a 3.0-litre straight six turbo producing 335bhp.

This motor though whilst looking very similar to the previous unit is an all-new modular engine, it’s basically six 500cc cylinders welded together with some turbocharging added for good measure.

So Not Really A Facelift Then

Not as much as you’d think, the revised 3.0-litre unit is more powerful than the outgoing motor, an increase of 14bhp total, also there is more torque to propel you forward, and you now get 369ib-ft which is a huge gain of 37ib-ft over the outgoing engine. This torque figure is identical to the M240i’s bigger brother the M2 which is a very good thing indeed.

The M240i is also 100kg lighter than the M2, it’s also £10k cheaper than the M2 as well. I get that it’s not an M2, but you should think of it as a viable alternative for less money.

Is It Fast Then?

This depends on how you define fast; the M240i will run 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than the prior model, which is a massive amount for such a small power increase.

This is the time recorded for the six-speed manual version with a proper gearbox for proper drivers, you can get an eight-speed auto with a slightly quicker 0-62mph time (0.2 quicker) but save yourself the £1,430 and go with three pedals.

The M240i is properly quick; it delivers a smooth and very responsive drive, accompanied by a gorgeous deep straight-six bellow which is magnificent. The power delivery is excellent; chose a gear and plant the throttle and speed increases, no turbo lag, just pure unadulterated acceleration all the way to the 7,000rpm redline.

What About Using It Daily?

If the M240i was to be you’re only or daily driver then you can have it all, as they say, driving around town is a simple task, the seats are comfortable and the car is generally light and easy to use. You even get a good sized boot to carry things around, clearly, BMW has thought of everything here.

Get the M240i on faster roads and it shows its good road manners, it’s comfortable, refined and a nice place to be.

Find yourself on a twisty mountain road (for example) and you will find the M240i comes alive, the steering is very direct with a good level of feedback, the brakes are super powerful and on the money in terms of feel and driver feedback, and that manual gearbox is just immense, simple and light for fast or slow changes, this car is full of balance and poise to rival its bigger brother the M2, it’s just an excellent all round package that for the money is a more than worthy rival to any hot hatch with the added bonus of a rear-wheel drive setup.

On the inside you’re greeted with an updated version of BMW’s iDrive system, this has been revised so there is less back and forth attempting to find what you want and is vastly improved over the previous version. It’s simple and easy to use to a certain point, no fangled touch screen either for you to cover in fingerprints as it all runs from the center console jog dial setup.

The remainder of the cabin is very good, perhaps some of the materials used could be better, but when you consider the price of this car all in it’s a nice sporty place to be. The seats are excellent and do a great job of holding the driver in place when the going gets twisty. As usual with BMW’s everything is laid out with the driver in mind, it’s all within easy reach and doesn’t present a distraction to the actual job of driving in hand.

Should You Buy One Instead Of An M2?

The M240i is no doubt a great performance car that can be used every day; it gives you 90 percent of the M2’s performance and ability with a substantial cost saving of £10,000.

While it loses out against the M2’s pumped up looks, it gains points back for the fact that you can order one now and not wait for it.

As long as you chose the manual version then you will not be disappointed.

Price – 35,090 (As tested £41,405)

 

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Editor, road test reviewer, news & features writer for livetodrive.co.uk Freelance motoring writer for hire. Car guy until the end, creator and owner of livetodrive.co.uk, chosen tribe leader of Live To Drive at Drivetribe.com Tech fan and twitter addicted. Please save the cars! Car fan, BMW E39 owner and fixer and occasional cross country driver.