From £33,9559
More power, more speed, more noise: BMW's revamped and renamed performance coupé is sweeter than ever

Our Verdict

BMW M240i

Part of BMW's M Performance 'warm' range, but does the facelifted M240i have enough about it to become a performance icon?

  • First Drive

    Birds BMW M235i 2017 review

    Tuning company Birds realises BMW M235i’s potential with well-judged engine and chassis upgrades
  • First Drive

    2016 BMW M240i

    More power, more speed, more noise: BMW's revamped and renamed performance coupé is sweeter than ever
26 October 2016

What is it?

The BMW naming convention music has stopped once again, and in this year's scramble for a seat; the M235i has been elbowed aside by the new M240i and been made to sit in the corner. But in truth, there is more to this replacement than just a bigger-numbered badge affixed the compact two-door coupé's bootlid. 

In the same vein as the new M140i hatch we drove only recently, BMW has fiddled its twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six petrol engine to produce an extra 14bhp at 5500rpm, bringing the new total to 335bhp, and it now offers 369lb ft between 1520 and 4500rpm - some 37lb ft more twist.

Naturally, the M240i is now quicker in a sprint, our manual car officially capable of 0-62mph in 4.8sec, 0.2sec faster than the M235i. And in yet more Bavarian wizardry, fuel economy is also improved by up to 7%, meaning the manual version now returns 36.2mpg on the combined cycle and emits 179g/km of CO2.

The final headline changes are a new rev-linked vibration damper (on the automatic version only) that aids engine refinement between shifts under load, and a new acoustic bonnet shield that's designed to filter out other noises to make the engine sound purer.

What's it like?

With no chassis changes as part of this revamp, the main focus is on the M240i's more powerful engine, and what an engine it still is. Manufacturers talk about pull "from almost any gear, at any revs" but, well, you get the idea: you rarely find yourself hurriedly snatching a lower gear in need of a higher crank speed here. The straight six has absolutely no issue being at the other end of the dial, either, and neither will you; the noise is deep, purposeful and muscular. 

If there are any problems with the performance, it's perhaps that there's a little too much. We've said it before, but the M240i's rear tyres are quite easily overwhelmed on wet roads, while BMW's manual shift isn't the slickest out there. There's a purpose to its shifts, yes, but it requires more precision than should be necessary when there are other things on your mind. Such as, "It's raining and the rear axle moves about a bit, doesn't it?"

Still, keep the M240i dialled to Comfort or Sport mode and the traction control is quick to step in and save the day. Only Sport Plus really demands your fullest attention when the going gets soggy.

In the right conditions, though, Sport Plus is exactly where you'll want to be. The throttle, steering and optional adaptive dampers are primed for action and all feel their best in this mode, ensuring the M240i remains every bit as poised, agile and communicative as its predecessor. It falls only just short of the handling benchmark set by the Porsche 718 Cayman, which keeps it body better vertically planted across undulating, camber-ridden roads and steers with a touch more linearity. 

But the M240i's marginally softer approach, and in particular the adaptive dampers in Comfort mode, makes it the more rounded prospect if you do as much cruising as you do cornering. Dialled right back, the engine settles down and the suspension is allowed to breathe enough that everything from sleeping policemen to high-frequency ruts never intrude.

Still intact, too, is the 2 Series coupé's upmarket cabin. Two adults sit comfortably in the low-slung front seats, while the driver will find a solid position very easily and the boot is big enough for a couple of medium suitcases. The dash materials are soft, the switches are nicely damped and BMW's class-leading iDrive multimedia screen has had a visual makeover that makes it even easier on the eye than before yet every bit as easy to use.

Should I buy one?

By choosing the M240i, you're sacrificing the M140i's better practicality and also its lower price, but few could argue that the coupé isn't a prettier thing to look at. There's always an argument for choosing a manual gearbox in a sports car, too, although bear in mind that BMW's eight-speed ZF auto is one of the best, lowers CO2 emissions and fuel consumption and also brings a quicker 0-62mph sprint time, thanks to launch control.  

For those willing to step away from comfort and practicality even further, the Porsche Cayman remains the benchmark driver's car at similar money. Still, the cheaper, better-equipped M240i now has a cylinder advantage (six to four) and is only just behind in terms of grin factor. 

2016 BMW M240i Coupé

Location Surrey; On sale Now; Price £35,903; Engine 6 cyls in line, 2998cc, turbo, petrol; Power 335bhp at 5500rpm; Torque 369lb ft; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1505kg; 0-62mph 4.8sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 36.2mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 179g/km, 32%; Rivals Mercedes-Benz CLA45, Porsche Cayman

Join the debate

Comments
12

Myk

26 October 2016
As in the recent review of the M140i you've got your facts wrong, Autocar. The engine hasn't been fiddled with - BMW have put a completely different engine in it from the M135i. Please do a little research.

29 October 2016
Exactly! This is the B58 motor, not the old N55!
Basics!

26 October 2016
that look so much better in the flesh than on pictures. I know cause a M235i is parked somewhere in the neighborhood.

26 October 2016
Seems to suit the dark colours such as black and grey far better. Seems less substantial in the lighter colours such as white and silver.

27 October 2016
The 2 series coupe does look and feel like a "proper" small BMW, a true heir to the 2002 and early 3 series models

27 October 2016
Autocar wrote:

Still intact, too, is the 2 Series coupé's upmarket cabin.

The cabin isn't and never has been upmarket, its not really any better than a Ford Focus costing a third of the price.

27 October 2016
Citytiger wrote:
Autocar wrote:

Still intact, too, is the 2 Series coupé's upmarket cabin.

The cabin isn't and never has been upmarket, its not really any better than a Ford Focus costing a third of the price.

It's not that bad! I hired a focus the other day and the cabin is definitely way behind the BMW. Much poorer plastics and a woeful infotainment system. I agree, however, that the 1 series isn't particularly upmarket inside - the door bins, lower plastics and visors aren't great. It's probably on par with the golf but certainly not a patch on the A3 which I would class as upmarket.

27 October 2016
BMW do make some excellent cars…it's just a shame about the owners of said cars...

27 October 2016
They should remake NA L6 from 2 l.

27 October 2016
Isn't the question here whether it's worth paying an extra £10k for the M2 for only 10% more power.. Has BMW created to some extent it's own competition....or am I just getting too old?

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK