Autocar UK brings us the first test drive review of the BMW M235i with manual transmission. While in Vegas to test drive the new M235i, BMW samples us and other journalists only with the eight-speed automatic transmission. The review can be found here.
From 0 to 62 mph, the BMW M235i with manual shows a time of 5.0 seconds while the automatic comes in at 4.8 seconds.
Let’s have a look at an excerpt from their review:
What is it like?
Magnificent, really. Flipping the steering wheel has done nothing to dent our initial opinion: the sweet spot between the frenzied 1-series M Coupé and rather more neutral M135i has been brilliantly realised, yielding a compact rear-drive sports car of the highest order.
Like practically everything from the top drawer, the M235i’s foremost feature is symphony, with seemingly not one facet of the car’s identity overcooked or underdone. The performance from the straight-six is strong and a joy to work at beyond 6000rpm while the chassis caresses the power beautifully, remaining fast and fluid within the wide limit of traction and downright gleeful beyond it. And all the time the body, steering and flowing ride quality conspire (via the Drive Performance Control and adaptive dampers) to satisfy whatever mood you’re in.
It’s addictive stuff, and it speaks to the M235i’s abilities that the choice of gearbox doesn’t drastically impact the almost-continual mood enhancement. BMW’s eight-speed auto inevitably makes the package quicker by virtue of its blink-quick upshifts when you’re really trying, just as it makes it smoother and much less effort when you’re not.
But the physical satisfaction of the six-speeder is hard to deny. While the interaction between your left-hand side and the occasionally notchy gearshift pock-marks the glossiness of the car’s progress, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is one rear-drive BMW which doesn’t automatically best reward smooth driving. Instead, its compactness, adhesive agility and on-demand hooliganism mean that there is plenty of neck scruff to get a hold of – and if your inclination is to go up the road in confrontational, hot hatch-style abandon, then the manual ‘box is certainly the best cohort for such progress.