Autocar UK names the BMW M235i Coupe on their Best Cars of 2014 list.
Earlier this year, BMW launched their first 2 Series lineup along with an M Performance Automobile model. The M235i was developed to fill a gap between a high-performance sports coupe and the new M4, at least until the F87 BMW M2 comes to market.
With the most powerful gasoline M Performance engine available producing 322 hp and 332 lf-ft of torque in, the M235i is capable of 0-60 in 4.8 seconds when optioned with the 8-speed sport automatic. Top speed is 155mph and MPG is 22 city/32 hwy for the auto and 19/29 for the 6-speed manual.
The BMW M team has massaged the chassis with M Adaptive suspension added M Sport braking system as well as an M235i specific exhaust.
So what were the reasons that have made the UK journalists choose the M235i as one of the best cars of 2014?
This year we compared a £34,260 BMW M235i with the £59,145 BMW M4 (and a £58,950 Alpina B4 besides) and determined that the least expensive machine was best, not merely because of the price difference but also because it is easier and more enjoyable to toy with the M235i at its grip limit.
That’s what an M car should be about, and what the M4 doesn’t quite manage to deliver.
But enough of comparisons, because the M235i is about a lot more than enjoying 90 per cent of an M4 for 58 per cent of the price; this is an old-school entertainer of a BMW. And these are rare machines among the mass of SUVs, diesel saloons, hatchbacks and even MPVs that an ever-enlarging BMW now offers.
Its M135i hatch is another sporting gem, but the M235i shines brighter, mainly because it’s your traditional, coupé-like two-door saloon. This car has its genetic roots in classics like the original E30 M3 and even the 2002 tii of the 1970s.
Because the M235i is smaller than the M4, it instantly feels more usable; on narrow roads, shorter, narrower cars are quicker, simply because they leave you more wiggle room. Its relative lack of bulk encourages you to drive it harder.