Then, there’s the back seat. It’s tiny. I’m only 5’9″ and about 165 lbs (Christmas cookies may have added a few more pounds) and I like to sit relatively close to the steering wheel. And yet, I couldn’t sit behind myself comfortably in the M240i. Which means only small children can use the back seat but most small children that would fit back there would need a child’s seat anyway and those only fit if the front passengers lack, ya know, legs.
Does it Feel Like a BMW 2002?
Of course not. The original BMW 2002 was brilliant to drive but its steering was glacial compared to today’s sports cars and it was slow enough to bore James May. The new BMW M240i xDrive is nothing of the sort. Its steering is tight and responsive, with a quick ratio and immediate reactions. Its front end is surprisingly sharp and accurate, lending the M240i a wonderful wieldiness. But while it’s not as numb as the M440i Coupe, it’s not exactly communicative. Still, it’s one of the best non-M steering setups from BMW in a long time.
It’s also bonkers-quick. The M240i’s 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six (B58) makes the usual 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque but it feels like it has 100 more horsepower than that. Without a doubt, the new M240i xDrive would lunch a previous-gen M2 Competition on the road. But it’s not just fast. It makes a fantastic noise (even if some of that is fake), responds more immediately than almost any other turbocharged engine in the world, and delivers power with a refinement that belies its performance.
BMW nailed the chassis, too. It’s tight, composed, and playful, without ever feeling either sketchy or too serious. If there’s a downside, though, it’s that it’s almost too capable. To coax a bit of a slide out of the all-wheel drive M240i, you have to push it a bit harder than is safe on public roads, even with traction control in its MDM mode, simply due to its immense grip. My test car wore Michelin PS4 tires in mid-December, not ideal temps for PS4s, and it was still glued to the ground. Still, the M240i feels nimble, sharp, and engaging, more so than any other BMW that isn’t a genuine M Division product.
I’m also thrilled to report that it rides well. Modern BMWs have a tendency to be too stiff, bouncing across rough pavement like a jackhammer. The M240i does no such thing. It’s ride is supple and compliant for a sports car. It’s not soft and there’s little body roll but it deals with bumps surprisingly well for a car with such a short wheelbase and surprisingly heavy curb weight (how did BMW manage to pack 3,800 lbs into such a small car?!).
Best Daily Driver Sports Coupe?
That might seem like a bold claim, as there are several excellent options for sports coupes that are usable enough to be daily driven. However, I think it might actually be true. The only cars in the segment that can claim to be daily driver sports cars coupes are the Mustang, Camaro, and, if you spend a bit more money, the Porsche Cayman. However, the M240i offers a blend of performance, handling, ride comfort, daily practicality, cabin technology, interior quality, and cost that’s hard to match.
The new BMW M240i is a car I can’t help but like. It’s not perfect; the back seat is too small to be useful, its interior is a bit boring now that we’ve seen it a million times, and it’s still a bit pricey; but it’s a car that I’m glad exists. At this point, I think a sports coupe like the M240i is a bit of a niche car, as it’s not as good of a sports car as some potential rivals — think Porsche Cayman or C8 Corvette — nor is it as practical as other performance cars for the money — Audi RS3 or even the BMW M340i — but it’s one of BMW’s better driving cars in a long time and that should be celebrated.