If you’re looking for what MotorTrend calls a “pint-sized autobahn cruiser that can devour highways and back roads at surprising rates,” then the 2020 BMW 2 Series M235i xDrive Gran Coupe may be the car for you. However, it isn’t a perfect vehicle, and its interior is one of its drawbacks. BMW may be a luxury brand, but the interior of the 2020 M235i isn’t as luxurious as it should be.
Performance of the 2020 BMW M235i
The 2020 BMW M235i is the performance model of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. The extra power adds $8,000 over the standard 228i Gran Coupe. All that extra cash gets the M235i a “zestier driving experience,” according to MotorTrend.
In addition to more power, the car has a limited-slip differential, noisier exhaust, better grip tires, plus an M Sport suspension. The M235i has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, generating 301 hp. It has smooth acceleration and very little turbo lag. The eight-speed automatic transmission is great as well and makes it easy to drive the car a little too fast, says MotorTrend. MotorTrend did find a bit of understeer in its tests but was able to compensate by modulating the throttle. All-wheel drive is standard.
With its great acceleration, the M235i goes from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.8 seconds. It can travel a quarter of a mile in 13.5 seconds going 102.3 MPH. The car took 108 feet to come to a stop from 60 MPH, which MotorTrend found to be normal.
The M235i’s suspension gives the car great body control, but it also has a “firm ride” that feels a bit bumpy on rough roads. The suspension plus the large wheels also generate plenty of noise that can be heard in the interior.
Style of the 2020 BMW M235i
As an entry-level luxury vehicle, the M235i doesn’t measure up to other BMW offerings, according to Car and Driver. The interior of the M235i isn’t as nice as its competitor from Mercedes-Benz, the CLA-Class. While the 2020 BMW M235i has great performance, its interior looks a bit dated. Car and Driver says the design is similar to that in the 3 Series sedan and the X3 SUV.
Both the M235i and 228i have four doors, but they are small cars. Both have tight rear seats and smaller rear doors, making the seating uncomfortable for taller passengers. The M235i uses the same BMW style that the company’s cars have used for many years. The technology gets updated, but the layout and ergonomics could be better. The car includes ambient interior lighting for the dashboard as well as the door panels.
Both the M235i and the 228i have an 8.8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility. Later model year 2020 cars also have Android Auto compatibility as well. The optional Live Cockpit Pro system swaps the analog gauges for a 10.3-inch digital display and upgrades the infotainment touchscreen for a 10.3-inch screen.
Comparing the M235i and the 228i
The exterior of the M235i differentiates it from the 228i. With a more aggressive look, it has a different grille upfront, dual trapezoidal exhaust tips, different 18-inch wheels, and silver mirror caps.
The 228i has a less powerful engine and slower acceleration. It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, generating 228 hp. It’s also 1.2 seconds slower going from 0 to 60 MPH, and it’s one second slower traveling a quarter of a mile. The M Sport suspension that comes with the M235i is an available option for the 228i.
While MotorTrend likes the M235i for its power and exterior design, it felt other competitors, like the Genesis G70, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac CT4-V, and BMW 330i, all have more space and better handling for about the same price. In addition to its small interior space, the 2020 BMW M235i also isn’t quite as luxurious as buyers may have hoped it would be.