2022 BMW M240i Coupe First Drive Review: Focused on Fun

The two-door coupe landscape looks a lot different now than when the first 2 Series Coupe arrived in 2014.

The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe—the top trim in the US, and the only one available from launch in Canada—enters a market even more focused on SUVs. Here is a car that still promises driving fun in a small package. But the market influences have even seeped into the two-door segment: this one eschews the manual transmission, and the M240i is only available with AWD.

I can almost hear the grumbles. I get it, I do. Spend a bit of time with the latest 2er though, as I did in Thermal, California, and you’ll find a well-judged little coupe, one that makes some concessions to modern market demands, but maintains the focus on fun that made its predecessor such a hit with enthusiasts.

What’s new?

Quite a lot. It’s larger, to start, but not unreasonably so: 2.0 inches (51 mm) have gone into the wheelbase, and the whole car is now up to 179.4 inches (4,556 mm) nose to tail, a gain of 3.5 inches (88 mm). It’s 2.6 inches (66 mm) wider too, and a smidge lower. The basic layout remains as before, however: the 2 Series now sits on BMW’s scalable CLAR platform, underpinnings it shares with the 3 Series. That means it’s still a rear-biased platform, unlike the similarly named 2 Series Gran Coupe.

It certainly looks different too, doesn’t it? Like a good many modern BMWs, the design works better in person than it does as pixels on a screen. The proportions are killer, an even longer nose emphasizing the rear-drive nature of the coupe. It’s a stark contrast from the front-drive Gran Coupe, which looks more like a shrunken X4 or X6 than this. From head-on there’s a bit of a hammerhead feel, the tiny headlights pushed out to the corners. The kidney grilles have stayed a reasonable size, though I’m not 100-percent sold on the black surround. It blends in on this Thundernight Metallic example though, which is both an excellent color and name. Does BMW have the best color lineup of any automaker? Yes, yes it does.

The engine lineup has also carried over, though updated to contemporary power levels. A 230i stands as the base model, producing 255 horsepower from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Those in search of schnell will gravitate towards the M240i pictured here, available only with xDrive all-wheel drive at launch. Both engines hook up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

SEE ALSO: 2021 BMW M3 Review: More Pedals Equal More Fun

BMW has also tweaked the interior, bringing the digs up to modern standards with newer technology and more room for actual humans.

With both road and track available to evaluate the latest little brother of BMW’s coupe lineup, I make a beeline for that sweet purple machine and point it towards the canyons.

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2022 BMW M240i driving impressions

Out on the road, the M240i feels pleasantly compact. Not light, mind you: it’s a dense 3,871 lb (1,756 kg), packing in a big engine and AWD. But those tight dimensions make it a blast to thread through the mountain roads outside Thermal. Turn-in is sharp as the 2 finds grip like a toddler, in big handfuls that betray its small size. This car runs the optional 19-inch double-five-spoke wheels on summer rubber, with increased cooling to boot. The Pirellis may protest fairly early, but they never relinquish grip at either end. The 2 stays pleasantly neutral through the canyons, the AWD only ever joining the conversation to keep the nose pointed where intended. Slow for a roll to check out the scenery—say, for scouting photos—and the adaptive suspension responds in kind. Compliant and well-damped, this is where the M240i feels strangely larger than it is, like it has a wheelbase that isn’t practically square.

There’s a decent amount of weight to the thick steering wheel, allowing drivers to lean on it, building confidence. Normal mode feels ever so slightly delayed, like the Doppler effect of a basketball bouncing from half a block away. Switching to Sport mode fixes the issue, but introduces an artificial gloopiness to the steering rack. The brake pedal suffers no such issues, offering strong, linear deceleration from any speed.

I will sing the praises of BMW’s turbocharged inline-six until the thing is legislated out of existence—and even afterwards. Silky smooth and obviously underrated, it pulls from any gear, at any engine speed. The sextet performs best in the mid-range, but you’ll want to explore the upper reaches of the tachometer to sample their song.

Track stints use different cars, running stickier rubber. Thermal is a flat, wide-open track, which can mess with a driver’s sense of speed. The M240i is an ideal intro: there’s also M3s and M4s, plus M5 CSs. It’s tempting to simply rely on xDrive to bludgeon corners into submission, but the M240i responds best to a delicate touch. Brake early and hard, pour the front end into the apex, and then feed in more throttle as you unwind the steering wheel. The rear differential balances the power between the rear wheels, ensuring optimal thrust out of every corner.

Some may lament the lack of a manual transmission—I’m not above that, either—but the ZF eight-speed is one of the best auto ‘boxes in the business. On road or track, it always finds the right gear for the task at hand. Use the paddle shifters and the shift speeds aren’t far off those of a dual-clutch setup.

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2022 BMW M240i interior and comfort

If the exterior styling sets the 2 Coupe apart from the rest of the modern BMW lineup, the interior does the exact opposite. From the driver’s seat, this is essentially a 3 or 4 Series, with the same angular dashboard design that has served BMW well for the last few years. Okay, it’s not all the same: the door cards are different, more angular, with increased storage space.

It may not be exciting, but there’s a comfortable familiarity, with solid ergonomics and a logical center stack layout. And hey, actual storage space, and a wireless charger, are not bad things. Poke the lower sections of the dashboard and the plastics are maybe a little hard, but not unreasonably so for something in this price range. It’s all screwed together well too, with tight, consistent gaps.

The seats are typical German goodness, with lots of lateral support and a good lower cushion for longer drives. The stretch in wheelbase hasn’t turned the back seat into a palace, but it’s no longer a miserable penalty box for adults, either. And, since the 2 has such an abrupt little greenhouse, head room is surprisingly good.

2022 BMW M240i technology and features

BMW’s tried-and-true iDrive 7.0 powers the infotainment experience in the 2022 2 Series Coupe. The 10.25-inch touchscreen is responsive, though the sub-menu-heavy approach can be daunting to newcomers. Voice controls are standard in the M240i, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Modern conveniences like a wireless charger are most welcome, too.

Another 12.3-inch screen sits just ahead of the driver, beaming BMW’s digital instrument panel straight to their eyeballs. No surprises here: drivers can shuffle through central information and modify the dial displays, tailoring the look to their own needs. An optional head-up display sits above the instrument panel, keeping the most pertinent details right in the driver’s field of vision.

2022 BMW M240i Coupe pricing and best spec

Unlike the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the new 2 works better in six-cylinder form. While I wish it came in pure rear-drive form, specifically for warmer climes like California, it’s still a quick, fun little ball of energy. It would be my pick were it my money.

There’s the small catch of a $12,000 surcharge over the 230i Coupe, though. Or, put into more alarming terms, an entire third of the 230i’s $37,345 starting price, on top. Canadians don’t even get the choice: only the M240i xDrive exists north of the border, starting at $59,430 CAD.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota GR Supra A91 Edition Review: More Power, More Fun, More Blue

Put another way, this is essentially a less expensive, more practical, more every-season-ready version of the Toyota Supra. And it comes in purple. Uh, yes please.

Final thoughts: 2022 BMW M240i Coupe First Drive Review

BMW has taken an “if it ain’t broke” approach with the 2022 2 Series Coupe. There was little wrong with the previous car: all it needed was a dash of refinement and modern tech, to bring it up to the standards modern drivers expect. Done and done. This new one rides better, yet still retains that glorious tiny-wheelbase feeling. It remains a dynamic darling, especially as the latest 4 Series has moved even further into grand touring territory.

The new 2 keeps the little two-door relevant by paring down the lineup to what matters, offering a slightly grown-up coupe for those who haven’t resigned themselves to yet another crossover. 


FAQs

  • How much is a 2022 BMW M240i Coupe worth? 
    • The 2022 M240i xDrive Coupe starts at $49,545 ($59,430 CAD). If you’d prefer the four-cylinder model, it begins at $37,345 (and is unavailable in Canada).
  • What engine is in the 2022 BMW M240i Coupe
    • The M240i xDrive uses BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, producing 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
  • When can you buy the 2022 BMW M240i Coupe?
    • Dealerships will begin receiving the car as you read this, in November 2021.

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