True story, the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe is the first vehicle I’ve driven from Bayerische Motoren Werke that I feel really embodies their “driving experience” motto. It’s a really fun drive, fast, nimble, responsive, and luxuriously comfortable. Even its curb appearance is terrific, a tiger just waiting to leap into traffic or fly around the next mountain hairpin curve. As always, I drove this vehicle for a full week, a variety of highway, suburban and rural / mountain driving to really learn its strengths and weaknesses. Did I mention it also garnered a lot of attention from people when I’d park it at a remote spot in the parking lot?
But rather than just talk about it, here’s an exterior shot so you can see what we’re talking about, in case you aren’t familiar with the BMW numbering scheme, in Mineral White Metallic with Tacora Red Vernasca Leather interior:
A close look reveals that it’s a two-door with a long hood to cover its impressive 3.0 liter M TwinPower inline 5-cylinder, 24-valve engine. It also has a snappy 8-speed sports automatic transmission. The M-Series (remember, it’s not the 240i, it’s the M240i) is the Motorsport trim package, offering technologies originally bred for its racing cars. With higher performance and better handling, there’s a reason that driving enthusiasts gravitate to the M-Series BMW lineup.
Being a two-door design, it also means that the M240i is in the category of cars where they’re theoretical four seaters (yes, it has a back seat) but that the back seat legroom is so minimal that you would only have a rear passenger in the direst of emergencies. In fact, there was no way I could find to have the front seats slide and flip forward with the pull of a lever, the first two-door I’ve ever driven that lacked this convenience feature. Assuming it wasn’t just hidden somewhere, it’s a strong testament from the BMW designers that the back seat’s just for a jacket or briefcase, not human beings at all.
If all you need is a car for yourself with a single passenger, however, it’s just lovely:
The red leather seats and door trim were very striking against its primarily black and silver color scheme, and notice the smart layout of buttons and controls by the center gear shift, along with the deep footwells. I’m 6’2″ and while getting in and out was a bit tricky – the M240i is low to the ground – it was eminently comfortable once settled into the vehicle and ready to drive. Going against the trend, the entertainment display was not taking up an enormous amount of dashboard space, nor was it the size of a TV screen. It was, however, plenty large enough to work very well with wireless Apple CarPlay, along with its own built-in GPS nav system:
I found the climate controls a bit confusing, however, finding that I had to keep lowering and lowering the desired temperature to get the AC to turn on in AUTO mode (it immediately cooled off the car in MAX AC, but that wasn’t a temperature-managed setting, it just pushed a lot of cold air into the increasingly chilly cabin). Notice the disconnect of the volume control and preset buttons (who still has preset buttons as separate elements on a dashboard?) from the entertainment display too: I liked this generation of the xDrive control system in the center console, but missed having a volume control in the same place.
In fact, xDrive has improved over the years and I found the system installed in this 2022 BMW M240i Coupe quite easy to work with:
The vehicle has four primary drive modes too, and I alternated between SPORT (zoom!) and ECO PRO (for my inner Green). As expected, ECO modes eliminate that great from-a-stop torque, but once you’re at about 30mph all the acceleration you could want for merging on a highway or passing someone is accessible with the tap of the gas pedal. Want to really zoom from a stop? Switch to SPORT mode, and enjoy how the dashboard gauge display subtly changes too.
One feature that my Audi TT-owning friend found fascinating was the reverse camera view, featuring both a rear camera and a dynamic, stitched-together multi-camera image to give you a birds-eye view of your vehicle in its surroundings:
At times you’d swear you have a drone floating 10′ overhead – like in Blade Runner 2049 – but it’s just some smart video processing at work. Certainly, there is no longer any reason why M240i drivers shouldn’t always be perfectly centered in their parking spot with this technology available!
Another excellent feature was the implementation of the heads-up display. Through a trick of reflections and a screen embedded on the top of the dashboard, the driver never lacked useful information superimposed on the front windshield view:
The above photo shows my current speed: 70mph, the posted speed, 55mph (oops!), the cruise control set speed (the smaller 70), along with helpful navigational information for my drive back to Boulder from Denver. I’m back in a vehicle without a HUD (head’s up display) as I write this and I miss it, finding it a chore to have to glance at the dashboard gauges to verify my current speed. Just like adaptive cruise control, a HUD system is one that doesn’t seem particularly important until you use one, then it’s something you’ll miss when it’s not available.
As with most modern vehicles, the 2022 BMW M240i Coupe has a somewhat overloaded steering wheel, but at least everything’s clearly labeled:
The “+” / “-” on the top right are audio volume controls and that’s how I found I was adjusting music loudness rather than the awkwardly placed volume knob on the front dash itself. Cruise control was immediately obvious and easy to figure out, and the bottom button below the logo is for the steering wheel heater, officially one of those nice feature if you can get it options for a cold morning!
In terms of cargo capacity, there are those back seats, though I found them difficult to access and so instead used the trunk quite a bit. And it’s a reasonably capacious trunk, particularly for a Coupe:
Plenty of space for your stuff, a few suitcases, an old PC you’re donating to the computer museum, a half-dozen bags of groceries from your latest CostCo run.
And oh, the sexy lines of this vehicle. It really has significant curb appeal:
As I said at the beginning, this is the first BMW where I really felt “the driving experience” and I found myself taking extra-long routes between places just to enjoy the drive, the power of the engine, and the comfort of the interior. I found the back seats pointless and the weirdly place audio volume control confusing, but other than those tiny nits, this is one heck of a fun, sporty two-seater at a surprisingly affordable price. Heck, you can buy this for less than a Subaru WRX, and really, who would want a Subaru when they could get this beautiful beast?
2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe in Mineral White Metallic. MSRP: $48,550. OPTIONS: Driving Assistance Package, Shadowline Package, Premium Package, Premium Color, Premium Interior. AS DRIVEN: $57,295.00
Disclaimer: BMW loaned me the M240i for a week of driving in return for this candid review. Thanks, BMW!