This week we are taking a look at a new entry from BMW, the 2020 M235i Gran Coupe. Yes, it has four doors, but the Germans tend to call anything with a sloping roof a coupe. I don’t get it, but whatever.
I find this vehicle to be attractive with the classic BMW grill, huge openings on the front to feed air into the engine, really great LED headlights, attractive 19” wheels, a rear spoiler, and dual exhaust.
Pop the hood and you’ll find a 2-liter inline 4-cylinder turbo that is kicking out 301-horses and 332-pound feet of torque. It will take you from a dead stop to 60 miles per hour in a respectable 4.6 seconds. Shifts come from an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
It is important to note all M235s come with xDrive, which is BMW’s all-wheel system that distributes power 50/50 between the front and rear wheels for exceptional grip.
The interior is very nice with bolstered leather front seats that have offset accents. As you take your position behind the large, but comfortable, M steering wheel with controls, you see a 10.25-inch gauge cluster that is a little hard to follow, a little too busy for me, and not overly colorful, but you get used to it.
The center console houses a nifty cell phone charger, cup holders, USB port, and buttons for auto hold, start/stop disable, and you can choose from 3 drive modes: Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro. Each mode changes the driving dynamics and also slightly changes the way the gauges look.
Above that, you’ll find an 8.8” screen that can be used as a touchscreen to operate the audio, navigation, Bluetooth, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, and the backup cameras. You can also operate everything from a round knob on the center console if you don’t want to see your fingerprints on the screen.
Other nice interior features include a colorful head-up display with speed sign recognition. It also has fantastic ambient lighting that lights up the trim across the dash and door panels. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Front seat head and legroom are good, but be careful with the back seat. The swooping roof will make anyone over 6-foot tall get a sore neck. Trunk space is great, and there is a compartment underneath for even more storage.
Just about everything you’d want comes standard including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, front collision warning, remote start, keyless entry, and parking sensors.
Ride and Drive
The M235i handles very well like all BMWs, the all-wheel system plants the car firmly in launch mode and in tight turns, and the ride in Comfort mode is quite nice. The exhaust sound is terrific and it pumps artificial sound into the car to make it even better, which I don’t mind by the way. Fuel economy is good at 23 in town and 32 on the highway.
What You’ll Pay
Let’s talk price and unfortunately that is where this car loses me. MSRP is $50,295 which I find to be way too high especially for a smallish car with no moonroof or heated and air-conditioned seats, but I will tell you, I enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of this Bimmer.
It is a shame BMW chose to price this vehicle the way they did. I think they could have had a hit.
2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe
- What I liked most: The fantastic driving characteristics.
- What I would change: The price, drop it $5000.
- MSRP: Base price $45,500, as equipped $50,295 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: 23 City/32 Highway, 26 combined.
- Fuel Tank: 13.2 gallons with filler on the passenger side.
- Dimensions: 178.5” long/70.9” wide/55” high.
- Weight: 3,605 pounds.
- Trailer Towing: N/A
- Miles When Tested: 5200 miles
- Official Color: Alpine White.
- Spare tire: Repair kit & compressor.
- Final Assembly Point: Leipzig, Germany.
- 2020 M235i in a few words: Love the handling, ride, and comfort of the car. It is the ultimate driving machine.
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance.
- Manufacturers website: www.BMWUSA.com
- Up Next: 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 RST