The BMW M240i is a fast sports car that’s loads of fun but also comfortable on the motorway and easy to drive in town, but to get the best from it you need the optional automatic gearbox
The BMW M240i’s 3.0-litre engine is one of the best things about it. It emits a smooth snarl that makes the four-cylinder engines in the Audi TTS and Porsche Cayman sound as tuneful as a piano that’s been dropped from a crane.
Thankfully, the BMW M240i’s numbers sound just as good as its engine. Getting from 0-62mph takes just 4.6 seconds, so it’ll happily keep pace with a basic Porsche 911 off the lights – never mind a Cayman – and hit its 155mph limiter a short time after that.
Under the BMW M240i’s smart suit is the body of an athlete that’s dying to burst out
The combination of a large-capacity engine and a turbocharger means the BMW M240i can make swift progress without having to be stressed, so it can be a relaxed cruiser when you want it to be.
The impressive 36.2mpg fuel economy figure backs up this theory, and 30mpg is readily achievable in the real world – not bad for a car with this turn of speed.
The BMW M240i is a brilliant car straight out the box, but it’s worth investing in the automatic gearbox. It shifts gears so smoothly you’ll barely notice it happening and with no need to operate a clutch pedal, it makes the BMW more relaxing to drive in town.
Low-speed maneuvering and parking is also easy – helped by the 2 Series’ standard rear parking sensors and the decent view out the back.
That automatic gearbox makes a case for itself on the motorway, too, where its eight gears (the manual has just six) means the BMW’s engine doesn’t have to be worked hard a cruise.
At those sorts of speeds, the 2 Series suffers from more tyre and wind noise than an Audi TTS, although that being said it’s still a decent car to cover long distances in.
To boost safety on the motorway (and bring the coupe up to speed with newer rivals) it’s worth paying £360 for adaptive cruise control. It means the BMW M240i can brake by itself when the car in front slows down, then return to a cruising speed of your choosing automatically.
Although the BMW M240i has never been crash tested by Euro NCAP, the mechanically identical 1 Series was awarded the full five stars in 2012.
Anyway, it’s best not think about things like crashing and instead enjoy the BMW’s grippy handling. It’s an easy car to drive at the limit because the steering gives your fingers a good idea how much grip the car has. It’s no lightweight sports car, but the BMW M240i’s small body gives you more road to play with and the car’s stability control system doesn’t spoil the fun, but will keep you out of trouble if things get out of hand.
There’s no limited-slip differential – like you get in the BMW M2 – but lairy powerslides aren’t really an option out on the road where this car will likely spend the majority of its time.