Many BMW purists are lamenting the automaker's trend of dialing back on the "Ultimate Driving Machine" edict in favor of more comfort, luxury, and technology. In most cases, we believe BMW strikes good balance between performance and livability, but, yes, certain models are missing that razor-sharp handling edge that's used to be a BMW trademark.
The M240i, on the other hand, is a fresh, exhilarating coupe that has been faithfully forged in the classic BMW mold. The car feels taut, quick, and eager. In short, it's a joy to drive. Same goes for lesser versions of the 2 Series, which still manage to be tons of fun despite having less power.
The M240i is powered by a potent 335-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that's mated to either an eight-speed automatic transmission or, as in our car, a slick six-speed manual. The 230i has a capable 248-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. While the M240i comes in rear-wheel-drive only, the 230i is available with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system.