2015 BMW M235i: Busy Weekend Highlights Impressive Engine, Pushes Odometer Past 10,000 Miles
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 23, 2015
Last weekend was a busy one and I put some decent miles on our 2015 BMW M235i without actually leaving town on anything I would call a road trip. I shuttled my daughter around some and ran a few errands, but at least half of the miles came from two round-trips between my home and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, where I helped officiate at a Cal Club SCCA race weekend.
I love the BMW's power. It gets the car up to speed with little apparent effort and the feeling of torque is expansive. It feels like it could go on forever. I need to sign this one out more often.
As the weekend began, the weather finally started to cool off, so I spent some time with the top down during some of the lower speed off-freeway excursions. I'm one of those that dislikes having intense solar radiation beating down on my skull. I like convertibles best on a warm desert evening or a slightly overcast day, and I don't mind if I have to run the heater a little bit to take the chill off.
The 235i's power top goes down easily, but it takes a little too long to chance it while waiting at a red light. I pulled to the curb instead.
I accumulated enough miles that the BMW ticked past 10,000 miles on the way in to work early Monday morning. Very early. It's the only way I can avoid the oppressive traffic. At least I could appreciate the 235i's adaptive headlights. They're quite good. You want them.
I refilled the tank within sight of our building with 294.8 miles showing on the trip odometer. The pump clicked off prematurely after I added seven gallons, which would have worked out to 40-something mpg. No way. I kept going and it clicked off once again a couple of gallons later at something that would have amounted to 33 mpg — closer, but still not believable.
Something in this equation, either the BMW's gas tank or the pump's coaxial evaporative hose, wasn't venting properly. I figured it was the pump because I'd filled up a couple days earlier at a different pump and had no such problems.
I unplugged the nozzle and aired things out for 10 or 15 seconds and tried again, this time at the slowest possible pump speed. There was another premature click right away, but then it flowed smoothly until it shut off at 11.22 gallons. This number worked out to 26.3 mpg.
I decided to stop even though this was slightly higher than the 25.7 mpg showing on the in-car meter. Such meters almost never read low, but it was clear the venting problem wasn't going to allow for an accurate reading. I was either at or no more than a couple of tenths-of-a-gallon away from a true fill, so I threw in the towel.
The 235i's EPA highway rating is 32 mpg, but I wasn't surprised I fell short. Quite a bit of signal-heavy suburban city driving was mixed in with freeway runs to the speedway conducted at early morning weekend go-with-the-flow speeds, and "the flow" was moving along quite nicely. This car's EPA combined rating of 25 mpg seems to be a more appropriate point of comparison for this tank, and on that score, our 235i put in a good showing whether the pump shut off a tad prematurely or not.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing