2015 BMW M235i: First Chance to Test Sun-Reflecting Leather
April 23, 2015
We've had a great many long-term BMWs during my eight-plus years at Edmunds, but our 2015 BMW M235i is the first convertible. That means we've never had a chance to try a feature that has intrigued me since it was introduced for the last-generation 3 Series convertible: sun-reflective leather.
According to BMW, a special sun-reflecting pigment is applied during the treatment of the leather that can keep the seats and steering wheel as much as 77 degrees cooler. This temperature swing is dependent on weather/sun conditions as well as the seat color. An Oyster cream-colored seat will forever be cooler than a black one, with our Coral Red seats somewhere in between.
During the next year, it would be nice to come up with some test to observe how well this sun-reflective stuff actually works. Of course, with a fully-powered roof that raises in 20 seconds and at speeds of up to 30 mph, I'm not really sure why you'd park with the roof down anyway. For, if you're sitting on the seat, the sun-reflective pigment isn't really doing much and I'm guessing that seat ventilation would ultimately be more appreciated on a hot day.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 787 miles