2015 BMW M235i: Keyless, Pointless
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 12, 2016
Our 2015 BMW M235i features keyless push-button start. It's a nice convenience, a nice slice of buyer satisfaction. Many cars offer this feature in tandem with keyless entry, so you can stick that keyfob in your pocket or bag when you leave the house and not worry about it again until you get home.
Except you can't with our M235i. When you approach it and grab the door handle, there's no soft confirmation beep that it's unlocked for you. No swift sequence of approach, open, slide into driver seat, close door, go. No, if you want keyless entry on our M235i, you're on the hook for another two grand to get the Premium package.
$2,150 actually. Fairly healthy coin for some sensors and relays. Well, you also get auto-dimming mirrors, a satellite radio antenna, and a universal garage door opener in that bundle — essentially just more wire, maybe some electrochemical glass and gel, and software code. Does that tally up to two G's? Even one G?
I knew I couldn't be the only one irked by this issue, but it took some reading back to July when Brent made note of it. He maintains that you'd want the Premium package for your new M235i and I'd have to agree. But I'd still feel fleeced. Add this package, and now our M235i rings in at $58,150.
That's not much less than a Cayman with about the same equipment (but with better seats that are also ventilated), although still about $4,000 cheaper than a new similarly-equipped 718 Boxster, if you truly must have the drop top (and don't gimme no lip about the M235i being a four-seater; it is, but it's not).
I don't begrudge BMW the robust prices they ask for their cars. They make fantastic automobiles that excite, engage and make motoring fun on many levels. But there's a difference between engineering fat profit margins and just plain cynicism and borderline contempt for your audience. Certainly BMW's not alone here, but at least Porsche, for example, doesn't tease one feature and dangle the other. You pay around $3,200 for the option package that offers Porsche "Entry & Drive."
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 14,446 miles