2015 BMW M235i: Like It, But I'd Buy a 228i Coupe and Pocket the Difference
by Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant on December 23, 2015
There's no doubt that our 2015 BMW M235i is a seriously impressive machine. It may not be a pure M-car, but if you doubt its performance, consider that its 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds equals that of a last-generation M3 convertible with a dual-clutch transmission.
It's also easy to live with everyday. Peruse any of the articles below and you'll be reading awhile before you find a complaint from our staff. But at $56,600, it's not cheap, and the upcoming M2 will be even more savage to your wallet. That's why if it were my money, I'd go for the lesser 228i coupe and enjoy the (comparatively) cheap thrills it provides.
I snagged the keys to this 228i coupe last year on a day when Takahashi didn't need it for his road test. The base car drives wonderfully and its 240-horsepower engine launches the small coupe from stop to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. That's plenty enough for me and pretty close to the M235i coupe's time of 4.5 seconds. You don't get the six-cylinder's burbling exhaust note, but I'll take the thousands I save over the extra propulsion and brum-brum-brum on throttle-lift any day of the week.
And because we all like to window shop, here's how I'd spec the rest of my 228i:
-Base price of 2016 BMW 228i Coupe (including destination and handling): $33,845
-Exterior Paint: Estoril Blue: $550 (requires M Sport Package). This is one of my favorite colors on any car and there's no way I'd buy a 228i with any other paint.
-Interior: Black Sensatec. I didn't even notice the 228i tester had synthetic leather although I did, as Mark mentioned, note that it lacked the typical BMW smell. I'd have to do a back-to-back comparison of a 228i with leather and one without to make the decision.
-Lighting Package: $900. I don't care about the adaptive lights, but the 228i, and all BMWs really, looks better with the xenons.
-M Sport Package: $2,500. Even if it wasn't required to get Estoril Blue, I would still order it for the awesome steering wheel, larger wheels and sport suspension.
-Premium Package: $2,950. It's the only way to get satellite radio and I hate giving up Stern and commercial-free music when I hop into our Premium-less M235i. Power front seats, keyless entry and auto-dimming mirrors are also things that should come on a luxury car in this day and age (it seems BMW agrees, as this package is standard on the 2016 M235i).
-Cold Weather Package: $700. I was going to get the heated seats ($500) anyway, and for $200 more I also get a heated steering wheel.
Total: $41,445. For those who want a completely apples-to-apples comparison, a similarly-equipped M235i coupe costs $46,395 and the convertible rings in at $50,995.