2015 BMW M235i Convertible Long-Term Road Test - Interior

2015 BMW M235i Convertible Long-Term Road Test

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2015 BMW M235i: Setting Records on its First Road Trip, Part 2

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on March 23, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

We just arrived at Zion National Park in our 2015 BMW M235i. The park ranger at the front gate warned us that the roads would be a bit crowded through Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. An early-morning half-marathon was scheduled for the next day, and the park was lousy with runners and their families.

Even so, the road was long enough that vehicles were spread out, which made for plenty of traffic-less photos.

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2015 BMW M235i: Setting Records on its First Road Trip, Part 1

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on March 21, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

To my knowledge, our 2015 BMW M235i had never been on a road trip in the 11 months it's been a part of our fleet. A lack of long-distance trips affects overall fuel economy and Best Range and Best Fill MPG records. It also makes it difficult to hit the 20,000-mile goal we set for long-term cars.

To make everything a little more balanced, I decided to take it on a road trip to Zion National Park in Utah. Here's how the drop-top sports car fared on the 900-mile round trip.

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2015 BMW M235i: Top-Down Takes a While

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on February 2, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

Maybe it's just that I've spent a lot of time in our long-term Mazda Miata lately and it has a top that goes down quicker than the car can accelerate to 60 mph. But when I'm in our long-term 2015 BMW M235i and I deploy the convertible top, it feels like an eternity passes before the process completes.

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2015 BMW M235i: Door Panel Disintegration

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on January 20, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

This would be easy to blame on the car. But this was our fault.

After 10 months and 13,000 miles of use, some of the material on the driver's door panel of our long-term 2015 BMW M235i looks like it went a few rounds with a wolverine.

I just noticed it the other day and at first I did blame the car. At first blush it simply looked like the material began to disintegrate, which was surprising because in my experience BMW interiors are some of the most durable around.

Nope, this was us.

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2015 BMW M235i: Heated Seats and Steering Wheel Are Smart, Lifesaving

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 8, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

Living in Los Angeles, I get real spooked when the temperature drops below 60 degrees. What is this? Antarctica? The Apocalypse? I can't wear flip-flops in either.

I checked for the Four Horsemen while fleeing the cold and jumping into our 2015 BMW M235i. Once inside, I remembered a crucial item on the Monroney sticker: The Cold Weather Package.

The $700 option adds heating to the front seats and steering wheel. The additions might sound strange for a convertible, but some of my most enjoyable drives have been in cool weather with the top down and heat blowing at full blast. I put the seat heater on full boogie and looked for the button that would do the same for the steering wheel. After a moment of thumbing around, I found it.

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2015 BMW M235i: Clever Secondary Turn-By-Turn Display

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 6, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

Like most everyone, my preferences for setting up a car's navigation system is 100 percent The Right Way To Do It. In our 2015 BMW M235i, that means map orientated to the north and muted audio turn-by-turn prompts.

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2015 BMW M235i: Thanks for Remembering

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 1, 2016

2015 BMW M235i

Regardless of where you sit on the gradient of stop-start acceptance, our 2015 BMW M235i does something everyone can appreciate. It remembers if you've turned the feature off.

Stop-start, where the engine automatically turns off when you come to a stop and restarts when you move again, makes appreciable differences in fuel economy, especially in stop-and-go traffic. But it can also come with an annoying delay when it's not calibrated properly and a shudder when the engine starts.

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2015 BMW M235i: Split Screen Gives You Options

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on December 25, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

As far as infotainment systems go, iDrive in our 2015 BMW M235i is one of the best (that is, if you're not counting Android Auto or Apple CarPlay). The controls are responsive and mostly intuitive, and you can use most features without taking your eyes off the road once you learn it.

One thing I like, and that I've yet to see replicated elsewhere, is the configuration that the display allows. Here's the screen showing the navigation alone:

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2015 BMW M235i: BMW Controls And The Human Brain

by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on December 2, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Road Test Editor Carlos Lago expounded on the smart design of the 2015 BMW M235i shifter some weeks ago, but stopped short of explaining the logic behind the manual shift orientation. I'll pick it up from here in a second.

There is also a small debate in our office regarding the most intuitive approach to navigation system control knobs. This critical issue must be resolved before society can move forward, so maybe you, good citizen, can help.

But first, back to the shifter.

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2015 BMW M235i: The One Button Every Car Needs

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on November 13, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Our long-term 2015 BMW M235i has a switch every car needs and you won't believe what it is.

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2015 BMW M235i: A Quiet One Among Performance Cars

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on October 15, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Recently there's been some discussion as to how quiet our 2015 BMW M235i is, or is not, during everyday conditions. James complimented its interior sound levels at highway speeds and Mike felt the cabin was too loud at idle.

It seemed like a good opportunity to dust off some test data and compare the M235i with other recently tested convertibles.

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2015 BMW M235i: The Bad Kind of Loud

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on September 30, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Convertibles have inherent sacrifices. They're heavier, less stiff, and fabric isn't as good at insulating you from sound as are layers of metal and sound dampening.

I'm usually okay with sacrifices in the first two categories. I like convertibles and I like cruising with the top down more than I like the fractional benefit that lightness and stiffness give to my cruising.

It's the third item — quietness — where our 2015 BMW M235i makes me question our decision to get the droptop.

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2015 BMW M235i: There Should Be a Door Grab Here

by James Riswick, New and Used Car Editor on September 25, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Our 2015 BMW M235i needs a second door grab, or perhaps even its only door grab, positioned where that disembodied hand is in the photo above.

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2015 BMW M235i: Swampy Seats

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on September 23, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

A few months ago, I called out our 2015 BMW M235i as having the best seats in the fleet. Not only did it rhyme, but it was true. These things are great. Well-bolstered, lots of adjustment, great position — love 'em.

Until the mercury rises above 90. Then there are some issues.

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2015 BMW M235i: Well-Insulated and Impressive Soft Top

by James Riswick, New and Used Car Editor on September 17, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

While Josh Sadlier and Company were driving the Yugo to Monterey Car Week in what can only be described as an exercise in automotive self-flagellation, I accompanied them in my 1998 BMW Z3 2.8 roadster. Needless to say, my experience was exponentially more pleasant.

However, my old Z3 has only a single-layer soft top, producing intrusive wind noise at 65 mph or higher. Strong winds that weekend made it even worse. After an hour of roar and the odd high-pitched whistle, "tiresome" would be an insufficient adjective.

I share this story to illustrate just how far soft-top convertibles have come, and specifically, BMW's. The one in our 2015 BMW M235i is truly impressive.

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2015 BMW M235i: Smart Shifter Improves Driving Experience

August 26, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

Our 2015 BMW M235i has a great shifter. You'll find this design in most new BMWs, but a recent drive in our long-termer provided a good reminder of why I like it: It improves the driving experience without needless reinvention.

Though different, the operation is more of an evolution of current shifter designs. The shift pattern is familiar: up for reverse, down for drive, move left for Sport, and press the P for park. There's no stepped path you have to navigate it through; just push a direction.

While you have to thumb a button on the side to go from park to a gear, you don't need to do so when going from drive to reverse or vice versa. This helps make three-point turns or parking in a tight spot easy to navigate.

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2015 BMW M235i: Gaining Traction with DTC

August 20, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

I quickly settled into a startup process with our long-term 2015 BMW M235i. One: Start car. Two: Tap the stability control off button. This activates Dynamic Traction Control, or what you can call The Go Faster Mode.

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2015 BMW M235i: Tight Back Seat for Adults, But That's OK

July 31, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

About a month ago, Caroline wrote that the backseat of our long-term 2015 BMW M235i is not all that dog-friendly. You pretty much know that if a back seat isn't comfortable for dogs, it's not going to be all that great for humans.

That didn't stop me from trying it out anyway. If you're sitting in back with the top up and you're taller than 5-foot, 10-inches, your head will rub against the ceiling. Legroom is similarly tight, although you can splay out your legs a bit to give you a bit room for your knees.

If there's another adult sitting next to you, hope that he or she smells nice since you'll be sitting shoulder-to-shoulder (here in the office, I'd personally pick Mike Monticello to sit next to, since he's a bit shorter than me and always smells delightful).

The thing is, though, I'm actually quite fine with our M235i having a small backseat.

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2015 BMW M235i: Why You'll Want the Premium Package

July 22, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

In our introduction of the 2015 BMW M235i test, we listed all the great stuff that we got for $56,600 (Yes, this car is a loaner so consider it 56K worth of Monopoly money. You get the idea.) The list includes all the neat go-fast M235i hardware, a navigation system, auto-parking, lane-departure warning, and a concierge service among other things. There were just a few lingering features we didn't get on our M235i.

Yet I'm finding that the absence of those features is obvious.

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2015 BMW M235i: One Size Fits All

May 18, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

I am height-challenged in the sense that my gawky, 6-foot 4-inch frame makes it difficult to fit perfectly in many compacts and sports cars. Imagine my delight when I climbed into our 2015 BMW M235i for the first time to find that the small convertible offered plenty of room to stretch my legs. Even better is the ample head room afforded by a tall roof and adjustable seat bottom.

Im not the only one surprised by the M235is unexpected amount of driver space.

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2015 BMW M235i: Best Seats in the Fleet

May 5, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

The seats in our Volvo have received praise here. And they're fine if you like firm seats with minimal adjustments, rigid bolsters, stiff leather, no thigh support and a headrest that's constantly punching you in the brain stem.

The seats in our 2015 BMW M235i have none of these downsides and are my new favorite seats in the fleet. By far.

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2015 BMW M235i: Hair-Saving Wind Deflector

April 24, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

There are definite cons to driving a convertible. One is a sunburn, another is fussed hair. Donning a hat can be a solution to both, but with time can also cause the dreaded hat hair. Or perhaps you'd like the feel of a light breeze in your hair, but would rather not resemble Diana Ross upon arrival. While clouds or the roof can fix the sun issue, our 2015 BMW M235i's wind deflector can take care of the, well, wind.

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2015 BMW M235i: First Chance to Test Sun-Reflecting Leather

April 23, 2015

2015 BMW M235i

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.

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2015 BMW M235i Convertible: Introduction

April 16, 2015

2015 BMW M235i Convertible

It's been a couple of years since we last had a convertible in the Edmunds long-term test fleet. Now that BMW has released a drop-top version of the compact and lively 2 Series, we figured it's as good a time as any to break out the sunscreen.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests