by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 29, 2016
It's nice to have parking sensors in any car, especially as outward visibility suffers from the design yoke of stricter crash safety standards and parking (and reversing) increasingly becomes an exercise in feel and intuition.
Our 2015 BMW M235i has a pretty sensitive set of sensors, and that, combined with a crisp backup camera display, is not a bad thing when reversing. As we've noted, the M235i convertible has a pretty a severe blind spot.
But there's a difference between being sensitive and being, well, totally, wildly uncalibrated or just plain nervous and jumpy. Click through for a look.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 17, 2016
I've been carrying my phone's data/charging cable with me more often since the phone is aging and the battery doesn't hold a charge like it used to. Somehow I haven't managed to buy a charging adapter yet and still use the USB port and data cable to keep the phone juiced or top it up. Unfortunately this causes all kinds of confusion with phone and audio integration in cars like our 2015 BMW M235i.
When presented with a simultaneous Bluetooth phone connection and a wired data connection, the system seems to ask itself: "from which channel shall I play music?" Usually you can choose the audio source yourself, but many cars still have trouble remembering this arrangement (especially after a power cycle), and often trip over themselves trying to perform two tasks at once.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on February 2, 2016
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.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on January 27, 2016
Dark parking lots, tight parallel parking spaces and bumper-to-bumper tandem parking spots: None of them are a match for the rearview camera in our long-term 2015 BMW M235i.
Much like the 2014 BMW i3 that just left our fleet, the M235i beams the image from its rearview camera through a sharp, high-resolution display. It makes backing up easy.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 6, 2016
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.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 1, 2016
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.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on December 25, 2015
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:
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on November 25, 2015
Press up on the rocker switch next to the shifter in our 2015 BMW M235i and you go into Sport mode. All is good in the world.
But what happens when you press back? While spending two hours in stop-and-go traffic this week, I decided to find out and explored the decidedly less fun world of Eco Pro.
August 20, 2015
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.
July 22, 2015
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.
June 24, 2015
Our 2015 BMW M235i convertible is displaying a peculiar and intermittent Bluetooth problem. Without warning it disconnects phone calls. Or so it seems.