This week's short retrospective article has Mike Schmidt looking back at our 2015 BMW M235i convertible, a vehicle we owned and reported on back when it was new. Make sure to check out our original wrap-up article and individual blog-style posts to see more detailed coverage on this vehicle. We also have more than 15 brand-new vehicles we're testing right now.
What's the Most Memorable Thing You Did With the M235i?
It was May of 2016 and I had planned a scenic road trip to visit relatives. My route from Southern California to Northern California would take me more than 1,300 miles: north on State Route 99, east along Route 36 past Lassen Volcanic National Park, and back south via U.S. 395. It was the route my family drove every summer when I was a kid. Back then we did it in three weeks. This time I had three days.
That spring's snowfall had been plentiful that year by California standards, which you can see in some of my photos. I could drop the top, crank the heater, and take in the crisp 35-degree air, fresh pine scent and snow on either side of the road.
Some long highway stretches of my trip were as long as 10 hours. Driving those stints secured the M235i's driver's seat a spot on my podium for the all-time most comfortable. The seat's high level of support also allowed me to really enjoy the twisting mountain road sections of the trip. The M235i's thick steering wheel, precise steering and quick transmission shifts made the driving experience memorable. A tear just fell on my keyboard thinking about it. This is one of my favorite road trips ever.
What Did You Like the Most About It?
For me, our M235i often faded to the meh-realm as a daily driver. But occasionally some perfect weather would coax me to drop the top, seek out a twisty canyon road, and let the 320-hp six-cylinder engine rip to its 7,000-rpm redline. That's when I remembered what a great car this was.
How Much Is It Worth Now?
I used Edmunds' appraisal tools to price out a 2015 M235i, assuming it'd have about 50,000 miles and in clean condition. That resulted in a dealer retail price of around $21,000. You could also try CarMax. When I looked, there were a couple of 2016s available for around $28,000. Not bad considering our loaded-up M235i cost $56,600 when new.
If You Came Across This M235i Again, and You Had the Money, Would You Buy It?
There is something about the freedom of a convertible that I love. Add to that a sweet-sounding inline-six and nimble handling and, yeah, the 2 Series M235i would be on my buy list. Even if it was for nothing more than to rekindle the memories of that weekend we spent together.