Do you really need a BMW M2? These days, the BMW M-Performance cars, the ones that are in between the regular BMW models and the M-models, are becoming faster than the M-models from just a decade ago. The current BMW M550i is more powerful than the old V10 powered M5, the M440i Coupe is faster than the old V8 powered M3, and even the X3 M40i is just as quick to drive as the legendary E46 M3. So is the new 2022 BMW M240i xDrive just as quick, and more importantly, just as fun to drive as the old BMW M2?
Engine – The 2022 BMW M240i is powered by the B58 3.0L turbocharged inline-6 cylinder engine. In this M240i guise, it produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque (285 kW & 500 Nm). With a curb weight of 1,755 kg (3,871 lbs), which is almost 400 lbs heavier than the old M2, this M240i is still quick. BMW claims a 0-100 km/h time of around 4.1 seconds. The engine is a marvel of engineering with peak torque from the low to mid rpm range. At the top end, peak power is sustained from 5,800 to the 6,500 rpm redline. This engine does not have a 48-volt mild-hybrid system like the X3 M40i but even without it, it is responsive, powerful, and pretty decent on fuel economy.
Fuel Economy – The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive is rated for 10.4 L/100km (22.6 MPG) in a city and 7.5 L/100km (31.4 MPG) on a highway. It does have an Eco Pro drive mode which will put the transmission into neutral when coasting. This does make the engine idle which uses a little bit of fuel to keep itself running, but it allows the car to travel further without any loss in speed due to engine braking. During my time with the car, I averaged a very respectable 9.2 L/100km (25.5 MPG).
Transmission – Like many other BMW vehicles, the M240i’s inline-6 engine is paired with a ZF 8-speed automatic. This is easily the best automatic transmission on the market right now. You can quote me on that. Driving in a city environment, the shifts are buttery smooth. When the mood for a bit of excitement takes you, the transmission reacts very quickly to a pull of the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. You can easily mistake this transmission for a DCT (dual-clutch transmission) because the shifts are that quick and that responsive.
Unfortunately a manual transmission is not available. Maybe in the future if there’s enough demand from customers, BMW may offer one. It’s looking very likely that a manual transmission in the Toyota Supra is coming and that has the same engine as this M240i.
Braking – When it comes to slowing down, the BMW M240i has M-Sport 4-piston fixed calipers on the front axle that provide the majority of braking force. These brakes provide a tremendous amount of force yet the brake pedal does not feel overly sensitive. It’s easy to modulate it for smooth stops when driving on city streets. But it always feels firm when you’re driving on a twisting and winding road.
Handling – The big news with this M240i is that it is not offered as a RWD coupe. It’s AWD only. However, this is a rear-biased AWD system and you can have some fun through the corners. Majority of the power is sent to the rear wheels. If you mash on the throttle pedal midway through a corner, the back end will step out of line and allows for some sideways action. But if the car detects too much slip, then power gets shifted to the front axle at which point the car will be slingshot out of a corner. So in this M240i, you’re always fighting against the xDrive AWD system if you want to go sideways through corners. But if you’re smooth with your steering and throttle inputs, this car is quick through the twisties.
The steering feel is on the numb side but it is incredibly quick and sharp. The M240i has variable steering so it changes how much you have to turn the steering wheel depending on the speed of the car.
Ride Comfort – The 2022 BMW M240i comes equipped with adaptive M suspension that changes firmness depending on the drive mode. In Comfort mode, the suspension is firmer than that of the standard 2-series but it’s not completely unbearable for daily commuting. However, you may want to avoid the bigger potholes or manhole covers. In the Sport or Sport Plus drive modes, the suspension is too firm for daily driving. That is best left for track days or really smooth canyon roads.
Interior Space – The BMW M240i is a pretty spacious little car… so long as you sit in the front seats. Legroom for my 6’4” stature is good but I did have to lower the seat to the bottom-most position for a good amount of headroom. However, forward, side, and even rear visibility is still good.
The rear seats are incredibly tight for adults, never mind those that are as tall as me. Legroom and headroom are virtually non-existent. There are only 2 seats in the back and it probably would just be best to fold down the seats (40/20/40) for more cargo capacity. Speaking of which, the 2022 BMW M240i has 388 L (13.7 cu-ft) of cargo capacity.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The most abundant noise that you’ll hear in the cabin of the M240i is road noise from the tires. It’s not overly intrusive but it’s always there. Wind noise is minimal with the only other noise being heard in the cabin is engine noise when you put your foot down on the throttle pedal. In Sport mode, the engine sounds pretty good with bangs from the exhaust between upshifts.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 BMW M240i starts at $56,950 CAD ($48,550 USD). This particular BMW M240i demo vehicle is almost fully loaded and it has a price of $68,595 CAD ($57,400 USD). It’s only missing the surround view cameras, adaptive cruise control with stop/go function, Drive recorder, and M red painted calipers.
Gadgets – For the nearly $70,000 price tag, the BMW M240i is thankfully not sparsely equipped. It has leather & heated seats, heated steering wheel, a somewhat panoramic sunroof, backup camera, parking sensors, wireless Apple CarPlay & wireless Android Auto, head-up display, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot sensors and the list just goes on. So while the price may seem quite high for a small car like this, it doesn’t come equipped like a small car.
Interior Design – The interior of the 2022 M240i is nearly identical to all other BMW vehicles. Same infotainment touchscreen, same climate controls, same digital cockpit screen, same center console controls and gear selector, and so on. The only minor design changes are the textures on the door panels and the illuminated M colors on the door that actually flash red if the door is open.
Exterior Design – The exterior design is a bit polarizing depending on who you ask. Though it doesn’t have the huge grille of the BMW M4 or iX, the headlight design, the grilles, the taillights; they’re all very different from other BMW vehicles. However, one design element that is par for the course are the fake exhaust pipes.
Warranty – All BMW vehicles are covered by a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle warranty in Canada. In the United States, it’s 4 years or 50,000 miles. For more information on Canadian BMW warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – Back to the original question, do you really need an M2? The answer is no. Undoubtedly there will be a new M2 based on this new generation of the BMW 2-series but this car offers maybe 8/10th or 9/10th the fun of the old M2 for less money. Plus with the addition of xDrive, you can genuinely use this car year-round. Even with snow tires, it would be more difficult to drive the M2 in snow. This new BMW M240i is now the best compact luxury sports car on the market.
Thank you to BMW Canada for providing the vehicle. www.BMW.ca