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Total cash price £30,199. Borrowing £24,159 with a £6,040 deposit at a representative APR of 9.9%.

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BMW M235i buying guide

The M235i is the fastest version of the 2 Series Gran Coupe, breathed on by the brand's fabled M motorsport division. It gets just one engine choice and one luxuriously appointed trim level.

What BMW M235i trim levels are there?

The M235i is considered its own range-topping trim above more pedestrian Sport and M Sport 2 Series models. You get model-specific 18-inch alloy wheels, a unique M235i sports body kit and mean-looking dual exhausts, along with upgraded brakes, steering and suspension to cope with the extra power.

Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, all-round parking sensors, cruise control, auto lights and wipers, heated front seats, and an infotainment system with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and, from 2021 onwards, Android Auto.

Options include a Comfort pack with electrically adjustable seats and a heated steering wheel, a Tech pack with a head-up display, park assist, auto high beams and wireless phone charging, or the M235i Plus pack with larger alloys and an upgraded Harman/Kardon stereo.

What's the BMW M235i's interior and technology like?

Most of the M235i's cabin is lifted directly from standard 2 Series models, along with the closely related 1 Series. That means it's generally a nice place to sit with enough soft-touch materials and metal-effect details to feel like a premium product. It's all nicely screwed together, too, with no creaks or rattles over rough roads. The most obvious detail that lifts the M235i above lesser cars are the front sports seats – these are optionally available in leather, but we think the standard-fit Alcantara suede upholstery feels appropriately special for this car.

BMW's iDrive infotainment system is fitted to all M235i cars and uses the larger 10.25-inch screen as standard – a good thing because we've found that the 8.8-inch screen fitted on lesser 2 Series cars is a bit too cramped to easily hit on-screen buttons. We like that this system still includes a physical scroll wheel in the centre console – this is easier to use on the move than using the touchscreen while driving.

As for cabin space, the M235i is decent but not outstanding. It's easy to find a comfortable seating position in the front but the rear is a little more compromised by the car's sloping coupe roofline. There's enough rear legroom for adult passengers, but six-footers may find their heads brushing the ceiling, so it's not the best for regular rear-seat occupants. The boot measures 430 litres, which is larger than the 1 Series hatch, but the narrow saloon-style opening means loading awkwardly shaped items can be a challenge.

BMW M235i engine range explained

BMW M235i 2.0 xDrive Auto

There's just one engine available in the M235i – a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine shared with the M135i super-hatch and the Mini Clubman JCW. This comes standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, which bestows the M235i with intense real-world performance. The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in less than five seconds, placing it neck-and-neck with some serious sports cars. If you can resist the temptation to squeeze the throttle at every opportunity, you might be able to average close to 35mpg in mixed driving.

BMW M235i FAQs

The M235i is only available in one form – a four-door, five-seater with curved bodywork that straddles the line between coupe and saloon. It's the speedy sibling to the standard 2 Series Gran Coupe, which shares some parts and engines with the BMW 1 Series hatchback, as well as the 2 Series Active and Gran Tourer MPVs.

You might want to cross shop this car against rivals like the Mercedes CLA – especially the sporty CLA35 AMG version – or more traditional compact four-doors like the Audi A3 Saloon.

The M235i is a little over 4.5 metres long. That makes it longer than family hatchbacks like the BMW 1 Series, but shorter than its traditional saloon models like the BMW 3 Series. Compared to close rivals, it's shorter than the Mercedes CLA but a little longer than the Audi A3 Saloon.

Its mid-sized footprint means parking the M235i shouldn't be too tricky, but every model comes with all-round parking sensors as standard, which makes the job much easier. You'll find extras like park assist and a reversing camera in the optional Tech pack.

You'll be able to fit four adults in the M235i provided your rear passengers aren't much over six-foot tall – if they are, their heads might brush the ceiling. The boot is reasonably spacious at 430 litres – enough for a couple of big suitcases – but the slightly narrow saloon-style boot opening isn't as handy as a wider hatchback-style tailgate.

If you're looking for a stylish car that has just enough practicality for day-to-day life, along with a generous helping of performance, the M235i might be the car for you.

BMWs are legendary for their surefooted handling, which is why they make such good candidates for adding plenty of extra power. The M235i has all the deftness you'd expect from a car with the blue and white roundel, with the added reassurance of four-wheel drive, which means you can enjoy the power, whatever the weather.

The M235i might not be quite such a good choice, however, if you carry rear passengers regularly. In this case, you might want to look at high-performance compact SUVs like the Cupra Formentor or the Volkswagen T-Roc R, which are still mighty quick but with a little more rear headroom.

BMW's scores across various reliability surveys have improved in recent years. Considering the M235i shares many of its parts along with its engine with other BMW and Mini models, we don't anticipate too much hassle should you need to source a replacement.

Like any car, keeping up with scheduled maintenance is important to ensuring a long service life.

You can add an extended warranty to your M235i whether you buy it new or as a used car. This kicks in once the original factory coverage expires and protects you from the cost of unexpected mechanical or electrical failures.

Under the bonnet, the BMW M235i makes 306hp from its 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, giving it serious acceleration.

That's 306 metric horsepower – often called PS in other European countries – which is around 302bhp or 225kW.

In short – very, very fast. The M235i uses a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine making 306hp. That's already a respectable power figure but it's the way that power is delivered to the road that makes the M235i so fast. The quick-shifting eight-speed auto can swap cogs faster than any human, and the four-wheel-drive system means it can put almost all that power down regardless of weather and road conditions. As a result, you should be able to get close to its 4.9-second 0-62mph time anywhere, anytime.

Strictly speaking, the M235i is an M Performance car, rather than a full-fat M car. That means it's mechanically very similar to standard 2 Series models, with upgrades to the engine, suspension and brakes.

This is in contrast to the M2, for example, which is considered a 'real' M car. Compared to the regular 2 Series Coupe, the M2 is more substantially reengineered, with a wider track, unique body parts and more bespoke components aimed at improving its on-track performance.

But does any of that really matter? The M235i has vast reserves of real-world performance – far more than you could ever legally use on the road. So what's the benefit of spending a lot more money to get a 'real' M car that'll have even more performance that you'll be unable to use? For 99% of drivers, the M235i will deliver all the thrills they'll ever want without the excessive costs of a 'real' M car.