blue skies M235i

BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe Review

Is it a sport sedan Gran Coupe? A crossover? Both? Maybe the BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe is a BMW with a personality disorder. Regardless, it is One. Fun. Ride. Read along as Napleton.News has our way with the new Gran Coupe. Buckle in.

BMW M235i Gran Coupe
The BMW M235i Gran Coupe


The BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe is one of the new breed of BMW vehicles. This new BMW shares its platform with others in the company portfolio, including other BMW- and Mini-branded crossovers. It is powered by BMW’s proven 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that makes 301 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. It is the most powerful four-banger that BMW makes. That power routes through a BMW eight-speed automatic transmission. As a whole, this M235i is one of the least expensive means of entering the BMW owner’s club.

M235i 2.0-liter engine
The BMW M235i Gran Coupe’s 2.0 Twinpower engine

Power from the BMW engine is primarily delivered to the front wheels in much the same way it would be if powering one of the hot-hatch Mini Cooper models. Rear brake torque-vectoring is also included to help ease the M235i through a turn in the ultimate display of chassis dynamics. Under heavy acceleration, up to 50-percent of the engine’s power is sent to the Gran Coupe’s rear wheels for added grip when using the BMW launch control. This car gets up and hustle’s to the tune of 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, thanks to the optional BMW M Performance package. The xDrive makes for a grippy little sedan that sticks like glue when you want it to and is more responsive than some of its German competitors. Credit some responsiveness to the strut tower tie bar, front subframe bracing and M-sport steering which tightens things up overall.

While we wouldn’t say this M235i is one bad hombre, it’s a step in the right direction.

a case of the blues
The BMW M235i Gran Coupe

How does the BMW M235i Gran Coupe look?

M235i front seats
The front sport seats of the BMW M235i Gran Coupe sedan.

As far as our test version was concerned, color it loud. As in Magma Red Dakota Leather loud. Sure, the exterior was Alpine white, but the Magma red was screaming from inside. A clean looking twin-kidney grille is in place with outlined LED lighting at the front end. Gargantuan air intakes suck in as much as possible to keep things cool underhood and at the braking points.  

BMW M235i Gran Coupe headlamps
LED headlamps on the BMW M235i Gran Coupe

The LED-rimmed BMW daylight running lights are pieces of art, as seen from the front. There are a few easter eggs inside the lighting lenses, too.

m235i gear selector
The center console of the M235i

Looking at the BMW M235i xDrive in toto, we are much more satisfied with how it appears as opposed to the smaller BMW 2-series models. Proportionately, it just looks right. Or maybe we are just becoming more seasoned.

Interior decorating?

interior BMW M235i Gran Coupe
Where the business takes place.

The M235i is simply another example of an interior that just works, BMW style. Start with a multifunctional steering wheel with all the controls where you would expect them to be. A 10.25-inch gauge binnacle mirrors the same-sized center-mounted display in beautiful HD, holding sway over the dashboard, where all the other controls seemingly fall directly under your hand placements. Seating is stellar, as always with BMW, both in front and in the second row.

The one thing we quickly learned was not to utter the name “BMW” unless you want to launch the car’s electronic butler. Similar to Alexa, it responds, in this case, to the mention of the brand, ready for you to ask of it, something like “BMW, take me to the nearest gas station.”  Luckily, you can change the name to something a bit less recognizable.

Behind the wheel of the M235i.

Right front view M235i
The BMW M235i Gran Coupe as photographed from the right.

The BMW M235i uses a Torsen brand limited-slip differential to route the torque to the front or rear wheels as needed. As far as stability control is concerned, the system kicks in when it senses an increase in the amount of slippage that is occurring. It doesn’t destroy all the fun, though, which is a good thing!

BMW M235i Gran Coupe sexy rear
Showing off its best side.

The xDrive system allows aggressive drivers to throttle their way up while rounding a turn. Pulling like a high-grunting diesel big rig, it is every bit the torque monster you’d expect because, well, BMW! (Think of Because Racecar!)

It’s another example of the “Ultimate Driving Machine,” in a smaller package.

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