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2014 BMW M235i - First Drive Part II

Is the M235i the perfect first timer M car?

Mike Sabounchi
Feb 4, 2014

2014 BMW M235i First Drive Details:

  • Driven from Las Vegas to Los Angeles
  • 2 Series replaces 1 Series
  • 0-60mph in 4.8sec
  • 326hp 3.0L straight-six engine with TwinPower turbo
  • Red Rock National Park photoshoot

Coming from the tuner world, I grew up with posters of import cars on my walls and would spend nights looking through foreign magazines that I couldn't read but would obsess over nonetheless. The cars of my childhood dreams not only promised a level of exclusivity but also performance that was rarely matched.

2014 bmw m235i frontwheel 01 Photo 2/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Frontwheel 01

While I can easily say that the majority of my life has been spent obsessing over badges that had special edition letters in them, I seemed to have ignored badges that bore the all-important "M." I don't think I intentionally ignored the most famous letter from Bavaria, I just never took interest in it - until now.

2014 bmw m235i rear emblem Photo 3/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Rear Emblem
2014 bmw m235i front three quarters Photo 4/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Front Three Quarters

Last week, BMW invited Greg Emmerson, Editor of european car magazine, and myself out to Las Vegas to test two new models of M fresh from Munich, the M235i and M235i Racing. While Greg got to spend some time on track wringing out the M235i Racing, I got the unique pleasure of driving the M235i from Las Vegas back to Los Angeles. On my way home from Sin City, I decided to stop by the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to snap some photos of the M235i.

Full story and video track testing the 2 Series race model: M235i Racing - First Drive

2014 bmw m235i side profile Photo 5/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Side Profile
2014 bmw m235i rear Photo 6/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Rear

As I drove the M235i around the park, the lines of the car started to grow on me. Every time I stopped and got out, I caught myself staring at the car without even shooting any photos. Maybe it was the surreal surroundings or maybe it was all the time we spent alone in the desert, but I almost felt like I was falling in love.

Check out 100+ photos of the BMW 2 Series: M235i Mega Gallery

2014 bmw m235i msport wheels Photo 7/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Msport Wheels

I haven't gotten to the best part of the M235i yet, the driving experience. The moment you set foot inside the car, you immediately know you're in a BMW. The sounds, the smells, the feel and the looks of the interior are classic Bimmer.

BMW almost provides enough information at your fingertips where you would never have to step outside of the car again. The "BMW Online" system provides everything from news to weather, the navigation system is actually smart, and if you can't find an address on a map, you can simply search the web for it from the Nav menu. Believe it or not, it found some of the most obscure locations I could think of. To top it off, you can even view images of the your destination location so you know what you can expect to see once you get there.

2014 bmw M235i side red rocks Photo 8/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Side Red Rocks

You can see why I started to fall in love with the car, and I haven't even touched on the motor. The twin turbo inline-6 puts out 320hp and 330lb/ft. torque effortlessly. In fact, there were a few times where my heavy foot got the best of me and I found myself spinning the tires pretty easily. With a 0-60 time of only 4.8 seconds, you can quickly get yourself into a lot of trouble. Lucky for me, BMW outfits all their new M235i's with their new Torque Sensitive LSD, making sure both tires are spinning at all times (and making me look that much more badass albeit accidentally).

2014 bmw rear three quarters 01 Photo 9/11   |   2014 Bmw Rear Three Quarters 01
2014 bmw m235i rear threequarters Photo 10/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Rear Threequarters

Is the M235i the perfect first-timer M car? The answer is without a doubt YES! This one car has officially converted me into a major M fan. It not only combines all the newest technology from BMW but also has the soul and power of what the "M" badge means. It's very difficult to drive this car without a permanent smile on your mug, and that's exactly why I'm going to end this article now. I've got some driving to do.

2014 bmw m235i distance Photo 11/11   |   2014 Bmw M235i Distance
By Mike Sabounchi
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