First Look

2017 BMW M240i First Look Review: Does This Car Make Any Sense?

We could only find two reasons to buy one.

When BMW revealed the M2, everyone questioned how it would compare to the M235i. To everyone's surprise, the M2 was barely more expensive. Now BMW has confused people even more by announcing a name change to the M240i. The M240i will get a power boost to 340 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The M2 only has 25 more horsepower and just 6 more lb-ft of torque. You can buy the M2 starting at $51,700. When we added every option on the M2 configurator, we were able to increase the price to $58,500.

Pricing for the M240i has yet to be finalized, but it should be close to, if not slightly higher than the outgoing M235i, which starts off at $44,150 with a fully loaded convertible X-drive model topping out at around $59,800. You read that right, it is possible to order an M235i that is more expensive than the supposedly nicer M2. Since the M2 doesn't come as a convertible, we decided to see how expensive we could make the M235i, and we got it up to $55,170, which is more than a base M2. We happen to know that there are carbon fiber options that you can add to the M235i that can push the price past the $60,000 mark. With the price in mind, is there any reason to buy the M240i?

As we see it, there are exactly two reasons why you might buy the M240i over the M2 and one possible option. The first two reasons have to do with available trims of the M240i. If you are looking for a convertible or something with AWD, you must automatically rule out the M2. We doubt that BMW will make a droptop M2, and as of now, the M2 is RWD only. If you live in a snowy part of the world, the M240i might be a better choice. Also, if you simply have to have a convertible, and don't like the $56,000 4 Series convertible, then the M240i might also be your best bet. Other than these two reasons, the only other benefit of the M240i might be that new B58 engine.

Both the M235i and M2 were powered by the N55 engine. This twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six has been used in many BMW models and has great tuning potential. If you didn't feel like waiting for the M2, or didn't want to deal with possible dealer markups, an M235i with a tune was a nice alternative. The new B58 engine in the M240i keeps the 3.0-liter inline-six architecture, although the new engine is a tad bigger (2.998L compared to 2.979L). This engine debuted in the renamed 340i and looks like a nice improvement on the N55. However, being brand new, this engine may not have as many tuning options as the venerable N55. This means that the M240i might not be as easy to tune.

If you like to keep your car stock, this probably won't matter to you. However, now that the M2 is available, we really don't see any compelling reasons to buy the new M240i. If you want a convertible or AWD, you might still wan't to consider it, but it looks like BMW made a big mistake here. Should the M240i be slower, or should the M2 just be faster? Can you think of any reason why this car still makes sense? Let us know in the comments!

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