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      03-14-2014, 12:22 AM   #1
he3at
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Drives: M135i
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Melb, Australia

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M235i driven - from the perspective of an M135i owner

Hi all,

Had the chance to take an M235i for a drive today. I own a Sep-13 built M135i 5dr auto as my daily driver with around 4000km, so was keen to compare the two.

The M235i had around 3000km. Front interior and dash is identical except for the steering wheel from the 3 series M-sport, and a longer reach over the shoulder to the seat belts. The steering wheel diameter is slightly bigger, has a slightly-thinner-but-still-chunky-rim (with nicer non-scratchy leather than mine) and a much smaller boss (centre part), which helps the view of the instruments and gives a nice retro look, but the button layout is not as cohesive IMO. It's as if the designers prioritised aesthetics over function. That said, I'm sure once you get used to it, either wheel is fine. Much wider view out the rear window compared to the postie slot rear window I have to live with.

Handling... well, I was on public urban roads, so suffice to say they felt the same as far as I could tell in that environment. The 2-er's Adaptive M suspension (both cars have it) was actually a bit noisier than mine over speed bumps, but that's splitting hairs, and probably representative of the hard life the car's had to date (press demonstrator, tyre shoulders were pretty scuffed).

They've refined it a bit. Suspension and drivetrain are a bit smoother at low speeds. Engine noise is different, but I suspect still synthesised. Sounds more naturally-aspirated, with more of that straight-6 zing, and less of the Chewbacca exhaust roar (if that means anything to anyone!) Coming from a naturally aspirated straight 6 in my previous car, I've missed that sweet sound, though admittedly the 1-er sound has more impact when you floor it. The low speed shunt that is so prevalent in my car was not to be found.

No I could not detect the extra 5kW. If anything, because of the added refinement, it probably felt slightly slower. Still crazy fast for road use, though.

Overall it just drives like a grown up, more mature M135i. Other than the new steering wheel, I like the improvements they've made. What I don't like is the AU$15k price premium, and I do need back doors for kid-carting reasons.
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