autoevolution

Comparing the BMW M235i to the Old E36 M3

Up until now we’ve been hearing all sorts of people compare the new BMW M235i to all sorts of cars. From the initial comparison BMW made to the old 2002tii model to the all too common M135i everyone thinks this car is similar to another one.
BMW M235i 1 photo
The fact that the new 2er is compared only with icons and extremely well handling Bimmers talks for itself, making it an instant hit, especially when hooked up to a manual transmission.

Auto Express travelled to Spain to test the new car and they ended up comparing it to none other than the second M3 ever to come out, the E36 model. Looking over their arguments they actually do have a point.

The engines have the same inline 6-cylinder configuration and the power output is dangerously close, the only difference coming from the turbocharging, making the M235i shine over its older brother. However, they are not both true M cars and there’s a decade between the two, a decade that brought forward a lot of new technology.

Even the weight factor is similar, both tipping the scale near the 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs) margin, once again proving that all the complaints people have about BMWs being heavy are ... unfounded.

On the road, the M235i feels composed, allows you to cruise if you want to and will go absolutely crazy when pushed to the limit. The soundtrack of that N55 326 HP engine is absolutely impressive while the manual gearbox really makes you feel involved.

It’s also quiet most of the time, allowing you to enjoy your trip and have decent conversations with the rest of the people inside, without having to shout at them. If you’re driving, 3 more people can join you, providing the ones sitting in the back aren’t too tall.

In the end, the equally brilliant M135i will be the toughest competition for the new 2 Series model. The 1er is cheaper and is more practical but the M235i is better looking and has a sportier character with a bit more power added on. Furthermore, you can also get a limited-slip differential for it through the M Performance pack and turn it into a track-focused ride. I guess it all comes down to personal choice, as is always the case.

 
 
 
 
 

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