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BMW M235i Gran Coupe xDrive: Affordable 4-Door or Overpriced?

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Family Sports Car

The whole point of having a sports sedan, particularly a 4-door sports car, is being able to carry the family with you and have fun simultaneously. Think of it: you deliver your family to the movie theater then head out to the track and burn some rubber.

Pick them up later after giving the car a proper thrashing and go home as a complete family. And, being a complete family, you get to spend more time with your children. Which means they're less likely to end up sniffing glue or becoming bums.

And that brings me to the next car I shall review: the 2022 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe. Whew, what a mouthful. I suppose it's because the people at BMW who designed the car decided it needed a name while they were eating porridge or cereal.

Now, I've reviewed the 2-door coupe in my previous article (the M240i xDrive) and that was a proper thoroughbred. Is this car, slightly longer and slightly heavier, but with the same chassis, engine and gearbox, going to perform?

*clears throat*

That's what I'm here to find out for you.

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Customizations

One thing I love about this car is the option to NOT HAVE A SUNROOF. God above, why are carmakers putting a stupid sunroof on their cars as standard? I do apologize for my ranting, but can we not have an option to remove the sunroof? Have car manufacturers ever heard of the weather condition called hailstorms?

On BMW's website, you may opt to have it removed, which is just as it should be.

For the U.S. website, the two trims are M Performance and Shadowline. I'm taking an M Performance. I'll take a Misano Blue Metalllic or Alpine White color scheme, though I suspect I'll be taking the blue to match my blue M-badged brake calipers.

Upholstery and trim isn't really relevant, since it's a play car and a family car simultaneously, so the kids will most likely be vomiting like fire hydrants. Black interior it is.

Rims? Not relevant as it comes with them (unlike Apple, where everything is sold separately).

I'll also be taking the "Premium Package" which includes heated seats and steering wheel. You don't want to freeze to death on the way home so your kids don't end up glue sniffers.

So now we're looking at about $47,000. That's not bad considering a Mitsubishi Evolution X MR cost about the same when it came out. Which would you rather have: the Triple Diamond or the Blue Spinning Propellers?

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Now then—to the road.

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Track Day Family Car

I compared this to the Evo X because they have a similar engine displacement. 2.0L inline four with a turbo. Unlike the Evo X, however, this has 306 horsepower and 450 Newton meters (332 lb⋅ft) of torque which can rip a man in half twice. See the similarities?

Unfortunately, the similarities end there; number one, this has an 8-speed automatic instead of the Evo X's 6 speed dual clutch transmission. Number two, it's not a dual clutch, but rather a traditional torque converter automatic. Is this going to deliver or be a disappointment?

Oh, my giddy aunt, the ride is shocking! I admit, it's not as good as an Evo X's 4.4 second time from naught to 60, but half a second? From a torque converter automatic? I would love to see the new Toyota GR86 do that. No wait—it can't!

Downshifting into the corner, you can feel a little understeer here and there and the body twitching as if it was made of fruit, but I've made it through that fast corner and now mashing the throttle and off I go!

Upshifting using the silky smooth flappy paddles mounted behind the steering wheel and it's near as makes no difference with the instantaneous gear changes! Downshifting again to the last corner and—oh my goodness me, do I feel the brakes starting to feel a bit mushy?

After quite a few brutal laps, I'd say they've run their course and now it's time to cool them off. I suspect they're just semi-metallic brakes and not fully metallic. Strangely, I don't need as much cooling, as I'm bathed in air conditioning like a Pharaoh.

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Day Use: Is It Possible?

Absolutely! It's a Bimmer, for crying out loud! It's not as comfy as a 3 or 5 or even 7 series of BMW, but comfortable nonetheless. However, as it's currently the cheapest model you can buy, it's possible BMW didn't build it to last. Buying a cheap luxury car means cheap quality, as we've seen with some A-class sedans from the venerable Three Pointed Star, Mercedes-Benz.

My verdict is this:

If you're looking for a luxury car on a budget that you can daily drive and bring the kids to school, buy this one. Or the BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe. Or the Mercedes-Benz A250 4Matic sedan.

Hell, maybe even a Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 since they cost about the same used—about 50 grand, more or less!

If, however, you want a real track day car with four doors and your pocket is crying buckets, buy an Evo X. Or Lancer X RalliArt, since they're pretty much the same car (Lancer X RalliArt does not have Sport Plus mode).

So what would I choose, you might ask? It's a simple answer, really. I'll take the Evo X with the dual clutch transmission, of course. In blue.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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