Out of 135i into M235
March 21, 2016
I had a 2010 135i (Auto/Conv) and at 123,000 miles became interested in the new 2 series. I agonized for over a year weighing the pro's/con's of 135 vs M235 (especially since my 135 was running great!) , of 228 (4 cyl) vs M235 (inline 6) etc and finally opted for a 2016 M235 primarily to keep that smooth, inline 6. I got the Auto/Conv RWD with the Cold Weather, Tech and Driver Assist Options and the Run Flat tire option. As a former 135 owner, the transition was pretty seamless as they are of similar size. What I did appreciate and enjoy immediately is the increased power, the 8 speed transmission, keyless entry, much more useful display and nav features, the M-seats are spectacularly comfortable, an armrest that extends forward and is comfortable , active suspension and FINALLY - two useful cup holders in a BMW :-) So - before the true BMW purists get mad for loving the creature comfort vs mechanical features.. I still appreciate that smooth inline 6 and precise 8 speed automatic- but all the ergonomic features mentioned just make this 1 series replacement far more enjoyable as my daily driver , especially with daily highway commutes between 100-200miles every day (!).
I initially wanted the Xi AWD since they finally offered it in a convertible... but the combination of extra cost, potential for extra maintenance and further reduced F/R balance combined with the fact that we already have another AWD vehicle in the household, led me to the RWD option. I may regret that at some point but not at the moment.
I also wrestled with the smoother riding Michelin Pilots (and wider tires) vs the Run Flats especially as the RFT were a $0 option... Had RFT on my 135 and they proved their value several times...getting me home safely on my long commutes. If the car had a spare tire/donut, I would rather have had the Michelins, but the RFT were chosen for practicality vs ride given my commute.
As far as what I miss from the 135:
I did really like the heavier feel of the steering in the 135 vs the electronic steering in the M235, and even in Sport Mode, it does not have quite the same feel/feedback that the 135 did. I'm withholding judgement on all the selectable driving modes and gadgetry in the M235. Frankly, would have been fine with just the higher performance N55 engine and 8 speed auto and keep the simpler regular/sport mode (in the 135) vs more complex electronic selections in the M235. I have not played too much with all the selectable driving modes (Sport +, Sport, and Eco...in addition to the default Comfort Mode)...so can't provide much feedback on them. I am not a fan of the "Auto Shutoff" at stops, but was happy to learn that can be selected to be off all the time (except in Eco)...and I don't expect to use Eco. (If I wanted a real Eco car, I wouldn't have selected a 320Hp / IL6 ! )
Lastly - what I really miss is the oil temp gauge! Really BMW??? Yes, we all know by now that the M235 is not a true M, that's what the M2 will fix, but come on BMW. This is more of a performance car than an Eco car... I would much rather see critical engine/fluid stats and NOT my real time fuel economy... they should have kept the 135 (or M4) Tach/Oil Temp gauge combo... and left real time fuel economy as a menu item for the display.
Summary - So far - enjoying the improved performance along with improved ergonomic features and a much more comfortable car. Performance and Comfort...really nice combination! (Also snagged the 2016 as apparently in 2017 BMW's will dropped maintenance/warranty from 4 years/50,000 miles to 3 years/36,000 miles!)