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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

I am planning another BMW having driven both a 325is and 540i in the past and
then driving CLK and E class Mercedes the past several years. I am a DIY type and have not
brought a car to dealership in over a decade. Having one in warranty will be interesting.

My buddy bought a 235i 6 sp manual and has peaked my interest.

I am looking at 230i as well and will test drive one tomorrow to check out the 4 cyl
turbo. I did drive an X1 and found it a bit anemic compared to Acura RDX 6 cyl.

Discovered there are several mods that unleash alot more power for the 2 series and are
simple to add on and relatively inexpensive.

Hoping others who have considered these options will chime in with their experiences
as the market is good mid winter for buying.

2 series rock, and are possibly the best balanced car out there. Seems to check off the right boxes.
 

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I really like my new 230i. I had a 228i for three years w/ m-sport suspension. When lease was up I bought the 230i w/ track handling pkg, and no m-sport. I only have 800 miles on it so I have not really pushed it yet but I can attest the the THP reduces body roll in corners, which was a real problem with the 228 m sport. The car needed better brakes for sure which THP provides. If you don't get a m240 I highly recommend the THP.

The 228i was fast enough for me except when overtaking uphill or accelerating out of a corner uphill. I'm quite interested in the Dinan Elite V2 as well as the Shockwave. Right now the Elite V2 is marked "not legal for sale or use in Calif.", which is where I am.

I recently drove a m240 X drive on an autocross track in the rain. The x drive was insanely effective in the wet. If I lived some place where it snowed, or rained more than 8 inches a year, I'd get an x drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exactly the answer I had hope for thanks!
Turns out the 230i that I am considering has the track package.
I thought that Msport package was the track package plus other things.

It appears that this is not the case at all. Do you happen to know if the m235i
that is Msport also is more roll happy than the same with track package?
 

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Welcome, happy to be helpful.

No, M Sport is some cosmetic changes, convenience items, and an M Sport suspension. If you get both THP and M Sport, that deletes the M Sport suspension and you get the Adaptive Dampers that are the heart of THP, plus the cost of THP drops a bit. Exactly what the M Sport package includes has changed each or almost each year. What has never changed it that M Sport package does NOT give you the Adaptive Dampers. Since at least 2016 you need to buy the THP to get the better brakes. You want the better brakes.

To your last question: I think at some point in the past THP was an option for the M235. It no longer is (I think starting in 2017). All M240s have Adaptive Dampers, better brakes, and steering that gets heavier as you go faster. I can extrapolate the in the bad old days if one was foolish enough to drive an M Sport 6 cyl - a 335 HP car, with marginal brakes, on public roads, one would deservedly suffer hideous pitching and rolling in hard corners.

I've driven M235/M240s on tracks and if I had regular access to a track I'd get the big 6 cyl. For me on public roads almost all the time, the 230i is a better choice. It turns out that when you chop 2 cyl off the engine in a 2 series you take more than 100 lbs off the front axle, making the car more fun to drive fast NOT on a track. If you are deciding between the 4 and the 6 you might find this article helpful: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a29245/bmw-2-series-comparison-test/

PS I just noticed you're in HI. IMO the 4 cyl makes even more sense. Personally I'd buy a convertible, especially if I was in W. Maui, and FYI the Michelin Pilot Super Sports which I think now come with all M240s and 230s w/ THP, are scary sticky on wet roads.

Have fun
 

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Sorry I should have mentioned that getting a 235/240 or a 228/230 w/ M Sport will get you the M Sport steering wheel which could be argued is a much nicer wheel. I do miss having that wheel. However the wheel in my 230 is nice and I can see my gauges thru it better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Narrowing it down is always a good thing and takes much effort to understand.
In my experience the sales people are useless as it is their goal to get you to sign typically on what is available. So thanks for ownership clarification!

The packages and options can be worth a bundle as I discovered with my 540i that was optioned to the hilt.

Adaptive suspension is very important. I have not seen a m235i without the blue brake calipers indicating upgrade though the 4 cyl 230i often does not have the upgrade. I will definitely take your advice regarding adaptive susp. and brakes. I think the 2016 m235i all have both at least on several examples I have decoded. For me the heated seat option is also highly desirable.

Seems the m235i only comes in one blue color the estoril that is gorgeous but showy. It is apparently the most common color or all 2 series.

I am going to call Dinan Monday morning to find out about the $900 sensor fooling add on that gets and additional ~ 50 hp and torque from the 4 cyl. Wish they had some significant customer ratings on it. The turbo six that I drove puts a smile on ones face. A tweaked 4 turbo comes very close and as you mention steers a bit better...
 

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Not sure I've ever seen a 228/230 with blue calipers except mine. I think I've seen a few 228/230 w/ M Sport. Once you figure out the what to look for you can tell the variants apart pretty easily based the the wheel type and size, and the sheet metal at the front of the car. I didn't even try to find the car I wanted at a dealer. I ordered my 2019 (and my 2016) from Germany, built to my spec. In both cases the car came in about 7 weeks and in both cases I got a nice discount - about 8% below sticker. This last one I lucked into a $2000 "loyalty rebate" from BMW on top of the discount. This is the spec for my latest car: 230i convertible, Jet Black, THP, Heated Seats, and Parking Assistant (Parking Asst. is perhaps a gimmick but only cost $200). Price of car below $40K

Not sure if you are looking for a new car, but in 2019 a lot of features that were expensive options became standard, including a back-up camera, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, day time pedestrian warning, self leveling LED headlights etc.

My plan was to get the $900 Dinan tune. Not sure I can until it gets approved for California. You know that the deal with Dinan parts is that they don't void your BMW warranty, right? If you don't care about that there is also a $300 Dinan tune which I've head is very effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
very useful as the one I was looking at is a super low mileage '16, optioned to the hilt for less than $30k out the door

I think it is priced high, and just test drove my friends M235i 6 speed yesterday
The power is very very impressive and I thought it steers exceptionally well but have not driven the 230i with track package, but oh my the power
 

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Yeah I've driven the 6 cyls several times. I drove an M240 and an M2 on the same day. The M2 was faster, but not way faster. For me it was just a matter of figuring out how often I'd be able to get an M240 up to somewhere near its limits. Not often enough....

The 2016 had a different engine than my current car has. It was very silky smooth, really outstanding. The older engine has a few less HP. Think it's 240 vs 248. I think they made the final drive ratio a bit a taller on the 230i which would make the car work better on 110 or so. The 228 zipped right up to 90, but 90 to 110 was not impressive and above 110 "acceleration" was pathetic.

Not sure you've had a chance drive the 228i briskly. It's not slow below 90. The M235 manual is rated 4.6 in 0-60 and the 228 automatic I don't recall exactly but it's something like 5.3. You might enjoy this article: https://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/14/the-228i-is-underrated/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
a few other considerations

Totally get that is all but impossible to be able to use the additional power available
in a M235i. I am fairly used to short bursts being all that is possible living on an island for the past almost 20 yrs. That said the thrill of burst acceleration is amazing.

Is is true that the gearing ratios in 228i are the reason its 0-60 times are faster than 230i even though the later has more power? I think you said as much. Is there a weight penalty for the 230i? I know that purists complain about the 4cyl not sounding like a proper BMW.

Just today was sent Bilstein sale notification that is applicable for F22-23. Looks like for about $700 in parts onoe could replace stock suspension. Do you think this would be similar to the adaptive suspension on your Track Handling package? A friend changed his 3 series to Bilstein and thought the ride somewhat punishing. If so will forget a very nicely optioned 228i that would solve half of my shipping dilemma.
 

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I did read one post by a guy who was complaining the M235 accelerated so fast he never got a chance to enjoy it.

What I said is I've read that they made the final drive ratio taller on the 230s compared to the 228s, and I figured that would have the effect of improving high speed performance. It sounds reasonable that would also have the effect of lowering 0-60 times in the 230 but I don't "know" it to be true. I'm almost 100% certain the 230s don't weigh more than 228 but that kind of spec is reasonably easy to find. No way around the 4 will never sound as good as the 6. The 228 has fake sound pumped into that center speaker and I really liked the sound, just wished it was louder and not fake. It's been raining so much I still don't have 1200 miles on my 230, but so far is seems louder but not as pleasant.

To the important stuff: There are a number of performance suspensions available. I think you'll find the M Performance suspension in official BMW parts catalog and I think Dinan offers one. And as you noticed there are many other choices and the prices of the bits are attractive. In my calculation tho since it's a brand new car and I can't come close to doing it myself, I would have to pay a BMW or Dinan dealer to install the suspension and that is a many hours project. Buying the Bilstein package would most definitely not give you adaptive dampers. Only electronically controllable shocks can give you an adaptive suspension. It might be useful for you to poke around and find some basic info by actual experts that are good at explaining stuff. For example Dinan explains adaptive suspension like this: "The Adaptive M Suspension system works by monitoring sensors measuring all aspects of the BMWs behavior then analyzing them and adjusting the actuators in the shock absorbers, which, with the help of magnetic valves change their characteristics in a fraction of a second." And getting Bilstein shocks will not get you better brakes, and you really do want the better brakes. You should go the Dinan catalog and read about Dinan Shockware. Then go to the forums and read the how much people like Shockware. Unless you have an adaptive suspension you can't use Shockware.

IMO If you want to drive fast you can do so happily in either a 235/240 or a 228/230 but with either choice you need the big brakes and either the adaptive suspension or something like an M performance suspension. The stock suspension is too soft, much too soft.

On my last e36 my mechanic replaced 80% of the stock sport suspension with M components and Bilstein shocks. Yeah, you felt every bump, but you only felt it once. The car never bottomed out and it cornered very flat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you so much for your detailed replies!! After much research now feel competent in evaluating different cars with the myriad of options and configs.
Found a really nice 228i with the right color combo and wood grain trim. Alas the suspension would be the deal breaker.

Found a nice low mileage 230i with track pkg. although sales people leave much to be desired. Very few 4 cyl have the track package, I only found one.

Will probably go for a m235i on west coast due to shipping issues. Happy to wait for the right one.
Lots of Certified low mileage lease returns priced from $29x to $36. Decided against all wheel drive due to weight concerns and the fact that the car sticks like glue without it.
Don't want run flats, do want heated seats, NAV, HK, Xenons, and would love to find Terra interior also quite rare. Oyster also acceptable. Black is well black...
Apparently the standard BMW stereo is terrible so HK a must.

I do VIN checks and print out with Car Fax. Now understand the lingo. Takes some effort and time and thanks to your valuable info understand the suspension esp. the Active Susp. on Track Package.
Have not seen a '16 M235i without Active Susp so think it must be standard on that year.
I have to say every sales person was clueless often out of ignorance. They were polite but useless...
 

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I really like my new 230i. I had a 228i for three years w/ m-sport suspension. When lease was up I bought the 230i w/ track handling pkg, and no m-sport. I only have 800 miles on it so I have not really pushed it yet but I can attest the the THP reduces body roll in corners, which was a real problem with the 228 m sport. The car needed better brakes for sure which THP provides. If you don't get a m240 I highly recommend the THP.

The 228i was fast enough for me except when overtaking uphill or accelerating out of a corner uphill. I'm quite interested in the Dinan Elite V2 as well as the Shockwave. Right now the Elite V2 is marked "not legal for sale or use in Calif.", which is where I am.

I recently drove a m240 X drive on an autocross track in the rain. The x drive was insanely effective in the wet. If I lived some place where it snowed, or rained more than 8 inches a year, I'd get an x drive.
What about the steering? Do you experience the same as I do in my post https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1317465
 

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Thank you so much for your detailed replies!! After much research now feel competent in evaluating different cars with the myriad of options and configs.
Found a really nice 228i with the right color combo and wood grain trim. Alas the suspension would be the deal breaker.

Found a nice low mileage 230i with track pkg. although sales people leave much to be desired. Very few 4 cyl have the track package, I only found one.

Will probably go for a m235i on west coast due to shipping issues. Happy to wait for the right one.
Lots of Certified low mileage lease returns priced from $29x to $36. Decided against all wheel drive due to weight concerns and the fact that the car sticks like glue without it.
Don't want run flats, do want heated seats, NAV, HK, Xenons, and would love to find Terra interior also quite rare. Oyster also acceptable. Black is well black...
Apparently the standard BMW stereo is terrible so HK a must.

I do VIN checks and print out with Car Fax. Now understand the lingo. Takes some effort and time and thanks to your valuable info understand the suspension esp. the Active Susp. on Track Package.
Have not seen a '16 M235i without Active Susp so think it must be standard on that year.
I have to say every sales person was clueless often out of ignorance. They were polite but useless...
Cool. Keep me posted. I now have 1160 miles on my car - just. THP is very good so far. The brakes are awesome and suspension tighter than m sport, not sure how much tighter yet.
 

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What about the steering? Do you experience the same as I do in my post https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1317465
Sorry for the slow reply. I didn't get the notice for some reason.

I had a 2016 228i with m sport package. That car vigorously, rapidly, and accurately self-centered the steering wheel after turning.

I just got a 2019 230i with track handling pack, and the steering is really different, including a weaker desire to self-center. I chalk it up to the a side effect the "enhanced steering" that comes with THP, ie steering gets heavier at high speeds.

HOWEVER, it is NOT want you described. I do not in any way need to pull it back to center. I just took the car and did a bunch of turns at different speeds and angles. When the angle is significant like maybe 9-10 o'clock, the wheel self-centered smartly, no need to pull the wheel even slightly. The wheel travels rapidly 100% back to the middle and stops. It might slow down a bit for the last few degrees. If the turn is very slight it still self centers successfully but seemingly quite slowly.

How that helps. I could give you more detail but bottom line IMO is if you really need to pull the wheel back it's that's bad and your car needs repair!
 

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Sorry for the slow reply. I didn't get the notice for some reason.

I had a 2016 228i with m sport package. That car vigorously, rapidly, and accurately self-centered the steering wheel after turning.

I just got a 2019 230i with track handling pack, and the steering is really different, including a weaker desire to self-center. I chalk it up to the a side effect the "enhanced steering" that comes with THP, ie steering gets heavier at high speeds.

HOWEVER, it is NOT want you described. I do not in any way need to pull it back to center. I just took the car and did a bunch of turns at different speeds and angles. When the angle is significant like maybe 9-10 o'clock, the wheel self-centered smartly, no need to pull the wheel even slightly. The wheel travels rapidly 100% back to the middle and stops. It might slow down a bit for the last few degrees. If the turn is very slight it still self centers successfully but seemingly quite slowly.

How that helps. I could give you more detail but bottom line IMO is if you really need to pull the wheel back it's that's bad and your car needs repair!
Yes, this is a really big help, thanks a lot!
 

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Thank you so much for your detailed replies!! After much research now feel competent in evaluating different cars with the myriad of options and configs.
Found a really nice 228i with the right color combo and wood grain trim. Alas the suspension would be the deal breaker.

Found a nice low mileage 230i with track pkg. although sales people leave much to be desired. Very few 4 cyl have the track package, I only found one.

Will probably go for a m235i on west coast due to shipping issues. Happy to wait for the right one.
Lots of Certified low mileage lease returns priced from $29x to $36. Decided against all wheel drive due to weight concerns and the fact that the car sticks like glue without it.
Don't want run flats, do want heated seats, NAV, HK, Xenons, and would love to find Terra interior also quite rare. Oyster also acceptable. Black is well black...
Apparently the standard BMW stereo is terrible so HK a must.

I do VIN checks and print out with Car Fax. Now understand the lingo. Takes some effort and time and thanks to your valuable info understand the suspension esp. the Active Susp. on Track Package.
Have not seen a '16 M235i without Active Susp so think it must be standard on that year.
I have to say every sales person was clueless often out of ignorance. They were polite but useless...
I wouldn't necessarily make the the HK a deal breaker. It's not the really good HK that some of the other series have. There are 1 or two other companies that make speakers designed to drop right into the BMW. One such company is https://www.bavsound.com/ You should contact them. My research into this area is several years old.

The only 230i with THP I ever found was that one at BMW of Beverly Hills that I send you. I think you'll find a much better selection of 235/240s. You are looking at only CPOs I would assume. A big plus in my mind is if the car has a good set of Michelin PSSs on it.

If you were looking at new cars I'd refer you to the BMW of Escondido internet salesperson I've worked with twice. I totally agree that the average BMW salesperson is REMARKABLY clueless.

Have fun
 

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Car and Driver had the 228i at 4.9 second 0-60 while the 230 was 5.3 seconds. 228 is faster. I added a JB+ boost and feels like it is going 4.6-4.7 seconds.


Totally get that is all but impossible to be able to use the additional power available
in a M235i. I am fairly used to short bursts being all that is possible living on an island for the past almost 20 yrs. That said the thrill of burst acceleration is amazing.

Is is true that the gearing ratios in 228i are the reason its 0-60 times are faster than 230i even though the later has more power? I think you said as much. Is there a weight penalty for the 230i? I know that purists complain about the 4cyl not sounding like a proper BMW.

Just today was sent Bilstein sale notification that is applicable for F22-23. Looks like for about $700 in parts onoe could replace stock suspension. Do you think this would be similar to the adaptive suspension on your Track Handling package? A friend changed his 3 series to Bilstein and thought the ride somewhat punishing. If so will forget a very nicely optioned 228i that would solve half of my shipping dilemma.
 
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