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Parm

BMW M235i, i3 & New Mini - Test Sits

I was in Park Lane this weekend, and had a chance to visit the BMW & Mini dealerships there. Here's my take on a couple of cars that I sat in.

BMW M235i
The one in the show room was in metallic grey with black leather. I've seen a 2-er on the road, but that was a beige 220d SE and I was pretty underwhelmed by the styling. In M-sport guise however, it is actually quite a good looking car and amongst the other cars in the dealership, I'd say it was one of the better looking models, particularly head on, with a much more pronounced "shark nose" than other BMW models. It looked particularly good from the rear 3/4 too.
The interior is a little sombre/business like, but you can't knock the quality or ergonomics.  The new M-sport steering wheel (as others have said elsewhere) is a delight and is probably one of the best steering wheel designs I've seen from BMW in a while. Gone is the ridiculous thickness of previous M-sport steering wheels - this was perfectly sized and had plenty of adjustment. I liked the M235i graphic in the binnacle too.
The rear did look quite cramped and claustrophobic, and I found the boot smaller than I probably expected.
All in all, a very smart looking car.

Mini Cooper
This was in non-metallic orange with a black cloth interior. Other than the huge rear lights and the horse shoe shaped LED strip(?) in the headlights, I found it very difficult to distinguish from the previous gen Mini. Is that a good thing? I don't know, I think I'd like to have seen more changes, but I guess the eye is in the detail. It's certainly not a bad looking car. The rear lights are a touch bulbous though.
Now the interior, as far as I could tell seemed to be a big improvement over the previous Mini. I say tell because the lighting in Mini Park Lane is akin to a nightclub (there's a disco ball above one of the cars FFS) which meant I found it quite difficult to assess the interior in  a lot of detail, but as far as comfort, driving position, pedal positioning and steering wheel go, it was very comfortable and seemed like a much "bigger" car inside than the Mini moniker would suggest.
Boot space is still abysmal though.
Parm

Oh, and I also had a good poke around an i3 - not at the dealership, but my cousins car.
I had mixed feelings about the exterior styling. On one hand, it looks like nothing else on the roads and is quite striking in the metal, but on the other I found some of the design elements challenging - the suicide doors and the step in the rear window for example. And it didn't look like a car worth 30K (IMO).
The interior, which I've heard great things about, was more underwhelming I'm afraid. I'm not sure what interior spec he had - I think it was the standard spec - but it all looked a little Fisher Price to me. Reasonable quality materials, but nothing more. It did feel quite spacious in the cabin though and visibility was fantastic.
He loves it though, and he has his eyes set on an i8 now.
Stuntman

I agree with you about the shape/design of the M235i.  Bodes well for the M2.
I've sat in the back of one and it's both difficult to get into/out of, and with a paucity of headroom.
Apart from that, I think it's terrific.  I'd rather an M2 than an M3/M4, I think...
Roadsterstu

Parm wrote:
Oh, and I also had a good poke around an i3 - not at the dealership, but my cousins car.
I had mixed feelings about the exterior styling. On one hand, it looks like nothing else on the roads and is quite striking in the carbon fibre, but on the other I found some of the design elements challenging - the suicide doors and the step in the rear window for example. And it didn't look like a car worth 30K (IMO).
The interior, which I've heard great things about, was more underwhelming I'm afraid. I'm not sure what interior spec he had - I think it was the standard spec - but it all looked a little Fisher Price to me. Reasonable quality materials, but nothing more. It did feel quite spacious in the cabin though and visibility was fantastic.
He loves it though, and he has his eyes set on an i8 now.


FYP
Racing Teatray

Saw two unregistered new Mini Coopers this morning at BMW Battersea.

I think I've worked out why the detailing (lights, door handles etc) are so outsized.

It's an optical illusion that tricks the mind and makes the car look smaller.

There was a last generation Mini parked close by and that confirmed my suspicion - in isolation the new car almost gives the impression of being smaller due to the oversized detailing, despite in fact being bigger.
PhilD

Talking of size, we have two pieces of customer feedback above saying the 2 series isn’t big enough in the back. Next one is bound to be bigger, probably 4 series size...
Stuntman

Hope not!  If people want a small car with a big engine then they should be realistic about the rear seat accommodation if the car in question has a sloping roof.  Nowt wrong with the car, it just won't suit everyone's purposes.

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