May 7, 2021, 12:03 p.m.

BMW M235i Review Failure

In my "recent" review of the BMW M235i, I listed several aspects of the car I loved and several I disliked. After having spent 5000km in the driver seat, I can summarise my experience of the car as a non-track driver as follows:

The car is ugly in white. I hate looking at it because of the colour. I strongly dislike the lane assist function as it is way too aggressive and makes too many mistakes. The navigation system started out working fantastic, however on a recent trip to Calgary I found it totally worthless. It missed a road closure that incurred a 190km detour, however it picked up on 8 non-existing road closures trying to route me on roads that would have increased my journey from 12 hours to 20 hours. Every time I passed one of these "road closures" the car went mad and tried to make me turn back. Once I passed this virtual point of no consequence, the car routed me around the next fake road closure. None of the 8 road closures on its display was correct - there were not even any road work equipment to be seen.

Eventually I turned off traffic info, and the road closures disappeared. However, it still routed me on a road that is 160km longer than the optimal route. And both routes were on standard national grade highways so it was not a "prefer highway" or toll issue. Bottom line - the route I picked to drive took 12 hours, the route it recommended for 80% of the trip would have added 8 hours to my journey.

That said, the car itself is fantastic to drive. I have no real issues with handling, performance, steering etc. I did complain about the wheels following the road too much, but it is a small issue. It is probably one of the best cars I ever drove.

However, when you look at a typical car review, they rate it poorly due to:

  1. Fuel economy
  2. Platform the car is built on
  3. Comfort
  4. Design

None of those issues are issues for me. The biggest annoyance that was not mentioned is the idiotic application of highly polished / reflective black and chrome finishing around the gear shift. Whenever I drive in daytime with the sun out, the reflections are angled exactly such that they reach my eyes in the small gap between my cheeks and my sunglasses - so there is literally nothing I can do to fix it except put something over it. This is an annoyance that bugs me every day, yet the car review complained about things I really did not find to be any issue.

Lesson learnt - take a review with a grain of salt and use your own judgement.