Wednesday, April 13, 2022

2022 BMW M240i xDRIVE




For years, decades even, BMW’s 3-Series served for many as an introduction to the luxury automotive segment. Its popularity even led to a nickname for its competitors: BMW fighter.

But after reaching six figures in U.S. sales in 2001 and hitting that mark in 13 of the next 16 years, U.S. sales of the 3-Series have failed to reach even 50,000 over the last four years, falling from 72,290 in 2016 to less than 40,000 for the Covid year of 2020 to 49,458 in 2021.

For the first three months of this year, the number is 8,156, a pace that would reach the total of 2022 at less than 35,000 (Figures from Could be slightly more since sales usually pick up at the end of a year.

It’s not that the Germans have forgotten how to make a car because the 3-Series still gets high marks. It’s  just that there’s a new player in the entry level luxury market, and it comes from — BMW!

The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive no doubt is siphoning off customers who would prefer a coupe over the 3-Series sedan. That isn’t to say that the 2-Series, also available also as an M230i, is outselling the 3-Series because it’s not, at least not yet. 

But with BMW cutting out coupes and convertibles for the 3-Series, the 2022 M240i xDrive certainly has found a niche in the segment.

The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive was fully redesigned with upgrades for the cabin that include an 8.8-inch touchscreen that is now standard, and more power from the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.

It now pumps out 383 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 47 hp. (Torque remains virtually the same — 369 lb.-ft. in 2022 and 368 in 2021.) Fuel mileage for the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive also gets a slight boost to 23 miles-per-gallon city, 32 highway, and 26 combined, pretty surprising numbers considering the power boost.

An 8-speed sport automatic is the only transmission offered. No more manual for the clutch-aholics, though paddle shifters are standard for manual gear selection.

Standard equipment on the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive includes a leather-wrapped, M-spoke steering wheel, a power moonroof, front sport seats with driver seat memory, an adaptive sport suspension, rear spoiler, and upgraded brakes.

Many other features on my test vehicle were included in the starting MSRP of $48,560. They included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Blind Spot and Lane Departure warning, variable sport steering, auto-dimming mirror, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging and WiFi hotspot, Anthracite headliner, and connected iDrive services that let you program your Smartphone or other services to your car.

Yes, of course, there were extras with my test 2022 BMW M240i xDrive. They included a Premium Package (heated steering wheel, heated front seats, full LED lighting, and head-up display, a Driving Assistance Package (adaptive cruise control, parking assistant, surround-view camera). and Tacora Red Vernasca leather seating.

The Mineral White exterior also cost an extra $500.

All that ran the final bottom line to $57,295 including the $995 destination and delivery charge.

Oh yes. You also get BMW Maintenance Care (oil changes, vehicle checks, air filter spark plugs and brake fluid) at no cost for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

What I liked about the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe: It’s a fun car to drive with great throttle response and handling. Infotainment features and plentiful and not that difficult to adapt to. Considering the performance, fuel mileage is very decent.

What I didn’t like about the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe: The back seat offers only 32.2 inches of legroom, so it is kind of cramped. The trunk also is on the small side with a listed capacity of just 10 cubic feet. No manual transmission is offered with the 2-Series.

Would I buy the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe? Sure would. It’s ideal for empty nesters who are looking for something that offers a fun driving experience. It’s a bit more civilized than the M3 Competition sedan I reviewed in March and certainly much easier to get in and out of.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022




The Great American Sports Car will celebrate its 70th birthday next year, but like fine wine and quality bourbon, it just keeps getting better with age.

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is every bit as revolutionary as the first production model that rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Mich., on June 30, 1953 (the famed Bowling Green, Ky., plant didn’t open until June 1, 1981).

The 2022 Corvette is the third since the company moved the engine from the front to just behind the passenger compartment in the transformative redesign of 2020, and though it has always been an eye-catcher, it now gets the attention once exclusive for the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini and other so-called “Super Cars.”

Bearing the “Stingray” sobriquet that dates back to 1959, the 2022 Chevy Corvette comes in coupe or convertible form with the coupe featuring a removable targa top for an open air experience. (It’s designed for one person to remove and replace, but a lot easier with two handling the chore.)

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe that serves as the basis for this review came in 2LT trim, which sits in the middle of the base 1LT and top-of-the-line 3LT models.

Standard comfort features for 2LT models include 8-way power leather seats that are heated and ventilated and with power lumbar control, dual-zone air conditioning, power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a heated steering wheel, 14-speaker Bose sound system, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 system with an 8-inch touchscreen and navigation.

All of that is in a luxurious interior that can be argued is the best ever in the ’Vette’s long lifespan. The 3LT package takes that even further with premium over standard leather seats, leather-wrapped interior panels, and a microfiber headliner.

Among other standard features in the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2LT coupe are a head-up display, keyless start, remote start, OnStar services, LED headlights, and a performance data and video recorder. 

Standard safety systems include a curb-view front camera to assist with parking, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, and a digital rear-view mirror.

No, I didn’t forget the drivetrain. All 2022 Corvettes get a 6.2-liter V8 with a max 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an 8-speed double-clutch automatic transmission, fuel mileage is reported at 16 miles-per-gallon city, 24 highway, and 19 combined, and it zips from zero-to-60 in under three seconds, according to various sources.

Alas, no manual transmission is offered on this, the C8 generation of Corvettes. Manual gear selection is accomplished via paddle shifters once Drive has been chosen on the button on the center console. 

Possibly one of the best things about the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe is that although it has the profile of a six-figure super car, MSRP starts at under $70,000 even in 2LT trim. With $1,295 for destination, my test ’Vette carried a base price tag of $69,495.

Options ran that up into the mid-$80,000 range with the Z51 Performance Package adding $6,345 by itself. That package includes a performance exhaust, high performance tires and suspension, upgraded brakes, and a heavy duty cooling system.

Other extras such as front-lift height adjustable system, competition bucket seats, and carbon fiber interior trim (including a microfiber-wrapped square steering wheel) ran the final bottom line to $85,970.
Try taking that to a Ferrari dealer and see what you come out with.

What I liked about the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe: The performance is exhilarating, and the interior is highly sophisticated with creature comforts like heated and ventilated seats. Numerous infotainment features are user friendly. Seats are supportive, and the ride surprisingly quiet despite the location of the engine.

What I didn’t like about the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe:
Rear vision is somewhat restricted. Cargo space is not too bad for a true sports car, but limited to a small front compartment when the targa top is stowed in the rear behind the engine. I also wish it came with a manual transmission.

Would I buy the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe? In a heartbeat. If you are looking for a Super Sports Car at a reasonable price, this is it. Even with its top-end capabilities, it also is right at home as a daily commuter.