PINEHURST, NC and YONKERS, NY — December 29, 2019 — I feel very much like Bob Cratchit from “A Christmas Carol” in that, “I am behind my times.” I am scurrying around to get our column on the 209 BMW X2 M35i done, but “I was making rather merry yesterday.” We had this lovely vehicle for the week surrounding Christmas and, while we drove it, our minds were more occupied with Christmas stocking fillers, gift wrapping, wine selections, watching the Hallmark Channel’s endless supply of ‘feel good’ Christmas movies, and thinking about the birth of Christ – a birthday we celebrate on December 25th, whether Christ was actually born on that day or not. How we arrived at the agreement to celebrate the birth of our Savior on December 25th is a story in itself and has all the earmarks of pagan customs – like Christmas trees and mistletoe. Some people draw the line at celebrating Christmas on a date that cannot be substantiated as Jesus’s actual date of birth. I figure the world’s recognition of the birth of someone who, literally, changed that world is more important than the exact date. And the fact that, truly, between about Thanksgiving and New Year’s, people do seem to open up their shut-up hearts, smile more, open more doors, help the young, the old, the sick, and, well, just have a better attitude about life.
No that doesn’t have anything to do with the BMW, except we got a lot of smiles when we rolled up in it, but life is more than car reviews; and the season is much more than gifts and rushing here and there.
When we did roll up in the Alpine White M-badged version of BMW’s subcompact luxury SUV (seen below), we did get the complimentary nod of approval every time.
I mean, what’s not to like. Starting at an MSRP of $46.4K, and loaded with all the extras you could find, our M35i was only $55K, which while not cheap, is not a lot for a car with BMW’s style, reputation, and flash. The $9K worth of add ons’ included Magna Red Dakota leather seats all round, the Premium Package with Heads Up Display and Navigation Touch Pad, 20” M Double Spoke 721M wheels, panoramic moonroof, Automatic Stop and Go with Active Driver Assist, Premium Harman/Kardon Sound System, M sport front seats, and a $995 destination charge.
Of course, BMW bills themselves as the ultimate driving machine, and the handling, smoothness, quietness, and any other characteristic you might want to mention is pretty top of the line when it comes to BMW in general and the M35i in particular.
Take a look at the interior and you will see a driver-oriented control center with driving performance right at your fingertips.
Because this is a smaller BMW, the 2.0L Twin Power Turbo in Line 4-cylinder engine gets 23 mpg around town and 29 mpg on the highway for a 25-mpg average. This is the sporting commuter car for all of us latent Yuppie’s (young upwardly mobile professionals). Bet you hadn’t heard that term in a while.
The 8 Speed Sport Automatic Transmission with Sport and Manual Shift modes worked very smoothly, although I am not a ‘shifter’. The Driving Dynamics Controls were Eco Pro (great for mileage, but not for quick getaways), Comfort (which, overall, I found the best for everyday driving), and Sport (can you say ‘zoom, zoom’). Even though this is a small SUV, our M35i had M sport suspension, M Sport brakes, and M Sport Steering. Think about it. This is BMW’s way of combining the sporty characteristics of the M2 and the extra storage space and design of an SUV.
Of course, too, as a BMW, we had lots of ‘bells and whistles’ – like heated steering and front seats, 12 way power front seats and driver’s seat memory (which I like), 2 way power driver’s side seat bolsters (great for young, fit people – need to be wide open for older, wider people like me), interior ambient lighting, and lots more. When it comes to Safety, there is a Head Protection System (front and back), Front Side Impact Airbags, Active Driving Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Frontal Collision Warning, High Beam Assist and Speed Limit Info. Although not listed under the safety section, the M35i had lights that came on when you turned right or left to illuminate the area in the direction you were turning. What a wonderful addition to your night driving. Add all these to a fine warranty that offers 4-year Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance and a 4-year, a 50,000 mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and you have a justifiable $55K price tag for the M35i.
Drive one. See for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
The BMW dealerships in the vicinity to Pinehurst, NC area are:
Valley Auto World, Inc.
BMW of Southpoint
BMW of Florence
The BMW dealerships in the New York Metropolitan vicinity to the Yonkers, NY area are:
BMW of Mamaroneck
236 West Boston Post Road
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
BMW OF MANHATTAN
555 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
BMW MT. KISCO
250 Kisco Avenue
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
DCH Midland BMW
110 Midland Avenue
Port Chester, NY 10573
Ray Catena Westchester BMW
543 Tarrytown Road
White Plains, NY 10607