BMW 2 Series

2016 BMW 2 Series

The BMW 2 Series was a hit out of the box because it was the perfect size. The beloved BMW 2002 that started it all more than half a century ago, had grown up to be the 3 Series, which is now too big and fat for the needs of many buyers, including roots BMW fans. The 2 Series is a two-door and modestly equipped, compared to other BMWs, and thats a good thing for this car that is more about the BMW light and lean driving experience.

Well, the standard audio system does have 10 speakers, so its light and lean with a few indulgences.

The 2 Series was introduced two years ago. There are few changes for 2016. The previous Sport Line becomes standard equipment for 2016.

The 2 Series offers two engines, with manual or automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive.

The BMW 228i sedan uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque; theres also a convertible 228i, with automatic only. The rear-wheel-drive BMW 228i is EPA-rated at 28 miles per gallon Combined (36 mpg Highway).

The hot rod is the BMW M235i, with its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six making 322 hp and 332 lb-ft. The EPA rates its fuel economy 22 mpg Combined, 26 mpg Highway.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2 Series top scores in all of its crash tests, plus an Advanced rating for the available electronic safety system called Driver Assistance Plus.


2015 BMW 2 Series

A new convertible model joins the BMW 2 Series lineup for 2015. Also new for 2015 is the availability of all-wheel drive.

The BMW 2 Series was introduced as all-new small sport coupe last year, billed as a spiritual successor to the BMW 2002, a small coupe with a cult following that was produced from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. By comparison, the BMW 2 Series is a monster, both in terms of power and weight, but the dimensions of the 2 Series are not far off from the e46 coupe, the two-door 3 Series generation from a decade ago. So just as yesterdays size 6 is todays size 0 in womens fashion, the same goes for BMWs so-called compact cars.

The 2 Series coupe and convertible seat four.

The entry-level BMW 228i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The line-topping M235i uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 that makes a hearty 320 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard wheels are 17-inch alloys, while the M235i rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Super-Sport performance tires.

All-wheel drive is now available for 2015 BMW 228i coupes and convertibles as well as the M235i coupe. Rear-wheel drive is standard.

Also new for 2015 is the Track Handling Package, which adds variable sport steering, sport brakes and the adaptable suspension found on BMWs M performance vehicles, as well the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on BMW 228i models. These options make a significant difference in the cars handling, though they arent necessary for everyday driving and, as with all BMW options, it can get pricey. Still, if youre a performance-oriented driver, its well worth considering.

Much of what makes the BMW 2 Series great is its nimble rear-wheel-drive platform; in this case, the same used previously on the now-defunct 1 Series. Combined with BMWs signature 50-50 weight distribution, the 2 Series is perhaps the most tossable small premium coupe on the market now, especially considering many luxury manufacturers are offering entry-level cars on less expensive (and less fun) front-wheel-drive architectures, among them the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and the Audi A3.

Enthusiasts also have the option of a 6-speed manual gearbox, not available on the A3 or CLA-Class; the standard 2 Series transmission is an 8-speed automatic. Also, the 2 Series are two-doors, the Audi and Mercedes models are four-doors.

If we had a complaint, it would be that certain interior elements are not up to par, especially in the 228i. The plastic surrounding the instrument cluster seems cheap, and the trim on the armrest door handle looks stuck-on. Hard plastics are noticeable around cabin, especially in tan. Black interiors do a better job of disguising these surfaces.

Even though the 2015 BMW 2 Series is the most affordable car in BMWs current lineup, its not exactly cheap. Starting at $32,100, its more expensive than the entry-level Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedans (though its not unusual for coupe body styles to cost more). Theres a hefty price jump between the 228i and the M235i, and options add up fast. Still, the 2 Series delivers design and performance worthy of a BMW and, in the right configuration, offers plenty of fun for the money.


2014 BMW 2 Series

The BMW 2 Series coupe is the all-new gateway to the BMW lineup. The smallest and most affordable two-door Bimmer, the 2014 BMW 2 Series replaces the currently defunct 1 Series coupe, bringing it in line with the rest of BMWs new nomenclature of odd numbers for sedans and even numbers for coupes.

Like the 1 Series before it, BMW bills the 2 Series as a spiritual successor to the BMW 2002, a small coupe with a cult following that was produced from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. But while todays 2 Series may pay homage to that early car in name and body style, its in some ways far from the little coupe of yesteryear, which at its most basic was powered by a 2.0-liter engine making a scant 100 horsepower and riding on what seems now to be miniscule 13-inch wheels.

By comparison, the 2 Series is a monster. The entry-level BMW 228i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The line-topping BMW M235i (yes, the name is a mouthful) uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 that makes a hearty 320 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard wheels are 17-inch alloys, and the BMW M235i rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super-Sport performance tires.

Much like current womens clothing, the 2014 BMW 2 Series is also larger than its predecessors. Compared with the 1 Series coupe, the 2 Series is 2.8 inches longer, with a wheelbase thats stretched 1.3 inches. Its also much wider than the 2002tii. In fact, the 2 Series dimensions are not far from the e46 coupe, the two-door 3 Series generation from a decade ago. So just as yesterdays size 6 is todays size 0 in fashion, the same goes for BMWs so-called compact cars.

Unlike some new entry-level luxury cars (were looking at you, Audi and Mercedes-Benz), the 2 Series keeps a nimble rear-wheel-drive platform; in this case, the same used previously on the 1 Series. Combined with BMWs signature 50-50 weight distribution, the 2 Series is perhaps the most tossable small luxury coupe on the market now. At a time when most manufacturers are going automatic-only, BMW also pacifies enthusiasts by keeping an optional 6-speed manual transmission on both models. The standard transmission is an 8-speed automatic.

In the U.S., the 2014 BMW 2 Series will be available only in 228i and M235i variants. Europe will get two diesel models, and a full-blown M2 is rumored to launch sometime in the near future, but none have been confirmed for North America.

Exterior lines on the 2014 BMW 2 Series have been stretched and tightened from the somewhat saggy-looking 1 Series. The 2 is in perfect proportion, with a stance that matches its agile handling and a face thats neither too aggressive, nor too cute.

Even though the 2014 BMW 2 Series is the most affordable car in BMWs current lineup, its not exactly cheap. Starting at $32,100, its more expensive than the entry-level Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA sedans (though its not unusual for coupe body styles to cost more). Theres a hefty price jump between the 228i and the M235i, and options add up fast. Our M235i test car was speced out at nearly $50k, only slightly less than the M Sport version of the larger 435i coupe. All said, the 2014 BMW 2 Series delivers design and performance worthy of an Ultimate Driving Machine, and, in the right configuration, is an excellent value.



 

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