The old saying that “good things come in small package” is very true of the entire line of the BMW 2 Series. These cars have a great deal of power, performance and dynamics to enjoy and now for this year BMW has equipped two of them with all-wheel drive, answering the call from the masses to add this control to these great cars. Only offered with two doors on these small Beemers, the 2 Series gives BMW lovers a starting point to build their longstanding relationship with BMW and offers some of the best and most necessary luxury features on the market.
With the addition of the AWD (called xDrive for BMW) the 2 Series easily takes on the Audi A3 quattro and Mercedes-Benz CLA 4Matic to show off exceptional handling, precision control and a power punch that is unexpected in a small car of this caliber. All of this makes the 2 Series one of the best entry level luxury sport coupes available that can also be had as a convertible and comes in much less than the 4 Series.
For 2015 in addition to the AWD models, the 2 Series adds a Track Handling Package for the 228i to give a much more dynamic and enhanced driving experience to allow this little sports coupe to fly. Driving the 2 Series offers the standard control of rear-wheel drive, which no other car in this class offers at all. This gives the 2 Series a leg up in the ability to be a fun car to drive and with the expected highly tuned suspension keeping the car firmly planted on the road regardless of the challenges faced the 2 Series is a virtual magnet for the most challenging roads in any area to be able to unleash its full capabilities.
With the choice of two engines under the hood the 2 Series offers a very enjoyable amount of power to make this little coupe run. The 228i models take advantage of a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that offers up a very nice 240 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque which gives this car the title of most powerful base model in its class. This engine can be attached to either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic which gives a host of fuel numbers. The fuel mileage numbers show up as 23 city/36 hwy mpg for the automatic with RWD, 22 city/34 hwy mpg for the manual with RWD, 23 city/35 hwy mpg for the automatic with AWD, 23 city/34 hwy mpg for the convertible with RWD and 22 city/33 hwy mpg for the convertible with AWD.
For the M235i models the engine under the hood is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that brings in a very strong 320 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is attached to the same transmissions as the smaller engine offering fuel mileage number that come in at 21 city/32 hwy mpg for the automatic with RWD, 19 city/28 hwy mpg for the manual with RWD, 20 city/30 hwy mpg for the automatic with AWD, 19 city/26 hwy mpg for the convertible with manual transmission and 21 city/32 hwy mpg for the convertible with the automatic transmission.
On the inside the BMW 2 Series appears like any other BMW. The look is simple, functional, elegant and well-designed to be easily enjoyed by the driver and any passengers who choose to tag along. The rear legroom is surprisingly adequate, something that isn’t always present in a two-door coupe and the infotainment and control features are all top of the line but easy to learn and navigate making this a car that just about anyone can drive and enjoy the advantages of very quickly and easily.
From the outside the 2 Series is unmistakable as a BMW. With the signature split grill up front and the blue BMW logo fixed to the front of the hood this version looks a lot like a smaller 4 Series, which is expected. With simple and smooth lines across the sides along with a smooth and easy transition from the hood to the roof and on back, the2 Series offers and elegant look that doesn’t go so far as to be overly sophisticated. The star shaped wheels carrying the load remind us that this is a luxury sports coupe to be marveled at and fully enjoyed.
As with most BMW vehicles the 2 Series offers a great list of very useful standard features. This list includes eight-way manually adjustable front seats, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a ten-speaker audio system with a 6.5-inch display and HD Radio, USB port, dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing windshield wipers. All of these features offer a function that most drivers will need at some time giving excellent value to the equipment contained in the 2 Series.
The optional features of the 2 Series shows up with all-wheel drive, the Track Handling Package which includes a lowered profile, Adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering, M Sport brake and high-performance tires, the Driver Assistance Package that adds a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors to help the driver with more information when parking the car. Once again, BMW doesn’t go for the frills with this car, instead it packs a huge power and performance punch and adds what many drivers need and want to enjoy on the road.
The pricing structure is what should really get you excited as this is a BMW that anyone can own. The starting price for the 228i shows up just above $33,000 with the M235i beginning at a much higher $44,000. Adding the xDrive to either model will increase the price by an additional $1,800 and with all options and features aboard the 228i can reach to nearly $50,000 with the M235i showing a top price point of $55,000. Turning either into a convertible will add $5,500 to the 228i and $4,600 to the M235i. Regardless of the model chosen, the 2 Series is a great choice for anyone looking for an entry level sports coupe as the most powerful in the class and full of excellent BMW features to enjoy.