If forced to choose the true “ultimate driving machine” from BMW’s lineup of the past few years, the BMW 2 Series Coupe will top our list every time. It satisfies the needs of core enthusiasts because of its small size, light weight, rear-wheel drive, a magnificent in-line six-cylinder engine, and a manual transmission option. The fashionable and classic BMW proportions will only add a lot of color to the BMW diehards. Even though the old 2 series is singing a farewell tune, we are still singing its compliments.
This means that this brand new 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe has a lot to look forward to. However, just as BMW quickly became a tradition, many of the next-generation cars that were previously beloved did not stick to the status quo. The new 2 series is much larger, has a controversial styling, and no longer offers manual transmissions on its 230i and M240i models.
In short, this new 2 Series Coupe is a mature and mature version of its somewhat naive previous models. This applies to its characteristics and size. Comparing the old 230i with the new model, the 2022 model is 4.3 inches long, 2.6 inches wide, and 1.0 inches lower. To take you one step further, the footprint of this 2 Series Coupe is almost the same as the E90 BMW 3 Series Coupe. This is great for anyone who yearns for the old 3 series, but if you are looking for a unique small luxury car, it’s not great. That’s no longer the case with the 2 Series Coupe.
BMW used this transformation opportunity to try a new styling direction for the 2 Series. Similar to the new M car, the photo does not give you the full picture. The ruggedness of its sharp, straight edges gives the design a look and personality different from any BMW in recent memory. This is not as round and smooth as the 4 series coupe, the powerful, compact personality of the old car has also disappeared. Diagonal lines, boxed fenders and straight lines dominate. You won’t mistake it for the shrunken one or the baby one. This is the new 2 Series Coupe, and you either love it or hate its uniqueness-weird kidney grille and movable shutters that mimic traditional slats, weird diffused taillights and retro hints.
One aspect of a car that should be universally loved is the new interior. It is very similar in design to the more expensive 3 series, always uses high-quality materials, and is very luxurious. The previous 2 series seriously lacked BMW’s latest technology in its last few years, but all of this will be resolved in 2022 with the latest iDrive 7 infotainment system and a large number of large screens-10.25-inch infotainment system and 12.3-inch digital cluster It is the top of the optional standard 8.8-inch infotainment and analog meter. If you want to make your car a more friendly daily driver, you can add a head-up display and a full set of driver assistance systems in the 2 series for the first time.
However, don’t think that the larger external dimensions make the 2 Series more passenger friendly. This is actually a tighter squeeze for the rear seats, reducing legroom by 0.8 inches and headroom by a full inch and a half. Thanks to the lower overall height.
As the size of the 2 series has increased, BMW has also increased its engine output. The 230i base model is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can produce 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. This is 7 horsepower and 36 pound-feet more than the previous model, and it results in a time of 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds (the same as before). At the same time, the M240i xDrive is upgraded with the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine as the M340i and many other BMW models, which can provide 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 time dropped to 4.1 seconds.
We drove two models, so let’s start with the entry level 230i. First, it hardly feels the “basic” car to drive. In fact, this compact 230i should be a sneaky choice for M240i xDrive enthusiasts, because its curb weight is 352 pounds low, and its handling ability is almost nothing compared to its M-marked siblings. Since there is no manual option, both the basic and M Sport models are equipped with BMW’s first-class eight-speed automatic transmission. 230i is also the only rear-drive 2 series available at the time of release, because the M240i will initially only support xDrive. BMW said that the rear-wheel drive version will be launched next year with the 230i xDrive.
Dynamically, the 230i makes full use of all the changes BMW has made for the new generation 2 Series. The front wheelbase has increased by 2.8 inches, and the rear wheels have increased by 1.9 inches. The camber angle is dialed in more aggressively. New aluminum wheel bearings reduce weight. At the same time, the optional M sports package for the 230i adds BMW’s variable sports steering system, a stiffer but still passive M sports suspension, and a larger wheel and tire package. The dynamic handling package adds larger and better summer tires, larger M Sport brakes and an electric M Sport rear differential. The car we drove was equipped with these two kits. Although we can’t say how the basic lite 230i compares, this setup allows the small coupe to dance on canyon roads.
However, its beat is slightly different from the old 2 series. The wider wheelbase and longer wheelbase are immediately noticeable, and bring greater stability than the old 2 series in terms of straight-line acceleration and handling. However, it is not without mischief, as the sturdy 294 pound-feet of torque is enough to easily spin the rear end in sport traction mode. In the 230i with all M kits installed, there is no second-rate feeling in terms of chassis, brakes or acceleration. We cannot say the same for other small luxury cars such as Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz A-Class, because they are more stable and soft before you enter the S3 and AMG variants respectively. Today you can leave the parking lot with a 230i loaded with M, and enjoy an absolute explosion without doing anything to the car-even the four-cylinder engine sings a sweet tune in the cabin.
Then there is the extremely fast M240i xDrive. According to BMW, it is only 0.1 second to 60 mph slower than the outgoing M2 race, and we have no doubt about it. The M240i and its 382 horsepower will definitely speed up the mountain at the speed we expect from the M2. Its chassis is also more suitable for it than the 230i. BMW added additional auxiliary struts to support the front axle wheels, adaptive dampers (choosing between comfortable and sporty) and larger summer tires. In addition, all the additional M items available on the 230i are standard configurations of the M240i.
The gift pack above, plus the extra safety blanket for all-wheel drive, turns the M240i into a calm rock in and out of the corner. The chassis will tilt slightly and traverse winding roads with you, while the huge all-wheel drive power will allow you to easily shoot from the other side every time. When it comes to steering feel, we are reminded of the new M3 and M4, because the turn is almost unnaturally light at the beginning. It quickly became normal after many corners, and we appreciate how it compares with many of the heavy bogies on today’s performance cars. The eight-speed automatic transmission is highly efficient and encourages us to use disappointingly small and plastic shift paddles, even with automatic programming every time.
This small coupe can easily become our favorite application for BMW velvet inline six-cylinder engines. Although rear-wheel drive may become more interesting, the all-wheel-drive version that is heavily biased towards rear-wheel drive has been well Finished the track (with a few caveats). BMW asked us to put some purple M240i xDrive in the Thermal Club-yes, one of the factory’s exterior colors is purple. Sorry, Thundernight Metallic. Although the acceleration and traction on the track are excellent, we could have adopted a harder brake pedal and stronger support to maintain all the capabilities around the track. In other words, making the M240i a better tracked vehicle may hurt it on the street because its forgiving suspension makes daily driving more unbearable. On the bright side, its wider wheelbase and longer wheelbase greatly help inspire confidence with a longer sweeper. Just don’t expect to achieve the performance of a full M car through this M Sport effort. It will make people smile after a few laps, but the track potential of Series 2 has not yet been fully realized.
All the improvements made by BMW are very positive on the surface, but the new 2 Series has us torn in a nostalgic way because it is a far cry from the Mini 1 Series that this model began to live in in the late 2000s. Everything is done to make it handle better, drive smoother and faster, but all require compromise. Although the 2 series is technically better than before in almost every aspect, we have not lost the price of improvement. It is heavier—108 pounds for 230i and 209 pounds for M240i xDrive. The feel of its small car is weakened, which is conducive to stability. It is just more refined than the original and sometimes rough 2 series, and the 2 itself is more refined than the original, often tattered 1 series. This new car is still attractive, but it’s not as attractive to drive as before.
Even with some compromises in the pursuit of performance, the new 2 Series is still one of our current favorite BMWs and one of the world’s best driving performance small luxury cars. We would say that it is the best in its class, but it is the only car in its class. Although there are other luxury cars at the price point of the 2 series, they compete more directly with the 2 series Gran Coupe, which is a four-door front-wheel drive car that has almost nothing in common with the Coupe. As for the other two-door cars, Toyota GR Supra and Mustang are reasonable choices at this price point. The 230i starts at $37,345 and the M240i xDrive starts at $49,545. However, the Mustang will never rise to the luxury level of the 2 series, and the Supra and its BMW parts box have only two seats inside. Likewise, you are looking for alternatives rather than competitors.
BMW has recently experienced some fluctuations and mistakes. Although the 2 series is not our home run version, it is a safe doubles. No matter what you think about the styling, we can still say that the 2 Series is a small luxury car for driving enthusiasts.