Yes, the 2-series is the entry-level BMW and is the lowest-price sedan offered by the German car company. But it’s still a lot of fun. In fact, the 2-series offers the sporty performance that BMW used to be known for. Way back when, my mom had a 2002 and this reminds me of that classic Beamer.
The four-passenger 2 Series was first introduced for the 2014 model year. It’s available in 230i, M240i and M2 trims; the first two are new for 2017. Starting prices range from $33,150 to $52,500. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available. If you want a soft-top convertible, you can get it in the 230i or M2 trims with starting prices ranging from $38,950 to $51,050.
The 230i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or eight-speed automatic at the same price. The M240i gets a 3.0-liter turbo four-banger that makes 335 hp and 369 pound-feet. Still want more power? The M2 gest the same engine but delivers more horsepower at 365. It comes standard with a six-speed automatic or you can bump up to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Yep, it’s fun to drive. The 230i accelerates quickly and corners like a dream. Its small size makes it easy to dart around in city traffic and squeeze into tight parking lots. The six-speed manual shifts smoothly. At freeway speeds, the ride is smooth and refined.
EPA ratings for my tester with the manual transmission re 21 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with a combined rating of 25 mpg. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior boasts upscale materials and comfortable seats, but there are few bells and whistles. The iDrive infotainment system takes some getting used to, but becomes easy to operate after you get the hang of it. It has a knob controller between the two front seats, similar to the Audi and Mazda systems, that operates a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay is available.
The rear seats are tight and best suited to kids, or as a place to stash your handbag, coat or a couple grocery bags.
The 2 Series has 13.8 cubic feet of storage in the trunk which is large for the segment. The rear seats fold down expanding cargo room to 53 cubes which is as much room as in some small crossovers.
Fun to drive; nimble handling
Comfortable and supportive front seats
Lots of cargo room for a small car
Small backseat as you’d expect
Infotainment system takes getting used to
Price increases quickly with options
My tester starts at $33,150. The Valencia Orange color is $700. Oyster Dakota leather is $1,450. Cold Weather Package is $700 and adds heated steering wheel, heated front seats and retractable headlight washers. Driving Assistance Package is $950 and adds rear view camera and Park Distance Control. Lighting Package is $900 and adds Xenon headlights. Premium Package is $2,950 and adds universal garage door opener, keyless entry, moonroof, power front seats, lumbar support, ambient lighting and satellite radio. Track Handling package is $2,300 and adds 18” wheels, M Sport brakes, adaptive M suspension and variable sport steering. Aluminum trim with black accents is $350. Apple CarPlay compatibility is $300. Wireless charging is $500. Navigation system is $1,950. Harmon/kardon premium audio system is $875. Destination charge is $995 bringing the grand total to $48,070.
The 2 Series offers BMW handling at a reasonable price along with a stylish interior and a surprising amount of cargo space. The 230i offers zippy performance that will please most drivers; those who want more power can get one of the higher trims.