BMW's replacement for the outgoing 1-Series coupe, the 2-Series, rounds out the sporting credentials of its spirited predecessor with sleeker styling, a more upscale cabin and numerous new technology features. It won't disappoint those seeking a small luxury two-door with engaging driving dynamics.
The 2-Series is available as a coupe discussed herein or as a convertible.
For the latest model year the 2-Series gains BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system and a new Track Handling Package (detailed below).
Furthering BMW's reputation for understated style, the 2-Series applies the brand's kidney grille and hoffmeister kink C-pillar cues to a 7/10ths-scale version of the classic long-hood, short rear deck coupe form.
Inside, the 2-Series borrows much of clean design and comfortable appointments with the iconic 3-Series sport sedan; the two also share numerous powertrain and platform components. A duo of simple, legible gauges greet the driver from behind a sporty three-spoke steering wheel, while a choice of brushed aluminum, wood or silver matte trims adorn the dashboard and door panels. Available Sport and M Sport lines - more on those later - let buyers personalize the interior with unique trim, upholstery and design elements.
Supportive standard seats or optional sports thrones provide a comfortable experience for those sitting up front, though limited leg- and headroom means that the rear seats are an occasional-use only affair. Trunk space is rated at a sedan-like 13.8 cubic feet.
All 2-Series models are fitted as standard with BMW's knob-based iDrive infotainment system, which has evolved over the years from a bewildering complex unit to surprisingly simple and user-friendly system. It displays stereo and vehicle information on a tablet-style 6.5-inch screen mounted atop the dashboard; navigation-equipped coupes get a larger 8.8-inch display along with a touchpad mounted on the iDrive knob that lets users write out phone numbers, contact names and navigation destinations - and also zoom in or zoom out the map - with a finger.
Other notable technologies include options such as automatic high beam headlights and an automatic parallel parking system that steers the 2-Series into a spot while the driver controls the gearshift, accelerator and brake.
The 2-Series is offered in 228i and M235i forms, each of which is powered by a unique motor.
The 228i's engine bay is home to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. That output lets the 228i sprint from zero-to-60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
The M235i takes things up a notch with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that produces 322 horsepower and 332 - making it roughly powerful as the acclaimed 1-Series M. Sixty mph arrives from a dead stop in just 4.8 seconds.
Both the 228i and the M235i come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but an enthusiast-friendly six-speed manual is available as a no-cost option. Fuel economy is rated at 23/36 city/highway mpg for the 228i auto and 22/34 for the 228i stick; the M235i returns 22/32 with the auto and 19/28 with the stick.
Buyers in cold climates can order both versions of the 2-Series with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system.
Aside from its more powerful engine, the M235i is set apart by an Adaptive M Suspension with electronically-adjustable dampers; Variable Sport Steering that adjusts to provide heightened low-speed agility and increased freeway stability; upgraded M brakes; an aggressive exterior bodykit; and sport-flavored interior trim. Notably, all of these items can be added as optional extras to the 228i.
Standard and Optional Features
The 228i is fitted as standard with leatherette upholstery, an AM/FM/CD/HD radio stereo with USB input, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, iDrive with 6.5-inch display, multi-function steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, auto on/off headlights, foglights, power windows and locks, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The 228i can be upgraded with optional Sport and M Sport Lines. The Sport Line brings high gloss black exterior trim, upsized 18-inch alloy wheels, sports seats with special upholstery, an anthracite headlinder, no-cost wood or aluminum interior trim, a stiffened M Sport suspension, and a less intrusive top speed limiter that increases maximum velocity from 130 to 155 mph. The M Sport Line includes an aggressive exterior body kit, shadowline exterior trim, a rear spoiler, 18-inch M alloy wheels, M Sport suspension, an M Sport steering wheel, a unique instrument cluster, special Estoril Blue interior accents, M driver's footrest and ambient interior lighting.
The M335i adds the more potent turbo straight-six motor, the contents of the M Sport Line, an M Adaptive Suspension, variable sport steering, Xenon adaptive headlights with LED accent lights, retractable headlight washers, power-adjustable front seats, a sunroof, and an advanced vehicle & key memory that retains climate control, exterior mirror, stereo tone and lighting preferences.
Many of the M335i's features can be added to the 228i.
Both models are offered with several optional equipment packages.
The Cold Weather Package includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Driver Assistance Package brings parking sensors and a rearview camera; while the Driver Assistance Plus Package builds on those items with speed limit info, Lane Departure Warning and Active Blind Spot Detection. The Technology Package adds a navigation system with an 8.8-inch display, real-time traffic info, BMW Online and BMW Apps, an iDrive touchpad, enhanced USB and Smartphone integration, and BMW remote services emergency communications system. The Premium Package brings leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, Comfort Access with remote start (automatic models only), SirusXM radio and a universal garage door opener.
Finally, the Track Handling Package adds a lower Adaptive M suspension setup, variable sport steering, beefier M brakes and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires mounted on 18-inch alloy wheels.
Stand-alone options include a 16-speaker, 600-watt Harman/kardon premium stereo, automatic high beams, an anti-theft alarm system, heated front seats, parking assistant auto parallel parking system and concierge services, which includes personalized services such as restaurant and hotel recommendations that are sent to the 2-Series' navigation system.
All 2-Series models are fitted as standard with dual front, front side, front knee and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Available safety options include a lane departure warning system, blind zone alert and automatic collision notification.
As a compact luxury sport coupe, the 2-Series doesn't have any true rivals. The Audi TT is similarly coddling but larger, less agile and more expensive. The Infiniti Q60 is similarly sporting, though it too is bigger and much pricier. On the lower end of the price spectrum, the Ford Mustang is quicker but less luxurious.