Overview & Reviews
Many people aspire to own a luxury-branded sport coupe, but sometimes even established entry-level models can be financially out of reach. If you're in this situation and are searching for a more affordable option, the BMW 2 Series could very well hit the spot.
Compared to BMW's other compact two-door, the 4 Series, the 2 Series isn't as roomy or as comprehensively equipped with standard features. But in just about every other aspect, the 2 Series earns the BMW badge on its hood. It's an impressively fun car to drive, with two powerful engines available and sharp and rewarding handling. And if you do want a fully loaded car, most of BMW's popular convenience and luxury features are still available as options. Granted, some other affordably priced entry-level luxury cars may prove more practical given their four doors or bigger backseats, but overall, the BMW 2 Series is an excellent choice.
Current BMW 2 Series
The BMW 2 Series is a new compact luxury coupe for 2014. (A convertible version is likely to come out in the future.) Two trim levels are available: 228i and M235i. The 228i comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. If you want some additional power, the M235i is equipped with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Directing this power to the rear wheels for both models is an eight-speed automatic transmission; a six speed manual is a no-cost option.
Standard equipment for the 228i includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and BMW's iDrive infotainment interface with a 6.5-inch display, Bluetooth and a 10-speaker sound system. The more powerful M235i adds extra features like adaptive xenon headlights and power front seats along with performance-oriented hardware such as an adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes and a sport exhaust. Major options for both the 228i and M235i include a navigation system with a larger display screen, leather upholstery, heated seats and additional active safety features.
Inside, the 2 Series greets its driver with classic BMW analog gauges, a simple, functional design and high-end materials. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seat is better reserved for extra luggage or small passengers, as both legroom and headroom are in short supply. The trunk is respectably sized, though, meaning the 2 Series should work quite well for weekend getaways.
What really sets the BMW 2 Series apart from other entry-luxury coupes is the driving experience. The 228i might be the base model, but its performance is still better than most other competitors in this price range. The eight-speed automatic transmission is quick to respond to commands, making for easy passing maneuvers and good manners in traffic. Those who want even more punch will want to opt for the M235i, as its potent straight-6 engine really ups the performance ante. While the M235i isn't a traditional BMW M model like the M3 or M5, it delivers high performance yet is still respectably comfortable in normal driving situations.
Used BMW 2 Series Models
The BMW 2 Series is an all-new model, but buyers interested in purchasing a small, used BMW could look at the similarly sized BMW 1 Series coupe and convertible, which were sold from 2008-'13.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 12.00
2015 228i (6-speed Manual) - 2015 BMW 2-Series
By autocplane - December 12 - 8:25 am
I bought this car after seriously considering a VW GTI, which you can buy at a lower price point. (Note I would have also considered the Audi A3, but no manual transmission was a deal breaker, and the GTI really is the same car with a different appearance.) However this was a 2015 and I was able to get a strong deal (about $6000 below MSRP, otherwise I probably wouldn't have been willing to go for it). After considering the performance benefits, maintenance included, nicer styling, and learning that I would actually pay more for insurance on the VW, I chose the 228i. Compared to the VW, you get a nicer engine with much less/no turbo lag and better handling from 50/50 weight distribution and RWD. Also, in my opinion, this car looks much better than the VW. This is actually my first RWD car, having previously owned a Mazda. In comparison, I enjoy the more upscale interior and quieter cabin. I have the Harmon Kardon audio system and enjoy it very much. I've even had two adults in the back seat and consider the space reasonable for this size coupe, but it is certainly easier to get in and out of the back seat of a sedan. The front seats are sufficiently roomy and comfortable, and I have been impressed by the visibility as I have less of a blind spot than I did in my Mazda. Regarding driving feel, I will say in my first few weeks, I missed my Mazda's tight steering feedback and the BMW gearbox took a little adjusting for me. In contrast, in a test drive, I felt the VW gearbox was quite smooth and easy to get used to. Now that I have had some time in the car, I feel accustomed to the gearbox. The BMW ride is quieter and comfortable, but with 18" wheels, some of the larger expansion joints can become more noticeable. I've been impressed by the mileage that I've been getting so far. In the first 700 miles or so (break-in period is 1200), I have been averaging 31 mpg driving gently and using the ECO PRO mode often. Acceleration is sluggish in ECO PRO, but there is certainly no reason not to use it when cruising on the highway. Switching between the modes is very easy beside the shifter. Sport mode makes awakens a totally different personality of more torque and faster throttle response. I opted for the M-Sport suspension, so that gets activated in sport mode as well - truly fun to drive. My driving is mostly highway with about 20% side roads/city. The auto shut-off feature, which is an annoyance to some, is something I appreciate when stopped for a while. The engine starts right up as soon as I depress the clutch and if I don't want the engine to shut off, it is easy to disable or hold off for a moment by keeping the clutch depressed. Last, BMW comes with regenerative breaking, which also contributes to fuel savings. These features and some other subtleties in the BMW come standard, but are not available in many other cars. In the end, I have a feeling I am getting better fuel economy than I would be able to in the VW. But, if I chose to drive aggressively more of the time, I am sure that would disappear. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase (despite some hiccups with the dealer experience, but that has never been smooth for me). I'll note that BMW's options and packages can make things confusing for the buyer as there are so many configurations, and some things that should come standard on an upscale vehicle don't. For me, the overall rating is between 4 and 5 stars due to the things that BMW nickel and dimes you for (such as key-less entry and Bluetooth on the 2015) and an infotainment system that could be a little more streamlined, although I have gotten used to it and do like it. If you do your research, you can spec out a great car. I plan on enjoying mine for years to come, and am looking forward to completing the break-in period.
Great Car - 2015 BMW 2-Series
By Dennis Didier - November 18 - 11:39 am
I started out to buy a 4 series. I liked the style and performance. I was all set until a salesman asked if I had looked at the M235i. I hadn't ever considered it because I thought it was a rehashed 1 series. I took the M235i for a test drive and was thoroughly impressed. A while later, I tested a 228i and really liked it. In fact, I liked it so much, I ordered one. I ordered my MSport 228i pretty much loaded: MSport, track pack, tech pack, premium pak, Harmon Kardon, etc. I chose the 2 over the 4 because I have all the same running gear with 200+ lbs less weight. And that equals better performance and mileage. When I drive the car in "comfort" mode, it is the easiest car I've ever driven. But, when I punch "sport" mode, the car completely changes personality. The steering tightens, the car lowers, throttle response changes the only thing that doesn't change is the radio station. It eats corners and accelerates very smoothly. The car possess's no perceptible turbo lag. It is a great looking and great performin car. It is what a BMW should be. It puts a grin on my face.
Awesome is the only way to describe the BMW (F23)! - 2015 BMW 2-Series
By Dennis - October 27 - 1:40 pm
The handling and ample room influenced my decision to order a BMW over the Jaguar F-type and Audi TT I was considering. At just under $55k, my car was ordered with the optional M exhaust, technology package, drivers assistance package, M performance side sill kit and 438M orbit grey wheels. Although I don't care for the rim colors, I have made arrangements to get these triple chrome plated. It should set off the Melborn Red Metallic paint and black convertible roof. Being from the Shreveport, LA area, I found an outstanding deal in this custom order with BMW of Dallas. Ryan Chong worked out a no hassle deal that was outstanding as compared with local dealers. Thank you Edmunds, Ryan and BMW of Dallas. I would highly recommend this vehicle and the 4 year warranty along with the included 4 year maintenance contract are an added bonus when buying a car of this status. Respectfully, Dennis
Fun and Luxurious Sports Car - 2015 BMW 2-Series
By tonkovich - June 24 - 5:28 am
My 2015 M235i is the best car I have ever owned by a wide margin. It is nearly as comfortable as the Nissan Altima that I used to own and way more fun to drive than either of my previous Acuras (an Integra GS-R and an RSX Type-S). Acceleration and handling are truly amazing and the interior is fantastic in terms of ergonomics, features, and quality. While I can't stress enough how much I love this car, it does have a few drawbacks that might turn some people off. For example, it is not the roomiest car and certainly not fit as a family car. Also, the ride quality, while by no means terrible, is not as compliant as I would like. Additionally, it is not exactly an inexpensive vehicle.
Outstanding Coupe! - 2014 BMW 2-Series
By clint76 - May 21 - 5:52 am
Overall an outstanding coupe, significant improvement over the 1 series. The engine is impressive with no noticeable turbo lag, steering has been lightened up in the comfort mode but does get heavier in the sport mode. Handling in the corners is on rails, wish I was back in Germany driving on the autobahn! Interior design is well thought out, controls are easy to use and the temp display is visible with polarized sunglasses now (a problem in my 330xi). Trunk space is good and with the seats down there's lots of room to carry cargo. Back seats are OK for a short drive but I rarely have anyone in the back seats so no big deal for me. Got the mineral grey color/black interior looks great!
Love the Styling - 2016 BMW 2-Series
By Aerodog - October 5 - 12:25 am
Not a big car guy...just know what I like...and what I have experienced...YMMV. Traded in a 2014 Honda Accord Coupe, loved it and would have bought a 2016 but Honda gussied it up, added chrome and lost the clean lines I prefer. Also, took delivery of a new Colorado last year (worst purchase ever), just replaced it with a new Tacoma (a great truck). For me, the comparison between the Japanese products with which I am familiar and the German offering is quite interesting. While I would not trade my BMW coupe for anything, I think the Japanese are a bit ahead in a couple of areas. The 2 Series coupe auto shift is not nearly as smooth as what I am used to in the Tacoma or Honda. In fact, I sometimes think I could manual shift smoother. It was not a deal breaker but my 2014 Honda had perforated leather seat inserts, just like i used to spec out when I sold new business jets. It makes the leather softer to sit on and cooler in the summer. The leather on my new 2 Series did not come perforated which I would have preferred. In spite of BMW's very clever use of computer technology, the main gages are what we in the aircraft industry call steam gages. I would have preferred to have digital read outs. After all, this is 2016!!! While there is a bit of wind noise, it provides a great driving experience.
BMW as it used to BE - 2016 BMW 2-Series
By Richter - May 22 - 11:42 pm
Superb handling in all driving modes. 4 runflat tires, no spare! (I don't know where a person would buy a BMW with non-runflat tires, ALL models have them) I don't know if I mentioned this, but great handling!! All modes. Very comfortable seats My local dealer, is second to none. Especially where service is involved. Great visibility Great MPG Very tight body with no creaks or rattles.
Am I the only one? - 2014 BMW 2-Series
By Bored - October 29 - 7:08 am
I purchased a 2014 228i with 9K miles after an exhaustive look at other cars such as the Audis, Mustangs, and Cameros. This was the comprimise between what I wanted (Audi A6 w/ 6 cyl) and what my wife wanted (Camry). Love driving it. Drives wonderfully. Quick, steers well, and is fun to play in. However, I've only had the car for 8 months and it has already been in the shop more than any other car I've owned. Every little thing seems to want to fail. Since I bought it: replaced the radio/nav (still doesn't show traffic), replaced rear shocks, fixed the sunroof, replaced the AC control unit, fixed/adjusted several different sensors and ninnies... Even as I type this, I have it scheduled to return to the shop tomorrow to fix more issues. Unfortunately, depreciation is forcing me to keep it a while longer, but I'm afraid that once the warranty is over next spring I'll be on the hook with a non-stop list of fixes. Maybe I got a bad one. I hope so, as I love driving the thing and all of the reviews are positive relating to its reliability.
This little car is unbelievable! - 2016 BMW 2-Series
By KG - December 9 - 7:59 am
This is an amazing car! This is my first BMW and to be honest, I can't believe I've lived this long without one! I have the convertible and it is so beautiful. I love driving it and can't get enough of it. I have a 2006 GTO as well and they look quite nice in the garage together!
A BMW that actually performs like a true BMW - 2014 BMW 2-Series
By roadburner - April 6 - 9:46 pm
I picked up a CPO 2014 M235i about two weeks ago. My wife insisted that I check it out; I originally intended to drive it first and then drive a couple of new Mustang GTs in the same general area. As it turned out I ended up making a deal then and there. I was honestly surprised at how good it was. The car is about the same size as an E36, which suits me perfectly(a main sticking point on the Mustang was its size). It has just about every option, and fortunately there's no Helen Keller Package(Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure warning, etc.). It's also an automatic, but being the Sport derivation of the ZF HP8 I can live with it(in any event, I still have the E36/5 Club Sport and Wrangler TJ to keep my left foot in practice). What do I like? The transmission actually does what I want it to do in Sport+/Manual mode- every other BMW automatic I have driven has tried to second-guess me- including the B7 press loaner I tested a while back. Think: electronic full manual valve body, for any older drag racers out there. Durability should be decent as the M235i Racing gets essentially the same transmission, albeit fitted with more aggressive software. The Adaptive M Suspension literally transforms the car when you toggle into Sport or Sport+. It's almost like two different cars. I've never driven a BMW where the EDC or AMS made such a huge difference. The standard M Performance Power Kit really eliminates the turbo lag; with 330 lb-ft of torque available from 1300 rpm it almost feels like some of the big block Chevys I drove in my misspent street racing youth. Fuel economy is hovering around 25 mpg, which is more than good enough for me. Michelin PSS in a staggered setup are standard. No run flats- hallelujah! The sports seats with adjustable bolsters are excellent as expected. It's no wonder that BMW NA is making them standard fitment in many US models; the base seats in most newer BMWs are only good for generating business for chiropractors. The H-K audio is good enough that I don't feel like I have to tweak it right away. Dislikes? The steering could use a bit more feel. That said, the effort and ratio(s)-Variable Sport Steering is standard-is very good. I agree with Bob Harper from BMW CAR: the IP needs oil and water temperature gauges instead of the "///M 235i" graphic that illuminates as soon as you open the driver's door The brakes are great but the pedal feel is somewhat wooden. No LSD. I will definitely have to add one sooner than later; at half throttle it will light up the rear tires in Comfort mode with DSC fully enabled. Track time will have to wait a few months. The 2ers first outing will be at Putnam Park- which is my "home" track. I'm too old to attempt to learn a car and a track at the same time. It will also see at least one night at the local 1/8th mile strip- might as well test the Launch Control... A couple of people asked me to compare it to the E30 M3; the 2er is not as light on its feet and it lacks the "hard-wired to the synapses" experience of the original M3. However, it is very comparable to the E46 M3 in terms of handling and braking. Power in contrast, is more akin to that of the E9x M3- at least from a usability standpoint on public roads. In any event, I can easily see keeping this car for a decade or more. Who knows when/if Munich will build anything RWD in this size class again? So... Is it worthy of an ///M badge? I'd say it's closer to an "is," but that said, most everyone has forgotten that the first M car based on a production model was the E12 M535i- which boasted the M30 3.5 motor from the E24 635i along with an upgraded suspension, an M body kit, and aggressively bolstered front seats. Sound familiar?