- Sleeker, more graceful exterior
- Upgraded, modern cabin styling
- Abundant available high-tech features
- Good gas mileage ratings considering performance
- Back seat still likely to be tight
- Relatively expensive, especially in M235i form
- No convertible version available--yet
The 2014 BMW 2-Series takes the former 1-Series Coupe into more mature, well-equipped, design-forward territory.
The BMW 1-Series Coupe is no more--but it's being replaced by the new 2-Series. Longer, wider, and roomier, as well as slightly more expensive, the new 2014 BMW 2-Series Coupe offers familiar drivetrains and styling in an improved, upgraded package.
Smoother, sleeker, and sportier are the buzzwords for the new 2-Series. Building on the proportions of the previous 1-Series Coupe, the slightly larger 2-Series wears its curves and angles with more grace; the sometimes-awkward angles of the 1-Series are gone. The proportionately long hood, arched roof, and stubby tail echo the former 1-Series, but are wrapped in flowing curves and undulating surfaces that reflect influence from the larger 4-Series Coupe.
Inside, the cabin has been updated as well, with a split design that places a clear emphasis on the driver. As with the larger BMWs, a range of trim and appearance packages offer customizable look and feel for the discerning driver.
At launch, two engines will be offered: the 228i gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine rated at 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque; the M235i gets BMW's 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, rated at 322 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in this application. Both can be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. In 228i form, the new coupe accelerates to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds when equipped with the automatic; the M235i auto hits 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Despite the extra power of the M235i, both score similar gas mileage figures. Both models get their best numbers with the automatic transmission, the 228i scoring 23 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. With the manual gearbox, the 228i rates 22/34/26 mpg. The M235i with the eight-speed auto scores 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined; with the manual, it's good for 19/28/22 mpg.
With the larger exterior dimensions of the new 2-Series Coupe comes more interior space, too. The tight rear seat of the previous 1-Series grows with an additional 0.8 inches of leg room. That's not likely enough to make it truly comfortable for most adults, but it should improve short-trip suitability. A special Easy Entry function for the front seats improves rear-seat accessibility, while the door entry itself grows by 0.4 inches. Taller drivers (and passengers) will also appreciate a similar increase in front-seat head room.
The trunk space in the 2-Series also grows with its overall size, with an opening that's 1.5 inches wider than before, growing by 0.7 cubic feet to 13.8 cubic feet total. The rear seat is a 60/40 split-folding unit that folds down to allow larger cargo. Around the cabin, two cupholders, large door pockets, and a glove box offer space for smaller items.
As for features, the 2014 BMW 2-Series promises a setup worthy of the brand, including optional navigation with iDrive, a touch-sensitive console controller, a central display up to 8.8 inches wide, a wide array of driver assistance and connected services, and several advanced safety features. High-end entertainment and electronics are also available, including a Harmon Kardon HiFi audio system, Bluetooth audio streaming, and more.
The 2014 BMW 2-Series hasn't yet been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Ad ministration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The BMW 2-Series makes its global debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show next January, and goes on sale shortly afterward at a starting price of $33,025 for the 228i and $44,025 for the M235i (prices include $925 destination and handling fee).