BMW 2-Series Research

The Car Connection BMW 2-Series Overview

The BMW 2-Series is a compact two-door coupe or four-door sedan in Gran Coupe guise that serves as the entry point for the luxury brand. It's available in a wide range of powertrains, although all of them manage to be sporty and sharp.

For 2022, the coupe versions of the 2-Series received a full redesign that modernized the interior and pushed the cabin back to give it very attractive long-hood and short trunk proportions that match its rear-wheel drive platform. 

MORE: Read our 2022 BMW 2-Series review

The current 2-Series is the spiritual successor—perhaps not the lineal successor—to the vaunted BMW 2002 that catapulted the automaker into America as a luxury brand.

With the 2-Series, BMW has a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz CLA, Audi A3, and Acura ILX.

Although technically it’s the 3-Series that’s the descendant of that enthusiast icon, the 2-Series comes closest to its size, simplicity, and sharp, communicative driving experience. 

The new BMW 2-Series

This redesign kicks off the second generation of the 2-Series, the first was introduced in 2014 as a spiritual successor to the 1-Series. 

There are four models in the lineup, the Gran Coupe is sold in 228i and M235i variants, with the former featuring a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, making 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and the latter getting a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 good for 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. The coupe is sold as the 230i or M240i, with the base coupe featuring the same turbocharged 4-cylinder but up tuned to 255-hp. Most exciting is the M240i with its turbocharged inline-6 that's good for 382 hp and 369 lb-ft and a 0-60 mph time of just 4.1 seconds. The whole lineup uses an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The 228i Gran Coupe models have available with all-wheel drive, matching both M variants which come with AWD standard. The 230i is rear-wheel drive only.  From behind the wheel, the new 2-Series coupe apes the fun and communicative as 3-Series models of the past, offering excellent steering and handling.

Across the lineup the 2-Series has ample front-seat space, with some cupholders and small storage spaces that BMW models haven’t always offered, yet back-seat space is definitely tight. Cargo space is decent in the Gran Coupe at 15.1 cubic feet, but that drops to just 10.0 cubic feet in the coupe.

The 2-Series technology has been upgraded to be on par with the rest of the lineup, both models offer wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay thanks to a bump up to the latest BMW infotainment system. Large screens can be optioned in both the instrument cluster and the center console.

The 2-Series was introduced for the 2014 model year, and while related to the 1-Series that preceded it arrived longer, wider, and better-proportioned than the 1-Series, as well as more upscale in its cabin appointments and better-handling than its predecessor.

The BMW M2 arrived in 2016 after making its debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The M2 offers a 365-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 and a choice between a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. It accelerates to 60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds and reaches an electronically limited 155 mph. Upgrades include lightweight 19-inch wheels, stouter disc brakes, a limited-slip differential, and a completely retuned suspension and steering system.

For 2017, the 228i and M235i became the 230i and M240i, respectively. The nomenclature change marks the arrival of new turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinder engines. 

For 2019, BMW made automatic emergency braking standard on all models.

For 2020, BMW added the 2-Series Gran Coupe four-door all-wheel-drive sedan available with a 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 in the 228i, or a 301-hp turbo-4 in the M235i. Both models use an 8-speed automatic transmission. 

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September 12, 2017
2018 BMW 2-Series Coupe

2018 BMW M2

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This car has a lot of potential, and I believe in the coming years BMW will improve it with perhaps adding a adjustable suspension, straightening out the seating position and making the cabin quieter. I'm... + More »
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October 3, 2016
2016 BMW 2-Series 2-Door Coupe M235i RWD

Most fun of any car I have owned.

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Really enjoy the size and the power. Much like the e46 2001 I had.
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October 22, 2015
2016 BMW 2-Series 2-Door Coupe 228i RWD SULEV

True to the BMW tradition

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Have owned several BMWs over the years (my first was the 1600 from 1968.) The 2 Series compensates for what BMW's other series have become: bloated and cushy to satisfy American tastes. When I recently drove... + More »
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