The BMW 2-Series is available in either 248 hp 230i or 335 hp M240i variants, rear-wheel drive versions can be had with a 6-speed manual while all-wheel drive models are 8-speed auto only. Standard specifications, performance and quality levels are high while interior space and practicality is in short supply. Notable features like autonomous braking with pedestrian detection, self-parking system, limited-slip differential (for M240i) and updated iDrive controller ensure that the 2-Series remains a strong competitor in the compact sport coupe class.
The BMW 2-Series has been a refreshing return to form for the Bavarian manufacturer and the 2017 model year sees a brace of new engines and updated specifications introduced to the popular little entry-level sport coupe.
The interior of the 2-Series is a mix of high-quality materials and soft touch plastics. The front seats offer excellent support and plenty of head and leg room for even taller passengers. Buttons and controls feel solid and despite the 2-Series’ entry level status it has the same premium feel to it as its larger stablemates.
Thanks to its smaller dimensions the rear seats are not quite so accommodating as in those larger models. Two adults could just about survive shorter trips but only children would be able and willing to endure the rear seats for longer periods. Cargo space in the rear is acceptable if not overly generous.
The 2-Series offers the kind of plugged-in driver centric experience that has been missing from some of the marques recent offerings. A tightly controlled chassis, combined with powerful engines make for a very satisfying car in which to tackle a mountain pass in. You may expect that the ride would suffer in the name of ultimate handling ability but it manages to iron out rough surfaces even when equipped with larger diameter wheels and the M240i’s standard sport suspension.
Despite its small dimensions the 2-Series is a consummate cruiser and the hushed cabin and good straight-line stability ensure that as long as you are sitting in the front even longer journeys are easily tackled.
The 2-Series has received two new engines for 2017 and has consequently been rebadged as the 230i and M240i. The 230i is available with a 2.0-liter inline-4 which produces 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and the M240i offers a 335 hp inline-6 with 369 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive models can be optioned with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive models are available solely with the 8-speed automatic.
Acceleration and consumption figures vary slightly depending on which transmission option is selected and whether the drive is sent to the rear or all four wheels but even the base 230i is a strong performer capable of completing the 0-60mph sprint in as little as 5.2-seconds. The brawny M240i gets that time down to 4.2-seconds in xDrive form which is within a hair of what the dedicated M versions are able to achieve.
The 230i comes equipped with 17-inch alloys, 7-speaker audio system, 6.5-inch iDrive system incorporating Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. Dual-zone climate control and automatic headlights as well as a folding rear seat which greatly aids cargo capacity.
The Premium Package for the 230i offers keyless ignition, power front seats and a range of convenience items such as folding power mirrors.
The 230i comes standard with the Sport Line Design body elements package, there is also a Luxury Design Elements option which adds luxury themed styling touches or the M Sport Design option which in addition to M styling components adds M sport suspension, comfort access, sunroof and ambient lighting.
The M240i comes equipped with most of the above including elements of the M Sport Design option and Premium Pack and adds adaptive suspension, 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes and adaptive Xenon lights into the mix.
Driver Assistance and Driver Assistance Plus Packages add further safety features such as surround parking sensors, lane departure warning and autonomous braking with pedestrian detection. There are also a host of individually optionable items such as a limited-slip differential for the M240i or additional Technology, Cold Weather and Luxury Packages to choose from too.
For 2017 the 2-Series sport coupe has been subtly updated with two new engines being the most notable changes and it continues to offer the sort of focused driving experienced that BMW built its reputation on.
The compact dimensions benefit dynamics but tight rear seating and limited cargo capacity are the inevitable trade-offs. Comprehensive convenience and safety devices are available through a range of packages and individual options.