The BMW 2-Series is available in two trim levels, 230i and M240i. Both come as 2-door coupes or convertibles. Both cars are rear-wheel drive, though xDrive all-wheel drive is available on both trims. The 230i is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 248 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. The M240i features a turbocharged 3.0L straight-six powerplant that produces 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet. Both cars come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission, but a 6-speed manual is a no-cost option on either model.
A big part of the mission of the 2-Series is to be fun to drive. BMW has accomplished this through an all-independent suspension with a 5-link rear suspension setup, a fairly unique feature in this class. The 2-Series is thus able to out-handle most of its competitors in addition to being quite quick in a straight line. Body roll, dive and squat are all nicely controlled without compromising the car's ride quality.
The BMW 230i is the more pedestrian of the two models but still comes reasonably well equipped. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, an 8-way adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 folding rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for the stereo and Bluetooth setup, a 6.5-inch full-color display, a USB port, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and a memory system that remembers the driver's favorite settings for everything. The 230i can be equipped with either Sport Line or M Sport upgrades, which add features like larger wheels, rear spoiler, improved suspension calibration and more.
The M240i comes better equipped, starting of course with the stronger engine. Other features on the M240i include bigger brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power adjustable front seats, a sports instrument cluster and dynamic cruise control.
Optional items on the 2-Series include leather seating surfaces, satellite radio, heated seats, a moonroof, a Harman/Kardon premium sound system and concierge services. Packages include a driver assistance package with parking sensors and a rear-facing camera, as well as a technology package, which includes a navigation system with real-time traffic updates and access to BMW apps. A Track Handling Package adds Adaptive M Suspension, variable sport steering, M Sport brakes and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
The 2-Series convertibles in both 230i and M240i guise are equipped similarly to their coupe counterparts, with a power-operated top that takes just 20 seconds to raise or lower.
Safety features include anti-lock brakes, stability/traction control and several airbags. The BMW 2-Series also comes standard with an emergency request system that will activate in the event of an accident. The system comes with a 10-year subscription.
Here's a car that lets you enjoy that wind-in-your-hair fun not with just one passenger, but with as many as three. With two-plus-two seating and a punchy turbo engine under the hood, the BMW M240i Convertible boasts a promising spec sheet from the outset. Moreover, the 2 Series remains, in my view, the most enthusiast-friendly model range that BMW currently offers, with great dynamics in all its three (230i, M240i, ) variants. Surely that makes this topless, fun-in-the-sun version a home run?
When it comes to the primary duties of being a convertible, the BMW 2 Series handles them with aplomb. Lowering the powered soft top at the push of a button takes just 22 seconds and, better still, you can perform the convertible ballet while moving at up to 30 miles per hour. If, say, it were to start pouring down while you were driving home from the airport, that might come in handy… not that I'd know anything about that. When the top is up, it's remarkably well insulated against wind and road noise. This is not a convertible in which you have to crank the radio to hear your podcast on the highway.
It is, however, a convertible in which you can bring more than one friend -- something we can't say of Roadshow favorites such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata or pricier options like the Audi TT Cabriolet or Porsche Boxster. Like many two-plus-two convertibles, the rear seats are best used with the top down (so there's unlimited headroom) and either for children or for short journeys. Legroom is tight at all times, and headroom is on the short side when the roof is raised.
The Good Readily accessible driving thrills, Instagram-ready curb appeal and a surprising amount of everyday practicality.
The Bad Its interior design is dated and plain, and its equipment list modest.
The Bottom Line If you want a convertible that's engaging to drive and able to carry three of your friends, look no further.
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