BMW 2 Series

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.

Editors' Review

The BMW M235i Gran Coupe is a weird little thing. It has more in common with the X2 crossover than the rest of the 2 Series range and it exists as a way for BMW to fight other compact sport sedans like the Audi S3 and Mercedes-AMG CLA35. It's also not a coupe at all, but I digress.

The M235i uses the same 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine as the base 228i Gran Coupe, but its output is turned up to 301 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque -- a pretty significant boost over the base car's 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. All US-spec versions of the 2 Series Gran Coupe use BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive, but there's a catch: This AWD system is based on front-wheel-drive architecture, which is a little weird considering BMW long touted the good graces of rear-wheel-drive cars. Keep in mind, the rest of the 2 Series range -- the coupe and cabriolet -- ride on a different, RWD platform. Like I said, it's weird.

Nevertheless, the M235i Gran Coupe puts up respectable performance numbers. Hitting 60 mph takes just 4.6 seconds and even when I have the car in Comfort mode the transmission gives little aural blats of satisfaction when it shifts. There's a Torsen limited-slip differential up front for better power distribution and the all-wheel-drive system can send 50% of the available torque to the rear if needed. The M235i rides on 19-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tires and the brakes are plenty firm with excellent pedal feel, meaning I can brake later than I think before heading into a corner.

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The Good ~ Punchy turbo engine ~ Snappy transmission ~ Good amount of standard tech

The Bad ~ Leaves a lot of fun on the table ~ Gets expensive

The Bottom Line The 2020 BMW M235i Gran Coupe offers decent power, but lacks joy.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Media 8.5

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