After spending some time in the bonkers quick BMW 240i last year I was itching to get behind the wheel of another 2 Series. While I love spending time in hot hatches – owning a VW Golf GTI project myself – there’s something to be said for coupes that send power to the rear wheels and slant you down in a driving position that’s all about driver engagement.
The latest generation BMW 2 Series goes back to the brand’s roots after experimenting with the ‘hot hatch’ lifestyle by way of a 2 Series Gran Coupé. That particular car was about as interesting to enthusiasts as a horse-drawn cart, but don’t let that experience deter you from the wonder that is the angular, straight-to-the-point, 2-door coupé I have here.
This is about as close to a throwback as you’ll find on the market today, less bloat, plenty of power, and tonnes of fun. Just like the 1972 BMW 2002 project, my automotive colleague Justin Jackie is working on.
With the introduction of the new 2 Series Coupé, BMW is signalling that it’s going back to its roots to make cars for people who love driving. It’s some of the most fun I’ve had in a car in the last 12 months, and while it’s not the fastest thing you can buy for around $80,000 out the door, there are few things I’d rather spend my money on if ‘joy-factor’ is the aim of the game.
|High Point||Low Point||Verdict|
|Few brands have a history of making a ‘fun to drive’ coupé quite like BMW. They’ve leaned on their experience to forge a class of their own and the 230i is my pick of the bunch. Quick enough, plenty of engagement, a nimble chassis, but packing all the tech you’d expect.||The ride is a little stiff around town, and while I like to see the coupé driving position as an advantage over the hot hatches on the market there’s no doubt a hatch is more comfortable for everyday use.||The latest BMW 2 Series Coupé is in a league of its own, literally. There isn’t a car on the market that blends the sporty nature of a classic coupé with modern tech and|
In many ways, the 2 Series Coupé has no real competition in the market. You have to look internally to find anything that combines the recipe of rear-wheel-drive, front-engined, and ‘sporty nature’. You have a plethora of very quick hot hatches you can get for similar money – and you’d be correct in assuming they’re a ‘sensible’ decision for the masses – but they’re not in the spirit of a buyer who’s looking for a true coupé.
The fact of the matter is, owning a coupé in the 2020s is like being a part of an exclusive club, you ‘get it’ and those in hatches and small SUVs don’t. I think you know where I stand here.
It goes beyond the body style too, because the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is a gem. And while the 6-cylinder in the 240i is in a different league when it comes to all-out power, this unit is the terrier of the BMW lineup.
It’s so willing to give you everything it has, spool up the turbo and it gets moving. Offering 190kw (258hp) and a 0-100km/h time of 5.8 seconds it’s the sweet spot and offers good fuel consumption to boot. Drive it sensibly and you’ll manage in the region of 6.4 litres/100 km.
Step inside the 2 Series Coupé and you’ll find that it carries over most of the bigger 3 Series tech of the previous generation. That’s not to say that it feels outdated, because there’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto displayed on a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The driver is treated to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a sport steering wheel, and Alcantara finishing on the upholstery (M Sport). Although the tech is being replaced in newer models such as the iX1, new M2, and face-lifted 3 Series, it’ll still feel modern for the ownership period.
It’s also worth mentioning here that although the interior is roomy for a coupé and far larger than vehicles like the Toyota GR86, it’s considerably pokier than a 4 Series or equivalent hatchback. This car is about driving and BMW wants the car to shrink around you like a true sports car, which it is.
So how does this package all come together? Driving the 2022 BMW 230i is a joy. It’s hard to compare it to anything else on the market because it’s not a hatchback, it’s not a Toyota GR86, and it’s not a Ford Mustang.
In reality, it blends the best of all those worlds with enough power, plenty of driver engagement and a true coupé experience with all the frills. You get the pace of the hot hatch, the connected nature of cars like the GR86 and the practicality of a Mustang with a BMW badge stuck on the front.
I found the ride a little firm around town but that translates to a well-connected experience when you push the car through a few bends on the weekend. And while the 230i will happily serve as a daily driver, it’s just as happy being kept in the garage until the sun comes out and you have a chance to throw it at a few corners again. In fact, it’s pretty easy to convince me that an iX3 and a 230i is the best two-car solution BMW offers.
After driving the 240i and being blown away by how capable that car is, it takes a lot for me to say that I’d consider saving the $20,000 AUD and opt for the 230i. Check out the link below for more information on the new BMW 2 Series Coupé and spend some time in the configurator to spec a car for yourself today.
A full list of pricing for the 2 Series Coupé can be found below.
- 2022 BMW 220i ($61,900) plus on-road costs.
- 2022 BMW 230i ($70,900) plus on-road costs.
- 2022 BMW 240i ($89,900) plus on-road costs.
A full list of options for the 2 Series Coupé can be found below.
- Comfort Package adds a heated steering wheel, lumbar support, and heated front seats.
- Enhancement Package adds Black Sapphire metallic paint, an electric glass sunroof, and 19-inch M Light alloy wheels.
- M Sport Package Pro adds Ambient light, M Aerodynamics, M Lights Shadowline highlights, M Sport suspension, M seat belts, M rear spoiler, M headliner in anthracite, and more.
- Executive Package adds remote engine start, tyre pressure monitoring, alarm system, sun protection glazing, harman/kardon surround sound system, and the BMW Drive Recorder (dash-cam).