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#2

in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $32,100 - $43,100
Invoice: $29,530 - $39,650
MPG: 23 City / 36 Hwy
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BMW 2-Series Performance

The automotive press says the 2014 BMW 2-Series offers one of the most entertaining driving experiences in the class thanks to its agile handling, powerful turbocharged engine options and rear-wheel drive layout.

  • "As the only rear-drive car in its class, it should come as little surprise that the BMW 2 Series coupe reigns supreme in the fun-to-drive department." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's small and nimble, with the sort of performance-based ethos that the company has moved away from in recent years. Offered with a pair of fast yet frugal turbocharged engines, the 2 Series just might be the most engaging car BMW makes." -- AutoTrader
  • "In the end, if you're looking for a sporty entry-luxury coupe that drives well and looks the part, be sure to check out the BMW 2 Series." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 BMW 228i comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower. The M235i comes with a 320-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Both models are available with a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. The 228i achieves up to an EPA-estimated 23/36 mpg city/highway, which is good for an upscale small car. According to BMW, the M235i can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph.

Reviewers are impressed with the 228i's sprightly acceleration and think this model should be plenty fast for most buyers, though they agree that the M235i’s turbo six is quite potent and delivers very quick acceleration. Test drivers say that either transmission is an excellent choice because the manual shifts with precision and the automatic shifts smoothly.

  • "The base 228i coupe has a strong, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that deftly balances performance and fuel economy. It will satisfy most buyers." -- Edmunds
  • "This spirited driving experience isn't reserved exclusively for the range-topping M 235i either, as the 240-horsepower 228i and its available 6-speed manual gearbox are more than capable of giving dedicated sports cars a run for their money." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Either way, we like the manual shifter's snick-snick throws, but the ultra-smooth automatic actually gets better fuel economy, so that's something to keep in mind." -- AutoTrader
  • "Our seat time at the 2-series launch was restricted to the M235i for a brief but informative drive. The expected rapid acceleration produced by the N55 is accompanied by a bit of extra noise from off-throttle exhaust overrun. ..." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the 2014 BMW 2-Series is very agile and balanced, with well-controlled body motions during cornering, as well as communicative steering. Reviewers say the 2-Series’ ride is on the firm side, but still comfortable, and more composed than its German rivals’. The 2-Series comes standard with BMW’s Driving Dynamics Control, which allows you to select different driving modes. When coupled with the available adaptive suspension system, reviewers remark that the 2-Series has a very comfortable ride on virtually any road surface.

  • "With its 50/50 weight distribution, firm suspension tuning, and high stability-control threshold, the M235i has the responses of a cheetah." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The electric power-steering system communicates more about the road surface than in the 4-series, which itself marked an improvement over the latest 3-series. More impressive is the M235i's balance, and the way it delivers just the right amount of body motion to let you know how hard it can be pushed." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2014 BMW 2 Series coupe's selectable drive modes, coupled with its available adaptive suspension, make for a very smooth ride, whether you're driving over the most pitted city streets, flat highway stretches or winding mountain passes." -- Edmunds
  • "At highway speeds, the cabin is less immune to wind noise than the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA, though neither of which can match the BMW when it comes to stability and overall ride compliance." -- Kelley Blue Book
Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

Next Steps: BMW 2-Series