BMW, despite its seemingly constant evolution from the brand that brought us “the Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline to the brand that brought us the biggest kidney grilles the world has ever seen, still makes cars that are really enjoyable to drive. The 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe is a prime example. It’s bigger than before, is no longer offered with a manual transmission and is packed with all sorts of technology, but it is perhaps the one BMW that most resembles the Roundel of old. And we definitely mean that in a good way.
Of course, the 2 Series Coupe isn’t perfect. Some will surely be turned away by its avant-garde styling — though it’s still comparatively toned down compared to other modern BMWs — with sharp creases and boxy lines instead of streamlined sheetmetal. It’s also a lot larger than before despite the fact that it’s still compact on the inside. Nevertheless, it’s one of our favorite current BMW models, and it doesn’t have any real direct competitors. There are alternatives, to be sure, including those with only two seats (the Toyota Supra), those powered by all-American muscle (Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro) and those boasting four doors (Audi S3, Cadillac CT4, Mercedes CLA), but nothing’s quite like the BMW 2 Series Coupe.
What's new for 2022?
The BMW 2 Series Coupe is an almost total redesign for 2022. The engines are more powerful, the bodywork is bigger and crisper, and the interior design now closely mirrors that of the latest 3 Series. It’s also important to note that this 2 Series Coupe shares practically nothing with the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, which has four doors despite its name and is based on a front-wheel-drive chassis.
The BMW 2 Series Coupe interior is virtually identical in design and materials as its bigger, pricier 3 and 4 Series siblings. This was not the case in the last 2 Series, nor the previous 1 Series. Being able to enjoy BMW’s luxury fittings and best tech in the smaller 2 Series package is a boon for those who want the smallest and lightest rear-drive BMW model (or a two-door BMW without the larger 4 Series’ controversial snout).
While other, newer BMWs are dropping a number of physical controls, the 2 Series retains its horizontal row of physical buttons. It makes climate control adjustments, volume fine tuning and other vital car controls a straightforward procedure. BMW’s “driver assistance systems” shortcut button right next to the hazard button is super smart. No menu diving is necessary when you want to fiddle with the controls. Just tap the shortcut, and you can quickly turn everything off when encountering a twisty stretch of pavement that you’d prefer the lane-keeping system not interrupt.
Ergonomically, the 2 Series is almost there as a driver’s car. You can move the seat far down into the car to feel closer to the ground (or should you have extra-long legs), but the steering wheel doesn’t offer anywhere near enough downward tilt to accommodate the lower seating position. Visibility is solid all around for a two-door coupe. Just make sure you remember that the doors are long and heavy when you swing them open to get out — this is a coupe after all.
BMW’s iDrive 7.0 interface is pretty good. The combination of the available 12.3-inch touchscreen (a 8.8-inch screen is standard) and rotary dial controls that are intuitive to use makes for an enjoyable digital experience. The iDrive rotary knob is neatly positioned in a natural spot to the right of the shifter, but those who prefer using the touchscreen will enjoy that it’s canted toward the driver and responds to inputs instantly.
From a pure numbers standpoint, it’d make sense to assume the new 2 Series would be more practical than the outgoing one. It’s 4.3 inches longer, 2.6 inches wider and has a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase. In fact, this 2 Series Coupe is nearly identical in footprint to the E90 BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006-2011 in the U.S.). That’s great for anybody yearning for an old 3 Series, but less great if you were looking for a uniquely tiny luxury car. The 2 Series Coupe isn’t that anymore.
Thing is, this extra girth has not been put to use expanding the passenger compartment. Rear legroom is down by 0.8 inch, shoulder room ticks down by 1.7 inches and headroom is down an even more impactful 1.5 inches thanks to a minor reduction in overall height. Even the trunk space is down by 3.8 cubic-feet.
Even if all the above is a result of BMW changing the way it measures interiors, which is certainly possible, that wouldn't change the fact that the new 2 Series backseat and trunk aren’t that hot despite the bigger exterior dimensions. The length and width are there for handling, stability and design purposes, not for turning the 2 Series into a family car. If you want a BMW coupe with a sizable rear seat, the 4 Series Coupe awaits.
As the 2 Series grows in size, BMW also increased engine output. The base 230i model is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. That’s 7 horsepower and 36 pound-feet more than the previous model, and it results in a 5.5-second 0-60 mph time (same as before). The 230i is EPA-rated at 26 miles per gallon in the city, 35 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg combined.
Meanwhile, the up-level M240i xDrive variant is upgraded with the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six good for 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque that's found in the M340i and many other BMW models. Its 0-60 time falls to 4.1 seconds. Drivers should see 23 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway and 26 combined.
The 2022 BMW 230i comes standard with rear-wheel drive. The M240i xDrive, as its name implies, comes standard with all-wheel drive. The sole transmission option is an eight-speed automatic, whereas the outgoing 2 Series could still be had with a six-speed manual.
The entry-level 230i hardly feels like a “base” car to drive. In fact, this little 230i should be the sneaky choice for enthusiasts over the M240i xDrive due to its 352-pound lower curb weight and handling talents that give up little to its M-badged sibling. The 230i is also the only rear-drive 2 Series available, though BMW says that could change next year. An optional M Sport Package for the 230i adds BMW’s Variable Sport steering, a stiffer but still passive M Sport suspension, and a bigger wheel and tire package. The Dynamic Handling Package adds even bigger and better summer tires, bigger M Sport brakes and the electric M Sport rear differential. This setup makes the little coupe dance around a canyon road. Neither the chassis, nor brakes, nor acceleration feel second rate in the 230i with all the M packages tacked on. Even the four-cylinder sings a sweet tune through the cabin.
And then there’s the blisteringly-quick M240i xDrive. The M240i and its 382 horsepower will go from 0-60 in just 4.1 seconds. Its chassis has even more going for it than the 230i does, too. BMW adds additional helper struts to support the front axle hubs, adaptive dampers (choose between Comfort and Sport) and bigger summer tires. Plus, all of the extra M items that were optional on the 230i come as standard equipment for the M240i.
The above goodie bag, plus the additional security blanket of all-wheel drive, turns the M240i into an unflappable rock through and out of corners. The chassis will lean ever-so-slightly and work with you through a winding road, and the huge all-wheel-drive power will shoot you out the other side with ease every time. As for the steeringl, turn-in is almost unnaturally light at first but quickly becomes normal after a number of corners, and we appreciate it versus many overly-heavy steering racks on performance cars these days. The eight-speed auto works with rapid effectiveness, encouraging our use of the disappointingly small and plasticky paddle shifters, even though the auto programming is spot-on every time.
What other BMW 2 Series Coupe reviews can I read?
Why we say the 2 Series is the driving enthusiast’s small luxury car to drive home in.
Our review of the car's interior proves the priority of BMW’s personal luxury coupe is the driver.
The base-level 2022 BMW 230i Coupe starts at $37,345. It comes only in rear-wheel-drive configuration for 2022, but there are some desirable options packages to consider. The $3,250 M Sport package adds an upgraded suspension and variable sport steering. The package also includes exterior tweaks that include both dark and chrome trim bits. The Dynamic Handling Package adds $1,900 and beefs up the brakes and includes BMW’s M Sport rear differential. A $1,950 Premium package adds heated seats and steering wheel, adaptive LED lighting, the aforementioned Live Cockpit Pro and automatic high beams.
Buyers will have to come up with $49,545 for the M240i xDrive, and it comes with the M Performance package standard. The Premium Package for the M240 costs $2,750. A Cooling and High Performance Tire Package is exactly what it sounds like, making the 2 Series Coupe more suited for track-day driving for $2,400.
The 2 Series Coupe comes standard with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot and rear-cross traffic warning, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. BMW Assist eCall emergency telematics are also included.
The 2022 2 Series Coupe has not been crash tested by a third party.