2018 230 New Car Test Drive
The thing about the BMW 2 Series is its size. It's the original size, the correct size, before nimble small cars got big, like about 50 years ago when the truly iconic BMW 2002 ruled the back roads. So that's what the 2 Series gives you, that the 3 Series doesn't. More feel, more nimble, more thrill if you care to take it there.
The engines were new for 2017. The BMW 230i gets a beautiful 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, while the BMW 240i outrageously and wonderfully gets a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo.
Coupe or Cabriolet, either model.
The 2.0 turbo in the 230i makes 248 horsepower, while the 3.0 turbo in the M240i makes 330 horsepower. Two transmissions are available, an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual. The xDrive all-wheel drive is available with either engine, mated to the automatic transmission.
There's also an M2 model that's pretty extreme in its capabilities, overkill for the street. But if you intend to use it for track days, it's a winner. It's still the 3.0 twin-scroll turbo engine, but built with stronger pistons and cylinders, to handle 365 horsepower created by more turbocharger boost pressure. The M2 rockets from zero to sixty in 4.2 seconds with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, or 4.4 seconds with the six-speed manual. Top speed is 155 mph.
One thing BMW does to keep tradition alive and the price low, is offer a base model with fabric seats and few options, to go with the manual transmission. Bare bones, like the original 2002. So, fewer expensive features, but you still get the best of BMW engineering, engine, transmission and handling without having to pay for the luxury you can live without. You'll have just as much fun with this car.
With rear-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic, the 230i gets an EPA-rated 24/35 miles per gallon City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined. With all-wheel drive, the M240i xDrive gets 21/31/25 mpg, not bad for 330 horsepower and awd. And the 2 Series aced its IIHS crash tests.
Not much has changed for 2018, different options packages, a couple new colors, some other small things.
The rear-wheel drive 2018 BMW 230i coupe ($33,150) comes with fabric seats with manual adjustment, and no rearview camera. Also available: the 230i Convertible ($38,950).
The high-performance M2 Coupe ( $52,500) comes with the six-speed gearbox, or optional seven-speed dual-clutch with paddle shifters. Standard equipment includes heated seats, navigation, adaptive cruise control, and electronic safety features, but still not a rearview camera. An Executive package adds a heated steering wheel, plus park distance control, automatic high beams, active driving assistant, and that rearview camera. The Drivers Package adds 13 mph to the 155-mph top speed.