2019 230 New Car Test Drive
The 2019 BMW 2-Series is a sweet reminder that not every new car must be a crossover SUV.
The 2-Series coupe and convertible are the spiritual successors to the iconic and beloved BMW 2002 from the 1960s. The current 2-Series is about the same size as the 3-Series was 10 years ago, which means while it can carry five passengers, it's better at two adults plus two occasional passengers.
This year BMW offers two engines in two models. The 230i sports a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 248 horsepower, while the M240i gets a thrilling 335-hp turbo-6. Both engines come in other BMWs, but in the 2-Series they feel even faster because the car is so relatively light. The rear-wheel-drive 2-Series can be outfitted with available (and affordable) all-wheel drive, and with a 6-speed manual to swap in for the standard, excellent 8-speed automatic. The M2 sport coupe is a low-volume, higher-performance version of the 2-Series.
For 2019 the 2-Series gets standard automatic emergency braking. It hasn't been fully crash-tested yet, but the IIHS has called it a Top Safety Pick, even without the automatic emergency braking.
The EPA rates the 230i coupe at 24 mpg city, 35 highway, 28 combined, while the 230i xDrive with all-wheel drive earns 24/33/27 mpg. The convertible gets 1 less mpg. Enthusiasts pay a price for the fun of shifting, as the 6-speed gearbox brings the mileage down by 3 mpg.
The M240i only suffers by 3 mpg for its 87 more horsepower, rated with the automatic at 21/30/24 mpg, whether coupe or convertible, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both engines need premium fuel. .
The 230i coupe starts at about $36,300, and BMW throws tempting options at buyers. All-wheel drive costs a reasonable $2,000, while the convertible is also reasonable, at $4,800 more.
Standard equipment on the 230i includes synthetic leather upholstery, 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, automatic emergency braking, and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with a controller. Apple CarPlay is optional.
An M240i xDrive convertible with navigation, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, and premium audio can push $60,000..