- Powerful engine options
- Reasonably efficient
- Great handling
- Small trunk opening
- Tight rear seats
- Gran Coupe understeers too much at the limit
BMW 2-Series Expert Review
- A four-door Gran Coupe variant joins the lineup in two flavors: the 228i and M235i. Both come standard with AWD.
- M240i coupe and convertible models get Cerium Grey badges and grille frame, and black side mirror covers.
- Long Beach Blue exterior color is now available on M240i coupe and convertible models.
- Melbourne Red Metallic has been discontinued from the M240i, and Sparkling Brown has been removed from all coupe and convertible variants.
- All Sport Line and M Sport models now come with a black grille.
When the BMW 2 Series replaced the 1 Series five years ago, the entry-level model initially launched with coupe and convertible body styles. The biggest change to the 2 Series lineup for 2020—and really, for buyers who just want a more affordable BMW—is the new Gran Coupe sedan. Unlike the RWD-based 2 Series coupe and convertible, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is FWD-based, sharing its underpinnings with the X1 and X2 SUVs. The coupe is also offered as a high-performance model called the M2 Competition.
Not all M-badged BMWs are created equal. When we recently drove the BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe in a 2020 First Drive review, we said the car drives like a simulation of a sports sedan. Although the Gran Coupe handles well, the experience feels artificial and the car understeers too much when pushed to its limits. Despite being a sedan, the 2 Series Gran Coupe isn't as easy to live with, due to its small rear doors. Once you get in the back, there's reasonable space—provided the person sitting up front is of average height. Having taller people sitting up front cuts rear seat legroom significantly. The car's short trunk lid also means you have a small opening, further limiting its usability.
Try a coupe for a purer driving experience. Thanks to parts taken from the M3/M4, the M2 Competition is livelier than the standard M2, especially on the track where you can easily push it to the limit without losing confidence. In a 2019 First Drive, we were also surprised by how comfortable the M2 Competition is outside of the track, making it a viable daily driver. At MotorTrend's 2019 Best Driver's Car competition, the BMW M2 Competition ranked third thanks to its approachable handling limits.
Opting for the more pedestrian BMW 230i coupe or convertible doesn't mean you're sacrificing driving fun. In fact, the two-door 2 Series models are the closest thing to an old-school BMW. In a 2017 First Test, we loved the 230i's playful handling, even when pushed hard to its limit on MotorTrend's figure-eight test, which it finished in 25.1 seconds with a 0.71 g average and 0.95 g of lateral acceleration.
Gran Coupe (228i, M235i)
Gran Coupe models come with a 2.0-liter turbo-four mated to an eight-speed automatic. That might not sound impressive, but the base engine is class-competitive, with 228 hp and 258 lb-ft in the 228i. Upgrade to the M235i and you've got 301 hp and 331 lb-ft. The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe is EPA-rated at 23/33 mpg while the more powerful M235i xDrive Gran Coupe is nearly as efficient at 23/32 mpg.
Coupe and Convertible (230i, M240i, M2 Competition)
The base 2020 BMW 230i and 230i xDrive coupe and convertible come standard with a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Moving up to the M240i or M240i xDrive gets you a 3.0-liter turbo I-6 with 335 hp and 369 lb-ft. M240i and 230i variants can be paired to a six-speed manual or eight speed automatic transmission you stick to the RWD 230i coupe or RWD M240i.
EPA fuel economy ratings are 24/32 mpg city/highway for the 230i coupe with the automatic or 21/32 mpg with the manual. Opting for AWD drops fuel economy ratings to 21/31 mpg on the 230i, which comes only with the automatic. Convertible models have similar fuel economy to their coupe counterparts at 23/34 mpg for the RWD 230i and 21/31 mpg for the 230i xDrive. The M240i has the same EPA fuel economy ratings of 22/30 mpg with the automatic for both RWD and AWD models, or 19/27 mpg with the manual (RWD only).
The M2 Competition is the most powerful variant, featuring a 3.0-liter twin-turbo I-6 with 405 hp and 406 lb-ft. In addition to the standard six-speed manual, you can also opt for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The M2 Competition is EPA-rated at 18/25 mpg with the manual or 17/23 mpg with the auto.
The 2020 BMW 2 Series Coupe received a Good score on most categories of the IIHS' crashworthiness tests, except headlights where it got an Acceptable with the optional adaptive headlights and Marginal with the standard ones (Good is the highest score).
All models come standard with the Active Driving Assistant, which bundles together, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure waring, blind-spot monitoring (Gran Coupe only), and speed limit info. Adaptive cruise control is a standalone option on the all 2 Series models.
The 2020 BMW 2 Series coupe and M2 coupe have a 13.8-cubic-foot trunk. Convertible models have 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space with the soft top down or 11.8 cubic feet with it up. You can expand the coupe and convertible's cargo capacity via its standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats. For added practicality, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has a 15.1-cubic-foot trunk and 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks. The Gran Coupe offers generous legroom at 41.4 inches for front passengers and 34.4 inches for those seated in the rear. The coupe and convertible have 0.1 inches more front seat legroom than the Gran Coupe, but rear legroom suffers at 31.8 inches for the convertible and 33.0 inches for the coupe.
Coupe and convertible models come standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. If that sounds too small, know that you can upgrade to an 8.8-inch unit ble by opting for onboard navigation. Tunes play through a seven-speaker sound system, though a 12-speaker Harman Kardon upgrade is available.
The picture is a little brighter with the new 2 Series Gran Coupe. In that four-door, an 8.8-inch infotainment display and an 8.8-inch gauge cluster display are standard. Go for navigation and the 2 Series Gran Coupe adds a larger 10.3-inch display along with a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The Gran Coupe's standard audio system has 10 speakers, and a 16-speaker system is available.
2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe
The four-door 228i Gran Coupe comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, SensaTec leatherette upholstery, Apple CarPlay integration, a 10-speaker audio system, four USB ports, power front seats, keyless start, and dual-zone climate control.
2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe
Besides a boost from 228 hp to 301 hp, the M235i includes M Sport brake pads, an M Sport suspension, a limited-slip differential, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and leather upholstery.
2020 BMW 230i/230i xDrive Sport Line
The base 230i comes standard with front and rear parking, sensors, LED headlights, LED fog lights, interior ambient lighting, 17-inch alloy wheels, SensaTec leatherette upholstery, power front seats, keyless start, and a seven-speaker audio system.
2020 BMW M240i/M240i xDrive
Moving up to the M240i adds a sport exhaust system, adaptive M suspension, M Sport brake pads, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, Sport+ mode, and a sunroof (coupe only).
2020 BMW M2 Competition
The high-performance M2 Competition comes with a heavy-duty cooling system, M Sport brake pads, an active M differential, a specially-tuned steering system, 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, 14-way power M sport seats, leather upholstery, a 12-spealer Harman Kardon audio system, Apple CarPlay integration, navigation, customizable drive modes, and keyless entry/start.