2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe Review:Driving Impressions

Beverly Braga, Independent Expert | Nov 16, 2021

The all-new 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe is priced for performance. Its subcompact size doesn't lend much to practicality, but if you want a small, fast car that sounds bigger than it is, then the second-generation 2 Series Coupe might be for you.

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The BMW 2 Series debuted in 2014 to replace the 1 Series and competes in the subcompact luxury car segment.

The 2022 BMW 2 Series is all new and available in Coupe and Gran Coupe variants. Initially available as a coupe and convertible, the latter has been discontinued from the new lineup. The Gran Coupe debuted in 2020.

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The BMW 2 Series Coupe is available in two trim levels. At launch, the standard 230i Coupe is now rear-wheel drive (RWD) only, while the M240i xDrive Coupe is all-wheel drive (AWD) only. Previously, buyers could have both with either RWD or AWD. This also varies from the 2 Series Gran Coupe, which is available in front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.

The M2 Competition is unavailable at the 2022 BMW 2 Series release date, which is November 2021. However, rumors and spy shots swirl that the next-generation M2 will arrive sometime next year.

The BMW 230i Coupe comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The M240i xDrive Coupe boasts a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6. Its potency is rated at 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. This propels the AWD coupe to 60 mph in a claimed 4.1 seconds versus the 5.5 seconds the RWD model requires.

More performance-oriented than its Gran Coupe sibling, the BMW 2 Series Coupe price is slightly higher. The 2022 BMW 230i Coupe starts at $36,350 and the M240i xDrive Coupe starts at $48,550. Compared to the previous model, both are minimal MSRP increases—$450 and $200, respectively. The destination charge is an additional $995.

The 2022 BMW 2 Series has an 8-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Those who prefer a stick shift are out of luck as a manual transmission isn't available on any 2 Series model.

For this review, I managed some seat time in both the 230i and M240i xDrive coupes. The Melbourne Red BMW 230i Coupe had a few extra packages (Dynamic Handling, M Sport, and Premium) as well as a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Including destination, the little sprinter totaled $46,570.

The M240i xDrive Coupe featured a premium paint (Mineral White), illuminated M trim, lumbar supports, and Harman Kardon audio, as well as the Driving Assistance, Shadowline, and Premium packages for a total of $57,295.

Independent Expert Opinion: Interior Design, Comfort, and Utility - Find the best BMW deals!

2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe Mineral White Front Quarter View

Photo: Beverly Braga

The 2022 BMW 2 Series interior is, as expected, a driver-focused one. The standard sport seats are wrapped in a perforated SensaTec faux leather with genuine Vernasca leather optional for either coupe model. The leather-wrapped sport steering wheel features newly designed multi-function buttons, and the shifter-commander knob area is within easy reach for accessing other vehicle controls and functions.

Soft upholstery abounds, like on the center storage bin top and door panels. Matched with the 3-spoke steering wheel, there's no shortage of comfortable areas to rest one's arms and hands. The sport seats are, of course, well-bolstered.

A neat design touch is 3D triangular shapes within the door panels. Although reminiscent of an "As Seen on TV" sandwich press, the repetitive design is more striking (and less pocket panini-like) in the 2 Series. In the M240i xDrive Coupe, a splash of BMW M's trademark blue, violet, and red appears below the door handle.

However, although the cabin certainly looks premium, the actual look and feel is hit or miss. Tap on the iDrive controller, and the resonating sound is without substance. The matted finish keeps the lower console area looking clean and dust-free, but the cheap feel of the plastic is a turnoff. Other frequent touchpoints like the air vents are of the same suspect flimsiness.

The new BMW 2 Series Coupe is 4.3 inches longer (or 3.5 inches for the M240i xDrive) and 2.6 inches wider than its predecessor, but spaciousness still leaves a lot to be desired. The cabin offers plenty of front-seat room for petite drivers, but anyone of average build and height will feel MX-5 Miata-level snugness.

The 2 Series Coupe second row isn't where I'd like to be for an extended period and should be reserved for occupants in child seats—if those even fit. I'm 5-foot-2 and sitting in the rear seat behind my driving position, which is close to the steering wheel, didn't offer much in terms of rear legroom.

The trunk is equally compact. And due to the coupe's sloping roofline, the short trunk lid could make loading and unloading bulky items a bit tricky.

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2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe Interior Dashboard Front Seats

Photo: Beverly Braga

The new BMW 2 Series Coupe features an 8.8-inch infotainment display and a 5.1-inch driver information screen as standard equipment. BMW Live Cockpit Plus featuring the iDrive 7 operating system is included and offers navigation, real-time traffic, connected apps, and over-the-air updates. The 2 Series also comes with two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a one-year SiriusXM satellite radio subscription, and wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The available Live Cockpit Professional upgrades the telematics to a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch instrument panel display. Also available and new for 2022 is a head-up display that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to feature information from those smartphone services.

The 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe comes with several advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) as part of the automaker's suite of safety features called Active Driving Assistant. This includes lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, speed limit information, and the newly added active blind-spot warning. Also standard is a rearview camera, automatic parking assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Adaptive front LED headlights, automatic high beams, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and a 360-degree surround-view are options for both coupes. Also available is BMW Drive Recorder. This driver-activated feature uses the existing ADAS cameras to record up to 40 seconds of video while driving or up to 20 seconds before and after a collision.

Independent Expert Opinion: Driving the 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe - Find the best BMW deals!

2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe Mineral White Rear Quarter View

Photo: Beverly Braga

True to its spec sheet, the redesigned 2 Series Coupe is a lively little beast. Featuring the same engines of the larger 3 Series and 4 Series but in a smaller package, the new 2 Series gets to speed with minimal effort and turbo lag.

Behind the M240i xDrive Coupe's steering wheel, drivers are treated to the glorious sounds of that powerful 3.0-liter turbo-6. The M240i features not only more aggressive styling than the starter 230i but also more aggressive performance. Along with the ever-reliable xDrive AWD system, an M Sport differential, adaptive M suspension, and M Sport brakes are standard on the M240i. The result is a deliriously quick pace.

In Sport mode, the BMW M240i xDrive Coupe is race-car stiff with precise steering. Downshifts are on point but even smoother when utilizing the paddle shifters. There's a playfulness to the vehicle, but it won't feel unhinged. In fact, the feeling of speed is deceiving. You can hit 110 mph, but the car is so stable it feels like a pedestrian 70 mph. The 2 Series is engineered that well. But, perhaps, too much so.

For all its fun points, there's still a disconnect from the driver's seat because the car is doing all the work. You, the driver, are merely along for the ride. Literally. Maybe if equipped with a manual transmission, that innate connection, that necessary driver involvement, would make the driving experience more engaging. But as it stands, even after all the canyon loops, track laps, and acceleration tests, the 2 Series is the speed demon, and you're the spectator behind the wheel.

Independent Expert Opinion of the 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe - Find the best BMW deals!

Subcompact cars are supposed to be priced akin to their size, ergo affordable. In the luxury market, they are a cheap entry ticket into the world of premium nameplates. The redesigned BMW 2 Series exceeds expectations in some ways, but in others, not so much.

BMW packed the new 2 Series with a ridiculous level of performance. In the case of the M240i xDrive Coupe, 382 hp is more than necessary to move the vehicle's 3,871-pound curb weight. Enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the coupe's handling and dynamics. But as good as the paddle shifters are, they might be left wanting for a manual.

Also, because of its size, all the comfort and conveniences are really meant for front-row occupants. Godspeed to those of you relegated to the back seat. Hopefully, you are provided with knee pads.

Within the subcompact luxury car segment, the competition is even-keeled. But even so, the BMW 2 Series holds its own against the Audi A3Jaguar XELexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, having outsold them all in 2020. And, despite its minor faults, the new BMW 2 Series is likely to do the same after a full sales year under its belt.

Beverly Braga is a freelance writer and consultant with nearly 20 years of experience as a storyteller and communications professional. In addition to JDPower.com, her work has appeared in numerous print and digital outlets covering the automotive, entertainment, lifestyle, and food & beverage industries.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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