With BMW’s other models featuring twin-kidney grilles that are bigger than ever and styling that appears to sacrifice some of their heritage for the sake of modernism, the BMW 2-Series might seem like a welcome throwback to the model’s of yesteryear. Its resemblance to the 1960’s era 2002 is more than a coincidence, and the 2 has proven to be a spunky offering when driven by a skilled driver. But even this small model needs an update from time to time, and the company has unveiled the 2022 BMW 2 Series lineup.
Enhancing The Retro Vibe While Sharpening Its Image
The 2022 BMW 2 Series exterior has always been a very handsome suit of clothes, and the 2022 model appears to pick up where the outgoing one left off. While some of its links to the past have been blurred for the sake of sharper lines, there are some welcome traits that still make it a fan favorite. The twin-kidney grilles here have resisted the growth spurt and are still compact and retro-flavored. The long hood and short deck configuration are still here, and it allows the 2 Series to maintain its tidy proportions. The rear fascia has also been reworked and now benefits from new taillights and a reworked rear bumper. The 230i BMW featured in its press images today is less spicy looking than the M240i, but we like the E46 style hood bulge and some of the sprinkles of 2002 DNA that stand out with the white paint featured.
The M240i kicks the sportiness up a notch and comes with sharper creases and bulges along with a sprinkling of M-infused badges to help it stand out from the rest of the crowd. That crowd is still a potent set of contenders, with the BMW competing with the Mercedes CLA-Class and the Audi A3.
2 Series Interior Offers Less Space But Promises Better Technology.
The 2022 BMW 2 Series is slightly larger than the outgoing model, but the bigger exterior dimensions don’t necessarily translate into a bigger cabin. Space is still sports sedan intimate, but occupants have to make do with less space. Head, leg, and shoulder room are all down slightly compared to the old model, while the trunk’s 13.1 cubic ft of space gets trimmed down to a tidy 10.0 cubes, so you will need to pack carefully when prepping for a long road trip. The cabin comes equipped with iDrive 7, and this latest iteration of the software comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Other goodies include BMW’s phone as a key function, cloud integration, and Amazon Alexa integration.
A new dash design also defines the space, and it appears that the seats in both models have been improved versus their outgoing counterparts, with the M240i, in particular, appearing to benefit from the extra bolstering. When viewed in the broader scheme of things, the 2022 2 Series still manages to be more dynamic than the CLA Class though the Audi A3 is gaining ground.
Enthusiast Friendly Performance
The 2022 BMW 2 Series gets its performance from two engines that sadly ditch the new model year manual. The 230i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder which is good for 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims that the 230i can make the sprint to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The M240i uses a beefier 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that makes 382 hp and hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Both top out at 155 mph, though look for that particular feat to apply only to certain sections of the Autobahn.
An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission here (we’ll miss the manual dearly), but on the plus side, it comes bundled with launch control as well as a novel “Sprint” mode that forces the transmission to shift into the lowest gear after you hold the left shift paddle for one second. Handling here has been enhanced with a wider front and rear track and an extra 12 percent boost in overall stiffness. A front strut and five-link rear suspension are standard on the 230i, but those can be swapped out for stiffer versions of the same components. On the other hand, M models benefit from an optional M Adaptive Sport Suspension system that monitors the road and adjusts the system to be softer in urban commuting or stiffer when it senses that the car is being flung about. Oh, and as a bonus, the M240i even adds a front strut that connects to the side sills and is supposed to help enhance stability even further.
Owners will even benefit from new wheel options, with the 230i coming standard with 18-inch wheels (bigger 19-inch hoops are an option.) As for the M240i, it makes the process for this simple by banishing the 18-inch wheels to the phantom zone and making the bigger 19-inch wheels standard equipment. It will be interesting to see how these tweaks help improve the car’s handling out in the real world but look for discerning drivers to definitely notice more lateral stability and less squirminess when tackling a sharp corner.
When Can I Buy A 2022 BMW 2 Series?
BMW has not released official pricing for the 2022 BMW 2 Series lineup nor when the car will begin making its way to dealerships. However, expect it to follow the path laid out by some of its corporate teammates and not come cheap. A current-generation 230i starts out at $35,900 while a comparable M240i xDrive has a base sticker of $48,350. That’s on target, though with others in its segment, and it is less expensive than some flavors of the CLA and A3.
Oh, and definitely expect an M2 variant to follow suit once these models have a chance to establish themselves in dealer inventory. The current generation M2 is a hoot to drive, and with the potent legacy that the new one has to live up to, we expect BMW to throw everything but the figurative kitchen sink at it in the company’s attempts to make it stand out more on a race circuit. BMW is not ready to spill the beans just yet on the next-generation M2 (we asked really nicely about it via email), but we hope to hear more when the firm is ready to share.
In the meantime, look for the 2022 BMW 2 Series to continue to be a refuge for buyers looking for a simpler flavor of BMW that celebrates the simpler side of things and also earmarks key elements of the past in its exterior styling though tightening safety regulations will make it interesting to see how much longer the company can walk this fine tightrope before its forced to make more substantial changes to the car.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.