2015 BMW 2 Series Review
2015 BMW 2 Series Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Impressively quick yet fuel-efficient with either engine
- excellent handling
- supple ride
- high-quality, feature-rich interior.
- Cramped backseat
- no sedan body style offered.
The 2 Series convertible debuts midway through the model year, and all models except the M235i convertible can be outfitted with all-wheel drive. There's also a new Track Handling package for the 228i, though it's basically last year's Dynamic Handling package by a different name.
Providing generous helpings of performance and refinement in an exceptionally well-executed package, the 2015 BMW 2 Series is a top choice among entry-level luxury cars.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 BMW 2 Series 228i 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$170/mo for 2 Series 228i
2 Series 228i
Avg. Compact Car
Great cars don't always enjoy a lot of fanfare, and the 2015 BMW 2 Series illustrates the point. Before the 2 Series' debut last year, we knew it would be replacing the entry-level 1 Series -- but aside from its smoother styling, it just looked like a variation on the same sporty theme. Once you've driven the 2 Series, though, you'll likely wonder why there isn't more fuss about this attainably priced all-star. Its engines are relentlessly capable, its interior is much nicer than that of its predecessor and its superb handling makes it perhaps the purest driver's car in BMW's lineup.
Taking center stage for 2015 is the new 2 Series convertible, equipped with a fabric roof that powers up or down in 20 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. If you opt for Comfort Access (BMW's version of keyless ignition and entry), you can even operate the top remotely using the key fob. Also new this year -- and a significant departure from the strictly rear-wheel-drive 1 Series -- is xDrive all-wheel drive, offered on the coupes as well as the 228i convertible. If you want AWD in your two-door BMW, the case for buying the larger, pricier 4 Series just got a lot harder to make.
Indeed, it's easy to make the case that the Edmunds "A" rated 2 Series is one of the best values on the market. The "base" four-cylinder 228i hits 60 mph in about 5 seconds flat, yet it returns highway mpg in the mid-30s. The six-cylinder M235i, meanwhile, cranks out 20 more horsepower than the mechanically similar 435i, and its standard sport steering, adaptive dampers and big brakes (all available on the 228i via the Track Handling package) take this already superb two-door to a new level. Either way, the interior is worthy of BMW's reputation for high quality, and iDrive comes standard, too. What more could you ask for in this price range?
Well, OK, you might like an extra set of doors, which brings the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and the 2015 Audi A3 and S3 into play. Connoisseurs tend to prefer BMW's rear-wheel-drive dynamics, but these front-drive-based alternatives handle very well in their own right, and their four-door designs make them more versatile. We also recommend the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang, as its newfound refinement makes it a more plausible BMW substitute than ever before. But if you're looking for all-around excellence, it's tough to avoid the conclusion that the 2015 BMW 2 Series is the car to beat.
Performance & mpg
The 2015 BMW 2 Series is rear-wheel drive by default, but all-wheel drive ("xDrive") is optional on every model except the M235i convertible. An eight speed automatic transmission is standard, with a six speed manual offered as a no-cost option on RWD models only.
The 228i has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, a RWD 228i with the automatic ran from zero to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds.
The M235i steps up to a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that pumps out 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. We hustled a rear-wheel-drive M235i automatic to 60 mph in a blistering 4.5 seconds (4.8 seconds for the convertible).
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2 Series depends on which engine you choose and whether you prefer a coupe or convertible. On the rear-wheel-drive 228i coupe with the automatic transmission it is 28 mpg combined (23 city/36 highway) and 27 mpg combined (23/35) with all-wheel drive. The RWD 228i manual drops to 26 mpg combined (22/34). The convertible 228i gets an estimate of 27 mpg combined (23/34) with RWD and 26 mpg combined (22/33) with AWD.
Fuel economy estimates for the M235i automatic stand at 25 mpg combined (21 city/32 highway) with RWD, and 24 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway) with AWD. The RWD M235i manual drops to 22 mpg combined (19 city/28 highway).
All 2 Series models have an automatic stop-start function, which shuts off the engine when you're stopped to save fuel. Automatic-transmission cars also have a launch control feature.
Standard safety equipment on the 2015 BMW 2 Series includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes (with brake-drying and fading-compensation features), traction and stability control, and hill-start assist for manual-transmission cars. Front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and (on the coupe) full-length side curtain airbags are also standard.
Optional safety equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a lane-departure warning system and a frontal collision mitigation system with automatic braking.
During Edmunds testing, a 228i M Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, a better than average performance. The M235i was even more impressive, performing the same task in only 106 feet (104 feet for the convertible).
The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2 Series its top rating of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal offset, moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof-strength tests. The 2 Series' seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2015 BMW 2 Series is exceptionally civilized for a high-performance machine. Road and wind noise levels are luxuriously low in the coupe, though the convertible's interior is a bit louder than we'd like. Either way, the ride is firm but never harsh, even with the suspension calibrations at their sportiest. Driven normally, the 2 Series could fool you into thinking it's a personal luxury car. But if you feel like attacking some corners, the 2 responds with excellent body control, precise steering and unflappable poise -- especially with the M235i's (or Track Handling package's) upgrades. Few cars at any price are this composed at both ends of the spectrum.
In the engine room, the base 228i hardly feels like settling. Punching far above its nominal 240-hp rating, with superior fuel economy to boot, the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder is good enough to make you question the need for the M235i's 3.0-liter six-cylinder. But then you drive the exquisitely refined, astonishingly quick M235i, and you're quickly reminded why BMW's inline-6 engines are among the all-time greats. You really can't go wrong either way. The eight-speed automatic transmission is another highlight, responding smoothly and quickly to commands. It's heartening to see the sweet six-speed manual soldiering on as a no-cost option, at least for now.
Inside, the 2 Series employs an understated, driver-centric control layout that will be instantly familiar to BMW fans. Materials quality is very good for an entry-level luxury vehicle, giving up little to the ostensibly fancier 4 Series. BMW's iDrive infotainment system controls one of two available displays: the base 6.5-inch version or the Technology package's crisper 8.8-inch widescreen. While the iDrive system looks good and responds quickly to commands, we've found it often requires a few more clicks and whirls of the dial to access desired functions as compared to Audi's MMI or Mercedes' COMAND interfaces.
In typical BMW fashion, there are multiple front seat designs to choose from. Our preference is for the ultra-supportive sport seats, whether you get the 228i's optional manual chairs or the M235i's standard power thrones. As for rear passenger space, the 2 Series is a compact car, and adults won't fit comfortably unless they're compact themselves. That's not unusual for the segment, though, and the backseat works nicely as a parcel shelf or a place to buckle in small children.
Trunk capacity in the coupe is a respectable 13.8 cubic feet, and the rear seatbacks fold down to allow transport of longer items. In the convertible, BMW projects a 7 percent improvement over the 1 Series convertible's 8.5-cubic-foot cargo hold with the top down.
2015 BMW 2 Series models
The 2015 BMW 2 Series is a two-door coupe or convertible with seating for four. There are two trim levels: 228i and M235i. The convertibles are equipped similarly to the coupes, except they feature automatic pop-up roll hoops and a power-operated fabric roof that's black by default, with two optional colors (Anthracite and Brown) enhanced by a metallic weave.
The 228i comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding heated side mirrors, cruise control, automatic dual-zone climate control, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel (with paddle shifters on automatic-transmission models), eight-way manual front seats and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks. The standard electronics array includes Bluetooth connectivity, BMW's iDrive electronics interface with a 6.5-inch display and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio and a USB/iPod interface.
Aside from its more powerful six-cylinder engine, the M235i adds 18-inch wheels, summer performance tires, adaptive suspension dampers, sportier variable-ratio steering, upgraded brakes, adaptive xenon headlights with LED accent lights, a sport exhaust system, gray exterior mirror caps, an aerodynamic body kit, dark ("Shadowline") exterior trim, a rear spoiler and a sunroof. Inside, you'll find 10-way power front sport seats, driver memory functions, upgraded aluminum trim and an M Sport steering wheel. The M235i also comes standard with exterior and interior ambient lighting.
Options on the 228i include the M235i's xenon headlights and the somewhat confusing trio of the Sport Line, M Sport and Track Handling packages. The Sport Line package adds 18-inch wheels with a few different tire options, a non-adaptive sport-tuned suspension, eight-way manual front sport seats and a smattering of aesthetic upgrades (including black exterior mirror caps and red upholstery stitching).
The M Sport package is a pricier alternative to the Sport Line package that features the sport seats plus 18-inch M wheels (with similar tire options) and the M235i's adaptive suspension dampers, exterior upgrades (except the xenon headlights) and M Sport steering wheel.
The Track Handling package can be ordered either separately or in conjunction with the Sport Line or M Sport package. It adds the M235i's sportier steering and brakes, as well as -- if not already specified -- the adaptive dampersand a set of 18-inch wheels with summer tires.
In other words, if you want a 228i with the M235i's suspension bits, the Track Handling package will suffice on its own. But if you want the sport seats and styling enhancements, you'll need one of the other packages, too.
A number of packages are available on both the 228i and M235i. The Cold Weather package includes headlight washers, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Driver Assistance package throws in front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Technology package adds a higher-resolution 8.8-inch display screen, an upgraded iDrive controller with a touchpad (allowing freehand text entry), an enhanced driver information display, a navigation system, real-time traffic, BMW Apps (including Pandora and Facebook integration) and BMW Remote Services (allowing smartphone control of remote start and climate settings, among others). The Driver Assistance Plus package requires the Driver Assistance and Technology packages and adds a lane departure warning system and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.
Also offered on both models is the Premium package, which features a universal garage door opener, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery and satellite radio. The 228i's version additionally includes a sunroof, eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar support) and ambient lighting.
Stand-alone options include some of the above items plus automatic high beams, a self-parking system, enhanced USB and Bluetooth connectivity) and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. A mechanical limited-slip differential is available exclusively on the M235i.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
2015 228i (6-speed Manual)
2015 BMW 2 Series 228i SULEV 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
12/23/17 Update: No issues and still enjoying the car. I will still say if I could change one thing about this car it would be the steering feel...I hope someday there will be a tune option for that. 6/19/16 Update: I just brought the vehicle in for its first oil change and had no issues in the first 6 months. My lifetime fuel economy has improved to over 32 mpg. The car does very … well on the highway, but I've noticed in the little city driving I do, it will be down in the 20s due to idling. When I dropped my car off for an oil change I got a 2016 M235i convertible as a loaner and really enjoyed it. While the 6-cylinder engine is certainly fun and impressive, I am still happy with the torque and performance of the 228i's 2.0L. If I were to take one thing from the M235i to my car though, it would be the sport steering. There is more resistance and I liked the steering feel much better. If you are looking into this car to enjoy the driving experience, I highly recommend you go for the variable sport steering (not just the M-sport steering wheel). I believe this comes with the track handling package, which also means you'll get upgraded brakes. So far, this is the only thing I wish I did differently when choosing options, but am still very happy with the car. Original Review: I bought this car after seriously considering a VW GTI, which you can buy at a lower price point. (Note I would have also considered the Audi A3, but no manual transmission was a deal breaker, and the GTI really is the same car with a different appearance.) However this was a 2015 and I was able to get a strong deal (about $6000 below MSRP, otherwise I probably wouldn't have been willing to go for it). After considering the performance benefits, maintenance included, nicer styling, and learning that I would actually pay more for insurance on the VW, I chose the 228i. Compared to the VW, you get a nicer engine with much less/no turbo lag and better handling from 50/50 weight distribution and RWD. Also, in my opinion, this car looks much better than the VW. This is actually my first RWD car, having previously owned a Mazda. In comparison, I enjoy the more upscale interior and quieter cabin. I have the Harmon Kardon audio system and enjoy it very much. I've even had two adults in the back seat and consider the space reasonable for this size coupe, but it is certainly easier to get in and out of the back seat of a sedan. The front seats are sufficiently roomy and comfortable, and I have been impressed by the visibility as I have less of a blind spot than I did in my Mazda. Regarding driving feel, I will say in my first few weeks, I missed my Mazda's tight steering feedback and the BMW gearbox took a little adjusting for me. In contrast, in a test drive, I felt the VW gearbox was quite smooth and easy to get used to. Now that I have had some time in the car, I feel accustomed to the gearbox. The BMW ride is quieter and comfortable, but with 18" wheels, some of the larger expansion joints can become more noticeable. I've been impressed by the mileage that I've been getting so far. I have been averaging 31 mpg driving gently and using the ECO PRO mode often. Acceleration is sluggish in ECO PRO, but there is certainly no reason not to use it when cruising on the highway. Switching between the modes is very easy beside the shifter. Sport mode makes awakens a totally different personality of more torque and faster throttle response. I opted for the M-Sport suspension, so that gets activated in sport mode as well - truly fun to drive. My driving is mostly highway with about 20% side roads/city. The auto shut-off feature, which is an annoyance to some, is something I appreciate when stopped for a while. The engine starts right up as soon as I depress the clutch and if I don't want the engine to shut off, it is easy to disable or hold off for a moment by keeping the clutch depressed. Last, BMW comes with regenerative breaking, which also contributes to fuel savings. These features and some other subtleties in the BMW come standard, but are not available in many other cars. In the end, I have a feeling I am getting better fuel economy than I would be able to in the VW. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase (despite some hiccups with the dealer experience, but that has never been smooth for me). I'll note that BMW's options and packages can make things confusing for the buyer as there are so many configurations, and some things that should come standard on an upscale vehicle don't. For me, the overall rating is between 4 and 5 stars due to the things that BMW nickel and dimes you for (such as key-less entry and Bluetooth on the 2015) and an infotainment system that could be a little more streamlined, although I have gotten used to it and do like it. If you do your research, you can spec out a great car. I plan on enjoying mine for years to come, and am looking forward to completing the break-in period.
5 out of 5 stars
Dennis Didier, 11/18/2015
2015 BMW 2 Series M235i 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I started out to buy a 4 series. I liked the style and performance. I was all set until a salesman asked if I had looked at the M235i. I hadn't ever considered it because I thought it was a rehashed 1 series. I took the M235i for a test drive and was thoroughly impressed. A while later, I tested a 228i and really liked it. In fact, I liked it so much, I ordered one. I ordered my … MSport 228i pretty much loaded: MSport, track pack, tech pack, premium pak, Harmon Kardon, etc. I chose the 2 over the 4 because I have all the same running gear with 200+ lbs less weight. And that equals better performance and mileage. When I drive the car in "comfort" mode, it is the easiest car I've ever driven. But, when I punch "sport" mode, the car completely changes personality. The steering tightens, the car lowers, throttle response changes; the only thing that doesn't change is the radio station. It eats corners and accelerates very smoothly. The car possess's no perceptible turbo lag. It is a great looking and great performin car. It is what a BMW should be. It puts a grin on my face. Now, after a year, it's still all the above and more. I keep learning new ways to enjoy the handling and overall performance. My only gripe is the nav system: it just doesn't do what I expect.
5 out of 5 stars
Muscle car with split personality.
Rich Bagay, 08/05/2015
2015 BMW 2 Series M235i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
This car is all about the driving experience. Fun to drive slow and easy and a blast to drive hard and fast. Vehicle is exclusive enough to turn heads as people try to figure out what BMW model it is. Not a lot of trinkets inside, just a big tach and speedometer. A throw back to how the old 2002 handled itself, simple controls and dynamic handling. Steering feel, numb. Fuel economy 24 to … 30 M.P.G. Depending on how hard it's driven. Soft top, yeah. Start it up and a smile will come to your face and the six cylinder turbo kicks in. This car is all about expensive and exclusive fun. The automatic is quicker than the manual and can be driven through the gears. You will surprise people with the sounds and the acceleration. This baby is fast and still discreet. If you.like gadgets get the 4 conv., if you like driving try the m235 conv.. A new category of BMW performance. 9000 miles- no issues. Do not see many of this model on the roadways. Still like the ride quality and the ability to quickly change the settings for enhanced performance. Smaller size with big trunk and back seat make for usable vehicle with a versatile automatic thats quick to downshift. First BMW with an auto. I chuckle when I hear its not a true M car. Its not. It is more practical and cheaper to operate than my my old M roadster with the performance of a 2013 M3. Only one BMW in the garage now but capable of multiple driving experiences whenever me or my wife drive it. I'll keep you posted.
5 out of 5 stars
Great fun to drive. Maximum torque at 1,450 rpm!!
2014 BMW 2 Series 228i 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Great response and nimble handling. My favorite BMW after 20 years driving 5 series and 328. Bought it three years old 2017, have put 30,000 miles on ot. Still a delight to drive. Only repair an indicator bulb at $8. Only negative is that some of the interior trim seems a little fragile eg sun visors, and one of the passenger power seat mechanisms is not responding. Did not extend … warranty, and feel justified. Plenty of power for my needs. Like the fold down rear seats for carrying bikes etc. Rear seat room fine for people less than 6 feet tall. Highly recommended. Five years now and still very happy with the 2 Series
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2015 BMW 2 Series, so we've included reviews for other years of the 2 Series since its last redesign.
2015 BMW 2 Series video
JAMES RISWICK: We've already reviewed the BMW 2 series, but that was a coupe. In southern California, the roof has got to go. The 2 series replaces the old 1 series convertible in name. But it improves upon it in most respects. Now it's lost some of the old 1's raw engagement, especially in terms of its steering. But it's gained an ample amount of refinement and comfort. Now those are qualities that you'd usually appreciate in a convertible. Despite this more grownup character, this is still tremendously fun to drive. There are two versions and both deliver the sort of sharp responses and involved driving experience expected from BMW. The 228i has a turbo-charged four cylinder that punches way above its weight class. BMW says it'll go from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds, which would be quicker than an EcoBoost Mustang. It handles significantly better as well, which shouldn't be that surprising. This is a smaller, more nimble car. Then there's this. The M235i and its 3 liter turbo-charged inline 6, good for 320 horsepower. BMW says it will go from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds, or the same time as a Mustang GT. No Audi A3 Cabriolet comes even close to that. The M235 also comes with a full menu of performance extras like variable ratio steering, upgraded brakes, a sport exhaust, sport seats, and an adaptive sports suspension that firms things up when you want to go fast around corners, and then softens them up when you're on a long afternoon cruise. Now you can get many of those upgrades on the 228i. Also, an 8-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard on both. But you can get a 228 with all-wheel drive and the M235 with a six-speed manual. The refinement I was talking about earlier, definitely applies to this improved cabin. Now it might not be as finely crafted as an A3. But it's also hard to find areas where it looks or feels less special than a 4 series. It is definitely smaller than the 4 series-- very upright back seat, certainly not a lot of leg room. Really, this like many other convertibles, is a two plus two cabin. The cloth roof does have advantages though compared to retractable hard tops. It can go up or down in 20 seconds, and at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. And you'd be really impressed by how little wind noise gets through this. Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty big trunk for a convertible. And unlike a retractable hard-top, when you lower the roof you can fit more than just a small briefcase in here. Besides interior space and visibility, another drawback is that you don't get much equipment for your money. A similarly priced or equipped Mustang represents a better value. But then it can't match the 2's more nimble nature or higher quality interior. The Audi A3 is a bit cheaper as well, but can't match the 2's performance. Still, the 2 series is considerably less expensive than BMW's 4 series and Z4, while actually probably being the most fun to drive. What do you think? Which of these luxury slash performance convertibles would you take home?
2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible Review
This BMW 2 Series Convertible video review includes information about performance, fuel economy, available engines, passenger room, trunk space and competitors.
2015 2 Series Highlights
|Combined MPG||27 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$176/month|
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood