The Truth About Cars » bmw 2-series http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 21 Mar 2015 00:42:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » bmw 2-series http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Editorial: The Ultimate Driving Machine Is Now A Crossover – But Not For Long http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/editorial-ultimate-driving-machine-now-crossover-not-long/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/editorial-ultimate-driving-machine-now-crossover-not-long/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003866 There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the introduction of the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, and its larger minivan sibling, the Gran Tourer. I was in the midst of preparing an editorial on the introduction of the Gran Tourer, a front-wheel drive minivan based on the Mini-derived UKL platform, when I saw news that the […]

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There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the introduction of the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, and its larger minivan sibling, the Gran Tourer. I was in the midst of preparing an editorial on the introduction of the Gran Tourer, a front-wheel drive minivan based on the Mini-derived UKL platform, when I saw news that the X1, my current favorite BMW, is going to be based on UKL as well. Apparently, it will also look “more like an X car.” When the current X1 dies, it will mark the end of an era for BMW.

The genesis for this editorial was initially rooted in my difficulties with writing a review for the 228i that I just drove at a launch event for that car, and the all-new X6M. Both cars provided a glimpse into the future of the BMW brand – and the future direction of my current favorite BMW, the X1.

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The base 2-Series is supposed to embody the best of what BMW has to offer, but it falls far short of that promise. In the interest of disclosure, the 2-Series I drove was a 228i cabriolet, with an 8-speed automatic. Not the most sporting variant available, but it did have the M Sport package, and the 1-Series droptops I’ve driven haven’t been terribly different from their hardtop siblings.

Unless the 2-Series Coupe is some kind of head and shoulders improvement above and beyond the coupe, I’m dumbfounded as to how the 228i could have garnered so much praise. It’s not particularly fast, despite the normally proficient N20 4-cylinder and 8-speed automatic. In “Comfort” mode, the slippery feeling reminds one of a Toyota Camry, while the ride remains on the extreme wrong side of “firm”. In “Sport” mode, the performance is only marginally improved, while the ride turns truly punishing. Even on the relatively smooth roads around Austin, Texas, the ride quality was comparable to a three-quarter ton truck with blown shocks. Maybe it’s the run-flat tires, or the “sport” chassis tuning or the characteristically hard BMW ride. Either way, it’s not particularly fun or thrilling. It’s a definite step back from the 1-Series, which was at least a reasonably fun car to drive, even if it had its detractors.

In my opinion, the best small BMW, the one that most embodies the “Ultimate Driving Machine” ethos is actually…wait for it…the X1. If you told me that 6 month ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. In fact, I didn’t, and it caused a major fight between myself and my then-girlfriend.

After taking a job transfer to Indianapolis, she decided to sell  her 2009 Acura RDX. When she told me the X1 was high on her list, I hit the roof, thanks to a combination of relationship stress and endless enthusiast mockery of the baby Bimmer CUV. I thought it was a silly vehicle sold only to badge snobs and the terminally self-conscious. I didn’t believe her when she said she liked how “sporty” it felt. Although I suggested more sensible alternatives, she ended up with the white X1 shown above.

On my first visit to see her in Indy, we ended up taking the X1 down to Nashville for my birthday weekend, and to break the new car in. As usual, the driving fell to me, and I had to eat a family-size portion of crow. The X1 was quick, comfortable, quiet, got great fuel economy and actually felt like a BMW, thanks to the hydraulic steering and the sharp, nimble responses – two qualities that are notably absent from the 2-Series. The tall tires and long travel suspension gave the kind of ride I was used to from my father’s old E39 530i; just a little firm, not punishing but not squishy or coddling.

It held all of our gear as well as a 6-foot tall picture that she found at an antique shop. My one complaint is that there’s no manual option. But the 8-speed ZF auto is so good that I can’t ever say I actually wished for a manual option – and the number of buyers lusting after a stick X1 can be counted on one hand. Even with two pedals, it is currently the only BMW that evokes memories of my old E30 ice racer, my father’s E39 530i, the brilliant E46 330i Sport that Jack owned or any number of past models that we consider classics.

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But BMW is a publicly traded company. Its sole obligation is to deliver value to its shareholders, rather than operate as a charity to produce widgets for car enthusiasts. The way to do this is to build X Cars, like the X6M you see here. Even though it has no real purpose than to advertise just how much money you paid for something with no real utility, this kind of fashion statement is very much en vogue not just in America, but the all important emerging markets where this kind of car can be exported from its South Carolina factory and sold at many multiples of its American MSRP. Then again, I’m told that the X1 is one of BMW’s most profitable products. On the retail side, it makes more money for dealers than a 7-Series.

What can we expect from the next X1? Well, it won’t have the X6M’s blinding pace or surprising dynamic poise – nor will it have the old school charm that makes it such a diamond in the rough in the context of BMW’s throroughly sanitized current lineup. Instead, it will probably be a bit like a smaller, front-drive X4, but with the bones of a Mini Countryman. I can’t say that sounds entirely compelling but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong about a BMW crossover…

 

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BMW Taketh, BMW Giveth (More Traction) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-taketh-bmw-giveth-more-traction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-taketh-bmw-giveth-more-traction/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 19:27:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=838681 Even though BMW foists upon us unfortunate derivative junk like the X4, 3-Series GT and 4-Series Gran Coupe (which, I’ve only recently just made sense of), at least they give us models like the 2-Series. Which just happened to get better for anyone who lives in the snowbelt. Later on this summer, xDrive AWD will […]

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Even though BMW foists upon us unfortunate derivative junk like the X4, 3-Series GT and 4-Series Gran Coupe (which, I’ve only recently just made sense of), at least they give us models like the 2-Series. Which just happened to get better for anyone who lives in the snowbelt.

Later on this summer, xDrive AWD will be available on both the 228i and the M235i, for an extra $1800. As much as the 228i might be the pur sang option, even moreso than the M235i, I would not hesitate to anger forum purists and Build Your Own window shoppers by ordering the xDrive version. Yes, I know that with proper snow tires and a modicum of skill, two wheel drive cars are just fine in the snow – I’ve driven two Miatas with LSDs and no ABS in dreadful winters, and I’ve never had a hairy moment. But there are times when I would have appreciated two extra driven wheels, and if I were in the market for this car, I’d have no qualms with forking over the extra $1,800. In my mind, it’s a WRX coupe with two fewer doors and a nicer interior.

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BMW Set To Reveal First Front Wheel Drive Model At Geneva, 2-Series Active Tourer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/bmw-set-to-reveal-first-front-wheel-drive-model-at-geneva-2-series-active-tourer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/bmw-set-to-reveal-first-front-wheel-drive-model-at-geneva-2-series-active-tourer/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:35:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=741585 BMW’s first front wheel drive Ultimate Driving Minivan Machine is set to debut at Geneva next month. It rides on the BMW Group’s new UKL platform, which is also the same platform for Mini’s third generation Cooper and the next generation BMW X1. The top engine in the 225i is said to be a 231 […]

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BMW’s first front wheel drive Ultimate Driving Minivan Machine is set to debut at Geneva next month. It rides on the BMW Group’s new UKL platform, which is also the same platform for Mini’s third generation Cooper and the next generation BMW X1. The top engine in the 225i is said to be a 231 horse power 2.0L turbo four cylinder, while a diesel powered 218d is optional; and power is routed though a standard six speed manual (yay) or automatic transmission for all engines.

The 2-Series moniker comes from its larger size and price over the 1-Series variants sold overseas.

The European model will go on sale soon after the Geneva debut to fight against other popular MPVs, such as the Mercedes Benz B-Class, Ford B-Max, Seat Alhambra, VW Touran, and Fiat 500L. We will not see the 2-Series Active Tourer until Stateside until 2015, where it will be a niche player in an essentially untapped segment.

Styling can be best described as the BMW of minivans, but is pleasant and well proportioned, keeping the family resemblance strong. Front overhang is minimal, and over all exterior dimensions are tidy at 170.9 inches in length, 61.4 inches tall, and 70.9 inches wide, and with a wheel base of 105.1 inches; aiming square at the Mercedes Benz B-Class. Interior room is said to be enough to seat five comfortably, and is highly configurable with not only a flat-folding rear seat, but front seat as well.

An all wheel drive model is expected to arrive later this year, as well. A future M-Sport package and hybrid model are in the pipeline as well.

The 2-Series is a big step in BMW product, expanding beyond what is typically defined as BMW’s idea of the Ultimate Driving Machine. But with the success of their X-series models, who can fault BMW for wanting to bring their vision to the MPV market?

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NAIAS 2014: BMW 2-Series Is The Only Thing With A Roundel On It That I’m Interested In http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/naias-2014-bmw-2-series-is-the-only-thing-with-a-roundel-on-it-that-im-interested-in/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/naias-2014-bmw-2-series-is-the-only-thing-with-a-roundel-on-it-that-im-interested-in/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:43:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=698657 Even though the BMW i8, i3 and M3/M4 were the starts of the BMW stand (in that order), I was more interested in the upcoming 2-Series. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3, the 2-Series is rear wheel drive, as the future 1-Series moves to a front-drive platform shared with Mini. The 2-Series looks […]

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Even though the BMW i8, i3 and M3/M4 were the starts of the BMW stand (in that order), I was more interested in the upcoming 2-Series. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3, the 2-Series is rear wheel drive, as the future 1-Series moves to a front-drive platform shared with Mini.

The 2-Series looks to be about the size of the E46 coupe, with better proportions than the too-tall 1-Series. In this case, model bloat appears to work in its favor. Not only is it a more elegant design, but smaller adults may actually fit in the rear seats.

A BMW representative raved to me about the M235i, the fully loaded baby Bimmer with monobloc calipers, M fender badges, a twin-turbo I6 and, oddly enough, an automatic gearbox for the display model. Sitting to its left was a 228i, with the N20 four-banger and sliding piston calipers. The M235i, he told me, will hit 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds.

And the 228i? “About 5.1 is what we estimate.” So, inconsequential in the real world, but great for advertising and forum-bragging purposes. “But,” he countered, “by the time you option up a 228i, you may as well just get an M235i.”

I shrugged. Give me a plain jane 228i with the 6-speed manual. At roughly 3300 lbs and 240 horsepower, it’s enough grunt for me.

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BMW Readies The Zweier http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bmw-readies-the-zweier/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bmw-readies-the-zweier/#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 15:11:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=489012 As the 1-Series prepares to move to a front-drive platform, BMW is also working on something to keep rear-drive fans happy.   The 2-Series will replace what we all know as the 1-Series, and the model you see here is the M235i, which will use the familiar twin-turbo 3.0L Inline six. According to Car and […]

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As the 1-Series prepares to move to a front-drive platform, BMW is also working on something to keep rear-drive fans happy.

 

The 2-Series will replace what we all know as the 1-Series, and the model you see here is the M235i, which will use the familiar twin-turbo 3.0L Inline six.

According to Car and Driver, there will also be a four-cylinder 228i and an M2, to compete with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and the Audi RS3. All-wheel drive has been confirmed by a BMW source as well, while a 6-speed stick will be standard equipment (what a novelty these days).

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