Don’t automatically assume that just because the 2 Series Coupe is the lowest number in BMW’s lineup, it will also have the most entry-level model and the cheapest-feeling interior. You see, you would be half right in that assumption, because such an honor belongs to the 2 Series Gran Coupe. Despite being branded “2 Series”, the two have little in common. The Gran Coupe is a four-door front-wheel drive sedan, while the Coupe is a literal two-door rear-wheel drive coupe.
Just as BMW borrowed the powertrains from the 3 Series for the new 2 Series, it also borrowed the interior from the 3 Series. That is a huge plus for the 2 Series Coupé in our book, because the 3 Series enjoys a luxurious interior look with a practical layout and excellent technology. Before we get to the heart of the matter, though, let’s take a look at the practicality and usefulness of the 2 Series’ insides, which is perhaps the most mind-boggling thing about it.
From a purely numbers standpoint, it would be logical to assume that the new 2 Series will be much more practical than the outgoing one. It is 4.3 inches longer, 2.6 inches wider and has a 2.0 inch longer wheelbase. You would expect some of this extra space to have been used to expand the passenger compartment, but not so quickly. Rear legroom is 0.8 inches lower in the 2022 car. Shoulder room drops by 1.7 inches and headroom is even more impressive at 1.5 inches thanks to a slight reduction in overall height. Even the trunk space has dropped by 3.8 cubic feet. Say, what now?
Even if all of the above is a result of BMW changing the way the interior measures, which it certainly can, that wouldn’t change the fact that the new 2 Series’ rear seats and trunk aren’t as hot despite the larger outer dimensions. The length and width are there for handling, stability and design, not to make the 2 Series a family car. If you want a BMW coupe with a hefty back seat, the 4 Series Coupé and its snout awaits.
It is clear that the driver of BMW’s personal luxury coupe is the priority. Look at the interiors of the 2-series (top left) and the 3-series (top right) side by side and try to distinguish the differences. It’s not entirely obvious at first glance, and that’s on purpose. Being able to enjoy BMW’s luxury equipment and the best technology in the smaller 2-series package is a boon for those who want the smallest and lightest rear-wheel drive BMW model (or a two-door BMW without that snout).
The 230i tester (although everything in this story applies equally to the M240i xDrive) we have comes equipped with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional upgrade, which replaces the standard analog gauges and 8.8-inch infotainment display with the fully 12.3-inch digital cluster and 10.25-inch Infotainment display. It’s well worth the $900 option, as the larger screens look great, and BMW’s iDrive 7 software is spectacular to use with the extra real estate. The iDrive dial is neatly positioned in a natural spot to the right of the shifter, but those who prefer to use the touchscreen will love the fact that it’s tilted towards the driver and responds instantly to inputs.
While other, newer BMWs drop some physical controls, the 2 Series keeps its horizontal row of physical buttons. It makes climate control adjustments (any car can use a fan speed control for automatic climate control), adjusting the volume and other essential car controls a simple procedure. We don’t appreciate it or mention it enough, but BMW’s “driving aids” hotkey right next to the hazard button is super smart. Menu diving is not necessary if you want to tinker with the controls. Just tap the shortcut and you can quickly turn everything off when you come across a twisty stretch of pavement that you’d rather not be interrupted by the roadway system.
Ergonomically, the 2 Series is almost like a driver’s car. You can move the seat far down in the car to feel closer to the ground (or if you have extra long legs), but the steering wheel doesn’t offer enough downward tilt to accommodate the lower seating position. This is the case with most modern BMWs, and like those, I found myself reluctantly moving the seat up to fit the helm comfortably. Visibility is solid throughout for a two-door coupe. It’s a great view over the relatively long hood, and it was also easy to see behind without much complaint. Remember the doors are long and heavy when you swing them open to get out – this is a coupe after all.
When it comes to interior customization and color options, BMW gives you some choice, but it’s no buffet. Our favorite options are the Tacora Red and Oyster White leather. If you prefer the free Sensatec, both Canberra Beige and Cognac (dark brown) add a bit of style to a basic black interior. Our tester comes with the gloss black interior trim, but we recommend selecting one of the two aluminum finish options as a replacement for an additional $150.
The interior of the 2 Series is classic BMW through and through. It’s the cheapest rear-wheel drive BMW, but unlike the last 2-series or its 1-series predecessor, it doesn’t give you a second-rate experience inside. That’s as it should be, as the 2 Series is and remains the most enthusiast-focused BMW in the lineup, and there’s no reason enthusiasts couldn’t enjoy all the luxuries of Munich in a smaller and more engaging car.