Don’t automatically assume that just because the 2 Series Coupe is the lowest number in BMW’s lineup that it will also have the most entry-level and cheap-feeling interior. You see, you’d be half right in making that assumption, for such an honor belongs to the 2 Series Gran Coupe. Despite the two being branded "2 Series," they have very little in common. The Gran Coupe is a front-drive-based, four-door sedan while the Coupe is a rear-drive-based two-door literal coupe.
Just like BMW borrowed the 3 Series’ powertrains for the new 2 Series, it also borrowed the 3 Series’ interior. That’s a huge plus for the 2 Series Coupe in our book, for the 3 Series enjoys a luxurious interior look with a practical layout and excellent technology. Before we dive into the nitty gritty there, though, let’s take a look at the usability and utility of the 2 Series’ insides, which is perhaps the most perplexing thing about it.
From a pure numbers standpoint, it’d make sense to assume the new 2 Series is going to be oodles more practical than the outgoing one. It’s 4.3 inches longer, 2.6 inches wider and has a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase. One might expect that some of this extra space has been put to use expanding the passenger compartment, but not so fast. Rear legroom is down by 0.8 inch in the 2022 car. Shoulder room ticks down by 1.7 inches and headroom is down an even more impactful 1.5 inches thanks to a minor reduction in overall height. Even the trunk space is down by 3.8 cubic-feet. Say, what now?
Even if all the above is result of BMW changing the way it measures interiors, which is certainly possible, that wouldn't change the fact that the new 2 Series backseat and trunk aren’t that hot despite the bigger exterior dimensions. The length and width are there for handling, stability and design purposes, not for turning the 2 Series into a family car. If you want a BMW coupe with a sizable rear seat, the 4 Series Coupe and its snout await.
Clearly, the priority of BMW’s personal luxury coupe is the driver. Take a look at the 2 Series’ (left above) and 3 Series’ (right above) interiors side-by-side, and try to pick apart the differences. It’s not completely obvious at first glance, and that’s on purpose. Being able to enjoy BMW’s luxury fittings and best tech in the smaller 2 Series package is a boon for those who want the smallest and lightest rear-drive BMW model (or a two-door BMW without that snout).
The 230i tester (though everything in this story equally applies to the M240i xDrive) we have is fitted with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional upgrade, which replaces the standard analog gauges and 8.8-inch infotainment display with the fully digital 12.3-inch digital cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment display. It’s well worth the $900 option, as the bigger screens look great, and BMW’s iDrive 7 software is spectacular to use with the extra real estate. The iDrive rotary knob is neatly positioned in a natural spot to the right of the shifter, but those who prefer using the touchscreen will enjoy that it’s canted toward the driver and responds to inputs instantly.
While other, newer BMWs are dropping a number of physical controls, the 2 Series retains its horizontal row of physical buttons. It makes climate control adjustments (every car could use a fan speed control for auto climate control), volume fine tuning and other vital car controls a straightforward procedure. We don’t appreciate it or call it out enough, but BMW’s “driver assistance systems” shortcut button right next to the hazard button is super smart. No menu diving is necessary when you want to fiddle with the controls. Just tap the shortcut, and you can quickly turn everything off when encountering a twisty stretch of pavement that you’d prefer the lane-keeping system not interrupt.
Ergonomically, the 2 Series is almost there as a driver’s car. You can move the seat far down into the car to feel closer to the ground (or should you have extra-long legs), but the steering wheel doesn’t offer anywhere near enough downward tilt to accommodate the lower seating position. This is the case with most modern BMWs, and just like those, I found myself begrudgingly moving the seat up to comfortably match the steering wheel position. Visibility is solid all around for a two-door coupe. It’s a great view looking out over the relatively long hood, and it was easy to see rearward without much complaint either. Just make sure you remember that 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 offers you some choice, but it’s not a buffet. Our favorite options are the Tacora Red and Oyster white leather. If you prefer the free-of-charge Sensatec, both Canberra Beige and Cognac (dark tan) add a bit of style over a basic black interior. Our tester is fitted with the glossy black interior trim, but we’d suggest selecting either of the two aluminum trim options as a replacement for $150 extra.
The 2 Series’ interior is classic BMW through and through. It’s the cheapest rear-drive-based 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, for the 2 Series is and remains the most enthusiast-focused BMW in the lineup, and there’s no reason that enthusiasts shouldn’t be able to enjoy all of Munich’s luxuries in a smaller and more engaging car.
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