2015 BMW 2-Series Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 BMW 2-Series was new.


Performance: 8.8

Auto writers praise the 2015 BMW 2-Series as one of the most engaging cars in the class, thanks to its powerful engine options, athletic handling and smooth-shifting manual and automatic transmissions.

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "As the only rear-drive car in its class, it should come as little surprise that the BMW 2 Series coupe reigns supreme in the fun-to-drive department." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "It's small and nimble, with the sort of performance-based ethos that the company has moved away from in recent years. Offered with a pair of fast yet frugal turbocharged engines, the 2 Series just might be the most engaging car BMW makes." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 BMW 228i comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. M235i models come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that generates 320 horsepower. Both engines are available with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the 2015 2-Series earns up to 23/36 mpg city/highway with the four-cylinder engine, which is good for an upscale small car.

Reviewers think the 228i’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine has plenty of power, although they acknowledge that the M235i’s turbocharged six-cylinder engine is exceptionally responsive and delivers swift acceleration. Automotive journalists note that both transmissions are excellent, as the manual has short, direct throws and the automatic shifts fluidly.

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "This spirited driving experience isn't reserved exclusively for the range-topping M 235i either, as the 240-horsepower 228i and its available 6-speed manual gearbox are more than capable of giving dedicated sports cars a run for their money." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "Either way, we like the manual shifter's snick-snick throws, but the ultra-smooth automatic actually gets better fuel economy, so that's something to keep in mind." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Handling and Braking

The BMW 2-Series comes standard with rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive (xDrive) is optional. Critics write that the 2015 BMW 2-Series has accurate steering and remarkably athletic handling. They add that the 2-Series features a quiet ride, although rivals like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class are quieter at speed.

  • "Road- and wind-noise levels are luxuriously low, and the ride is 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." -- Edmunds
  • "With its 50/50 weight distribution, firm suspension tuning, and high stability-control threshold, the M235i has the responses of a cheetah." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The electric power-steering system communicates more about the road surface than in the 4-series, which itself marked an improvement over the latest 3-series. More impressive is the M235i's balance, and the way it delivers just the right amount of body motion to let you know how hard it can be pushed." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "At highway speeds, the cabin is less immune to wind noise than the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA, though neither of which can match the BMW when it comes to stability and overall ride compliance." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

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