The 2022 BMW 2 Series is priced from $56,950 in Canada and $36,350 in the US.
The 2 Series was only offered as an M240i in Canada in 2022. There was a base 230i in the US.
This M240i xDrive is as potent and capable as the previous generation M3.
Some 15 years ago, BMW launched the 1 Series as a replacement for the 3 Series as the new entry-level car. In North America, it was marketed as the 2002’s spiritual successor but we know the truth… The 1 was immediately met with praise and approval from the automotive community, even more so when the 1M was introduced in 2011. Only three years later, the 1 was replaced with the new 2 Series coupe and it too has been on the receiving end of adulation, and none more deserving than the current M240i xDrive.
Small BMWs are great
By the mid-late-2000s, the E90 3 Series had grown in size, weight, and price meaning that the group of buyers it once catered to needed a new small Bimmer. The German automaker indulged us all with the 135i and subsequent models including the RWD 6-speed manual M240i. The latter was unquestionably the best-driving BMW in the last five years. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available but the new M240i xDrive makes it almost ok.
The main reason for saying “ok” is that the manual gearbox is out as BMW’s xDrive is now standard (same for the new 2023 230i in Canada) and it is offered exclusively with an 8-speed automatic. Beyond this minor setback, the M240i xDrive is plain brilliant.
Pretty if not a little bloated
The 2022 model year marks the arrival of a new generation. In my opinion, the first-generation F22 2 Series was touter or less bloated, and sleeker. The new car is considerably longer, substantially wider, and lower. The G42 is bloated and some design elements such as the front and rear lights are somewhat cartoonish. The bottom line here however is that painted Thundernight (my future band name) metallic, all is forgiven.
Helping matters visually for the M240i is the exterior high-gloss black accents, shadowline headlamps, and, although not fitted to the car at the time because it was on winter tires, optional black 19-inch light alloy wheels.
On board though, there’s nothing caricature-like about the dashboard, seats, or what the car’s actually about. The standard 12.3-inch digital IP and 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display are clear, legible, and very BMW in their presentation, and operation. The best parts within are the front seats covered in optional black Vernasca leather with blue contrast stitching. They are supportive and immensely comfortable.
While on the topic of options, the tested 2022 BMW M240i xDrive also included the Premium Enhanced package (sunroof, head’s up display, more) and other features including the Adaptive M Suspension. Grand total: $69,000.
The M240i xDrive flows and flies
That last option helps the M240i xDrive’s flow. In my video, I mistake the standard M Sport Suspension for the optional adaptive M suspension but what I was trying to say is that, as specified, the coupe’s ride quality and handling abilities are nothing short of excellent. The level of on-road comfort surprised me despite the less-than-ideal surfaces. I presume the 18-inch wheels and winter tires (vs. the 19s) possibly helped.
The car’s chassis balance is wonderfully neutral. The near-perfect weight distribution, solid CLAR structures, and adaptive dampers remove every ounce of drama from the driving experience leaving only surefooted handling. Despite weighing in at 3,900 lbs., the M240i is agile, responsive, and through switchbacks, flows effortlessly.
Part and parcel of this rewarding experience are the M Sport Differential, as part of BMW’s xDrive AWD system. The rear differential distributes drive torque between the rear wheels which helps push the car through corners. Steering also plays a huge role. It is calibrated to perfection and the standard M sport brakes offer immediate stopping power.
Finally, the real good stuff. The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive holds perhaps the best modern 6-cylinder engine and one of the most satisfying petrol engines, bar none, available today. The twin-power turbocharged 3.0L straight-6 cylinder engine delivers all of 382 hp from 5,800-6,500 rpm and 369 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. As with the M3, there’s no off switch to this engine. What’s more, with the indefatigable 8-speed auto and xDrive, the M240i (with 91 fewer hp) requires only 0.1 seconds more to reach 100km/h. With its sprint time of only 4.3 seconds, this compact coupe is uber-fast.
Via the multiple drive modes, the car’s overall behaviour. Sometimes, too much is exactly that. With at least six possible modes, I found that setting Sport Individual or simply relying on the default Comfort mode to be best. No matter what though, the dampers were always set in Comfort.
Beyond the flat and ultra-manageable flat power delivery, the I6 generates a melody that is both raucous and soothing. Velvety and rich, this sound will be missed when the straight-6 will fall out of production in the not-too-distant future.
Premium compact cars
There are few options here but amazingly, all are really good. From Benz, the AMG A hatch and sedan (as long as they’re available), and CLA are hot or extra spicy. Over at Audi, the S3 is beyond competent, and let’s not forget the Cadillac CT4-V.
Frankly, there are no bad choices here. I’d lean towards the A 35 HB or CLA 35 but the BMW’s the only one with a 6-cylinder engine that is as powerful as the CLA 45 but with a little more torque.
If you’ve got no one to carry around, the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive is the one to get.