BMW 2-SERIES ASSUMING ROLE AS
GATEWAY TO LUXURY AUTOMOTIVE CLASS
For years, decades even, BMW’s 3-Series served for many as an introduction to the luxury automotive segment. Its popularity even led to a nickname for its competitors: BMW fighter.
But after reaching six figures in U.S. sales in 2001 and hitting that mark in 13 of the next 16 years, U.S. sales of the 3-Series have failed to reach even 50,000 over the last four years, falling from 72,290 in 2016 to less than 40,000 for the Covid year of 2020 to 49,458 in 2021.
For the first three months of this year, the number is 8,156, a pace that would reach the total of 2022 at less than 35,000 (Figures from goodcarbadcar.net). Could be slightly more since sales usually pick up at the end of a year.
It’s not that the Germans have forgotten how to make a car because the 3-Series still gets high marks. It’s just that there’s a new player in the entry level luxury market, and it comes from — BMW!
The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive no doubt is siphoning off customers who would prefer a coupe over the 3-Series sedan. That isn’t to say that the 2-Series, also available also as an M230i, is outselling the 3-Series because it’s not, at least not yet.
But with BMW cutting out coupes and convertibles for the 3-Series, the 2022 M240i xDrive certainly has found a niche in the segment.
The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive was fully redesigned with upgrades for the cabin that include an 8.8-inch touchscreen that is now standard, and more power from the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.
It now pumps out 383 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 47 hp. (Torque remains virtually the same — 369 lb.-ft. in 2022 and 368 in 2021.) Fuel mileage for the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive also gets a slight boost to 23 miles-per-gallon city, 32 highway, and 26 combined, pretty surprising numbers considering the power boost.
An 8-speed sport automatic is the only transmission offered. No more manual for the clutch-aholics, though paddle shifters are standard for manual gear selection.
Standard equipment on the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive includes a leather-wrapped, M-spoke steering wheel, a power moonroof, front sport seats with driver seat memory, an adaptive sport suspension, rear spoiler, and upgraded brakes.
Many other features on my test vehicle were included in the starting MSRP of $48,560. They included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Blind Spot and Lane Departure warning, variable sport steering, auto-dimming mirror, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging and WiFi hotspot, Anthracite headliner, and connected iDrive services that let you program your Smartphone or other services to your car.
Yes, of course, there were extras with my test 2022 BMW M240i xDrive. They included a Premium Package (heated steering wheel, heated front seats, full LED lighting, and head-up display, a Driving Assistance Package (adaptive cruise control, parking assistant, surround-view camera). and Tacora Red Vernasca leather seating.
The Mineral White exterior also cost an extra $500.
All that ran the final bottom line to $57,295 including the $995 destination and delivery charge.
Oh yes. You also get BMW Maintenance Care (oil changes, vehicle checks, air filter spark plugs and brake fluid) at no cost for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
What I liked about the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe: It’s a fun car to drive with great throttle response and handling. Infotainment features and plentiful and not that difficult to adapt to. Considering the performance, fuel mileage is very decent.
What I didn’t like about the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe: The back seat offers only 32.2 inches of legroom, so it is kind of cramped. The trunk also is on the small side with a listed capacity of just 10 cubic feet. No manual transmission is offered with the 2-Series.
Would I buy the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe? Sure would. It’s ideal for empty nesters who are looking for something that offers a fun driving experience. It’s a bit more civilized than the M3 Competition sedan I reviewed in March and certainly much easier to get in and out of.