Two-door passenger cars are something of a rarity these days. However, BMW has not given up on coupes, especially with the 2022 BMW 230i Coupe.
The new model also shows the Bavarian automaker knows they must have some extra “spirit” in order to attract any kind of attention at all in a world buzzing about in pickup trucks, utility vehicles and EVs.
The BMW 230i is an impressively crafted piece of machinery that handles the road with the kind of passion and precision upon which the automaker has built its reputation throughout the years. It is compact, quick and nimble and great fun to drive on the open road or even in everyday traffic.
While it maintains the old-school characteristics that have made BMW popular with generations of motorists with a keen interest in what might be called “spirited” driving, the Munich-based automaker has built in comfort and integrated some of the latest and best automotive technology into the 230i Coupe to make it thoroughly modern in terms of safety and connectivity.
On the outside, the BMW 230i Coupe presents a crisp, clean shape to world. It’s two doors neatly integrated into the low-slung silhouette and the rear face of the vehicle is spare with little adornment. If the mandatory light fixtures at the rear are as minimal as BMW’s stylists intended, then it’s clear they have been influenced by the industrial designs promoted by the Bauhaus.
In the front, BMW moved away from the reverse front aspect, which was once one of the brand’s defining signatures and toward a rather bold front fascia, complete with artfully, shaped fixtures for the headlights, and 19-inch wheels. The divided BMW grille remains but it has been heavily stylized to give a more contemporary look.
One of the impressive features of BMW interiors is the artful way in which the designers mix and match the materials, leather and bright work as well ambient lighting, which is used throughout the cabin. The interior isn’t plush, but it is premium and neatly laid out so that all of the relevant controls are within easy reach of the driver. The exception is the cupholders, which BMW designers have placed in front of the shift lever rather than their more natural position to rear of the lever.
But the layout of the screens in the center stack and behind the steering wheel with the speedometer and other gauges, including a map of the streets in the car’s immediate vicinity, is neatly done. There are also controls on the steering wheel for cruise control and entertainment. The visibility from the driver’s seat even with low silhouette is very and interior on a longer drive is quite comfortable thanks to the sporty seats.
The 2022 BMW 230i Coupe is powered by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine with twin turbos with variable valve controls that produces 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque as well as an 8-speed, sport-oriented automatic transmission, and dynamic driving controls with multiple mode settings.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the BMW 230i Coupe has combined fuel economy of 29 miles per gallon, including a rating of 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on highway, which isn’t bad for a performance-oriented compact vehicle. The 230i is built on rear-wheel-drive layout
Safety and Technology
For passenger protection, the 2022 BMW 230i Coupe is equipped with seat-mounted front- and side-impact airbags, knee airbags for the driver- and front-seat passenger, and active driver assistance features such as front-collision warning, active blind-spot detection and lane-departure warning.
It is also equipped with LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated steering wheel and parking distance alerts. It also is equipped with a package of connected driving services, including wireless charging, WiFi Hot spot, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and XM Satellite Radio. It also has a Harmon Kardon Sound System and Dynamic Cruise Control.
The version of the BMW 230i Coupe that I drove was equipped with several features imported from its M-Series vehicle including the M-Series sports brake and variable steering as well as corner brake controls and a M-series sport suspension.
The upshot was the car had terrific driving dynamics, complete with precise steering with plenty of braking power. The suspension also delivered a smooth ride overall kinds of road surfaces. The car also has an impressive power-to-weight ratio, and it accelerates quickly and effortlessly so that the sign on the head-up display flickers to warn you have exceeded the allowable speed limit in an instant. The 230i Couple was great fun to drive, I thought.
2022 BMW 230i coupe Specifications
|L: 179 inches/W: 72.4 inches/H: 54.8 inches/Wheelbase: 107.9 inches
|2.0-liter twin-turbo 4-cylinder engine, 8-speed automatic transmission
|26 mpg city/35 mpg highway/29 mpg combined
|255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $37,345; As tested: $48,945 including $995 destination charge.
This is a car that comes with instant status and cachet and is a lot of fun to drive even on a boring road or uninspired drives — but it also has its limitations. There is no getting around the back seat doesn’t have a lot of usable space, though driver’s seat is easy to move so you can store items such as few groceries, a briefcase, gym bag or small piece of luggage in the rear seat while commuting or running errands.
Overall, it isn’t very versatile or family friendly and with a price tag right around $50,000, the fun that comes with driving the BMW 230i Coupe isn’t cheap.
2022 BMW 230i Coupe — Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between the BMW 2 series and 230i?
But BMW is still committed to offering compact, rear-wheel-drive fun in the form of its redesigned 230i. The new 2 Series rides on the same platform as the larger 3 Series and 4 Series, so it’s 4.3 inches longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase is 2 inches longer and the coupe is 2.6 inches wider, too.
Does the BMW 2 series have a manual transmission?
You can’t get a 2 Series with a manual transmission anymore, which is a bummer, but you guys only have yourselves to blame. (Read: No one bought the manual.) Instead, the 230i uses an 8-speed automatic transmission putting power down to the rear wheels.
How much does the 2022 BMW 230i Coupe cost?
The 2022 BMW 230i Coupe starts at $37,345 including a $995 destination charge, though my tester rings in at a much higher $46,570 thanks to a number of options. That base price undercuts the larger Audi A5 and Lexus RC 350 coupes by several thousand dollars.