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It’s no secret that BMW has been dabbling in some controversial spaces as of late. Like art, automotive styling is subjective. Unfortunately for the brand, some models, like the 2023 BMW 2 Series, the 2 Series Gran Coupe, the M2, and the M3, have been the butt of many a joke. Still, while the latest baby Bimmers aren’t the ugliest thing the Munich marque has produced, it may have caught some ugly from the buck-toothed 2023 BMW M3, especially compared to its predecessor. 

The problem with the new BMW 2 Series lies in its past

A new BMW M2 drives around a corner.
G87 M2 | BMW

The latest generation of the BMW 2 Series, the G42, took over from the F22 in the 2022 model year. With that Bavarian changing-of-the-guard, the 2 Series got an overhaul; the little Bimmer dropped the convertible option, adopted two new engines, and, of course, got its facelift. Therein lies the issue. 

Gone are the rounded, understated fascia features of the F22 in favor of dramatic fighter aircraft-esque creases and lamps. Of course, BMW M fans are more interested in the latest M2, the G87, than the more sensible G42 cars. The latest M2 inherits boxiness from the standard 2 Series, albeit with muscular, racy touches like flared arches, wider rubber, and a set of Northrop Grumman F/A 18-like vents. The performance gains of the latest M2 and M240i xDrive arrived at the expense of the clean, classic aesthetic of the F22 and F87 M2. 

Unfortunately, the G42 didn’t catch a case of manual transmission from the current 2023 BMW M2 or M3. Of course, fans who can live with the dramatic, albeit controversial styling of the G87 M2 will be able to unleash the most powerful, track-ready manual M2 ever. 

What is the best year for BMW 2 Series?

A blue F22 2018 BMW 2 Series convertible parks under a sunset.
F22 2 Series Convertible | BMW

The 2023 BMW 2 Series, part of the G42 generation, offers everything from an accessible entry point ($39,195 for the 230i) to explosive thrust and steadfast grip in the 2023 BMW M240i xDrive.

However, fans looking for a driver’s car with a manual gearbox and a platform reminiscent of the beloved E46 M3, might be better off with a late-model F22 M240i Coupe. Better yet, unlike the latest 2 Series models, the first-generation models offered a convertible for the 230i and M240i. That’s right, Bimmer fans who want the smallest new drop-top BMW they can get will have to opt for the much pricier BMW Z4.  

Is the BMW 2 Series a luxury car?

Considering the 2 Series is a BMW product, it gets lumped into the luxury car category. However, the 2 Series is also the Bavarian brand’s entry-level car and shortest wheelbase hardtop. In short, it’s a luxury sports coupe, and the M240i delivers.  

However, therein lies another issue of the G42 2 Series: engagement. The latest M240i is explosively fast; it will hit 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Speed like that makes it quicker than the Toyota GR Supra 3.0, with which it shares an engine. However, the lack of a manual gearbox and numb-ish steering feedback make it less fun than the F22 it replaced. 

Are the BMW 2 Series cars any good?

While the latest G42 BMW 2 Series might not be as engaging or conventionally handsome as its predecessor, the new 2 Series cars are sensible, sure-footed, dynamic, and, at the top trim, wickedly fast.

However, some Bimmer fanatics no doubt miss the lust-worthy lines of the F22 and F87 cars. Keep up with MotorBiscuit for the latest BMW and sports car content!


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