Some cars are just fun to drive. They’re not necessarily practical, not the fastest or the most furious, just there for your unbridled enjoyment. Such is the BMW 2-Series, available in coupe or convertible variations.
BWM has undergone some nomenclature shifting over the course of the last few model years. The 1-series was replaced by the 2; the 3-Series coupe became the 4-Series. Call them what you will, there’s a lot of excitement in those numbers. Sticking to the 2-series, it’s a good option in the so-called “entry-level luxury” genre, with a starting price at around $33,000 ($38,950 for the convertible option). It has the feel of a high-priced, well-appointed go-kart, with fearless handling of twists and turns, quick shifting transmission, and zero-to-60 time of just over five seconds.
The sporty good looks are pure Bimmer, with the 228i coupe taking on the looks of a 4-Series in miniature. Inside the cabin, you’ll find sport seats in eye-catching options like coral red Dakota leather, that’ll keep you firmly planted when pushing through the corners. Those who crave more power can always choose the performance M version, bringing the horsepower from 248 to 335, but most drivers will find the base engine more than adequate for everyday driving. BMW calls the 2-series a four-seater, but we call it a thrill ride best suited for two. Throw your golf bag in the back seat and call it cargo space.
The fun quotient rises exponentially with the drop-top version of the 2-Series. It has a fabric top that powers up or down in 20 seconds, at vehicle speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, and is surprisingly quiet when the roof is raised. Does your driving companion find that “wind-in-your-hair” feeling to be objectionable? Enter the rear-seat wind deflector to mitigate that problem, and to extend the top-down driving season, especially when paired with heated seats.
The 2-Series is an excellent choice for up-and-comers looking to move into the luxury market and dip their toes into BMW’s waters. But be warned, the price of entry goes up quickly when checking all the upgrade boxes, easily skyrocketing from affordable luxury to above the $50,000 mark.
Price as tested: $53,885.