June 18, 2021

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2021 BMW 2-Series

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What kind of vehicle is the 2021 BMW 2-Series? What does it compare to?

The 2-Series is the entry point to the BMW lineup; it’s available in coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe (think low-roof sedan) forms. 

The Mercedes-Benz CLA and A-Class cars are natural rivals, plus there’s the Audi A3 range and the Cadillac CT4. 

Review continues below

Is the 2021 BMW 2-Series a good car?

The 2-Series is really a tale of two cars: The coupe and convertible ride on a rear-drive platform that gives them excellent handling and performance, while the (mostly) all-wheel-drive Gran Coupe is actually more closely related to the X1 crossover SUV. 

Overall, we rate the 2021 2-Series at 6.0 out of 10, drawing our conclusions from the Gran Coupe, as it’s the more popular and practical of the lineup. The coupes and convertibles might rate a little higher given their sporty handling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2021 BMW 2-Series?

The 2-Series lineup is mostly unchanged for 2021, aside from some minor option package tweaks and a $200 to $600 price hike for most versions. A new 228i Gran Coupe base model with front-wheel drive has been added to the range, though you’re unlikely to find one on a dealer’s lot outside of California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, or Florida. We’ve still not warmed up to the idea of a front-wheel-drive BMW, either. 

The Gran Coupe has an evocative shape with a silhouette that does a reasonable job of disguising its rear doors. Convertibles and two-door coupes are more conservatively styled. Inside, dashboards are organized logically and materials are good, though dressing up with extra-cost leather and unique trim finishes helps these little BMWs feel more special.

Underhood you’ll find a turbo-4 in 228i Gran Coupe and 230i convertible and coupe models that spins out plenty of power for most drivers. The M235i Gran Coupe and M240i coupe/convertible toss in a buttoned-down suspension but differ dramatically when it comes to putting power to the ground. The M235i uses a beefed-up turbo-4 with 301 horsepower, while the M240i throws in a tire-squealing turbo-6 with 335 hp. Fuel consumption goes up with power, though base cars will easily top 30 mpg on the highway. 

The M2 sits at the top of the heap in coupe and convertible form only with a 405-hp version of the turbo-6 and track-ready suspension modifications. BMW only offers the M2 in Competition guise, Munich’s code for an especially stiff setup best left to track days or smooth pavement. 

Anything with a 2 affixed to its trunk is comfortable up front and just so-so at the rear. Predictably, coupes and convertibles are not ideal family cars—though we can’t blame you for dropping the top on the way to soccer practice in a convertible. 

All cars are pricey but equipped well enough against German rivals. BMW checks the basics when it comes to safety features like automatic emergency braking, but adaptive cruise control is a pricey option.  

How much does the 2021 BMW 2-Series cost?

The 2-Series lineup starts at about $37,000 for a base coupe, or around $2,000 more for a Gran Coupe. Options climb quickly, so plan to spend somewhere in the mid-to-low $40,000-range. A well-equipped M2 Competition can be yours for around $60,000, which is actually a good deal given its performance. 

Where is the 2021 BMW 2-Series made?

In Germany. 

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