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This small coupe is exhilarating to drive, with razor-sharp handling and a sporty feel that is missing in other recent BMWs. For 2017, the 228i is renamed the 230i and comes with a 248-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder; the uplevel M235i we tested, now named M240i, has a terrific 320-hp, 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder that responds instantly to every prod of the throttle. A 365-hp M2 version with even sportier handling is available. The six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions are slick and super-responsive. The excellent front seats are very supportive, but the rears are very cramped. Interior appointments are first-rate, and the iDrive control system is logical once mastered. All-wheel drive and a convertible are available. Reliability has been much better than average.

Road Test

Many BMW purists are lamenting the, well, softening of the automaker's "Ultimate Driving Machine" edict in favor of more comfort, luxury, and technology in recent models. In most cases, we feel the automaker has achieved a good balance betwee...

Highs

  • Packs a lot of performance within understated looks
  • Doesn't beat you up with a harsh ride and noisy cabin

Lows

  • Virtually unavoidable options drive up the price very quickly
  • Looks may not convey its potent abilities

Best Version to Get

We would prefer to keep things simple, but right from the start BMW has you on the hook for some expensive options. Most versions come with the $2,300 Premium package, which includes leather seats and keyless access, as well as features such as a garage-door opener and auto-dimming mirror...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty
  • Basic: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Rust through: 12 year/unlimited
  • Roadside aid: 4 year/unlimited
Body Styles
convertible
coupe
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (248 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (365 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (335 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results