With a two-door coupe body and relatively compact proportions, the BMW 2 Series is considered by many to be a spiritual successor to the legendary 2002 of the 1960s and 1970s (even serving as the basis of the slick 2002 Hommage concept). That resemblance grows in some ways and diminishes in others with the debut – official, this time – of the 2022 BMW 2 Series, which will join the company’s UK lineup in early 2022.

For starters, this is one of the more conservatively designed BMWs in recent history, retaining the long bonnet and short deck of its predecessors that clearly denote its rear-drive architecture. Unfortunately for purists, the 2 Series will no longer be available with a manual gearbox, receiving a standard eight-speed automatic transmission for all three models: the rear-drive 220i, 220d and the all-wheel-drive M240i xDrive.

2022 BMW 230i Exterior Front Quarter
2022 BMW 230i Exterior Rear Quarter

Retro Details, Contemporary Canvas

The new 2 Series mercifully avoids many of the outsized styling touches of other recent BMWs, like the pig-nosed 7 Series and 4 Series. Its kidney grille is sized roughly in line with its headlights, and the single LED lighting elements are a departure from BMW’s usual two lamps per headlight – a nod to the 2002. A power bulge on the bonnet looks cribbed straight from the E46 M3. The 230i’s front bumper features a thin, wide centre air intake and two vertical air curtain slits, while the more aggressive M240i xDrive has unusual triangular vents on the corners.

The bulging front and rear wheel arches remind us of the old 1 Series M, with a body-length shoulder that runs from stem to stern in a throwback to the 2002 Turbo. The greenhouse of the 2 is very traditional, with a clearly defined Hofmeister kink that contrasts with the 4 Series coupe. Around back is a set of taillights with a wild design residing within their black housings (and looking a bit like the Acura TLX, unfortunately).

2022 BMW M240i Exterior Side Profile
2022 BMW M240i Exterior Taillight
2022 BMW M240i Exterior Headlight

Inside, the 2 Series recalls its siblings with a digital instrument cluster and high-mounted hexagonal touchscreen, though door panels embossed with an unusual tessellated pattern set the coupe apart.

The proportions and stance of the new 2 Series are very nice, but there are details that let the coupe down. For starters, the M240i’s front bumper treatment is oddly sharp and geometrical, at odds with the otherwise conventional styling – the 220i is better composed in this regard. And the taillights of both look misshapen, with angular accent lights swimming in a sea of black housing material. And not everyone loves the bulging wings/fenders, particularly the sharp vertical break behind the front wheel.

2022 BMW M240i Interior Dashboard
2022 BMW M240i Interior Door Panel
2022 BMW M240i Interior Shift Selector

Mechanical Modernity

The standard engine, found in the 220i, is a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four producing 181 bhp and 221 pound-feet (135 kilowatts and 300 newton-metres). Meanwhile, the M240i’s turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six makes a prodigious 369 bhp and 369 lb-ft (275 kW and 500 Nm). Both numbers represent improvements over the corresponding engines found in the outgoing 2 Series, with better performance coming along – BMW says the 220i will hit 62 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds, with the M240i cutting that time to 4.3 ticks. Both models can hit a top speed of 147 mph and 155 mph, respectively.

The 2022 BMW 2 Series has finally done away with its standard manual transmission, with all three models coming exclusively with an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox. That’s a real shame, particularly in a car that’s supposed to recall the 2002, a holy grail for performance purity. At least it boasts launch control and a “Sprint” function, which switches to the lowest possible gear when after the driver holds the left shift paddle for one second.

2022 BMW M240i Exterior Front Quarter
2022 BMW M240i Exterior Rear Quarter

A wider front and rear track and revised camber angles will make the 2 Series nimbler in sporty driving, and BMW found an extra 12 percent of torsional rigidity to make the already-robust coupe architecture even stiffer. Front struts and a five-link rear suspension are standard, and the M240i adds an additional front hub strut that connects to the side sills for even greater steering precision and response.

The 220i receives an optional M Sport suspension that brings stiffer versions of the standard kit, while the M240i comes standard with an Adaptive M Suspension, whose continuously adjustable shock absorbers provide a softer ride in some situations and firmer responses in others. The 220i comes with 17-inch wheels, and M light-alloy 18s are an option – they’re standard on the M240i, though.

2022 BMW M240i Exterior Front Quarter
2022 BMW 2 Series Lineup
2022 BMW 2 Series Lineup

On The Tech Front

For the first time, the new 2 Series comes standard with a comprehensive list of active driver assist and safety technology. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure monitoring and prevention, and rear cross-traffic and blind-spot monitoring are all standard. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality is an option.

The BMW 2 Series gets iDrive 7 infotainment, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that can be accessed on the optional head-up display. The software package also brings the usual BMW accouterment, including Amazon Alexa integration, cloud-based navigation, and phone-based digital key technology.

2022 BMW M240i Interior Steering Wheel

Intimate Quarters

The 2022 BMW 2 Series is a bit larger than the vehicle it replaces. The 220i is 105 mm (4.1 inches) longer, 64 mm (2.5 inches) wider, and 28 mm (1 inch) lower, resting on a 2,741 mm (107.9-inch) wheelbase, up 2 from the outgoing car – the M240i is 89 mm (3.5 inches) longer and 3 mm (0.1-inch) lower, with the other increases porting over. The 220i weighs 1,596 kg (3,519 pounds), up from 1,536 kg (3,386) in the old model, while the M240i xDrive weighs 1,756 kg (3,871 pounds) up 160 kg (352 pounds) from its 2021 equivalent).

Yet in spite of those dimensional increases, the new 2 has a bit less headroom, shoulder room, and legroom for both front and rear passengers than its predecessor. The boot is likewise cut from 371 litres (13.1 cubic feet) to just 283 litres (10.0 cubes), so folks trading in an old 2 Series should make sure all their stuff will fit in the new one.


Starting price is £34,980 OTR and due for UK launch in early 2022.


Max Power (hp)

Peak Torque (Nm)


Top Speed (mph)**

Fuel economy (mpg)*

CO2 emissions (g/km)*

OTR Starting Price***

















M240i xDrive








**Electronically governed.
*** Preliminary on-the-road pricing, subject to confirmation of VED band.

We applaud BMW for giving the new 2 Series some styling restraint, with excellent rear-drive proportions and a subdued front grille. The lack of a manual transmission option is sad and there are definitely some confusing design choices, but that likely won’t matter to BMW’s current clientele, who seem to appreciate exuberance more than classical styling and an involving driving experience. While it might not be the 2002 redux we all dream of, the 2022 BMW 2 Series should still be a hot seller for the company.

The new 2 Series will make its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 8th July.

Gallery: 2022 BMW 2 Series Debut