2014 BMW 2 Series: Up Close

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The new 2 Series coupe from BMW has a trim, sporty look with none of the awkwardness of the 1 Series, which it replaces in BMW’s lineup. It still has a traditional coupe shape, but the roofline arcs more gracefully to the short deck lid.


The 2 Series is larger than the 1 Series it replaces in the U.S., but it’s still small by modern standards and you can feel its small size when you’re behind the wheel; the cabin is snug, with the dash and doors in close proximity. It’s not cramped, even for taller people (I’m 6-foot-1), but notable in an era of larger and larger cars.

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Interior quality has improved with nicer finishes on the doors, for instance. The cabin has also gained more technology with the inclusion of iDrive and fuel-saving stop-start technology. I’ve always appreciated the 1 Series’ back-to-basics, minimalist approach, but that’s gone by the wayside in the 2 Series, as it has in BMW’s lineup in general.

One thing I hope isn’t lost is the driving experience, as the 1 Series was among the purest in the automaker’s range. With its still small overall size and the availability of a performance-oriented M235i model with 322 horsepower, the odds are good that it remains.

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Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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