BMW has remembered its roots.
April 2, 2015
Fun to drive
Can be practical
HP/Torque/0-60 times are very misleading; car is better than advertised
I don't know why this car is put against some of the vehicles that it is (like the Cayman) but don't let the "metrics" fool you. As someone who has owned a Z4, and driven Porsche's and Audi's, I can flat out tell you that this is one of most engaging cars I've ever owned.
First off, the engine "punches above its weight". I believe it has the same HP as my 2013 Z4 (240hp/255 lb torque) had, but I can get the automatic to do 0-60 in 5 seconds flat. I have the 228i, with Sport Line, Technology Package, Lighting Package, Driver Assist Package and Premium Package. While a bit pricey, I find it in-line without "luxury" vehicle pricing.
The navigation system is a little cumbersome at first, but it is nice that it recognizes my handwriting. The voice activation is also pretty reliable. The sport seats do a good job of keeping you in place when hugging corners and the supple leather makes sure you don't chafe. You can stream music via Bluetooth and the default stereo is much more serviceable than my Z4's was. You get auto-dimmer mirrors, folding external mirrors and many other options with the Premium package.
The driver's assistance package adds a nice rear camera and sensors for the front, side, and back of the car; very useful for any parking situation.
Lighting package gives you Xenon headlights that are automated (except for the high beams, that's an extra $250).
I went with the sport line instead of M-Sport mainly because I'm ever approaching 40 and the M-Sport styling reminds me of the Acura Integras back in the 90s. This package gives you better suspension, some less gaudy additions to the body of the car, increased top-speed, black external mirrors, very nice 18-inch rims and the aforementioned sport seats.
Fuel economy is great, especially if you play around with some of the settings like Eco Pro. However, there are times when I like to unleash my inner beast, and that is where this car does not disappoint.
In addition to a great 0-60 time, this car hugs corners like a mother who is sending her first born off to college. Put this thing in Sport Mode+ and let the fun begin. Plenty of passing power and the car lets you have a little fun when taking said corners. This car can be practical or it can be flat-out fun to drive. The only thing negative about the car is the price and room for adults in the back seats. I got mine for 2k under MSRP, but it can be hard as the car seems to be selling well.
This car seems to be made for the segment of people who want a sporty vehicle, but have a family now and need to make a compromise. The thing is, you never feel like you've compromised with the 228i when you decide to let loose.