There is a common perception among car enthusiasts that, sometimes, the cheaper entry-level version of a sports car is a better version. It doesn’t always happen, obviously, but with some cars – like the BMW 2 Series – it can. The reason is that the lighter front, smaller engine allows for sharper steering, a tougher front end and a more playful feel, which still provides all the power one needs to have fun. However, when you really go for the budget version, like the BMW 220i, does that philosophy still apply?
In this new video from Joe Achilles, we get to see the entry-level BMW 220i – though, which has been chosen quite heavily – like driving and if it really is a decent budget sports car. Joe has driven almost every version of the 2 Series at the moment, so he’s familiar with how they drive. The top-dog BMW M240i, with its Starler B58 engine, the most exciting version, no doubt. However, he acknowledged that fewer versions have their drawbacks.
The BMW 220i is the weakest petrol version of the 2 Series. It uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the 230i – BMW’s B48 engine – but it produces 184 horsepower and 220 pound-feet (300 Nm) of torque. It gets the same eight-speed automatic as its only alternative, and Joe’s experimental car had rear-wheel drive. On paper, it’s the most basic-special 2 series you’ll find but it does give it the potential to make driving easier.
Is the BMW 220i a real budget sports car? Looks like it’s probably, when you consider that it still runs alongside the rest of the 2 Series lineup. However, the BMW 230i has the same engine, which means that its front end is as light as the 220i, yet quite a bit more powerful, making it probably the budget choice of enthusiasts.