2014 BMW 2 Series

2014 BMW 2 Series

Episode 3338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While large BMW’s undoubtedly have a lot to offer, it’s always been the small ones that we’ve like best. Well one of our favorites, the 1 Series coupe is no more. But take heart, that doesn’t mean it’s gone. It’s just wearing a new name, and with it, a whole new attitude!

By now you should be up to speed on BMW’s naming strategy of even number series for coupes and odds for sedans. Well, the latest to fall in line is the 2014 BMW 2 Series, of which this M235i is the current top rung. 

But don’t let the “M” name fool you, it’s not a full on M car, but an M “Performance” model. Sort of a tweener if you will, between garden-variety Bimmers and full on M monsters. Basically, more performance, without any compromise in comfort. It makes for a fun factor that’s hard to top in value.

While the 2 replaces the 1 Series Coupe in the lineup, it’s more than a name change. The 2 has gotten bigger, though thankfully not by too much. Every dimension is increased; with overall length up most; 2.8-inches to 174.5. To further distinguish itself, styling is a bit more dramatic; though still fairly conservative; with just enough Teutonic cool to attract more ironic hipsters and young professionals.

Power in our M235i is from a familiar 3.0-liter BMW turbo I6. We’ve lost count of how many BMW’s we’ve driven with this engine and we still love it. It has gotten some M Performance specific tweaks here that raise horsepower to 320 and torque to 330 lb-ft. The base 228i comes with a still competent 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4. 

An 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, as in our test car, is standard; and we found nothing to complain about as shifts are quick in auto mode and response very good when in manual mode. You can still opt for a 6-speed manual, as well.

But, enough sitting still. It’s off to our test track, where the M235i promptly moved off the line with what feels like the perfect amount of power, launching to 60 in an entertaining 5.2-seconds. There’s very little drop off in power as the trans quickly works its way through the gears and to the end of the ¼-mile in 14.0-seconds at 102 miles-per-hour. 

A mostly aluminum structure for a typical BMW 50/50 weight balance allows you to push through the corners with minimal loss of speed, and great grip, as well. Suspension design is a double-pivot spring strut arrangement up front and a 5-link in the rear. Adaptive M suspension and electronically controlled shock absorbers are standard on the M235i, with an optional mechanical limited slip rear differential.

Steering feels great both at the wheel and through the chassis. The M235i has the most steering feedback of any BMW we’ve driven in a long time. Brakes, however, not so much. Feedback here is middle of the road with a softish pedal. Still, stops were quick; 115 feet from 60 with excellent stability.

Inside we found a very familiar BMW layout with high quality materials and well done controls throughout the driver-focused space. Yes, that comment even includes iDrive. Front sport seats provide good comfort and support with moderate bolstering. Rear seats however, much less so with merely a suggestion of legroom. Trunk space is actually fairly good for a sporting coupe at 13.8 cubic-ft.; aided by folding seatbacks for more cartage room when needed.

A Driving Experience Control is standard with settings for Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Eco Pro. Playing with the different modes alters the driving experience noticeably, but Sport or Sport + is where it’s at for us.

But, if this is your first BMW, you might find the ride in those settings quite stiff. Comfort mode helps somewhat, or you can just do your best to avoid broken pavement. No matter which mode you’re in, the exhaust note is great, growling without being obnoxious.

For a small car, it has an overall very solid, almost heavy feel. Not in a bad way; it just feels more substantial and competent than light and toss able. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our automatic come in at 22-City, 32-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a fine 25.2 miles-per-gallon in a mildly executed loop of driving. The Energy Impact Score is 13.2-barrels of oil used and 5.8-tons of CO2 emitted annually. 

At the risk of going all fanboy, we’ll say that the M235i is just about a perfect package. But perfection never comes cheap with a base price of $44,025. The base, and still very competent, 228i is much more accessible at $33,025. 

The 2014 BMW M235i is truly one excellent car. No other premium subcompact coupe comes close. It drives like passionate BMW fans think every BMW should. So, if you’re in the position to leave the family behind, it’s an incredibly fun ride. Proof that sometimes numbers can work in your favor.


  • Engine: 3.0-liter
  • Horsepower: 320
  • Torque: 330 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.0 seconds @ 102 mph
  • EPA: 22 mpg city/ 32 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.8 tons/yr
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.