The 2023 BMW 230i Feels Lighter and More Compact Than It Leads On | Autance

This entry-level Bimmer harkens back to simpler times.

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The 2023 BMW 230i Feels Lighter and More Compact Than It Leads On | Autance © The 2023 BMW 230i Feels Lighter and More Compact Than It Leads On | Autance

Much to the chagrin of brand purists, the new 2 Series is good fun.

  • Car: 2022 BMW 230i
  • Location: Southern California
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, 35-70mm EF 4.0 Zoom

Just like its much larger cousins, the new G80/G82 BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, people seem to want to hate it on looks alone. I get it, it doesn’t look ideal. If I’m being honest with myself, it only looks great from two angles: directly from the side and from the rear three-quarter. Thankfully, it drives well, and you can’t see it from the driver’s seat.

The 2022 230i I drove is a playful car. When equipped with all of the M Sport goodies, such as M Sport suspension and rear differential, the new G42-gen is good fun to zip down tight city streets, lightly slide around in the rain, rip up to cruising speed on the highway, and carve all forms of twisty roads. It feels much lighter than its 3,519-pound curb weight would suggest and more compact than its 107.9-inch wheelbase and 72.4-inch width.

By comparison, the previous F22-generation 230i weighed 3,386 pounds, had a wheelbase of 105.9 inches, and a width of 69.8 inches. Those figures aren’t too much smaller, but they sure do appear so in person. Regardless, take my word for it: The 230i might appear significantly bigger, but that doesn’t mean wallowing, portly handling.

The new 2er also has a great engine. BMW‘s turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter that powers the rear wheels is internally coded as the B48 and is actually the same engine that was in the F22, just with a few more horsepower. It now makes 255 horsepower as opposed to the F22’s 248. The little coupe sounds decent from inside the cabin, but I’m actually a big fan of how it purrs at idle from the outside. It sounds choppy and rarin’ to rage.

Maybe new BMWs aren’t all that bad after all. Though, bummer of bummers, a manual transmission is no longer an option. It’s also severely lacking in headroom for tall people, which is a crime, as BMW’s always been friendly to bigger folks. The fact that I still dig it really says something.

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