The new 2022 BMW 2-Series has the making of our favourite current BMW. Unlike the European 2-Series MPV and X2 crossover which are front-wheel drive, or derived front front-wheel drive cars, this one is a BMW from the old school.
It has a proper three-box silhouette, a rear-wheel drive platform, and those who can’t stand BMW’s new grilles will be pleased to see those on the newest BMW are landscape orientation, rather than portrait.
Until the new M2 gets here next year, the most performance-focused 2-Series is the M240i xDrive, which gets a 382 hp 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six (369 hp in Europe), can accelerate to 60mph in 4.1 seconds and will set you back $48,550.
By BMW standards that looks pretty decent value for the performance. But what about by everybody else’s standards? Here are five other cars to consider before you write that cheque to your BMW dealer, including two cars that are available with the one thing the M240i isn’t: a manual transmission.
Honda Civic Type R from $37,895
The release of a new regular Civic has got us all wondering what to expect from the next Type R. But that won’t be here for over a year, and besides, while it’ll look and feel better inside, we struggle to see how it’ll be much more fun than the current car.
The standard Type R is a hoot and costs just $37,895, meaning you could step up to a lightweight, bright yellow Limited Edition car at $43,995, and still come in well under an M240i on price.
Too extreme? Volkswagen’s slightly more genteel 315 hp 2022 Golf R is about to land in U.S. dealers, and will cost around $44,640.
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody $47,640
The M240i is based on a rear-wheel drive platform, but it’s only available with xDrive all-wheel drive at launch, which could severely limit your opportunities to crash embarrassingly and go viral.
That’s a problem easily solved by spending the same money on some genuine American muscle. Your M240i budget buys a Widebody Challenger with a 485 hp Hemi V8 and a manual transmission.
Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Turbo at $51,090
Like the idea of the BMW’s twin-turbo straight six, but prefer it in something that doesn’t look like a 3:4 scale sedan? You could go for BMW’s own Z4 M40i, but that starts at $63,700. Or you could take a look at the Toyota Supra.
A 3.0-liter Supra gets an M240i-matching 382-hp BMW-made six and rear-wheel drive with an active differential to help you control those big skids. Its $51,090 price makes it more expensive than the M240i but we bet you won’t have trouble chipping your dealer down on a sports car that’s no longer the hot new ticket.
And if he won’t budge, you could always set your sights a little lower and take the 255 hp 2.0 version for $43,090.
A used 2017 / 2018 BMW M2 for around $47,000
Or how about a genuine M2 – and specifically, a used 2017 or 2018 model that you can easily find for mid-to-high $40s with low miles? It’s worth bearing mind that this budget doesn’t stretch to the much improved new $58,900 M2 Competition with the M4-derived engine, and the original 365-hp M2 actually makes 17 hp less than the new M240i and is no quicker to 60mph.
The new car also has a vastly improved interior, but it also comes only with an eight-speed auto, whereas you’ll find M2s with both manual and dual-clutch auto transmissions.
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT $59,900 Minus Tax Credits
And finally, no rivals roundup of any new car would be complete without an EV. And with the electric revolution in full swing, there are plenty to choose from.
On paper, Ford’s $59,900 Mustang Mach-E GT looks expensive next to the $48,550 M240i, but with 480 hp to the BMW’s 369, and a stomping 600 lb ft to its 355 lb ft, it can smoke to 60mph in under 4 seconds. And when you factor in $7500 worth of Federal tax credits, the Mustang’s price drops to $52,400.
Still too expensive? Tesla’s Model 3 Long Range can hit 60mph in 4.2 seconds, does 353 miles on a charge, and its costs $48,990.
What would you buy instead of an M240i? Leave a comment and let us know.