Offering turbocharged performance, dynamic handling, and excellent fuel economy, the BMW 228i proves that even BMW’s least expensive coupe deserves the manufacturer’s "Ultimate Driving Machine" trademark.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 BMW 228i is available as a coupe or convertible. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive models are also available.

The 228i is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is available as an option on front-wheel drive coupes only.

The 2016 BMW 228i is available in four trim levels:

  • The nicely equipped base 228i starts at $32,850 and includes SensaTec (high-quality leatherette) upholstery, a nice-sounding audio system, push-button start and much more.
  • The base 228i is also available as a Convertible, prices start at $38,650.
  • The all-wheel drive 228i xDrive is priced from $34,850.
  • Pricing for the 228i xDrive Convertible begins at $40,650.

Pricing does not include a destination and handling fee of $995.

Package pricing varies, but highlights include:

  • The M Sport Package with an upgraded M branded steering wheel, shadowline trim, special headliner and an exterior aerodynamic ground effects kit.
  • Track Handling Package with variable sport steering, adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport performance tires on 18-inch light-alloy wheels.
  • Harmon Kardon Sound System with a 360-watt amp, five tweeters, five mid-range speakers, and two central bass speakers under the front seats.
  • And a Driver Assistance Package with multiple active safety technologies.

Performance Pros

BMW 228

The 228i is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is quite sufficient for the 228i, providing excellent acceleration. Zero to 60 zips by in as little as 5.3 seconds, while the 228i also provides excellent fuel economy.

  • The 228i rear-wheel drive coupe returns 23 mpg city and 36 mpg. Even the heavier all-wheel drive 228i xDrive convertible makes 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, which represents the worst gas mileage of all the 228i trim levels.
  • Handling and braking are superb, especially if you opt for the relatively inexpensive Track Handling Package. The adaptive suspension and M Sport brakes are worth the price of admission alone, never mind the sport steering, springs, tires and 18-inch wheels.
  • Unlike many manufacturers, the 228i still offers a manual gearbox in at least some trim levels. While the eight-speed automatic is truly marvelous, the connectivity that rowing through the gears affords the driver is priceless.
  • The all-wheel drive convertible might qualify as the Swiss army knife of cars; a great all-weather vehicle that handles copious amounts of snow and sunshine with equal grace.

Performance Cons

There's little to complain about, so we'll leave it at saying the turbocharged engine requires premium fuel.

Interior Pros

While inexpensive compared to the brand’s top models, the 228i retains BMW’s high level of fit and finish. The 228i’s cabin is roomy, especially for front seat occupants. The driver’s cockpit is arguably the best seat in the house; BMW is highly regarded for creating intuitive controls and easy to understand gauges and information technology.

The available luxury options escalate the 228i’s interior to levels commensurate with BMW’s more expensive vehicles. There are fancier interiors, but very few offer the restrained luxury and driver-centric ergonomics that BMW does.

Interior Cons

  • The rear seat is bigger than the outgoing 1 Series coupe that the 228i replaced, but it is still cramped quarters for adults.
  • The trunk is quite small, especially in the convertible. You might be able to make do with the 13.8 cubic feet available in the coupe, but the 11.8 cubic feet of the convertible is hardly enough to handle luggage for an overnight trip for two.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

BMW 228 Interior

The 228i is an absolute blast to drive. What is truly amazing is that you can have brisk acceleration and incredible gas mileage. Not too many years ago numbers like the 228i’s would have been science fiction.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The tiny trunk of the convertible will limit real-world functionality, but that really isn’t as much of a surprise. I mention it because the trunk is arguably the low point of an otherwise excellent vehicle.

The Bottom Line

bmw 228

Very few vehicles match BMW’s incredible driving dynamics. The 228i takes the formula a little further in the direction of value by offering a relatively affordable vehicle that offers excellent acceleration and fuel economy, which is no small task. There are certainly some compromises in the name of cost-cutting that make vehicles like the BMW 428i more appealing, but BMW’s entry-level coupe is quite remarkable on its own merits.