The most affordable coupe in the BMW lineup, the 228i proves that luxury and performance really can co-exist in a subcompact passenger car. We're continuously impressed by its ability to switch from cruising quietly to tackling curves without missing a beat.
What's New for 2016
The previously optional Sport Line trim is now standard, as is an anti-theft alarm. A new Luxury package adds fancier detailing throughout. Several option packages receive minor revisions.
Choosing Your BMW 228i
Available as coupe or soft-top convertible, the 228i carries a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 240 horsepower, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is also available as a no-cost option. The automatic is required when you specify the available xDrive all-wheel drive system.
Standard equipment is what you would expect in an entry-level luxury coupe: automatic dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth phone, leatherette sport seats, and a 10-speaker sound system with HD radio. Leather upholstery is a standalone option.
The popular Premium package adds common luxury car equipment likes power seats, auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof (coupe only), keyless access and ignition, ambient interior lighting, satellite radio, and a universal garage door opener. Cars equipped with the Premium package and leather seats are eligible for the Luxury package, which furnishes chrome exterior accents and wood or aluminum interior trim.
You can take the 228i in another direction with the M Sport package featuring an adaptive suspension, 18-inch wheels, a sport steering wheel, an aerodynamic body kit, and sportier trim throughout. The Track Handling package (available with or without the full M Sport treatment) gets you performance brakes, sport-tuning steering, 18-inch wheels, and the M Sport suspension.
Once you've settled on the basic character of your 228i, you can add all of the usual BMW option bundles. The Technology package includes a navigation system with real-time traffic data, upgraded dash displays and controls, online services, and a suite of smartphone apps. Parking sensors and rearview camera come in the Driver Assistance package. Models equipped with both of those packages are eligible for Driver Assistance Plus, which adds lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation, automatic high beams, and speed limit data.
You might also like the Cold Weather package, which tacks on headlamp washers, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. There's also a Lighting package featuring adaptive xenon headlamps.
Several of the 228i's package features can be purchased individually, including power seats, a sunroof, and smartphone apps. A 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is available as a standalone option only.
We've always considered the Premium Package mandatory for buyers who want the full luxury car experience. The performance upgrades will appeal to some enthusiasts, but aren't necessary in our view. The 228i is a top performer no matter how you equip it.