Category Archives: Information

BMW’s X2 Is Fun, But Nothing New

The BMW X2 is the new luxury subcompact SUV from BMW. It’s biggest strengths are that it’s fun to drive, has a sleek exterior design and has lots of brand flashiness for the hardcore bimmer fan.

It’s a little light on room for cargo and passengers, and overall, it doesn’t have a lot to make it stand out from the competition.

Here’s what to expect from the X2:

  • Engine: Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/122
  • Horsepower: 220
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Miles per gallon: 21 mpg city and 31 mpghighway
  • Seats: Five
  • Base price: $40,000

Design

The X2 is meant to be a sports activity coupe, but it doesn’t really look it from the outside, especially from the front. Inside, the smaller dimensions are more noticeable. The legroom is similar to that of the X1, but there’s less headroom. It also doesn’t have a lot of cargo space — a maximum of 50.1cubic feet.

BMW made some changes when designing the X2. Its traditional kidney grille is wider and the bottom. The car’s C-pillar also has a huge BMW badge, which is atribute to the CS coupes of the 60s and 70s.

In all, the X2 features 20 BMW logos across both the exterior and interior.

Performance

Performanceand handling are some of the X2’s strong suits. It features a 2.0-literturbocharged I4 engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Itfeatures an eight-speed automatic transmission.

You get front-wheel drivestandard but can also get all-wheel drive. You can also opt for the M Sport Xpackage, which has an upgraded suspension and revised shift mapping.

The X2 handles excellently around turns and on twisting back roads. If you turn onSport mode, you’ll feel a bit more weight to your steering and a bit of a quicker throttle response. The brakes feel a bit sticky, though, making commuting in traffic a bit uncomfortable.

You also get a fair amount of road noise in the cabin, because of the run-flat tires. Car and Driver measured 67 decibels at 70 mph.

Tech

TheX2 offers the typical BMW suite of iDrive infotainment features and an 8.8-inch touchscreen that you can also control using the center console. One downside of X2’s tech offerings is the fact that it only has one USB port. You can, however, upgrade to wireless charging as an option. You can also add AppleCapPlay, although that will cost you $300. There’s no option for Android Auto.

You’ll also have to pay extra if you want the driver assistance tech that comes with many other vehicles — even less expensive ones. If you want forward collision and lane departure warnings, you’ll need to add a $700 package.

Adaptive cruise control will cost you $1,000. Unfortunately, there’s no option for blind-spot monitoring.

Final Verdict

The BMW X2 is a decent subcompact crossover. There aren’t any significant drawbacks, but it’s benefits aren’t enough to make it stand out from the pack. It’s $40,000 base price isn’t bad, but you’ll likely want to add some features to get enough functionality to make it worth the purchase.

If you’re a BMW fan looking for a subcompact crossover and you prioritize performance and handling, you’ll enjoy the X2. For everyone else, it’s a solid option but not anything spectacular.

BMW Reveals 2020 M340i

BMW has teased us with the reinvention of the 3-Series for a while now, and while they did reveal the 2020 seventh generation 3-series in October, we’re more excited about the new sporty version of this car.

The car giant just revealed the M-variant for this new 3-Series – the M340i. Let’s take a closer look at what this sporty little BMW will bring to the table, and when you can expect to find it at your local dealership.

Image: BMW

Some Stiff Competition

The new M340i will be equipped with a 3.0L Turbo in-line 6 cylinder engine. It’s actually the the same engine that sat under the hood of the sixth generation M340i, but it’s undergone a makeover to pull even more horsepower and torque out of the German engineering.

This particular engine style puts it in direct competition with two other luxury cars in it’s class – the S4 by Audi and the C43 by Mercedes, which both have a 3.0L straight six engine.

The M340i falls squarely in the middle when it comes to horsepower, with it’s newly tuned engine generating 382 horsepower. For comparison, the Mercedes generates 385hp and the S4 brings up the rear with 354 hp.

All the Bells and Whistles

In addition to the engine, the M340i is equipped with all the bells and whistles. One thing that might disappoint BMW purists is the fact that the only transmission option currently available for this model is an 8-speed automatic.

It does come equipped with optional all wheel drive. While it doesn’t make up for the lack of a manual transmission, it is a pretty decent consolation prize.

Other standard equipment includes an electronically controlled differential, and M Sport brakes with a 13.7 inch rotor and 4 piston calipers in the front. Rear brakes are reduced to a single piston caliper.

The suspension in the new M340i has been upgraded too, using a new technology to minimize the amount of road bumps that you feel behind the wheel. The front shocks work to absorb rebound, while the rear shocks can alter the compression as needed.

Of course, if you want all the bells and whistles, you can choose the optional electronically controlled adaptive shocks for an additional cost.

Even the exterior has gotten an upgrade. While it doesn’t look much different than the previous generations of this model, the body shell is lighter and stiffer, decreasing the car’s overall weight by roughly 120 pounds.

BMW hasn’t released any pricing information for this new 3-Series sports car yet, but it should be making an appearance in BMW showrooms across the country in July of 2019 to be ready for the 2020 model year.

We should be seeing price information in the coming months, ahead of the car’s official release. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this new M340i though, just to test out that new suspension.

While the lack of a manual transmission might make some drivers balk, BMW definitely tries to make up for it with all the bells and whistles that they’ll be including as standard equipment on this sporty new model.

Slump in Sales Could Drive Minis to BMW Dealerships

Miniature sales numbers could soon force Minis, which currently have their own dealerships, to share space with BMWs.

The Mini marque, which is owned by BMW, has had stand-alone Mini stores since 2008 as part of its efforts to maintain a unique, independent image. Today, there are 127 Mini stores. Mini dealerships, though, appear to be struggling to sustain this independent dealership model due to lower-than-expected sales numbers.

Mini projected it would have 100,000 in annual sales by 2017, but it hasn’t yet topped 66,500, a number it reached in 2013. The brand’s sales decreased by 10 percent in 2017, and through the first 10 months of 2018, Mini sold only 37,359 cars.

This has led some Mini dealers to request an integration with nearby BMW dealerships to reduce overhead costs and increase efficiency. Sharing costs associated with real estate and operations could help the brand stay afloat.

“We want to focus on dealer profitability so that they are properly represented in the marketplace,” Thomas Felbermair, vice president of Mini Region Americas, told Automotive News.

BMW and Mini, however, want to ensure brand differentiation should the two merge dealerships. To accomplish this, they’re considering creating separate Mini showrooms at BMW dealership locations. Dedicated Mini salespeople and service workers would staff these showrooms. Mini is also working with some dealers to reduce their requirements for showroom space to facilitate the move.

Mini has also indicated that it’s exploring other ways to support dealerships that would remain independent.

Challenges Facing Mini

The sales slump is the primary challenge facing Mini, but another issue is the lack of new product. Mini introduced the redesigned Countryman in spring 2017 and a plug-in hybrid variant later that year. A full-electric model is expected to arrive next year, but some Mini dealers have expressed worries that there isn’t enough new product on the horizon to keep customers interested.

“We’re in a development phase,” Felbermair said. “There’s a number of longer range projects that you will see come to fruition.”

Some dealers have also expressed concerns about a lack of consumer awareness caused by inadequate marketing funds.

Perhaps the biggest threat, though, is the fact that the company hasn’t been able to convince Americans to buy premium small cars. The U.S. market for SUVs and light trucks is strong, but that of premium compact cars continues to struggle. Mini also hasn’t been able to attract the young drivers it originally that would be its core audience.

“As a dealer and a manufacturer you have a vision of where the brand is going, and you have to prepare for it,” Jason Willis, a member of the Mini National Dealer Council, told Automotive News. “In this case, the vision now isn’t what it was when some of these stores were built.”

However, BMW and Mini still have hope that things will turn around. The marque is going through a bit of a rough patch that’s left it unable to maintain its independent dealership model. Although the company hasn’t made a final decision yet, reducing costs by moving in with BMW dealers may help Mini hold on until conditions improve.