The 2 Series is becoming the new 3 Series

2 Series, 3-Series | August 12th, 2015 by 16
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In a recent Car and Driver review, they tested the BMW 335i xDrive. It was almost like a farewell to a car being replaced by …

In a recent Car and Driver review, they tested the BMW 335i xDrive. It was almost like a farewell to a car being replaced by the upcoming, post LCI, 340i. In the review, the folks at C&D clearly state that it handles well, rides well, is fast as hell and has the looks and fit and finish of a typical BMW. Overall, the review was quite positive. However, one thing that stood out was the fact that they stated the 3 Series needed to be spec’d out properly in order to be a “real” 3 Series.

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What the people at C&D are talking about is the fact that the current 3 Series, without certain packages like the M Sport Line, is actually quite bland at heart. They claim it to be soft and uninspiring without sporty packages and options. It never used to be like that, though. If you bought a BMW 3 Series in the past, regardless of which model, you were getting a fun and dynamic sport sedan that put performance first and luxury second. It may have been slower or faster, depending on which engine you bought, and it may not have been as comfortable as it could have, but either way it was still a 3 Series.

But now it just seems wrong, it seems as if the BMW 3 Series’ iconic dynamics are being backseated for the popularity of the masses demanding luxury and connectivity. So what was once the most dynamic car in the segment, the car that defined the segment, the very same car its competitors look up to, is now only dynamic enough to keep up with its competition with the most aggressive of options.

But all is okay, because as much as it’s sad to see the 3 Series become softer and less in touch with its principles, there’s another car who’s been passed the 3 Series’ torch — the 2 Series.

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The BMW 2 Series is the modern equivalent of what the 3 Series was, just minus the option of two extra doors. It’s the smallest, most fun and most dynamic of all BMWs that don’t wear a proper M badge. The BMW M2 is also looking to become this generation’s E46 M3, and that is about as high of praise as it gets. I can’t remember a time that BMW fans were as excited for a car as they are for the M2. There’s something very optimistic about that.

So while C&D may be right, the BMW 3 Series may be getting soft and losing touch, I think BMW has just passed the torch on to a young up-and-comer to be the car we, as fans, need. Joe Montana had to give way to Steve Young and Brett Favre had to pass the torch to Aaron Rodgers. That’s the way it goes, as a legend leaves, young blood must take its place.

16 responses to “The 2 Series is becoming the new 3 Series”

  1. toni796 says:

    2 series grancoupe, make it happen it will add practicality and i need practical for mountain biking

  2. Tom says:

    I disagree with the C&D editor on this one. All the 3 series from E36 on were best optioned with the sports suspension.

  3. seancorr says:

    So…does that mean the 2 Series handles well even with its stock suspension?

  4. Bilen says:

    I need 4 doors. Living in Europe I can get the M135i thouh I much prefer a sedan/GC look.
    But what about next gen 2er. No final desicion yey.
    Please please be rwd with 4 doors.

  5. milky_cereal says:

    I’ve been saying the same for years now. As a second time owner of an F10 5 series, we’ve seen a shift. The 5 I have is basically an old 7 of yore. Size wise, it certainly is. And the new 3 is about the same size as an E39 5.

    • jason bourne says:

      Yup, same here. since the 2-Series was introduced, I started saying it was this century’s 3-Series.

      The current 3-Series has gotten stodgy and bloated.

    • Max says:

      You’re right, but that is what customers want. I mean the so called “soft” new 3 series sells like crazy and fits to customers needs this is what a volume model should do.If they wouldnt do that they would lose in sales against competition which will lead to less profit and less money to invest in new technologies. Or why do you think Porsche is building a Cayenne, Macan, Panamera? They might be very sporty but they have nothing to do with what Porsche stood/stands for, the 911.
      The world is not just we few enthusiasts, it is the soccer mum or the grandpa or the insurance sales man or…. you get my point. Every customer is individual and the world is changing, we finally have to accept that! The F30 is still ahaed of its competitors and the sportiest one of all which will more than just continue with the G20. Think of the CLAR platform and the new possibilitys, this car will be much sportier than the F30.
      And yes the 2er is the “old 3er”, but even better, now we can decide what we want and need. I dont see a problem with that.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      All cars are getting bigger, so relatively to the other cars on the market right now 3 is 3, 5 is 5 and so on, they all fit in their own markets. F30 might be the size of the E39 but it’s not the modern equivalent of what the E39 was at its time, but F10 is, and that’s what really matters.
      In the same way, you cannot say that the F10 is what the 7 was, just look at it… It just doesn’t scream luxury, executive, or success…

  6. Reino-five-five-oh says:

    The 2 should only be marketed as a sporty model, and should not have four doors or a low powered engine. Doing that would make it a subcompact car not a sports car.

    I don’t get people that call the 3 ‘bloated’. I drove one and couldn’t stand how small it was. Small cars are great as a sports car, but for practicality a 5 is where it’s at.

  7. alocksley says:

    C&D has reviewed one too many Chevy’s. My 2015 335xi is far more fun to drive than previous 3’s I’ve owned. While some consideration is being made to the market — they do have to sell cars, you know — I don’t think anything’s been lost. One might consider that the “tests” these mags perform have little or nothing to do with the day to day driving of most people, and drawing fun and pleasure out of that experience is something BMW still does best.

  8. Kaisuke971 says:

    The 2 Series is not becoming the 3 Series… The 2 Series is the successor of both the 2002, E30 and 1 Series coupe. The “real” 3 series is E36 and above (because the E30 is pretty much the only one to set apart that much)… Also for the size thing some are coming with it doesn’t make sense, as they still have the exact same dimension as their rivals (A4, C).
    Just keep in mind that saying 2 is the new 3 basically means that 4 is the new 6 (while it just doesn’t make sense apart from the size, because when you look at what being a 6 means, in terms of luxury and being a GT car, it’s not), 5 is the new 7 (Is E the new S ? No, so same here), and 7 is a Rolls Royce or Bentley kinda thing (while it’s far from being so)…

  9. julianrz says:

    I don’t care which series is meant to be the descendant of which series. It is all completely confusing and meaningless. What I see is that all models are significantly worse in nearly every aspect than 10 years ago. Luxury in 3 series? Whom are you kidding, the interior is very bland (aluminum accent over wood – which art college they went to?), exterior is generic. Gadgets? Just following the Japanese lead, and charging top $$ for them. The 328i has the same size frame as 2002 E39 5-series, but rides like it has no suspension at all, automatic transmission is erratic at low speed, and the only thing it is good for is: driving the (very evenly paved) highway at speed. Unlike the E39 – which is very eager, smooth, feels well-planted, isolates from most bumps, has comfortable seats, steering has actual feel, and yes, it has luxury. To compare it to current 328i is like Rolls Royce to Tercel. BTW the price is the same… mass produced generic CAR is what you get now. I wish the design team was forced to commute in their creations in California traffic over potholes

  10. joseph_rma says:

    People, most of you here are right, you can’t make modern 3 series with E36 dimensions and expect this high sales.
    Growth is kind of trend nowadays and we as enthusiasts simply can’t
    stop it. So bloated and words like that are not, how to say, suitable, appropriate.

  11. […] BMW launched the current 2 Series, BMW fans the world over rejoiced. “Finally, BMW is giving us the small BMW we’ve been […]

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