For years, BMW has been known for producing high-performance, rear-wheel-drive vehicles that offer an engaging driving experience. However, with the introduction of the X2 sDrive28i and the BMW 228i Gran Coupe, the German automaker is breaking new ground by offering a front-wheel-drive model.
1. BMW X2 sDrive28i
While some purists may scoff at the idea of a front-wheel-drive BMW, the X2 sDrive28i is a well-rounded vehicle that offers many of the same benefits as its rear-wheel-drive counterparts. Thankfully, as this is technically a crossover, the purists can only get so mad (not so much can be said for the next BMW on this list).
Additionally, the X2 sDrive28i features a sporty design that sets it apart from other front-wheel-drive vehicles on the market. And with a starting price of just over $36,600, the X2 sDrive28i is also one of the most affordable BMWs in recent memory. So whether you’re looking for an efficient daily driver or a stylish weekend cruiser, the X2 sDrive28i is worth checking out.
If you like the X2, but wish it wasn’t front-wheel drive, you might be interested in looking at the BMW X2 xDrive28i. This is essentially the same vehicle, however, it is equipped with a transfer case and an AWD system.
While it will still be front-wheel-drive biased, you will get the power transfer to the rear wheels when it needs it most. This helps with handling, power delivery, and of course driving on slippery roads.
2. BMW 228i Gran Coupe
The BMW 228i Gran Coupe is one of the few BMW vehicles (and only sedan) that come standard with front-wheel drive.
The 228i Gran Coupe is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the front-wheel-drive system comes with manual shift control.
When it comes to handling, the 228i Gran Coupe is confident and composed, thanks to its lightweight chassis and well-tuned suspension, however, it does not quite stack up to the rear-wheel-drive platform vehicles. The interior of the car is just as impressive as the exterior, with high-quality materials and plenty of legroom for passengers.
So why does this vehicle have front-wheel drive? It comes down to platform sharing. The BMW 228i Gran Coupe shares a platform with its BMW-owned Mini counterpart. This is an easy way for them to build new vehicles, at a lower price (both to them and to you).
Much like the X2, we talked about earlier if you would prefer to hold off on just a front-wheel-drive vehicle, but like the budget, size, and type of vehicle in the 228i Gran Coupe, you might want to look at its sibling, the BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe.
Is the 2 Series Coupe front-wheel drive?
Not to be confused by the 4-door Gran Coupe, the BMW 2 Series Coupe is in fact still a rear-wheel drive platform vehicle. This helps plenty with driving dynamics of this sports car competitor. This vehicle is based on the CLAR platform, rather than the UKL1 platform that the Gran Coupe is based on. While this may be a bit confusing, it plays heavily into what each vehicle is more meant for.
A true 2-door coupe is better suited for spirited driving, which a front-wheel drive vehicle is not great with. However, front-wheel drive does offer easy driving, perfect for a budget minded sedan. In the end, most people that purchase these cars won’t care much, but it is an important distinction between these two vehicles, as it essentially makes them very different vehicles, even though the naming scheme may be the same.
Upsides and Downsides of a Front Wheel Drive Car
Now, if you are considering one of these front wheel BMWs, you might want to consider the upsides and downsides of switching the power to the front, rather than the rear of the vehicle.
- Lower price point
- Easier to drive in the winter
- Easier to have better leg room in back seats
- Can have better traction, as more weight is in the front
- You might end up with understeer
- Lower towing capacity
- More weight in the front of the vehicle
- Extra costs due to more components in the front
Is BMW 3 Series front-wheel drive?
As the step up front the 2 Series BMWs we talked about earlier, you might be wondering if they are also front-wheel drive. This is in fact not true, as the BMW 3 Series, and the crossover version (the BMW X3) are both rear-wheel drive vehicles. In fact, no other vehicles other than the ones mentioned above from BMW offer a front-wheel drive platform.
While it might not be for everyone, there are a few reasons you might want to consider a front-wheel-drive BMW. With the introduction of models like the X2 sDrive28i and the 228i Gran Coupe, BMW is breaking new ground and offering more affordable options without sacrificing style or performance. So whether you’re looking for an efficient daily driver or a stylish weekend cruiser, a front-wheel-drive BMW might be the right choice for you.