The all-new 2 Series has polarizing looks, but from behind the wheel, it’s one of the few cars in BMW’s lineup that still retains the “Ultimate Driving Machine” ethos. Unfortunately, unless you want to spend big bucks on the M2, getting the small coupe with three pedals is no longer an option. However, used examples can still be had for reasonable prices.
It can be hard to make a case for used cars right now with inventory being so limited, and in many instances, the price difference between the pre-owned model and the new car is so narrow it’s not worth going used. There are some cars where the value is still worth it, but you just have to be willing to be flexible in terms of your options and location.
The BMW 2 Series is still one of my favorite cars. I even had a chance to drive one hard at a BMW event way back when the car first came out. That experience tempted me to buy one and if I didn’t have a need at the time to put car seats comfortably in the back, I would have likely ordered one.
Available with two turbocharged motors both sending power to the rear wheels (all-wheel-drive was optional), the 2 Series could also be had with a six-speed manual for either motor. Personally, I preferred the four-cylinder as it had plenty of power and it felt more balanced in the corners with less weight on the nose.
As of now, BMW won’t sell you a manual 2 series, though it’s likely the pricey M2 will get a manual transmission once it comes out. So if you want a small coupe with rear-drive and three pedals, you have the Miata and the Subaru/Toyota BRZ/86. All of those are great cars and have a starting MSRP of around $29,000. However, if you prioritize German performance over a new car warranty, the used market can provide a nice manual 2 Series starting in the low $20,000 range.
According to Autotrader, there are about 25 manual 2 Series listed for sale in the entire country, and of course, we all know that a chunk of those will really be automatics because dealers often don’t check to make sure their listings are correct.
Most of the nicer examples with lower miles are on the West Coast like this 2015 with 40,000 miles for only $22,000
If you must go for the six-cylinder model that’s going to cost you, but you can find something like this 2016 for around $33,000, but that is still cheaper than a base model Miata RF.
I even spotted a few tempting examples from Carvana, and they offer reasonable delivery fees and a return policy in case you get the car inspected and it turns out to be problematic.
While it might not be the most ideal time to shop in the pre-owned market, now may be the opportunity to snatch up a manual 2 Series as a potential “future classic” before the prices really go bonkers.