Who you callin’ entry-level? BMW 2 Series adds TwinPower three-cylinder, xDrive AWD

The BMW 2 Series may be the brand’s cheapest car, but that doesn’t mean it’s relegated to entry-level options.

Starting in 2015, the German brand has confirmed a 1.5-liter, TwinPower three-cylinder for the 2 Series range, packaged in a new model called the 218i.

The 218i’s powerplant, which incorporates a turbocharger and a supercharger into the exhaust manifold, is actually the same basic unit from the MINI Cooper and BMW i8. It’s a fair bit heavier than the MINI though, and without the i8’s electric boost, the 218i sits near the back of the lot in terms of performance.

The 136-horsepower engine allows for a 0 to 62 mph sprint of 8.8 seconds with the standard six-speed manual, and 8.9 seconds with the eight-speed Steptronic automatic. The three-cylinder is also featured in the 2 Series Active Tourer.

Those performance figures wont exactly blow the doors off, but the 218i makes up for it with impressive fuel economy. On the U.K. cycle, BMW estimates the two-door will return 50 to 55 mpg. Top speed is rated at 132 mph.

BMW makes no mention of the new 218i coming to America, but that may change. Currently, the most modest 2 Series available in the States is the 228i Coupe, which features 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 240 hp.

BMW 2 Series

In addition, BMW has added four new trim levels to the 2 Series lineup.

First up is the Advantage level, which adds multifunction controls on the steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, Park Distance Control, fog lamps, and a storage package.

The Sport Line and Luxury Line add 17-inch alloys to the mix, as well as a lighting package and various upgrades to the interior materials. The Luxury trim also includes chrome accents on the exterior.

The top-end M Sport level is more performance focused, with suspension that’s been lowered by 10 mm, an exterior that upgraded with aero, exclusive wheels, and larger air intakes.

Also new for the 2 Series is an xDrive all-wheel drive option on the diesel 220D.

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