Oftentimes, when people are shopping for a vehicle on a budget, they opt for a base model because they think it’s all they can afford. But that’s not always the case.
The truth is, if you’re smart about the way you build your vehicle of choice, you can actually get a lot more for your money. To prove this, we used the configurator on BMW’s website to build a 2017 BMW 230i for under $42,000 that’s far from basic.
2017 BMW 230i Coupe (starting MSRP $33,150)
Although the 230i Coupe is the least expensive 2 Series, that doesn’t mean we’re going to get a sparsely equipped base model. The 230i comes standard with high-definition radio, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which is very user-friendly. We also chose the 230i rather than the 230i xDrive because it’s not worth paying $2,000 more for four-wheel drive. With rear-wheel drive, the 2 Series has near-perfect 50-50 front-rear weight distribution. Because of that balance, fitting the 230i with winter tires does just as good a job, if not better, than opting for the 230i xDrive.
Packages: Driver Assistance Package ($950), Lighting Package ($900), M Sport Package ($2,500), Premium Package ($2,950)
The packages we selected for our 230i serve two functions: Make it handle better and make it more luxurious. The Lighting and Driver Assistance Packages ensure that we have the best visibility possible thanks to xenon headlights, adaptive light control and a rearview camera. The Premium Package adds more luxuries inside the car such as a universal garage door opener, auto-dimming mirrors and a one-year subscription to SiriusXM. With the M Sport Package we get upgraded suspension, and M Sport steering wheel (pictured), 18-inch double-spoke wheels and the M Sport aero kit, which gives the car a more-aggressive look.
Options: Black Kidney Grilles ($210), Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler ($745), Stainless Steel Pedals ($285), M Performance Carbon Fiber Exhaust Pipe Finishers ($254)
The options we chose are ones that will give the 230i a more aggressive and sporty look, both inside and out. Especially on a white car, the black kidney grilles immediately make the car look more purposeful. The stainless steel pedals also look more performance-oriented than standard pedals, and they provide better grip. The carbon fiber rear spoiler and exhaust pipe finishers (pictured) also stand out nicely against the white paint.
The total MSRP — including $995 destination and handling charge — of our 2017 BMW 230i Coupe in Alpine White: $42,939.
All photos via BMW