BMW’s smallest coupe makes a big impression
- Superb handling
- Excellent choice of engines
- Premium-feeling cabin
- Low running costs
- No middle rear seat
- Narrow boot opening
- Pricier than 1 Series
- XDrive only available on two diesel engines
The BMW 2 Series Coupe arrived in 2014 as a replacement to the popular 1 Series Coupe and slots in beneath the larger 4 Series Coupe in the Bavarian car maker’s range. Offering a similar driving experience in a cheaper, more compact package the 2 Series is available with an impressive selection of gadgets and equipment plus a healthy choice of petrol and diesel engines.
Due to its fairly compact size, direct rivals for the 2 Series Coupe are – aside from the Audi TT – hard to come by, yet the Volkswagen Scirocco and Toyota GT86 also offer roughly similar propositions, albeit with differing execution.
Is the 2 Series worth its weight in gold or will the angular Audi TT, enthusiast-aimed GT86 or ageing-but-accomplished Scirocco prove to be the superior car?
Three main trim levels on offer
All cars are impressively well-equipped, with sat-nav, climate control, cruise control and Bluetooth phone connectivity coming as standard across the range. However that doesn’t mean you should automatically go for the base-spec SE trim. M Sport is the most popular derivative, and with its sharper styling, greater range of kit and lightly improved interior it’s not hard to see why.
Don’t be afraid to delve into the options list either. As well as an upgraded Harmon Kardon sounds system, adding safety tech and a panoramic sunroof, BMW also offers an upgraded 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment display with the popular BMW Professional Navigation package.
Seven engines on offer – all good solid choices
No matter which engine you plump for with the 2 Series you’re unlikely to feel ripped off. Even the base 136hp 218i has a decent turn of speed, while the 340hp 3.0-litre six-cylinder M240i is the engine to go for if you’re after a super-quick compact coupe.
Of all the engines, the 190hp 220d is the most popular and comes in either rear-wheel drive or xDrive all-wheel drive form. In either case, claimed fuel economy is above 60mpg despite spritely 0-62mph times of between 6.9 and 7.1 seconds.
Nimble handling and a capable ride quality
BMW know how to make a car handle, and the 2 Series Coupe is no exception. Nimble and agile through the bends it’s an enjoyable drive for both regular customers and enthusiasts, boasting a composed chassis and impressive overall balance.
Thankfully, the ride quality is reasonably refined and only real struggles over the worst of pockmarked UK roads. The seats, driving position and interior as a whole are also nicely polished and should be adept at providing a comfortable and cosseting experience for those sat in the front.
Decent overall practicality
Sporty coupe it may be, but the BMW 2 Series can still carry two adults in comfort, with four-up a realistic target on short journeys. Indeed, two young kids should fit in the back without much of an issue, meaning the 2 Series Coupe could double up as an unconventional family car should the need arise.
Where families may struggle on a day-to-day basis, however, is the boot. Boasting 390 litres of capacity there’s not wrong with the overall levels of space on offer, but sadly the access isn’t ideal.
The boot opening is narrow and the wheel arches intrude significantly making it hard to load particularly wide or heavy items. That said, spec the optional Extended Storage Pack and you’ll get the benefit of a hatch fitted between the middle seats, enabling the transport of skis and other long items.
The Parkers Verdict
The BMW 2 Series offers a seriously compelling – and perhaps even class-leading – proposition if you’re after a relatively compact premium Coupe with genuine everyday usability. For many drivers, the 2 Series Coupe’s blend of great handling, accomplished comfort levels and top-quality overall feel will be a winning combination, and one which they’re highly unlikely to be disappointed with.
Read on for the full Parkers BMW 2 Series Coupe review
What owners say about this car
Without question quite simply the worst car I have ever owned. My first and most definitely the last BMW... Read owner review
I love driving the car, M Sport with a few toys (stereo upgrade, bigger wheels, blue calipers, front and... Read owner review
I have previously written a good review for the 2 series giving a 5 star review but after owning for... Read owner review