Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Very similar to 1-Series
  • Rear headroom tight
  • But lots of leg room

Echoing the posher 3- and 8 Series, the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe interior is very similar to that of the 1-Series in the front, with only minimal changes. Cars in M Sport trim have spanglier aluminium-effect trim, with a choice of multiple colours for ambient lighting across the trim pieces to resemble a fashionable vodka bar when driving in the evening. M Sport cars are also fitted with a comedically fat ‘sports’ steering wheel.

The driver’s seat can be positioned relatively low by mainstream car standards, in-keeping with BMW’s sportier-than-average ethos but you still get a good view out ahead of you, thanks to a relatively low dashboard.

M Sport cars have a larger infotainment screen than regular Sport trim cars, which can be controlled either by touchscreen, voice control (which we’ve found hit-and-miss on test, and laggy to respond when it does understand a request), or via the traditional iDrive rotary controller.

It continues to be easy to get to grips with, after spending a few minutes on the driveway familiarising yourself with the various menus and shortcuts. Apple Carplay is available, while Android Auto arrives a little later from July 2020.

Cars in this trim level also come with a 10.25-inch digital screen for the driver’s dials, in a similar vein to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. It’s not as customisable here, but the 2 Series Gran Coupe has a slight size advantage over the larger models in the BMW range - such as the 3 Series - by having a smaller screen.

This works in its favour here as it’s easier to see the outer edges of the screen within your peripheral vision where all the important information is placed, such as the speedometer and rev counter. Bigger BMWs and their larger screens usually result in the dials being obscured by the steering wheel.

You can option a head-up display on all models, and while it’s clear and bright enough to see, it can also be annoying in sunlight, where a patch of the housing reflects up onto the windscreen. It almost looks like a patch of sticky tape has been left on there and gets in the way of your vision.

Comfort

  • Tough suspension in M Sport spec
  • Excellent seats up front
  • Tall rear passengers will suffer

There is plenty of adjustment for front passengers, who'll enjoy the supportive seats. M Sport cars go further by having heated front seats as standard and leather upholstery. Optionally available for Sports models is the Comfort Pack, which adds heated seats in the front and further interior lighting. A heated steering wheel is an option on all models.

However M Sport cars also have lower, firmer suspension and 18-inch wheels in place of the Sport trim’s 17s (19-inch wheels are an option), and on our test, we found the ride uncompromisingly firm on an M Sport-spec 220d. We strongly recommend you test drive the car first to ensure you feel comfortable if you live near rough roads.

Adaptive suspension is optional on the M235i and does improve ride comfort, but is only available with the standard 18-inch wheels. We tested a model on standard suspension with the optional 19-inch wheels and found the ride quality to be jittery at low speeds. It improves the faster you go, and there is enough suspension travel to soak up most of the bumps at higher speeds, but you’d be wise to spend your money on the adaptive suspension, rather than the wheels.

Those large and very low-profile tyres generate quite a bit of road noise into the cabin as well, although refinement is good elsewhere, with little in the way of engine and wind noise on the motorway, plus an absence of vibration coming through into the cabin and controls.

The M235i’s sportier exhaust system might be loud on the outside but it’s not at the detriment of cabin refinement either, with very little drone heard inside at motorways speeds.

Those sat up front in the M235i with have grippy part-Alcantara and cloth sports seats, but because they have a single-piece backrest, there is no adjustable headrest. Lumbar support and electric adjustment for the front seats can also be found on the options list for all models. Alternatively, the optional Magma Red leather on the M235i does brighten up the dark cabin. While those in the rear get a pair of air vents and two USB-C ports.