4.4 out of 5 4.4
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

BMW’s smallest coupe makes a big impression

BMW 2-Series Coupe (14 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £26,690 - £41,550
Lease from new From £358 p/m View lease deals
Used price £7,450 - £57,385
Fuel Economy 28.0 - 49.6 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £475
Insurance group 20 - 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Superb handling
  • Broad choice of engines
  • Upmarket-feeling cabin
  • Not ruinous to run

CONS

  • Only four seats
  • Narrow boot opening
  • Pricier than 1 Series
  • No petrol xDrive versions

BMW 2-Series Coupe rivals

Toyota
GT86
4.2 out of 5 4.2
Subaru
BRZ
4.1 out of 5 4.1

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Given that people seem to have fallen out of love with sporty two-door cars, the BMW 2 Series Coupe is beginning to be something of a curio these days, yet it remains one of the most satisfying-to-drive ranges you can buy. However, it's a pair of rear doors short of what many car buyers are after these days, hence the most recent addition to this line-up is the more practical 2 Series Gran Coupe.

It arrived in 2014 as a replacement to the once-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 an enticing choice of petrol and diesel engines.

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 or the middle-ranking Sport trims. M Sport versions are the most popular derivatives, and with their sharper styling, greater range of kit and lightly improved interior it’s not hard to see why. Equally, they're more sought-after as used buys, so should prove easier to sell on. Performance-focused M240i models sit slightly above M Sport in terms of standard equipment.

Don’t be afraid to delve into the options list either. As well as an upgraded Harman/Kardon sound system, adding safety tech and a panoramic sunroof, BMW also offers a Tech Pack II upgrade bundle, including the excellent BMW Professional Multimedia system.

Read more: Parkers best coupes in 2020

Wide range of engines – all good solid choices

No matter which engine you plump for with the 2 Series you’re unlikely to feel short-changed. 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 without ruinous running costs. 

Of all the engines, the diesel-sipping 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 as low as 7.0 seconds.

Despite BMW's expertise with electrification, there are no plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of the Coupe as there are with the 2 Series Active Tourer - don't expect that to change before this generation of model is replaced.

M2 Competition and M2 CS performance models

With a sporty rear-wheel drive platform as a tantalising base, it would have been rude of BMW not to flex its performance car muscles and deliver a serious Porsche 718 Cayman rival. The M2 Competition and limited-edition M2 CS do just that.

In the grand scheme of things, the difference between the two isn’t huge (even if the latter costs almost 50% more), with both cars sharing a straight-six 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine and upgraded suspension and brakes. Note that this engine is different from the straight-six in the original BMW M2 that was launched in 2016 and is now discontinued.

The M2 Competition is the more common and attainable variant, yet still delivers an impressive 4.2-second 0-62mph time (with the double-clutch transmission) and 174mph top speed with the optional M Drivers Package. Those looking for the ‘ultimate’ M2, however, will find the CS has a slightly faster 0-62mph time (4.0 seconds), more aggressive styling, tweaked chassis components and standard-fit adaptive M suspension.

Nimble yet comfortable

BMW knows how to make a car handle well, 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, being composed whether being threaded along a winding B-road or plying an arrow-straight motorway.

Nevertheless, the ride quality is 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 up front.

Read more: BMW Z4 review

Decent 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. Inevitably given the tapering roofline that impinges on rear headroom, two kids will be happier in the back than a pair of adults.

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.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the BMW 2 Series including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

BMW 2-Series Coupe rivals

Toyota
GT86
4.2 out of 5 4.2
Subaru
BRZ
4.1 out of 5 4.1

Other BMW 2-Series models: