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View all BMW 2-Series reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Wide range of petrol and diesel engines on offer
  • Mid-range 220d packs a punch and excellent fuel economy
  • Eight-speed Steptronic transmission available on some engines

BMW 2 Series Coupe: which engines does it have?

There’s a multitude of petrol and diesel engine variations on offer in the 2 Series Coupe. However, it’s important to note that the final two numbers in the model name – for example ‘30’ in 230i – don’t necessarily correspond with the actual size of the engine like they do on many other vehicles. In this example the 230i is actually a 2.0-litre.

Petrol engines

The smallest petrol engine available in the 2 Series Coupe is the turbocharged 1.5-litre 218i. Boasting 136hp and 220Nm of torque, it’s capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds (8.9 for the automatic) and onto a top speed of 131mph.

Upgrade to the 220i and you’ll have the first of two 2.0-litre engines in the petrol range, developing 184hp and 270Nm of torque. Consequently, 0-62mph is rated at 7.2 seconds while top speed is 143mph.

Opt instead for the 230i, and although engine size is identical to the 220i, power and torque are both noticeably more, standing at 252hp and 350Nm respectively. This equates to a 5.6-second 0-62mph time, and a top speed of 155mph.

Finally, the most powerful engine in the regular 2 Series Coupe range is the 340hp M240i. Like the 230i, top speed is electronically-limited to 155mph while the dash from 0-62mph is taken care of in an impressive 4.8 seconds (4.6 for the automatic). Torque from the 3.0-litre straight-six engine, meanwhile, is a hefty 500Nm.

Diesel engines

The 2 Series Coupe diesel engine line-up starts with the entry level 2.0-litre 218d packing 150hp and 320Nm of torque. This is enough to propel the car from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds (8.2 for the automatic) and onto a top speed of 132mph.

Move up to the 220d, and while engine size stays the same performance improves to a 7.1-second (7.0 with the automatic gearbox, 6.9 with xDrive all-wheel drive) 0-62mph time and 143mph top speed (140mph with xDrive). Power is rated at 190hp, while torque is a chunky 400Nm.

Customers after the most potent diesel in the range should head for the 224hp 225d, capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 151mph. Torque is rated at 450Nm.

We’ve driven the 220d version in the latest 2 Series Coupe and can confirm it provides all the performance, economy and usability that most customers will require. Refinement is excellent all-round, while there’s a good dose of pulling power especially low down in the rev range. Keen drivers, however, may prefer an engine with a touch more character such as that in the M240i. 

Gearbox assessment

An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is available with the 218i, M240i, 218d and 220d. It’s smooth and quick to change up through the gears, although downshifts can be a little tardy in manual override mode. Pair it with the 340hp M240i and the transmission will, in manual mode, stick to the selected gear no matter how hard the engine is revved, thus giving the driver more control.

The six-speed manual version, meanwhile, is a reasonably satisfying gearbox to use with a nice short throw between ratios.

Performance M2 version

For those who want the fastest-possible 2 Series Coupe, BMW makes an excellent M2 performance version with a 370hp 3.0-litre straight-six engine and sub 4.5-second 0-62mph time.

It also benefits from an improved chassis, upgraded brakes and seriously-impressive handling balance capable of giving the Porsche 718 Boxster a run for its money.

  • Lots of grip and superb overall handling
  • More powerful models bring the best out of the chassis
  • Relatively easy to park, despite moderate blindspots

BMW 2 Series Coupe: how does it drive?

The first thing worth noting about the 2 Series Coupe is that, unlike almost all of its rivals, the BMW uses a standard rear-wheel drive setup. This means that power is sent only to the rear wheels, with the end result a typically sportier- and sharper-feeling car.

However, whereas as this may have been the case with BMWs of the last 15 years, current models tend not to feel particularly rear-wheel drive when paired with smaller, less-powerful engines. For example, we drove the 220d on optional adaptive suspension and although it handled very tidily with real poise and stability, it didn’t feel all that different to an equivalent front-wheel drive rival.

Upgrade to something sportier like the M240i, however, and the rear-wheel drive setup comes into its own. The car feels more adjustable and playful, with the opportunity – when safe – to induce oversteer (where the rear of the car breaks traction and takes a wider radius than the front of the car).

Overall grip levels are high across the range, plus the steering is relatively quick and direct if a touch inconsistent in its weighting (it can sometimes feel too light at speed). Get the 2 Series on a twisty country road and you’ll realise why BMWs are so often lauded for their handling qualities.

The 2 Series Coupe isn’t an especially big car meaning that parking it in tight spots is a relatively easy task. Just watch out for the chunky C-pillar creating a moderate-size blindspot when reversing.