Review

BMW 2 Series coupe

Price  £24,265 - £34,260

BMW 2 Series coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Good looking
  • Fun to drive
  • Economical engines
Cons
  • Noisy diesel engines
  • Just four seats
  • Expensive options

At a glance

The greenest
220d M Sport 2dr £28,215
The cheapest
218d SE 2dr £24,265
The fastest
M235i 2dr £34,260
Top of the range
M235i 2dr £34,260

“The BMW 2 Series lets buyers choose between fast or frugal engines, while its interior is quiet and comfortable over long distances.”

The BMW 2 Series is based on the BMW 1 Series hatchback – with all BMW coupe's now carrying even-number model designations, while the conventional saloons and estates use odd numbers.

The 2 Series gets a lightly restyled front end compared to the hatchback, with sharper looks and headlights that point into the car's kidney-shaped grille.

Although the coupe is a strict four-seater, it actually has a boot that is 30 litres bigger than the hatchback's. The coupe also offers sharper driving dynamics, which mean it is more fun to drive, with a selection of engines from the 1 Series that offer a choice of performance or economy.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.0 / 5

Excellent fuel economy given the car's impressive performance

From launch, the BMW 2 Series will be available with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, with a third diesel engine – the 225d – set to join the range in March. Of the engines available now, the 218d is the most economical and efficient – it can return 65.6mpg and emissions of 114g/km respectively. The most popular model is set to be the BMW 220d that returns 62.8mpg, while its emissions mean it will cost £30 to tax annually, or the same as the 218d.

The BMW 220i is the cheapest petrol-engine equipped 2 Series. It is capable of 46.3mpg and emissions of 142g/km, which means road tax will be £140. The M235i, meanwhile, sits at the top of the range and, while it offers scintillating performance, this comes at the price of poor economy (34.9mpg) and relatively expensive road tax of £260 annually. It's worth noting that BMW main-dealer servicing is likely to be more expensive than on more mainstream models from Ford or Vauxhall.

Interior & comfort

4.2 / 5

Comfortable suspension and a quiet interior make it a great motorway cruiser

The BMW 2 Series is available with three suspension options – the standard fit set up, M Sport suspension, and the Adaptive M Sport pack. The standard fit set up leans more towards comfort, while the M Sport suspension cuts out body lean, but isn’t quite as comfortable on bumpy roads. The Adaptive M Sport suspension allows the driver to setup the suspension to be more comfortable or stiffer – to cut out body lean.

The BMW 2 Series feels like a much more grown up car than the 1 Series coupe it replaces and the car is extremely comfortable, with a quiet cabin that takes the edge of long-distance motorway journeys. But, while the petrol engines are quiet, the diesels can sound harsh when accelerating.

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

Tight back seats, but the boot is quite big

The BMW 2 Series has plenty of space up front, while the company claims the new model also has more rear legroom than the BMW 1 Series coupe that it replaces. Having said that, taller passengers are still likely to find head and legroom is a bit too cramped. Nonetheless, the BMW 2 Series is a four-seater car – it does away with the rear bench in favour of two individual seats – so shoulder room should be excellent. A nice surprise comes in the form of the car's boot, which is actually 30 litres bigger than the one found in the 1 Series. That means a total load-lugging capacity of 390 litres – or 10 litres more than a Volkswagen Golf.

Reliability & safety

4.0 / 5

The BMW 2 Series should be safe and reliable, whichever model you go for

BMW has an excellent reputation for reliability, but surprisingly the firm could only finish 15th out of 32 manufacturers in our 2013 Driver Power satisfaction survey, something the firm will be looking to improve on next time round. As a brand new model, the BMW 2 Series hasn’t featured in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but the car it replaced – the BMW 1 Series – finished a reasonably respectable 54th out of 150 cars.

The BMW 2 Series has not been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the model it is based upon – the BMW 1 Series – was awarded the full five stars, so we would expect the 2 Series to do just as well. The 2 Series comes packed with the latest safety equipment including traction control, stability control, and multiple air bags. Optional extras include lane assist, which can keep the BMW in lane with gentle steering inputs, as well as adaptive headlights that shine where the steering wheel points.

Engines, drive & performance

4.5 / 5

Powerful engines and great handling make it fun to drive

The BMW 2 Series is one of the most enjoyable coupes to drive currently on sale in the UK. Even the basic models soak up bumps well, while also cutting out body lean. The more performance orientated M235i gets bigger brakes – for more stopping power – stiffer suspension, as well as variable-rate steering for quicker reactions at high speeds.

Even the basic diesel has 141bhp, which means it feels reasonably brisk, while the 220d has 181bhp, which gets it from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds. The basic petrol 220i, meanwhile, is slightly faster reaching 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds. The BMW M235i is the flagship model, with 0-62mph taking just 4.8 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 155mph.

Price, value for money & options

3.6 / 5

Decent equipment levels, but optional extras are expensive

The BMW 2 Series isn’t available with the same entry-level engines as the BMW 1 Series so it costs significantly more. Nonetheless, all models offer impressive economy relative to their performance. We would also expect the 2 Series to hold its value well.

The model is very well specced with standard-fit equipment including air conditioning, alloy wheels and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Start speccing kit from the car's long list of options, though, and the price can quickly rocket.

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 2 reviews
  • 4.0 / 5

    "The major issues are the lack of a three-seat rear bench – there's only space for two here – and the fact that there aren’t any rear doors. Since it's such a low car it can be a bit of a challenge getting in to those back seats at all."

  • 4.5 / 5

    "The German company is keen to point out that this is not simply a renaming exercise. The BMW 2 Series Coupe is all-new and a significant departure from the old 1 Series Coupe – and not only can you tell by its looks, it drives better too. It's also fairly cheap to run and a little more expensive to buy, while offering far more kit at the same time. So what's not to like?"

Last updated 
21 Mar 2014

Disqus - noscript

Excellent performance and economy = noisy diesel engines. Seems to be standard in my book. My guess is that if you took a refined diesel Lexus and had it tuned to give better per/eco its engine would be equally noisy to the BM.

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