BMW 2 Series coupe
Price £22,890 - £35,075
- Fun to drive
- Economical engines
- Expensive options
- Less refined diesels
- Limited rear headroom
At a glance
"The BMW 2 Series is fun, comfortable and cheap to run – a combination that’s hard to beat."
The BMW 2 Series is effectively a two-door coupe version of the BMW 1 Series hatchback, which has been renamed to correspond with the brand's even-numbers-for-coupes model strategy. BMW has tried to make the 2 Series look significantly more sporty than the car it replaces, in order to distinguish it more from the hatchback, so it doesn’t suffer from the old 1 Series Coupe's awkward proportions.
The engine range is broadly similar to the old car, including economical diesels that let the 2 Series compete with rivals such as the Peugeot RCZ, Volkswagen Scirocco and Audi TT. The fast M235i model has been fettled by BMW's performance department and packs a 3.0-litre petrol engine. It's boosted by a sophisticated turbocharger that offers smooth power delivery and pumps out more power than a Porsche Cayman S sports car.
While the M235i lacks the composure of a Cayman in the corners, basic models of the 2 Series are more than a match for their mainstream rivals. Unlike them, the 2 Series has a rear-wheel-drive setup that allows it to grip harder in turns. It also eliminates the tugging sensation through the steering wheel (known as torque steer) that affects powerful front-wheel-drive cars. While the BMW is certainly fun to drive, there's no four-wheel-drive model to compete with the Audi TT quattro – that could put you off if you regularly drive on slippery country roads.
With four seats (all of which are usable) and a boot that's bigger than the 1 Series hatchback's, the 2 Series is surprisingly practical. All models also come fitted with run-flat tyres, which means you’ll never have to risk changing a wheel on the hard shoulder of a busy motorway.
Buyers can choose from three trim levels – SE, Sport and M Sport, while the M235i model gets its own unique specification. All BMW 2 Series models come with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a 6.5-inch colour display, a DAB digital radio, plus automatic headlights and wipers.
The BMW 2 Series has a range of engines that offer affordable running costs. Even the fast M235i is relatively economical
All BMW 2 Series are quick, while the M235i gives you Porsche Cayman-beating performance
It’s much nicer inside than the old model, but the BMW 2 Series can’t match the new Audi TT’s fabulous interior
The BMW 2 Series coupe lacks the distinctive looks of some rivals, but it’s more practical as a result
The BMW 2 Series received five stars from Euro NCAP and should offer years of reliable motoring