BMW 2 Series coupe
Price £23,040 - £35,225
- Good fun to drive
- Stylish exterior design
- Powerful and economical engines
- Tight rear headroom
- Options are expensive
- Diesels aren’t as refined as some rivals’
At a glance
“The BMW 2 Series coupe is stylish, great to drive and reasonably economical. In our opinion, it’s the best small coupe out there.”
The BMW 2 Series range is the most diverse of any model the company makes. The name applies to everything from a seven-seat, front-wheel-drive people-carrier (the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer) to the rear-wheel-drive coupe (also available with four-wheel drive) you see here.
The 2 Series coupe is to the BMW 1 Series hatchback what the BMW 4 Series coupe is to the BMW 3 Series saloon – essentially the same car, but with a sportier, sleeker two-door coupe body. It's a handsome thing, too, with a low roofline and a swooping rear windowline. It certainly looks very different to its 1 Series hatchback sister model.
There are three diesel and four petrol engines to choose from. The diesels are all 2.0-litre four cylinders, producing between 148 and 221bhp, while there are three 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrols, which produce between 134 and 242bhp.
The range-topping model (until the high-performance M2 arrives, that is) is the M235i. It has a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol engine that produces 321bhp, taking it from 0-62mph in five seconds dead and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
Compared to rivals such as the Audi TT, Peugeot RCZ and Volkswagen Scirocco, the 2 Series is better to drive, thanks mainly to its rear-wheel-drive balance. Its steering is accurate and direct, while there's loads of grip, too. It's not, however, quite as sharp as a Porsche Cayman, but then very few cars on sale right now are. If you want more secure handling in slippery conditions, you can specify xDrive four-wheel drive on some versions.
The 2 Series is more practical than a Cayman, too – it has back seats, for a start. That's not to say it's the most practical car in the class, though: the Mercedes CLA has a bigger boot and the Volkswagen Scirocco has more space in the back.
However, the BMW's interior feels much plusher and more solid than any of its rivals’. Its design may not be the most exciting, but it's well built, logically laid out and the iDrive infotainment system works really well.
There are four trim levels – SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport – as well as the range-topping M235i, which gets its own specification. You’ll also soon be able to buy a high-performance BMW M2, which we’ll review separately. Regardless of which version you go for, you get alloy wheels, air-conditioning, sat nav and DAB digital radio. All models also come with Bluetooth phone connectivity and rear parking sensors.
Euro NCAP hasn’t crash-tested the 2 Series yet, but it has evaluated the 1 Series on which it's based, awarding it the full five stars. There's no reason to suspect the 2 Series coupe would perform any differently. You get six airbags as standard, as well as a tyre-pressure
The BMW 2 Series has a range of engines offering 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 nicer inside than the old model, but the BMW 2 Series can’t match the 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