BMW 2 Series vs coupe rivals

9 Apr, 2014 4:09pm

Classy new BMW 2 Series Coupe takes the fight to Volkswagen Scirocco and Peugeot RCZ

Is it time for a new car to light up the small coupe sector? BMW hopes so – and its sleek new BMW 2 Series certainly has all the raw ingredients to shine.

With a new badge, and a longer and lower body than the 1 Series Coupe it replaces, the newcomer looks more grown-up and distinctive. Yet under the skin are famliar 1 Series mechanicals, which mean driving thrills and durability are assured.

From launch there’s a choice of three petrol engines and three diesels, with the 220d expected to be the biggest seller. Powered by BMW’s familiar 2.0-litre TwinPower diesel, this car promises to blend strong performance and famed rear-drive handling with frugal economy and low emissions.

BMW 2 Series review

• Peugeot RCZ review

• Volkswagen Scirocco review

However, the Peugeot RCZ and Volkswagen Scirocco are well established in this market and offer a similar mix of stylish attributes for the same sort of money.

So we headed from the bright lights of Birmingham to some of the best roads in the country to find our winner.

Click the links above to read each review and then read on below to see our verdict.

Head-to-head

Driving position

BMW 2 Series vs coupe rivals driving position

Great coupes need a comfortable yet sporty driving position – and the 2 Series is perfect. You get a lot of wheel and seat movement, while the base can be lowered further than in either rival.

The Scirocco’s seat doesn’t adjust low enough and a more upright dash gives the cabin the feel of a traditional hatch. The RCZ is pretty good, although there’s no off-clutch footrest, which can get annoying on long journeys.

Suspension

The 220d is offered with optional Adaptive M Suspension featuring electronically controlled dampers or a conventional M Sport set-up with stiffer springs and dampers. Both give you a 10mm drop in ride height. The GT-spec Scirocco gets VW’s Adaptive Chassis Control dampers as standard.

Back seats

BMW 2 Series vs coupe rivals seats

All three cars are technically four-seaters, but the RCZ’s rear seats aren’t really for adults. The VW has plenty of legroom, but headroom’s tight. So the BMW, with its big side windows and large rear screen, is the comfiest choice.

Verdict

1st place: BMW 2 Series

BMW 2 Series 220d static

BMW has a long tradition of making fine-handling and classy coupés, and its smallest is now one of its best. With sharp handling, a great cabin and strong refinement, the 220d feels like a grown-up choice, yet costs less to buy and run than rivals here.

2nd place: Peugeot RCZ

Peugeot RCZ coupe static

The recently refreshed RCZ is still a fantastic-looking coupe. The cabin can’t match the BMW for quality and the car isn’t as quick as its rivals, but sharp handling and a big slice of style ensure it’s a desirable two-door that just pips the VW.

3rd place: Volkswagen Scirocco

Volkswagen Scirocco GT TDI static

Even after five years on sale, the Scirocco remains a desirable and practical buy. However, it lacks the handling sparkle of its rivals and the cabin is beginning to look a little dated. The revised version, due in September, can’t come soon enough.

Figures

BMW 220d SE Peugeot RCZ GT 2.0 Hdi VW Scirocco GT 2.0 TDI 177
On the road price/total as tested £25,865/£34,025 £26,345/£27,745 £26,790/£28,885
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000) £12,312/47.6% £12,725/48.3% £13,904/51.9%
Depreciation £13,553 £13,620 £12,886
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £1,032/£2,065 £1,151/£2,303 £1,171/£2,342
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £1,474/£2,457 £1,868/£3,114 £1,921/£3,202
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 25/£343/D/£110 30/£334/E/£130 27/£311/E/£130
Servicing costs £375 (5yrs/50k) £16.99pcm (3yrs/30k) £288 (3yrs)
Length/wheelbase 4,432/2,690mm 4,290/2,612mm 4,256/2,578mm
Height/width 1,418/1,774mm 1,362/1,845mm 1,404/1,810mm
Engine 4cyl in-line/1,995cc 4cyl in-line/1,997cc 4cyl in-line/1,968cc
Peak power/revs 181/4,000 bhp/rpm 163/4,000 bhp/rpm 175/4,200bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 380/1,750 Nm/rpm 320/2,000 Nm/rpm 380/1,750Nm/rpm
Transmission 6-spd man/rwd 6-spd man/fwd 6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 52 litres/run-flat 55 litres/sealant 50 litres/space-saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down) 390 litres/N/A 309/760 litres 312/1,006 litres
Kerbweight/payload 1,450/510kg 1,474/294kg 1,374/461kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient 10.9 metres/0.28Cd 10.6 metres/0.32Cd 11.0 metres/0.34Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs 3yrs (60,000)/1yr 3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers Variable/153 20,000 (1yr)/300 Variable/223
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 15th/24th 31st/26th 16th/25th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars N/A N/A 87/73/53/5
0-60/30-70mph* 7.3/6.5 secs 7.8/7.1 secs 7.3/7.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 3.0/4.6 secs 3.3/4.8 secs 3.1/4.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th 5.6/7.4 secs 6.2/7.9 secs 6.0/7.7 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 143mph/2,000rpm 137mph/2,000rpm 139mph/2,100rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 50.0/36.9/10.1m 53.0/38.7/10.3m 47.6/33/9/8.7m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph 72/47/63/66dB 59/42/60/68dB 69/52/62/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 50.7/11.3/580 miles 40.0/8.9/484 miles 38.9/8.6/428 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 50.4/72.4/62.8mpg 42.8/65.7/54.3mpg 43.5/65.7/55.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 11.1/15.9/13.8mpl 9.4/14.4/11.9mpl 8.8/14.4/11.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 149/125g/km/20% 189/135g/km/22% 195/134g/km/22%
Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensors Six/yes/yes Four/yes/yes Six/yes/yes
Automatic gearbox/cruise control £1,550/£690^ No/yes £1,415/£245
Climate control/leather/heated seats £390/£1,150/£295 Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Met. paint/xenons/adap. suspension £550/£590^/£750 £520/£680/no £535/£1,010/yes
Sat-nav/DAB radio/Bluetooth £890/yes/yes £735/no/yes Yes/yes/yes

Disqus - noscript

Sorry, it's just pointless to compare these three cars. The BMW is quite a bit longer (a bit sedan-like), so no wonder it's more practical, and you need to spec it up to feel as up market as the article claims. The RCZ is a 2 seater show-off coupe which costs a bit too much for a Peugeot but truly looks awesome. The Scirocco is a pumped up hatchback that used to be a bargain when it was released and it never pretended to be a track-day car (compare it to GTC, Megan RS, CRZ, Proceed) - it's beyond me why the VW and the RCZ are being compared from day 1! What has the 2 series has to do with those? Different type of cars, different budget too.

good battle hehe

The verdict says the BMW is the most refined, but according to the test results its the noisiest by a considerable margin, how exactly does that work?

The RCA is a horrifically ugly ripoff of the TT! From the side you can barely the the front from the back!

Sorry but some people have the flexibility of not needing a particular body type or limited by price. If you had a budget of around £30k, no family and wanted something sporty. Why wouldn't you be interested in all these cars.

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