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In-depth reviews

BMW 2 Series Coupe review

A compact rear-wheel drive coupe from BMW has obvious appeal. Does the BMW 2 Series live up to it?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£25,245 to £39,340
  • Fantastic handling
  • Efficient engines
  • High-quality cabin
  • Noisy diesels
  • Tight rear seats
  • Pricey next to 1 Series

It's hard to pinpoint any direct rivals for the BMW 2 Series Coupe, but it offers plenty of appeal to buyers after performance, economy fine handling. Among the 2 Series' strengths are a range of punchy turbocharged engines, an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox, and a sweet rear-drive chassis.

It’s the latter that really sets the 2 Series apart from any similar rivals, and keen drivers will relish the agility of the set-up, even if the steering doesn’t transmit as much feel as BMWs of old. It’s certainly a driver’s choice, if arguably not as stylish as the Audi TT or the now defunct Peugeot RCZ.

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But more conventional styling brings extra practicality that those more extrovert rivals struggle to match. With a strong dynamic performance and the enviable reputation of the BMW badge, it makes the 2 Series a car that’s hard to overlook.

While the BMW 2 Series Coupe was the first model to wear the badge, there are now Convertible, Active Tourer and Gran Tourer MPV versions for sale as well. Add in the X2 SUV, and the 2 Series badge has grown from nothing in the space of 5 years since the first 2 Series arrived in 2014. Here we take a closer look at that original coupe model.

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As the name suggests, the 2 Series slots between the 1 Series and 3 Series, and before the new model arrived in 2014, it used to be known as the 1 Series Coupe. And like that car, the 2 Series Coupe (and Convertible) is basically the two-door version of the 1 Series hatchback, so like that car it has a sporty front engine, rear-wheel drive layout (although xDrive four-wheel drive is also available).

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• Best sports cars

Because there's a broad model line-up available, rivals for the 2 Series Coupe are varied. If you like the appeal of rear-wheel drive, then the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ are worth considering against cheaper versions of the 2 Series, while top-spec cars could be considered against the likes of the Porsche 718 Cayman, Alpine A110 or even the Ford Mustang if you need more space. Another car worth considering is the Audi TT, because while it's not rear-drive, it's still nimble, and of course has those striking looks.

That's probably the 2 Series Coupe's biggest flaw, because it doesn't look that dramatic when compared to rivals. But the flipside of that is that it's a reasonably practical coupe, with a large boot and rear seats that aren't that cramped, although they are a bit tricky to get to.

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Models comprise 218i, 220i, 230i and M240i petrols and 218d, 220d and 225d diesels, while the M2 Competition is the range flagship, but can be considered as a separate model. These badge numbers no longer relate to engine capacity, as engines range from a 1.5-litre petrol, through 2.0-litre petrols and diesels, as well as the excellent 3.0-litre straight-six petrol at the top of the range.

All engines are turbocharged for improved performance and economy. A six-speed manual is standard on 218i, 218d and 220d cars, while an 8-speed auto is standard on the rest of the range (and optional on all manual cars). In addition, the 220d auto can be had with xDrive four-wheel drive.

The model range comprises SE, Sport and M Sport models, although SE is only offered on 218i and 218d cars. At the top of the range, the 230i and 225d only come in M Sport trim, while the M240i is a standalone model. Prices for the the 2 Series Coupe range from around £25,500 to just under £40,000, while the Convertible is around £3,500 more than the Coupe.

For an alternative review of the latest BMW 2 Series Coupe visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    218i SE 2dr [Nav]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £25,245

Most Economical

  • Name
    218d SE 2dr [Nav]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £27,495

Fastest

  • Name
    M240i 2dr [Nav] Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,340
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