Coupe of the Year 2022: BMW 2 Series
The BMW 2 Series is the 2022 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Alpine A110 and Porsche 718 Cayman commended
If you want to succeed in the coupé class, then you need a car that combines style and sophistication with synapse-snapping driver engagement. Happily for BMW, the all-new 2 Series ticks every one of these boxes.
As with its predecessor, the BMW is still more of a sleek two-door saloon than a true coupé, but with a more muscular stance than before, it’s certainly not short of kerb appeal. Under the skin, the 2 Series now features a cut-down version of the German firm’s CLAR platform, which also underpins the larger 3 Series. As a result, the newcomer’s beauty is much more than skin deep.
With meaty steering, a traditional rear-wheel- drive layout and relatively compact dimensions, even the entry-level 220i and 220d versions encourage you to seek out twisty back roads. In the flagship M240i, the combination of four-wheel drive, cast-iron control and a snarling 369bhp straight-six means few rivals are as fast from point-to-point – and there’s a full-fat M2 on the way for performance car fans, too.
Yet like all the best coupés, the 2 Series is just as adept at being an everyday runaround or long-distance cruiser. Refinement is strong, and while the low-speed ride is a little firm, it’s never uncomfortable. What’s more, there’s room for four and a decent 390-litre boot, plus the 3 Series-sourced interior is dripping in upmarket appeal and comes with all the brand’s handy tech and advanced driver aids.
If you’re after a coupé with beauty and brains, look no further than the hugely talented 2 Series.
BMW 230i M Sport (£39,655)
While the 220i is predicted to be the most popular model among buyers, the extra 61bhp of the 230i (which uses the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder) boosts performance; the 0-62mph time drops from 7.5 seconds to 5.9 seconds. The standard kit list includes 18-inch wheels, M Sport suspension and LED headlights. A £4,000 deposit on a three-year PCP brings the total figure to £596 per month.
Our coupé king for the last couple of years has to settle for a commendation this time around, but the flyweight French machine’s appeal remains undimmed. A facelift late last year added extra performance and improved infotainment, but the involving handling remains untouched. The flagship S version is faster still, but the standard car delivers all the flair and fun you’ll need.
Porsche 718 Cayman
When it comes to driver thrills, few coupés come close to the Cayman. Adjustable handling and beautifully judged controls ensure the perfectly balanced Porsche is more involving than most, yet it’s also easy to live with as a daily driver. The turbocharged four-cylinder engines offer plenty of muscle, but the howling 4.0-litre flat-six in the GTS is worth every extra penny.
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