Car group tests

BMW 2 Series vs coupe rivals

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

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 SEPeugeot RCZ GT 2.0 HdiVW 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/cost25/£343/D/£11030/£334/E/£13027/£311/E/£130
Servicing costs£375 (5yrs/50k)£16.99pcm (3yrs/30k)£288 (3yrs)
    
Length/wheelbase4,432/2,690mm4,290/2,612mm4,256/2,578mm
Height/width1,418/1,774mm1,362/1,845mm1,404/1,810mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,995cc4cyl in-line/1,997cc4cyl in-line/1,968cc
Peak power/revs181/4,000 bhp/rpm163/4,000 bhp/rpm175/4,200bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs380/1,750 Nm/rpm320/2,000 Nm/rpm380/1,750Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/rwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel52 litres/run-flat55 litres/sealant50 litres/space-saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down)390 litres/N/A309/760 litres312/1,006 litres
Kerbweight/payload1,450/510kg1,474/294kg1,374/461kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient10.9 metres/0.28Cd10.6 metres/0.32Cd11.0 metres/0.34Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/15320,000 (1yr)/300Variable/223
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.15th/24th31st/26th16th/25th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/AN/A87/73/53/5
    
0-60/30-70mph*7.3/6.5 secs7.8/7.1 secs7.3/7.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.0/4.6 secs3.3/4.8 secs3.1/4.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th5.6/7.4 secs6.2/7.9 secs6.0/7.7 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph143mph/2,000rpm137mph/2,000rpm139mph/2,100rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph50.0/36.9/10.1m53.0/38.7/10.3m47.6/33/9/8.7m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph72/47/63/66dB59/42/60/68dB69/52/62/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range50.7/11.3/580 miles40.0/8.9/484 miles38.9/8.6/428 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined50.4/72.4/62.8mpg42.8/65.7/54.3mpg43.5/65.7/55.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined11.1/15.9/13.8mpl9.4/14.4/11.9mpl8.8/14.4/11.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket149/125g/km/20%189/135g/km/22%195/134g/km/22%
    
Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensorsSix/yes/yesFour/yes/yesSix/yes/yes
Automatic gearbox/cruise control£1,550/£690^No/yes£1,415/£245
Climate control/leather/heated seats£390/£1,150/£295Yes/yes/yesYes/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/yesYes/yes/yes

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