BMW 2 Series Coupe review - Engines, performance and drive

Capable petrol and diesel engines offer good performance, while the 369bhp M240i model will appeal to keen drivers

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.2 out of 5

Price
£33,855 to £46,945
Representative Example - Personal Contract Purchase: Cash Price £10,000.00, Deposit £1500.00, borrowing £8,500.00 over 4 years at 7.4% Representative APR (fixed). 47 monthly payments of £132.04 followed by a final payment of £4127.50. Total cost of credit £1833.38. Total amount payable £11,833.38. Based on 8,000 miles per annum. Excess mileage charges apply if exceeded. Finance subject to status 18+ only.

BMW expects the entry 181bhp 220i petrol model to be its biggest seller. Aside from the fact it’s around £2,000 cheaper than its 220d diesel sibling, it has just enough oomph to keep things interesting, although the way it delivers its power is rather benign. 

There’s no massive turbo surge in the mid-range, and there’s no point wringing it out to the red line - it’s better to view the 220i as a swift(ish) coupe that’s more at home as a refined cruiser than a rev-happy racer. If you’re prioritising a little more B-road ability, then the 230i petrol version offers the extra power (61bhp) and torque (100Nm) to help keep things entertaining.

With a focus on achieving a 50:50 weight distribution, BMW has engineered the 2 Series Coupe with its bonnet, front wings and suspension components all made of lightweight aluminium - helping to reduce weight from the nose and making the car keener to turn-in. It all feels sharp, but easily controllable, although we’d like a little more steering feel when on the limit.

The M240i model utilises BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, but retains a rear-drive feel and balance to how it handles. We like it a lot, and value its ‘mini-GT’ character over rivals such as the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

You might find the 2 Series engine range slightly limited, but there should be just enough on offer for most tastes. First up is the 220i 2.0-litre petrol model, and with 181bhp and 300Nm of torque it manages 0-62mph in a passable 7.5 seconds, while the 220d diesel version provides 187bhp and 400Nm of torque which helps it cut the 0-62mph sprint time to 6.9 seconds. Both have a 147mph top speed.

Things start to get a little more serious with the 230i petrol model; it generates 242bhp and has the same torque figure as the diesel unit, although it manages to trim a full second from the oil burner’s 0-62mph time. The numbers for the standalone M240i performance model speak for themselves: with 369bhp and 500Nm of torque from its 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine, it blasts from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    220i M Sport 2dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,855

Most Economical

  • Name
    220d MHT M Sport 2dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,825

Fastest

  • Name
    M240i xDrive 2dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £43,995

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