Used car tests

Used BMW 2 Series (Mk1, 2014-2021) review - How practical is it?

The BMW 2 Series Coupe makes a truly practical coupe, with four usable seats and a decent boot

BMW coupes have always been very usable everyday cars, and the 2 Series is no different. While some coupes, such as the Audi TT, have very constricted rear seats, the BMW offers a decently sized couple of chairs in the rear, as well as providing masses of room for the driver and passenger in the front. The driving position is excellent, with a huge range of adjustment as anyone familiar with the BMW line-up would expect.

Up front, there’s plenty of stowage, with decent door pockets, plus a big glovebox and centre cubby as well as a pair of cupholders in the centre console. Rear parking sensors, auto lights and Bluetooth are all practical touches on the standard kit list, plus BMW’s excellent navigation system is included.

Dimensions and cabin design

The 2 Series Coupe doesn't look as racy as some of its coupe competitors, but it certainly benefits significantly in practical terms from its conventional three-box proportions. Its wheelbase is 30mm longer than the old 1 Series Coupe’s, too.

Overall the 2 Series measures up at 4,432mm, which is longer than the 4,177mm Audi TT. At 1,418mm to the roof, it also stands considerably taller than the TT, which stands at 1,353mm.

Getting into the back of the BMW is surprisingly easy, because the long doors open wide, while the folding seat and high roofline combine to leave a big gap to step through.

There’s plenty of elbow room for two when you’re inside, and a handy button on the shoulder of each front seat allows rear passengers to slide the front seats forward to ease exit. Plus the two individual rear seats are supportive and comfortable.

Headroom is a little compromised, but the relatively large rear windows mean it feels a bit less claustrophobic in the back of the 2 Series than it does in rivals. Rear Isofix mountings are standard in the 2 Series.

Boot space

Boot capacity is up 20 litres on the old 1 Series Coupe to 390 litres – giving the BMW a decent-sized load area that’s more usable than most coupe rivals’. Better still, the tailgate opens to reveal a usefully large opening, plus the rear bench splits and folds.

Equipment and technology 

BMW’s naming strategy might be a touch confusing, but it’s impossible to mistake this 2 Series for anything else. It replaced the 1 Series Coupe – and to great effect thanks to its sportier, lower and chunkier stance. These combine to give it sportier coupe proportions, while neatly executed detailing adds the final layer of desirability.

The headlamps are narrower than on the hatch and all models get stylish LED rear lights. Distinctive vents in the lower bumper channel air over the wheels and around the side of the car, while SE models get 17-inch wheels, front foglights and a chrome kidney grille. M Sport models get larger, 18-inch wheels and a sportier bodykit to give the 2 Series extra visual clout, with great effect.

Inside, the stylish and well-built layout is familiar from the 1 Series, but the frameless windows and long doors are as you’d expect for a coupe. The low-slung seating position is great and there’s lots of adjustment for the steering wheel and seat.

A facelift in 2017 saw the 2 Series graced with slightly different headlights and rear lights, a reprofiled bumper and a new grille, as well as a few new colours and wheel designs. Inside, every 2 Series gets a new digital dash and an upgraded infotainment display.

The 2 Series’ interior layout is more conventional than that of the Audi TT, with a large, centrally mounted 6.5-inch multimedia display and lots of buttons on the centre console. But despite this, it’s not at all confusing, and the rotary control wheel for BMW’s iDrive system works well, while build quality is solid.

Highlights in the standard kit list include sat-nav with the trademark iDrive infotainment controller, a slick display screen, aluminium trim, DAB radio and a multifunction wheel. There’s a hands-free Bluetooth system with audio streaming too, while Apple CarPlay preparation is included, too. Optional extras include voice control, an internet connection, and an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system.

Safety

Euro NCAP didn’t crash test the 2 Series, although you can consider that the five-star score earned by the 1 Series in 2012 applies to the two-door model. Impressive safety features include dynamic brake lights, which change their intensity depending on how hard you’re braking, while head, side and knee airbags and an alarm are standard. Other safety options include city-friendly autobrake and lane departure warning, and every 2 Series comes with run-flat tyres.

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