BMW 2 Series Coupe Review
Striking looks, powerful engines and reasonable luggage space make the 2 Series Coupe a tempting alternative to a hot hatchback
Strengths & weaknesses
Small two-door, four-seat coupes aren’t quite as fashionable as they once were, so there’s less choice than there was in the past, but fortunately, BMW still persists with its version: the 2 Series Coupe.
The 2 Series is ideal for anyone looking for a sharply-styled small coupe that’s great fun to drive but with enough space to carry a reasonable amount of luggage and to accommodate the occasional rear-seat passengers.
It shares many of its parts with much larger 3 Series and 4 Series models including the engines, gearboxes and running gear. This means that there’s a punchy turbocharged six-cylinder engine at the top of the range - which produces a distinctive roar when worked hard, that makes it stand out from the smaller engines - while you get a choice of four-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive to get the power to the road. It also shares suspension parts with the Z4 two-seater sports car. All this means that the 2 Series should live up to BMW’s reputation as a builder of cars that are great fun to drive.
Perhaps a little confusingly, the 2 Series Coupe has very little in common with the four-door 2 Series Gran Coupe, which is actually effectively a saloon version of the BMW 1 Series hatchback, a rival for the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3.
Engine choices include a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 184hp in the 220i. Topping the range is the M240i xDrive, which gets a hugely powerful 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 374hp and four-wheel-drive. This promises the prospect of a 0-62mph time of around 4.3 seconds, which is the type of figure you'd expect from a serious sports car. All 2 Series Coupe models feature an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Unusually for a sporty car launched in the 2020s, the 2 Series Coupe does still include a diesel option. The 220d makes 190hp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine, with mild hybrid technology helping to boost its claimed fuel economy to just over 60mpg. It's actually quicker than the 220i petrol, too, which gives it an impressive on-paper mix of performance and efficiency.
All 2 Series Coupes in the UK come in ‘M Sport’ trim. This means they get 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, plus a sporty-looking front bumper and rear diffuser, and gloss-black trim highlights rather than chrome.
The range-topping M240i xDrive, meanwhile, gets beefier looks. It also gains a rear lip spoiler, even more sporty-looking bodywork, plus 19-inch alloy wheels, a wider stance to make it feel more agile around corners and extra bracing on the chassis to help it cope with the extra power.
Inside, there’s a mixture of Alcantara and faux-leather upholstery (which BMW calls Sensatec), though full leather seats are an option. The dashboard, meanwhile, is very similar in design to the one in the 4 Series - it even gets the same 12.3-inch touchscreen media system to control the sat-nav and other media equipment and a large all-digital instrument cluster.
Should I get a BMW 2 Series Coupe?
✔ Great engines - especially the 3.0-litre M240i
✔ Compact dimensions result in agile handling
✔ Upmarket feel inside and out
✘ Not as practical as a hot hatchback
✘ Only one trim level is available
✘ Looks a little awkward from some angles
The BMW 2 Series Coupe is a little bit special. That’s because it offers a rare combination of classic sports coupe styling and compact dimensions. All while offering reasonable boot space and rear seats - albeit small ones. The only other car that gets close to that is the Audi TT. And the BMW offers more interesting engines, more space for passengers and luggage, and is likely to be more fun to drive.
The Audi is also old - it’s been around since 2014, which is a long time for a car that is still on sale. Meanwhile, order books only opened for this version of the BMW 2 Series in late 2021.
But beyond good looks, agility and reasonable practicality, the BMW’s trump card is its cracking range of engines, which offer lively performance and decent fuel economy no matter which model you choose.
- Trim levels
- Best 2 Series Coupe for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
|M Sport||Whatever engine you choose, UK-spec 2 Series Coupes come in M Sport trim only. This means you get half-Alcantara, half-faux leather upholstery, ‘M’ logos on the door sill tread plates, pedal and floor mats, plus a dark anthracite-coloured headlining. There’s also three-zone climate control as standard on all models.|
|M240i xDrive||The M240i xDrive model gets some extra bits of kit over and above the regular M Sport trim, including a pair of chunky trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes, bigger wheels, bigger brakes and extra chassis strengthening.|
Most engines in the 2 Series Coupe range combine spritely performance with impressive fuel economy, though we were a little disappointed with the lack of thrills provided by the somewhat underpowered 220i. The star of the show is the 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine in the M240i xDrive.
This delivers 374hp to all four wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox to enable the car to sprint from 0-62mph in a seriously rapid 4.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
At the same time, the M240i achieves an average fuel economy figure of 35mpg. Although this is hardly the sort of fuel economy that would please the driver of a highly economical diesel 220d coupe, for such a powerful, high-performance car it is nonetheless impressive.
There isn’t a huge variety of options in the BMW 2 Series Coupe lineup, but you can at least choose between petrol and diesel, or between rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions. And the M240i xDrive with its potent six-cylinder 374hp engine and significant chassis alterations to cope with the extra power, is quite a different beast from the less expensive models in the range.
There are also no electric models, and the mild hybrid 220d is the only 2 Series Coupe offering any form of electric power or efficiency boost. So, if you are looking for a super-economical car or want a zero-emission vehicle, this is not the model for you.
|BMW 220d M Sport: In the absence of an electric model, the greenest choice is also the best value. The 220d’s 2.0-litre diesel engine produces a reasonable 190hp, but more important is the promise of strong 60mpg fuel economy thanks to the combination of diesel power and mild hybrid technology.|
|220i M Sport: No 2 Series Coupe is going to be ideal for families, but assuming the little ones are putting a bit of a strain on your wallet and you can’t stretch to the full-fat M240i, the 184hp 220i M Sport is a decent compromise.|
|M240i xDrive: A whopping 374hp from the turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine is the dominant feature of the M240i xDrive. Fortunately, standard all-wheel-drive means it can easily handle all that power.|
|220i M Sport: The entry-level 2.0-litre engine is fine, but it doesn’t have the effortless power delivery of the 220d or the same impressive claimed fuel economy, so it's not the best choice for most drivers.|
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Direct rivals for the 2 Series Coupe are few and far between. In fact, if this is the sort of car you want, the only direct rival for the 2 Series is the Audi TT, but that’s been around since 2014 and won’t be directly replaced with an equivalent new coupe when it goes off sale.
If you’re prepared to sacrifice rear seats, then the Porsche 718 Cayman is an interesting alternative as it offers the cachet of a Porsche badge and a rewardingly sporty driving experience. It will also hold onto its value well, so used examples should deliver comparatively affordable monthly payments with PCP finance. Cash buyers, meanwhile, may have to pay a high price in the first place, but should get a high proportion of this back when they come to sell the car.
And as an alternative to the searing pace of the M240i xDrive, there’s the VW Golf R hot hatchback - which is a touch slower, but cheaper - and the Mercedes A45 AMG - which, with an enormous 421hp power output - is a fair bit more powerful, but also more expensive. Both these hot hatches provide a more practical interior layout than the 2 Series Coupe.
BMW 2 Series Coupe practicality: dimensions and boot space
The overall length of the BMW 2 Series Coupe is just over 4.5 metres. That makes it roughly the same length as a conventional family hatchback such as a VW Golf or a Mercedes A-Class, albeit a touch longer. The same goes for the model’s width of 1.84 metres (just over 2 metres when you include the door mirrors), although at just under 1.4 metres tall, it’s a little lower than a conventional family hatchback - though that’s exactly what you’d expect of a sporty coupe model.
However, despite its overall dimensions being similar than those of a conventional family hatchback, there is significantly less room inside. That’s because of the saloon-style body shape, and the fact that the engines are mounted lengthways in the engine bay. This means they take up more space than in a normal family hatchback, which generally has its engine fitted sideways and means there’s more room in the passenger compartment.
In the case of the 2 Series, the loss of space is mostly in the rear seats. This generation of the 2 Series Coupe is a little larger than the car it replaces, though, so if you’re used to the older model, you’ll find this one a little more accommodating.
|Length 4,537mm||Width 1,838mm|
|Height 1,390mm||Weight 1,565 - 1,765kg|
Despite the less practical two-door format with a saloon boot opening that the 2 Series Coupe has, its boot capacity is actually 10 litres more than you’ll find in a VW Golf, at 390 litres. This is because the area above the luggage cover/parcel shelf isn’t measured in official figures, so a Golf - or any other hatchback-shaped car - is more practical for transporting tall or bulky items.
Nevertheless, the 2 Series Coupe’s boot space remains quite large and usable - and 85 litres more than you’ll get in the Audi TT. As the TT is a hatchback, though, it is easier to get larger items into the Audi, especially if you drop the rear seats.
|Boot size 390 litres|
There’s no specific data for this version of the 2 Series when it comes to reliability, as it’s such a new model.
However, unfortunately for BMW, the brand overall came 27th out of 30 brands in the Auto Express 2020 Driver Power survey.
That being said, the engines, other mechanical components and much of the interior equipment for this 2 Series Coupe is already tried and tested in other BMW models, so there shouldn’t be any great unknowns with the car.
What sets a BMW warranty apart, however, is that it has no mileage cap during those three years, whereas some other brands that offer three-year cover only provide coverage for up to 60,000 miles. This means that high-mileage drivers will benefit from greater warranty cover by choosing a BMW than models from one of those brands.
|3 years||Unlimited miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £721
The version of the 2 Series Coupe that we’re focusing on here is rather too new to be available in significant numbers as a used car. Its predecessor, however, has been around since 2013, so is available in large numbers and at a variety of budgets.
Although a little smaller than the newer model, these older 2 Series Coupes still offer a beguiling mix of sporty-yet-restrained styling, driving thrills, and a wide variety of engines. These include diesel-powered ones, petrol-powered ones and high-performance six-cylinder models such as the M235i, M240i and even faster M2. If you're after an exciting but affordable small coupe, the six-cylinder models are a great option.
Since there’s effectively only one trim level for the whole range, the more affordable 2 Series Coupe models are naturally the smaller-engined or less powerful ones.
The M240i xDrive, with its larger engine, chassis and styling improvements, and much higher performance is in a rather different category. Still, with an extra pair of seats and two more cylinders, it compares favourably with a Porsche Cayman when it comes to cost. Expect more and more used deals to appear as the months go on and greater numbers of new models have been sold.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
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