What's the used BMW 2 Series coupe like?
The original BMW 1 Series was such a success that it wasn’t long before the Bavarian firm introduced coupé and convertible versions of it. Nippy and pert, both models received universal acclaim, but when the 1 Series was updated in 2014 the new coupé and convertible versions were enlarged for increased practicality, and their names changed to the 2 Series.
Perhaps confusingly, the 2 Series Coupé (and its sibling, the Convertible) follow the established BMW pattern of having a longitudinally mounted front engine that drives the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, whereas the similarly named 2 Series Gran and Active Tourers are MPVs that utilise the BMW Mini’s front-wheel-drive platform.
The Coupé is essentially a driver’s car, and unsurprisingly, a wide range of engines has always been offered. There’s a choice of differing 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels, providing reasonable punch and economy but also offering up a little too much diesel clatter, and on the petrol front a peppy three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder 220i and 228i and a powerful six-pot 3.0-litre unit in the sporty M240i and M2 variants.
Trim-wise, there's an entry-level SE, and it’s well equipped. 17in alloy wheels, air-con, BMW’s 6.5in colour screen iDrive infotainment system with DAB radio, sat-nav and Bluetooth, LED headlights, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers are all included. Next up come Sport or M Sport, both of which offer larger alloy wheels, climate control and leather seats, as well as styling mods that give both cars a sportier look.
The 134bhp, three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine does a very fine job, so this could be a good bet for those wanting a zesty-feeling petrol motor that offers fairly low running costs. The 181bhp four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol in the 220i promises hearty performance, while the 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged petrol engine gives the M235i and later M240i full-on performance car pace and thrills. It’s a wonderfully smooth, muscular engine. The 218d has a 141bhp 2.0-litre diesel and is a pleasure to drive, and offers really low running costs. With the 2.0-litre diesel tuned to 188bhp in the 20d, you get near hot hatch levels of performance and good running costs, while it’s hard to justify the extra cost for this 215bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel in the 225d.
All can push the agile 2 Series along at a good rate, and in corners its chassis is composed and balanced and, for the most part, the ride is pretty comfortable too.
It’s a well built and solid feeling car, and the well-laid-out and high-quality interior features the legendary iDrive infotainment system. There’s plenty of room up front, and space for two children in the rear, and as a further bonus there’s a large boot, too.
All told, this is a well-engineered coupe that successfully blends reasonable running costs with enough sportiness to please an enthusiast. In some ways, it’s even more rewarding to drive than some of its closest rivals – greats like the Audi TT and the Seat Leon SC – and clearly more functional, too.
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