New BMW 2 Series Coupe

From £23,200

Gearbox

Automatic or Manual

Seats

4

Doors

2

Boot size

500 litres

The Auto Trader verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
3.5
The 2 Series Coupe is a bit of a mixed bag. It delivers strong performance, great efficiency and has a fantastic infotainment system. However, it’s expensive, the driving position is not great, the steering is vague, and it’s not the most refined Coupe we’ve ever driven – especially with a diesel engine under the bonnet. What’s more, the ride is very firm on most models, so if you place a high premium on comfort, you’ll probably be better off looking at an Audi TT or a Volkswagen Scirocco.

Pros

  • Entertaining handling
  • Strong performance
  • Excellent infotainment system

Cons

  • Gruff diesels
  • Tough ride
  • Not as special inside as an Audi TT

Full review

By Pete Tullin   Friday 20 January 2017
2016 BMW 2 Series Coupe

Exterior
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The 2 Series Coupe is effectively a 1 Series hatchback in drag. As a result, its rather truncated dimensions mean it looks quite stubby compared to its longer, sleeker, infinitely more elegant 4 Series brethren. Obviously, it comes with BMW’s signature 'kidney' grilles which can be had in different finishes, including chrome, silver, or black. While Sport models are delineated by gloss black air intakes, grilles, tailpipes, and five spoke alloy wheels, Luxury trim cars feature lashings of chrome detailing and multi-spoke alloys. You can also specify an M Sport package that adds deeper bumpers and larger alloy wheels.

Interior
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

Although first impressions are encouraging as you plonk behind the 2 Series steering wheel and admire the vast amount of steering wheel height and reach adjustment, that admiration doesn’t last long. If you go for a manual car, you get a spine twisting, off-set pedal box, which forces you to twist your left ankle uncomfortably to activate the clutch. The manual seat adjustment is also painful to operate, especially when trying to change the height – this means pulling on a lever and using your body weight to drop or raise the seat. Consequently, it’s definitely worth adding the electric seat adjustment, to enable you to regularly jiggle your driving position to help ease the strain on your lumbar area. Unlike lots of coupes, there’s no automatic seat belt proffered in the 2 Series, so once you’re seated, you have to reach way back over your shoulder to grab your belt. At least the seats themselves are supportive and comfortable. The dash is generic BMW, so it’s solidly constructed and clearly laid out, with most functions displayed on a high resolution screen and operated via the superb iDrive rotary-controller. As with most coupes, over-the-shoulder visibility isn't great, but because the 2 Series is quite short it’s not difficult to park.

Practicality
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

If you think about it, the 2 Series Coupe is almost the same size as the previous generation 3 Series Coupe, so there's more than sufficient space for two adults up front. Things are less commodious in the rear quarters, however. Getting in isn’t the easiest exercise, as whoever is relegated to the cheap seats will have to wiggle past a slim gap between the back of the front seat and the B-pillar. Once there, the view out is pretty pokey because of the small side windows, and the view beyond the backs of the front seats is near nonexistent. Although children should be just about ok, anyone over six-feet tall is sure to complain about the shortage of knee-, leg- and head-room. There’s a reasonable sized glovebox, and deep but quite slim door pockets and a central cubby to accommodate your various bits and pieces. Boot capacity is 390 litres, which is big enough to cope with a couple of small wheelie bags, and you might even squeeze a set of golf clubs in, at a push.

Ride and handling
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

As a rough rule of thumb, the faster you drive the Coupe, the better it gets. Don’t go thinking this is a good thing, however. Fundamentally, the stiff suspension and thin walled tyres – especially on M Sport cars fitted with 18-inch wheels – mean the low speed ride is punishing, and driving around town clunking over cranky surfaces and wincing every time you fail to avoid a sunken drain cover quickly becomes a tiresome experience. It’s only once you get some speed into the car and the suspension loads up that you can begin to enjoy the tight body control and strong grip, but even then, it’s never an entirely convincing proposition. The steering has a vagueness to it, so it’s all too easy to dial in too much input when entering a corner, only to realise you’ve overdone matters and end up juggling the wheel to and fro as you struggle to maintain a smooth cornering line.

Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Not so very long ago, the idea of a diesel engine in a coupe would have been considered sacrilege. Not any more, and as if to underline the point, the 2 Series Coupe is available with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel with 141bhp, 188bhp and 215bhp outputs, badged 218d, 220d and 225d respectively. The 220d is the most popular seller, and offers sufficient performance to give many a hot hatch a run for its money, so you need to ask yourself some serious fiscal questions before forking out the substantial premium for the 225d. It is worth ticking the option box for the excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox (standard on the 225d), however. With an almost Jekyll and Hyde duality, the shifts are near seamless during everyday motoring, but when you demand some extra oomph, it kicks down the gears with a snappy shunt to hook up the engine’s gutsy performance. Unfortunately, the diesel engines are not the most refined, both at idle and when asked to rev hard. With plenty of audible combustion cackle and a fair bit of vibration resonating through the floor, steering wheel and pedals, they fall well short of the standards set by the Audi TT, or for that matter, many diesel engines found in less illustrious models, such as the Mazda 3. Just like the diesels, the petrol engines are all turbocharged and include a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that comes in two power outputs. It’s the top trump 240i that really shakes the tree, though. Employing BMW’s pride and joy 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder engine; as well as being smoother than honey, it develops a tyre-torturing 335bhp and 368lb ft of torque, giving the Coupe some seriously bad-boy performance.

Running costs
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The BMW 2 Series is not cheap to buy and you pay a hefty premium for that Coupe image, when you consider it costs over £2,000 more than a three-door 1 Series with the same engine and similar specification. Also, because of its two-door body style, it doesn’t cut it with that many fleet managers. You can try to convince the bean counters by pointing out that residuals are strong and the vast majority of the engines on offer return highly commendable running costs… The most economical version is the 218d diesel, which returns 70.6mpg on the official combine cycle and emits 113g/km of CO2. Meanwhile, the 220d offers a great blend of performance and economy, achieving 64.2mpg and emitting 115g/km.

Reliability
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

As a brand, BMW tends to outperform its major competitors like Jaguar, Mercedes and Audi, all of which sit lower in the Warranty Direct reliability manufacturer table. Trawl the owner reviews on our website and it’s hard to find a dissatisfied customer. While a few report the odd electrical gremlin with the iDrive system, and make note of the noisy engine, none say they have had any major mechanical issues, which is hopefully a good indicator of the robustness of the latest 2 Series. A three-year warranty without mileage limitation, along with roadside assistance is standard, plus BMW has several reasonable fixed-price service plans to choose from.

Safety
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The 2 Series is based on the 1 Series hatchback, and that model scored a full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests. All models in the line-up get six airbags and stability control as standard. Optional safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, which monitors and matches the speed of the car in front.

Equipment
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

If it were our cash, we’d probably stick with the entry-level 218d SE. It comes with climate control, sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, automatic lights and wipers and rear parking sensors. Sport spec essentially adds sports seats, and splashes of high-gloss interior trim, while Luxury includes leather upholstery. M Sport adds sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, and Alcantara upholstery.

Why buy?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

While some will see the 2 Series Coupe as an elegant, bespoke coupe, just as many will think of it as a very expensive, re-bodied 1 Series hatchback. Although the ride on most models errs on the firm side, and the popular diesel engines are somewhat clattery, they do provide muscular performance and are capable of some very impressive fuel returns. That said, if you’re buying with your heart, the silky smooth, immensely powerful, six-cylinder petrol engine found in the 240i turns the Coupe into a serious performance car. While the driving position in all models is somewhat compromised by offset pedals and the rear accommodation is rather cramped, you do get a decent amount of equipment, including BMW’s excellent iDrive, which sets the benchmark for infotainment systems.

Our recommendations

From the range of the new BMW 2 Series, these are the ones we suggest you look at

Pick of the range
218d SE
A strong, economical engine, along with plenty of kit.
Most economical
218d SE
Average economy of more than 70mpg, but with no loss of everyday driveability.
Best avoided
225d M Sport
Stick with the lower powered 218d or spend more to get the superb 240i mega hatch.

Choose your BMW 2 Series
At Auto Trader, we have reviews from people who have owned this car and can inform you on what it's like to live with
Owners verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
5
Read owner reviews

People also searched for

Information regarding the vehicle advertised is obtained from various sources, whilst we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, changes in pricing and the vehicle specification may have occurred since the content was published. Always check with the Dealer before entering into any agreement.

Back to top