BMW has a fine history of making coupes. These compact two-doors have represented the sportier edge of the firm’s line-up for a long time, providing an involving mode of transport for those who don’t mind sacrificing a little in the way of practicality for sleek looks and dynamism.
Now the previous-generation 2 Series – which arrived as a coupe-version of the hatchback 1 Series – went down a treat with buyers, which is why the new version has been given a whole host of new touches and features to ensure that it still hits the mark with drivers. We’ve been testing it out in popular 220d layout.
Things have really changed with this new age of 2 Series Coupe. Whereas the old version was based upon the 1 Series, this latest version is, in fact, underpinned by the same platform you’ll find underneath the 3 and 4 Series.
BMW says that it wanted to retain the rear-wheel-drive layout that enthusiasts love – but that’s something you won’t find on the front-wheel-drive 1 Series, which is why the different platform was adopted.
It’s considerably shorter than the 3 and 4 Series, while its overall appearance is far more muscular than ever before. Even our diesel-powered model looked like it could be doing laps of the Nurburgring.
Our test car uses a diesel engine, namely a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit incorporating mild-hybrid technology for more efficient running – and boy, is it efficient. BMW claims that it’ll return up to 60.1mpg on the combined cycle and we achieved that during our time with the car. Emissions stand at 123g/km, meanwhile.
In terms of performance, the 220d’s 188bhp and 400Nm of torque equate to a 6.7-second 0-60mph time and 147mph top speed. It is, in fact, slightly quicker than the petrol-powered 220i. Power is fed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with gear shift paddles fitted behind the steering wheel to allow you to swap cogs on your own should you want to.
The 2 Series Coupe feels like a 3 Series or 4 Series when it comes to how it drives. That is to say, very good indeed. The whole package feels remarkably grounded, with excellent body control combined with a real sense of balance to give the 2 Series Coupe great agility and eagerness through the bends. Even the diesel engine mixes into the equation, providing more than enough low-down punch to keep things interesting.
Yes, the low-speed ride is a little sharp, but on a cruise, the 2 Series Coupe feels remarkably refined and grown-up. This is a package that feels at the top of its game, giving the whole car that involved feel that people are looking for. Well-isolated road and wind noise also helps to keep the 2 Series Coupe hushed, even at motorway speeds.
As we’ve already touched upon, the 2 Series Coupe has a seriously beefed-up look compared with its predecessor. The boxy arches look really cool, and while the bonnet dome which features on this diesel-powered model might be a little over the top, it definitely works to inject some extra drama into the car’s overall design.
Around the back, the sharp lights really do help to finish off the look. Purists might enjoy the Coupe’s regular-sized kidney grilles, too, as opposed to the super-large versions fitted to other BMW models.
Are there some hints of 4 Series here? Maybe slightly. But the more compact proportions of the 2 Series mixed with its chunky looks do help to differentiate it from the rest of the range. Our car was finished in eye-catching Portimao Blue, too, which only helped to make it stand out even further.
If you’ve ever sat inside a 3 Series the cabin of the 2 Series Coupe will be immediately recognisable. The whole dashboard area wraps around the driver, with the large central screen within easy reach of the person behind the wheel. Material quality is good overall, too, with some harsher plastics only used lower down.
Space in the back? Well, that’s pretty tight as you might expect. Taller adults are unlikely to find the rear seats of the 2 Series Coupe all that comfortable, though there’s just enough space for smaller kids or babies in car seats. Open up the boot and you’ll find 390 litres, which is actually 20 litres more than you’d find in the older car. It’s also nicely square and really easy to access, though the load lip is a little pronounced.
The 2 Series Coupe can be specified in M Sport trim only. You do get plenty of equipment, mind you, with headline features including automatic air conditioning and an M Sport leather steering wheel, as well as a full M Sport exterior styling pack. The front seats are also fitted with an automatic slide-forward function to make entering and exiting the rear of the car a little easier.
The new 2 Series Coupe feels like an extension of that glowing history that BMW has for making accomplished two-doors. It’s comfortable when it needs to be, but involving and exciting when required too.
Though diesel may be losing favour with buyers, this 220d model still feels like a real sweet spot and will be particularly good for those travelling further distances as they’ll be able to reap the benefits of its excellent fuel economy. Overall, the 2 Series Coupe feels like an old-school BMW with up-to-date touches – and that’s no bad thing at all.