White BMW 2 Series Coupe driving down a country road

BMW 2 Series review (2014-2021)

The BMW 2 Series is a premium car that's available as a coupe or a convertible. It's classy, comfortable and great to drive, and reasonably practical, too.

Pros

  • Great range of powerful, efficient engines
  • More fun to drive than most
  • Stylish and upmarket feel

Cons

  • Can be cramped in the back
  • Not generously equipped
  • High-performance models cost a lot to run

Summary

“The BMW 2 Series has an athletic stance and an unmistakably premium feel.”

The BMW 2 Series is a stylish and upmarket rear-wheel drive car available as a sleek coupe or as a convertible. Whichever model you go for, you'll get a car with the famous BMW badge and grille, an athletic stance and an unmistakably premium feel. The luxurious interior is backed up with a great driving experience, thanks to the excellent range of smooth and efficient petrol and diesel engines.

We're looking here at the first-generation 2 Series, sold new between 2014 and 2021. (A second-generation model has been on sale since 2021.)

Trim levels start with the SE, rising through to Sport, M Sport and the sporting flagship coupe-only M2 model. A minor facelift in 2017 added LED lights, a digital dash and Wi-Fi hotspot options.

What’s the interior like?

“The BMW 2 Series is a premium car and its interior feels suitably special.”

The BMW 2 Series is a premium car and its interior feels suitably special. It has extremely supportive seats – even more so in M Sport models and above – as well as an excellent choice of materials and build quality.

There’s an excellent functional design to the dashboard, including all the controls and switchgear. BMW splendid iDrive infotainment system is controlled via touchscreen or with a control dialis between the seats, and sets the standard for user-friendliness. All versions have navigation from the tablet-style display on top of the dash.

There’s a wide range of adjustment for the front seats, as well as lot of leg and headroom. It’s a different story in the back, though, with a sloping coupe roof and a two-door set up which limits practicality. This isn’t a car that’s ideal for growing families, but it is better than some other coupes and convertibles.

Boot space is better than sportscar rivals, too. The Coupe will be able to carry more luggage than a 1 Series – until you fold the back seats down, that is.

What’s it like to drive?

“It feels extremely agile and poised when going round corners, with a smooth ride quality.”

The 2 Series is a pleasure to drive whichever model you choose. It feels extremely agile and poised when going round corners, with a smooth ride quality, high levels of grip and responsive engines. The steering also feels quick and responsive, while the standard manual gear-change is very smooth. All in all, it’s an engaging driving experience above many of its rivals.

If you’re planning on making lots of longer journeys, there’s a range of diesel engines that are almost as responsive and smooth as equivalent petrols. If running costs are less of an issue, though, the petrols are nicer to use. Even the lowest-spec 218i offers decent acceleration, while the M240i and M2 models are extremely fast.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Servicing costs will be more expensive than less premium cars, but they're manageable.”

A BMW 2 Series is a premium car, and so expect to pay a touch more than rivals. It also tends to attract a higher price than the mechanically similar BMW 1 Series, but generally lower than the Audi TT. BMW has sold lots of 2 Series, so there's lots of choice on the market. Both petrol and diesel variants have good fuel economy figures.

Servicing costs again will be more expensive than less premium cars, but they're manageable. Most cars need attention every two years and there is a range of fixed price services and service packages to help you budget for the work. Insurance is affordable starting at insurance group 20 out of 50.

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Which one is best for you?

The 2 Series that’s best for you depends on your reason for buying it. If you like the two-door coupe or convertible mainly for its looks and premium style, then the entry-level petrol and diesel models provide plenty of driving pleasure and perky performance. The equipment list in the SE trim should also fit the bill in that case, although the M Sport models have a racier look and feel.

If you’re after driving thrills, the M240i provides a level of performance that’s not quite as spectacular as the M2 but exceedingly enjoyable.

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