- Great range of powerful, efficient engines
- More fun to drive than most
- Stylish and upmarket feel
- Can be cramped in the back
- Not generously equipped
- High-performance models cost a lot to run
The BMW 2 Series offers rear-wheel drive for an agile and well-balanced feeling on the road.
The first thing that strikes you about the 2 Series Coupe and Convertible are their looks. Both have the iconic BMW grille, an athletic stance and an unmistakably premium feel. This luxurious feel is backed up with a great driving experience, thanks to the excellent range of smooth and efficient petrol and diesel engines.
Trim levels start with the SE, rising through to Sport, M Sport and the sporting flagship M2 model (Coupe only). A minor facelift in 2017 added LED lights, a digital dash and Wi-Fi hotspot options.
The BMW 2 Series is a nice place to be with 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 a classic BMW layout with clear dials in front of the driver and an excellent functional design for all the controls and switchgear. The BMW iDrive infotainment control dial is between the seats, which 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 plenty of leg and headroom. It’s a different story in the back 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.
Boot space is better than sportscar rivals. The Coupe will be able to carry more luggage than a 1 Series – until you fold the hatchback’s seats down that is.
The 2 Series is a pleasure to drive whichever model you choose. It feels extremely well-balanced and poised when going round corners. The ride quality is smooth while the high levels of grip and responsive engines give you the option to drive with more performance. 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.
If you’re planning on making high mileage drives, 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, the petrols are nicer engines. Even the lowest-spec 218i offers decent acceleration, while the M240i and M2 models are extremely fast.
You can expect to pick up a 2 Series for a great price thanks to depreciation and the fact that BMW sold so many cars. Both petrol and diesel variants have good economy figures.
Servicing costs are 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 with groups starting at a mid-range 24.
The BMW 2 Series has a real air of quality, both through the materials used and the way it’s built. This translates into generally positive customer feedback and a reputation for good reliability. There’s a wide range of support available from official dealers to independent BMW specialists.
Safety isn’t an issue either. Although Euro NCAP hasn’t tested the 2 Series Coupe or Convertible, the 1 Series which it shares its engineering with, was awarded five stars and there’s plenty of available safety kit across the line-up.
Best for economy - 218d SE
Best for family - 218i SE
Best for fun - M240i
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 you could be tempted towards the racier look and feel of the M Sport, depending on what you’re looking for.
If you’re after the driving thrills that BMW can provide, the M240i provides a level of performance that’s not quite as spectacular as the M2 but just as enjoyable.