BMW is increasingly moving to front-wheel drive and no one can change that – not even you, purist. For example, the 1 Series has long since lost its tendency to upset, and two of the three 2 Series now consist of models that feel more at home in the pay slip of the casual IT worker than in the garage of the enthusiast. The one other 2 Series, however, is the Coupé, and it is reserved for those who choose it. And that applies not only to its driving characteristics, but also to its looks.
With the launch of the new 2 Series Coupé, the BMW world was once again divided, and that had nothing to do with oversized grilles for once. This time it was the small headlights that ruined the look for one, while the other was rather bothered by the striking triangle shapes in the front bumper or the busy, angular taillights. However, we are here to tell you that in reality it is not too bad, not to say that the 2 Series Coupé is quite a tough appearance. For example, its very long bonnet gives the impression that there are heavy guns hidden under it, while the car looks from behind as if it could shoot out of the starting blocks at any moment.
You immediately get the same feeling when you close the thick rim of the sports steering wheel in your hands, although the rest of the cabin has some difficulty hiding the age of its donor. For example, the 2 Series Coupé is subcutaneously based on the 4 Series, which in turn started to cheat at the current 3 Series, and the latter dates back to 2018. It must be said that our test sample was apparently built for BMW to design the interior of the 2 Series Coupé refreshed with the new ‘curved display’. As a result, you can still operate the majority of the most important functions in our variant by means of high-quality push and turn buttons and it must be said: in 2023 that is also a form of Freude am Fahren.
Speaking of Fahren: this 2 Series Coupé also remains nice and traditional under the skin. For example, the versions that you really want – the M240i and M2 – have a 3.0-liter six-in-line, while the smallest engines in the range are still 2.0 liters. We went out for the occasion with one of those last engines under the hood, modest as we are. For example, our 220i was equipped with a 2.0-liter petrol block with 184 hp and 300 Nm of torque, with which it is only preceded by the 218i. Regardless of the version, the 2 Series Coupé always has an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 220i accelerates to 100 km / h in 7.5 seconds.
Those are all quite modest figures for a device with such a challenging look, and the result is that you sometimes have to lose out in a traffic light sprint. For example, on our first drive home we were already getting spanked by the local contractor in his Volkswagen Amarok, so for the rest of our time with the 220i we decided to pretend we weren’t even trying to be first. That initially resulted in a dose of disappointment, especially when you know that the 230i from exactly the same block just manages to put out 61 horsepower more. Plus, the 2.0-litre engine loses some punch in the higher revs, and the only reason it sounds good there is secretly because it just sends some extra engine noise through the speakers…
Send with your brain
However, our impression of the 220i completely changed when we first started looking for some back roads. That’s where you reap the benefits of all the work BMW has done to approach the perfect 50:50 weight distribution, because you control this BMW with your brain, so to speak. The moment you even think about turning in, the front axle is ready to find the apex of the corner. When you come out you will be rewarded by a nice light-footed rear axle, because every 220i is simply delivered with rear-wheel drive. In other words, you’re having fun without feeling like you’re sitting on an unguided projectile that forces you to go faster than you actually dare.
However, you do pay a price for all that accessible driving pleasure, and that is a price that you just feel on thresholds. For example, our 220i was of course equipped with an M Sports package, better known as BMW’s one-way ticket to the physiotherapist. Every bump in the road surface seems to be a bit reinforced by the lowered suspension, so we would advise to omit that option of over 3,500 euros. We might not usually say that about a sports car, but we do so mainly because the 2 Series Coupé is otherwise a sports car that you just happen to live with. For example, its rear seat is relatively usable and its trunk with 390 liters is theoretically larger than that of the average Volkswagen Golf.
Well, we all know that his slightly too stiff driving experience isn’t the only price you pay for all that fun. BMW wouldn’t be BMW if they didn’t charge a lot for something like the 2 Series Coupé, but again we’re here to tell you that it’s secretly not too bad. For example, the cheapest variant, the 218i, costs 40,250 euros and you pay 43,750 euros for a 220i like ours. And before you start to think we’re unworldly: that’s quite a few monthly wages for us too.
Fortunately, you get an acceptable basic equipment in exchange, because every copy immediately receives navigation, cruise control, parking sensors and LED headlights, just like sports seats and paddle shifters behind the wheel. However, that is not the main reason why the price is not too bad, because we would like to invite you to find something that you can compare with this blue collar BMW. Then you usually end up with more expensive stuff if you want the same fun, or less useful stuff if you’re looking for cheaper.
BMW did the right thing by launching something like the 2 Series Coupé, and they’re doing the right thing again by offering it with a weaker four-cylinder. In this way they also keep those who previously enjoyed themselves with their rear-wheel drive 1 Series within their ranks, although they have to do something for it. For example, it is not a cheap car and the space and comfort are not at the level of, say, the new 1 Series, but if you really want this 2 Series Coupé, you will overlook that. And then we actually understand you best.
2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Price base model
€ 43 750.00
Average test consumption
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