Sharp handling and a range of outstanding engines still make BMW’s little 2 Series Coupe a unique choice in the sports coupe segment. The car delivers all BMW’s best bits distilled down into a compact driver-focused package. In fact, it just might just be the most enjoyable model that the Munich brand builds.
Turn the clock back to the late Sixties and early Seventies and you’ll find that BMW used to have a younger age profile. The customers who bought cars like their much-loved 2002tii and 2002 turbo models were the kind of youthful, free-spirited people who would otherwise have gone for an Alfa Spider sports car or a Mini Cooper. But BMW doesn't make machines like that any more – or do they?
Proof that they do is claimed to be delivered in the form of this model, the 2 Series Coupe. It replaced the 1 Series Coupe back in 2014 and has been significantly updated since.
This coupe is the only 2 Series model now retaining classic BMW rear-wheel drive, which is one of the main reasons that enthusiasts still love it, especially in its top sporting M240i and M2 Competition guises.
Inside, this design uses BMW’s older cabin architecture, but it still feels of high quality, with a large central 8.8-inch iDrive infotainment screen. It features as standard the BMW Navigation and BMW Professional Navigation set-ups. There’s more room in the back than you get in most small coupes; and a decently-sized 390-litre boot, extendable further by folding the split rear bench.
Vanarama customers get a choice of two core 2 Series Coupe trim levels – ‘Sport’ and ‘M Sport’, plus with the base petrol engine, there’s an ‘SE’ variant too.
There are two mainstream petrol variants, the 218i with 136hp and the 220i with 184hp. And two mainstream diesel options, the 150hp 218d and the 190hp 220d, the latter available with the option of xDrive AWD.
The variants favoured by enthusiasts though are the six cylinder petrol derivatives. There’s the M240i with 340hp and the potent M2 Competition model, which has 410hp. Even the M240i is really quick, sprinting to 62mph in just 4.6 seconds.
This car’s closest competitor is probably the Audi TT Coupe, but that’s either front-driven or four-wheel-driven and isn’t quite the same. Driving enthusiasts certainly wouldn’t think so anyway. Such a person would be more likely to be drawn to the other direct alternative, the single rear-driven design marketed either as the Toyota GT86 or the Subaru BRZ. There’s also Nissan's 370Z coupe, but that’s a bigger, heavier thing. Overall, if you wanted a compact coupe that you could use every day, the 2 Series Coupe would be by far the better choice.
If pushed to name BMW's most convincing sports car, there are those who would walk past the mighty M5, ignore the powerhouse M4 and M8 models, pause briefly to admire the lines of the Z4 and end up at the baby of the range, this 2 Series Coupe. With a selection of fantastic engines and the draw of a fully-fledged and awesomely capable M model at the top end, this two-door 2 Series demonstrates once again that light is right. Not for nothing does this model enjoy the lowest average owner age profile of any that the Bavarian brand makes.