The 2-Series is a relative newcomer to the BMW range. Introduced in 2014, there are now a number of different variations on offer in the form of a coupe, convertible and ‘Active Tourer’ MPV.
For those looking for a sporty, sleek BMW, the 2-Series is your best bet. Today we’re going to focus on the coupe and convertible models as the Active Tourer doesn’t share their enthusiast-biased designs.
This front-engined, rear-wheel drive car is beautifully proportioned and feels like the perfect size for British roads. It’s big enough to be useful on the weekly shop without making you nervous on a tight country lane.
Here are three options from across the range that cater to those looking for style and savings, all the way to those who want pure performance.
The smart choice for saving money: BMW 218d SE
If you’re looking at the BMW 2-Series purely based on its stylish looks, we can’t blame you. Its sleek lines make it one of the prettiest cars on sale today.
In the entry-level 218d SE spec, that stylish appeal doesn’t need to come with high running costs. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine makes 150bhp so it’s no slouch, but it still manages 62.8mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 119g/km of CO2.
Seventeen-inch alloy wheels come as standard, as do heated exterior mirrors and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Inside, a 6.5-inch screen features DAB radio, satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity functions.
The 218d SE starts at £25,100 for the coupe and £28,300 for the convertible.
The smart choice for value: BMW 230i M Sport
The smart choice for value isn’t often a car with such high horsepower, but if we’re talking value for money the 230i M Sport offers a great compromise between performance and running costs.
In M Sport trim, the 2-Series comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, sportier exterior body styling and a sports suspension upgrade. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine makes an impressive 252bhp while still offering a decent 44.1mpg.
That means you get a sportier-looking exterior and a powerful engine without having to go for the full fat BMW M2. With bigger tyres, brakes and worse economy, that car’s running costs will be huge in comparison, which makes the 230i great value.
The 230i M Sport starts at £29,710 in coupe form, while the drop-top version starts at £32,890.
The smart choice for technophiles: BMW M2
If running costs don’t concern you, there’s really only one option for technophiles and that’s the M2.
The 3.0-litre engine makes 370bhp and can catapult the car from 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds thanks to launch control. A new lightweight suspension system has been fitted, while aluminium has been used throughout the car’s chassis to reduce weight.
To help all that extra power reach the road, the M2 comes with an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential that alters the amount of torque being delivered to the rear wheels depending on the conditions. This optimises grip and helps the car spring out of corners faster.
The exterior has undergone an overhaul to give wider arches and more muscular styling. Inside, sports seats hold the driver and their passenger in place, while M2-specific dials sit behind the wheel.
The BMW M2 is only available as a coupe, and starts at £44,070.