BMW 220d xDrive M Sport Coupe
- P11D Value / BIK: £33,555 / 26%
- 2-door Coupe
- 187bhp / 400Nm 2.0 litre, 4cyl diesel/eight-speed auto
- Economy (comb) / CO2: 60.1mpg / 124g/km
- 0-62mph/top speed: 6.9sec / 140mph
What is it?
Based on the sensible 1 Series hatchback, the 2 Series Coupe is the stylish sporting sibling that wraps four-seater capability in a sleek body as with this BMW 220d xDrive M Sport Coupe version attractive for business users.
A few years on from its introduction, the model is getting a gentle reworking that includes LED headlights, revised front air intakes, optional LED fog lights, and a new version of the famous kidney grille.
Importantly, the interior has been heavily revised too, with a new dashboard that’s tuned towards the driver, a new instrument binnacle, higher quality materials (especially on all those touch point such as air vents and window switches) and the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system.
There aren’t any mechanical changes though, which means the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine carries over from the old model, putting out an unchanged 187bhp and emitting a reasonably tax-friendly 124g/km of CO2.
- Being a BMW, performance expectations are high, especially when it’s presented in M Sport form. Fortunately the 2.0-litre diesel engine produces a healthy 400Nm of torque, making the 0-62mph sprint pass by in just 6.9 seconds.
- Performance isn’t at the expense of economy, with official figures promising an impressive 60.1mpg. Particularly enthusiastic driving will hurt economy, but on a rather brisk test the car still returned around 45mpg. Real-world returns of 50+mpg should be easy.
- For those of a more performance oriented bent, there’s a range of engines from a 134bhp 1.5-litre petrol through to a 335bhp M240 variant. Diesel options top out with the 221bhp 225d. For business users, the 220d tested here is the sweet spot.
- The engine is mated to a superb eight-speed automatic gearbox from ZF, a silky-smooth system that never seems to leave you in need of a different gear. Steering-wheel mounted paddles allow for quick manual changes when required.
- Four-wheel drive adds a degree of stability and certainty in tricky conditions. It’s biased towards the rear under normal circumstances, but shifts power to the front when there’s a hint of traction breaking away.
- The updates to the car (especially on the inside) are well chosen, with the strengths retained and BMW focussing on the perceived weaknesses. The revised cabin feels suitably premium, and on a par with Audi in terms of fit and finish. Their four-ringed rivals still edge it for design, though.
- The sports seats that come fitted in this M Sport spec model are supportive and comfortable, and will leave any driver feeling fresh and alert after a long journey. There’s plenty of headroom as well, despite the sleek coupe roofline.
- The current model hasn’t been crash tested by EuroNCAP, but the last generation 1 Series scored a full five stars, and there’s no reason to doubt that would be repeated.
- The update hasn’t touched on the mechanical bits of the car, so comfort is still somewhat of an optional extra. On the softest setting, the suspension fails to manage bumps in an orderly fashion, while the stiffer Sports setting makes it too firm and fidgety. It feels as if the springs are a tad soft, with some overly harsh damping.
- The wide tyres fitted to 18-inch alloy wheels transmit every minor jiggle through to the cabin, and create a din on less than perfect surfaces. This is a surprisingly noisy car, and that could get tiring over a long distance.
- While this test car appeared well equipped initially, there are around £6,500 of options fitted. Items you might expect to be fitted as standard, such as automatic air conditioning, the advanced navigation system and lumbar adjustment on the seats, are optional extras, and sometimes quite pricey options.
- Options extend to safety equipment. Automatic city emergency braking, collision warning, lane departure warning, and even pedestrian detection and protection is relegated to the options list, making duty of care decisions more difficult.
- There’s no doubting just how much grip is available from the 2 Series Coupe, but there’s little feel through the steering wheel which which can make placing the car slightly tricky. The flip side is light steering at low speeds, making maneuvering a cinch.
- While this is a four-seater, those in the back need to be rather more agile than most. Once through the narrow gap between the door and seat, there’s enough room but tinted windows, a high window line and that sloping roof make it feel dark and claustrophobic.
Verdict on BMW 220d xDrive M Sport Coupe
BMW still retains the perception of producing cars that are more engaging to drive than the competition, and there’s no doubting that this is a more enjoyable steer than the Audi TT. With little other competition, the 2 Series is the go-to car in the class for those wanting driving thrills.
That it offers such pleasure while making a decent fist of being an economical and cost-effective car is a credit to BMW, but if the more mundane side of motoring is your thing then it’s difficult to justify the premium for the 2 Series. It’s sister car, the 1 Series, offers more space and practicality without losing much of the excitement, and does so at a lower cost.
For those SMEs with an eye on CPM figures, that’s quite a compelling argument for sticking with something more conventional. For everyone else, the 2 Series is practical enough, easy enough on running costs, and stylish enough to make up for any shortfalls elsewhere. However, it might be worth eschewing the compromised M Sport spec and sticking with the softer SE or Sport models.