The 2 Series is the baby of BMW’s sports car range and one that we’re pretty fond of here at Carzone. The 2 Series was first launched in 2014 and while it hasn’t changed all that much in that time, BMW has updated both the Coupe and Convertible versions of the car for 2017. We flew to Munich for a first look at the 2 Series, which boasts subtle styling updates and interesting new technology adopted from flagship models like the G30 5 Series. The new 2 Series can be viewed as a steady evolution from its predecessor, but is this enough to stay on top of its game?
What is it like?
Our test kicked off with an overview of the car at BMW’s headquarters in Munich, which are a stone’s throw from the Olympic Stadium, which has played host to events like the Summer Olympics and World Cup Final. The new 2 Series looks very similar to its predecessor from the outside, with newly-reshaped air intakes, revised LED daytime running lights, new kidney grille surrounds and full LED brake lights at the rear.
We drove both a high specification M Performance Coupe and Convertible at the launch event, and the 2 Series Convertible looks particularly sporty with its roof down. As part of the refresh, BMW is offering three new colours including Sunset Orange, which is our favourite of the bunch. Several new alloy wheel combinations are also available too, ranging in size from 16 to 18-inches.
Once again, the interior has been slightly tweaked to facilitate a more driver-orientated cockpit. The new 2 Series is now available with BMW’s latest iDrive with optional touch control as part of the Navigation system professional package and 8.8inch touch screen display. The new system also incorporates Apple Car Play, but Android Auto isn’t available.
There are several new panel finishes available with gloss black panels and chrome detailing. The Convertible is particularly impressive with its roof folding away neatly in just 20 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h. The 2 Series Convertible was a perfect match for the hot and sunny conditions of our test, and we loved how easily the roof folded away electrically at the touch of a button.
The updated BMW 2 Series is available with a comprehensive range of three, four and six-cylinder engines. Our Coupe test car is the M240i M Performance and is fitted with a barnstorming 3.0-litre turbocharged six cylinder engine and optional xDrive all-wheel-drive. With a healthy 326bhp, the 240i can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds and has a gorgeous-sounding exhaust note.
While the M240i is a beautiful example of Bavarian engineering and thrilling to drive, it’s likely that the smaller engines in the range will make up for the bulk of sales in Ireland. The 2 Series Convertible that we drove is the 220d with BMW’s 190hp 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine. It accelerates with a sense of urgency and although not with the same ferociousness of the 440i, and can cover 0-100km/h in just over seven seconds and offers respectable economy.
Once again, buyers can choose between a traditional rear-wheel-drive setup or splash out extra for BMW’s optional Xdrive four-wheel-drive system. While the traditional rear-wheel-drive 2 Series undoubtedly offer a more engaging drive, Xdrive all-wheel drive is reassuring and will be well-suited to Ireland’s often wet roads.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The new BMW 2 Series Coupe and Convertible range may well have only changed very slightly, but it was already a strong contender and the updates broaden its appeal further. The 2 Series continues to be just as engaging car to drive, while adopting new technologies very naturally such as optional all-wheel-drive and advanced infotainment.