BMW launched the current 2 Series Coupe here in South Africa early in 2022, and there still aren't that many on the roads. Visual observation isn't the most scientific way to measure a vehicle's popularity, but it does give you a good indication of where things stand. Could the lack of tyres on the road be a result of its steep price tag? Possibly, yes. We recently drove the BMW 2 Series Coupe 220d.

Looks

We've seen it in models such as the current 3 Series, 4 Series, and the 7 series, BMW's design department is getting bolder by the month, and the current 2 Series is not exempt. Sharp edges and an angular design are the key ingredients in this new design language, and there's plenty of both in the new 220d. In pictures, it looks exaggerated and unattractive, but once you meet the car in person, it wears its design well and looks crisp. Unlike the previous generation, the 220i and 220d are now offered with BMW's M Sport package as standard, making an otherwise ordinary variant like the 220d look like an M car. It even has a distinct power bulge on the bonnet and can easily be confused for one of its more potent derivatives. To complete the look is a set of 19-inch wheels and a rear diffuser.

 

Interior & tech

The Germans extended their kindness and included M Sport seats as standard in the none-M variants. The seating position and cockpit still remind us of the previous generation 2 Series Coupe, only with modern finishes and more tech. Being in an M-kitted car with the seats and all, the 220d tricks you into believing you're driving a high-spec variant until you attempt to adjust your seat, which is manually adjusted and not electronic. BMW has introduced interior ambient lighting in this model, as well as their latest iDrive system. We've never been a fan of this operating system, however, after being intentional with learning its ins and outs, our feelings have changed. It's like having an inbuilt iPad in your car that feeds you the latest news, traffic, and weather information.

With it being a Coupe, there's only enough room for two people - you and a passenger. Anyone else you wish to take along will have to be a small child or a midget. Rear legroom is scant, but it makes up for that with an adequately sized boot fitted with anchor points.

How does it drive?

It's still powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor, producing 140 kW and 400 Nm, however, it isn't quite as aggressive as we remember in the previous generation BMW 220d. It's more refined here, and that's our biggest gripe with this new model. BMW has always been known as a driver-focused brand whose vehicles appealed to purists who appreciated an engaging drive. Their new breed of vehicles, including the current 2 Series have departed from that. Comfort and refinement are prioritised before driver engagement, and maybe this is a good thing, depending on who you ask. We will always miss what these cars used to be. In the outgoing shape, the 220d retained the original BMW feel driving dynamics, and should that be your preferred setup, skip the new version and go back to the old, you'll find plenty on www.changecars.co.za. However, don't be fooled into thinking the new car is a slouch - it isn't. Acceleration and good handling are still there, you're just not as engaged in the process as the driver.

How much is the BMW 2 Series Coupe?

Brace yourself because the price will make you wince - you can expect to pay R870 000 for the BMW 2 Series Coupe 220d. Who would have thought that a mid-range BMW 2 Series would be close to R1 million. However, it's likely because you're getting M Sport this and M Sport that as standard, and maybe a few other things. There aren't any free lunches in life. See the comprehensive price list below.

 

BMW 220i R822 590

BMW 220d R869 706

BMW M240i R1 113 662

 

Words: Gugu Masuku