The start point for the best source of fleet information
BMW has kicked-off its 2014 onslaught of new models with the 2-series Coupe.
It replaces the outgoing 1-series coupe and is effectively a two-door version of that lower medium model. There's a bigger difference in the styling and the naming strategy between this car and the 1-series hatchback than there was before.
As with the upper medium 3-series, which recently spawned the 4-series Coupe and Convertible variants (they were called the 3-series Coupe and the 3-series Convertible before), the 2-series is a new name for the BMW line-up. The car looks a lot different to the hatchback on which it's based too. Where the former 1-series Coupe was obviously a two-door version of the same model, the 2-series looks different enough to stand out in its own right. It's also 72mm longer, 26mm wider and has a 30mm longer wheelbase than the car it replaces.
It will initially come with three engines: the fleet favourite 184hp 2.0-litre diesel (220d) and a pair of petrols: a 184hp 2.0-litre (220i) and a hot 326hp 3.0-litre unit (M235i). The range will be bolstered in July with an entry-level 143hp 2.0-litre diesel (218d), a 245hp 2.0 petrol (228i) and an automatic-only 218hp 2.0-litre diesel (225d).
Emissions have changed for the better over the 1-series coupe, with a range low of 117g/km from the 220d (that's the pricier automatic - the standard manual emits 125g/km) compared with the former model's low of 139g/km. Expect 58.9mpg from the manual and 64.2mpg from the auto.
It's a little sweetie to drive. Think of all the good bits about the 3-series - crisp steering, responsive handling, good ride - then apply that to a smaller, lighter car. There's a bit more wind noise around the A-pillars at speed than you'd expect from a premium model, and the 2.0-litre diesel engine, although powerful and responsive, isn't as hushed as Audi's and Volvo's best efforts, but that's not enough to take the edge off its appeal. The switchgear and the dash are very similar to those of a 1-series and 3-series too, so although it isn't the most colourful cabin in the world, it's classy, robust and a pleasant place to sit.
The downside is the lack of space in the back. Granted, no one chooses a two-door coupe on practicality grounds, and even so, the boot is quite large at 390 litres. But there isn't much in the way of rear head and legroom, despite BMW's cries that it's more spacious than its predecessor, so don't expect full-sized adult colleagues to be comfortable on anything other than a short trip.
Cleaner and more efficient cars can be found in the company's range, and its two-door body limits fleet appeal. BMW is positioning the 2-series as a sportier model though, and there is a lot to like. Factor in the £2910 P11D advantage and 6ppm cost saving over an equivalent 320d SE and there's a serious case for the 220d for lone drivers who don't need a bigger car. The standard SE version even stacks up well on costs against rivals.
Model price range
BIK 20/40% per month
Great alternative to 3-series if you can live without the space