BMW 220i Coupé excels as a versatile performer 

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BMW 220i Coupé excels as a versatile performer 

Murali Naidu

If you're enamoured with the BMW 2 Series but find the M240i xDrive out of reach or the M2 Competition a bit too wild, the 220i M Sport offers plenty of curb appeal and interior comfort. 

The new 2 Series Coupé maintains its rear-wheel-drive setup while boasting a larger overall size than its predecessor. It embraces robust styling, a low-slung stance, rear-wheel-drive configuration, and engaging driving dynamics. 

These distinctive characteristics of the 2 Series Coupé shine most brightly in its high-performance models, such as the new M2 Competition. To a lesser extent, this spirit is embodied in the current range-topping M240i xDrive, which introduced all-wheel drive to the compact sportscar line-up.

 The BMW 220i Starts from R772,590. Our test unit was equipped with the M Sport package.

The front-end design is incorporated with the kidney grille design and has active slats that adapt to the engine's cooling needs. 

It does look handsome and garners the attention of adoring M fans. It looks sleeker, with a slightly beefier and bigger aesthetic than the previous generation; towards the rear, it has a new taillight design with a rear bumper diffuser, not to mention the modern flush-fitting door handles, which give it slim dimensions.

Our colour was Brooklyn Grey metallic paint, followed by 19-inch double-spoke, light-alloy wheels (wrapped in low-profile tires). Additionally, the M Fender badges, the M Aerodynamic kit, and the BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line enhance the overall visual allure of the package.

Inside, you are met with a familiar BMW cabin environment enhanced with M Sport detailing; the sports seats come in a choice of  Alcantara and black Sensatec (synthetic leather) with blue contrast stitching; you then have a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and Aluminium Tetragon trim finishers. It also has M-coloured door cards that look especially impressive at night once it illuminates.

The driver display includes a sizeable digital instrument cluster that can be configured using the mounted steering-wheel controls. One also has an infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, integrated navigation, Bluetooth telephony, and vehicle system setting access.

You can control configurations via the iDrive controller knob; the centre console houses an array of soft-touch buttons (located to the right of the stubby transmission lever) to toggle between drive modes; they include Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro. 

The 2 Series Coupé offers comfortable seating for front passengers, but rear passengers may need more legroom and headroom. Regarding boot space and practicality, the 220i offers 390l.

Regarding safety features, you have six airbags, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), brake assist, and Electronic Stability Control with traction control.

It's powered by a  2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, delivering 135 kW and 300Nm of torque. It's not meant to be a performance-induced vehicle like its bigger brothers, the M240i XDrive and M2 Competition, but it offers a smooth and refined drive; it's a budget-friendly alternative. 

Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. It can do a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 7.5 seconds.

The new 2 Series Coupé also benefits from its M Sports Suspension, a standard inclusion in the M Sport package. This non-adaptive suspension setup features a slightly stiffer spring. 

While the ride quality leans toward the firm side, it doesn't compromise everyday driving comfort. The 220i offers a balanced package, giving handling dynamics and daily usability.

With a well-calibrated transmission complementing the engine's characteristics, it may not offer hyper-performance. Still, it caters to those who appreciate a more composed driving experience.

The 220i shares its platform with the larger 3 Series sedan, resulting in significant changes. It boasts a wider front track (+55mm), a broader rear track (+31mm), and an extended wheelbase (+51mm) while sitting noticeably lower to the road by 28mm.

These seemingly incremental alterations have substantially impacted the 2 Series Coupe's dynamism. 

The steering responds promptly and sharply, allowing the 220i to handle corners with unwavering confidence.

Regarding fuel efficiency, BMW claims an average consumption of 6.3 litres/100km, and one can achieve between 6.3l to 7.8l/100km.

While the 220i M Sport carries a relatively high price considering its skilful performance, its exceptional ride/handling balance helps justify it and makes it a choice rather than going big.

The BMW 220i M Sport has a 2-year/unlimited km warranty and a 5-year/100,000 km maintenance plan.



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