BMW 2-Series 220d SE
Price: £25,865 on-the-road.
The BMW 2-Series is finally here to replace the 1 Coupe and the best sellers will undoubtedly be the diesels, which are available in 218d, 220d and 225d guise. It is the middle of the range 220d which will be most popular among business and private buyers, thanks to the blend of performance and emissions on offer.
It is powered by a 4-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that produces 181 bhp and 280 lb /ft of torque for a 0 - 62 mph time of 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. The combined fuel economy of this car is 58.9 miles per gallon with a CO2 output of 125 g /km, which is superior to the TT, which can only manage 53.3 miles per gallon and a CO2 rating of 139 g/km.
Of course, the next-generation TT will be powered by the new 2.0 TDI, which has similar figures to the BMW. For now, though, the 2-Series is the more efficient of the two machines.
Out on the road, the driving dynamics of the 2-Series and TT are wildly different. Both have 6-speed manual gearboxes and 2.0-litre diesel engines, but the gearing and power deliveries are very different to one another. The 2-Series has a shorter throw than the TT which means that it likes to be revved out a little more than the Audi. On a fourth gear roll at 30 mph, it is the TT which feels a little quicker, despite being down 22 lb /ft. Smash the BMW into third, though, and the extra guts of the BMW show (just).
In the real world, the BMW is faster, but not by much.
The BMW feels really sporty from behind the wheel, even in soft SE specification. This has the highest ride height of any 2-Series and the thickest tyres, and whilst this numbs the looks a little, it means that the 2-Series is a really comfortable ride. Around town it never feels unsettled on rough, pothole laden roads and on the motorway it's nice and quiet inside.
BMW have created a refined machine in the 2-Series.
The boot is huge too, at 380-litres, compared to the TT's pathetic 280-litres.
One area where the BMW cannot match the TT is style. Like the 1-Series, the 2-Series looks too friendly to turn the heads of passersby. The TT on the other hand turns heads everywhere, and although it is a little common now, it still stands out against other Audi's in the range such as the A3 and A3.
SE trim is the lowest specification you can buy in the 2-Series, but it comes highly recommended by me - in this set up, the 2-Series is a very capable cruiser, and it is the most comfortable set up. Standard equipment includes remote locking, BMW Professional radio with 6.5-inch colour touch screen and iDrive, six speakers, AUX-in, Bluetooth, DAB radio, and air conditioning. This is similar to the TT, but with coupes, it's all about how cars drive.