BRIAN BASSETT roars around the Midlands in the BMW 220d auto Coupe
AS much as I enjoy the BMW brand I do sometimes find their logic a little confusing.
The 2 Series, coupe and convertible, launched in South Africa in 2014 have their origins in BMW’s new model designations. These reserve the odd numbers for four- door sedans and even numbers for two- door coupes or coupe- like cars although; with the one series there appears to be quite a few threeand five- door cars available in the range, but that’s just me being confused and pedantic.
By the way there is also a 218, 220,220d and 225, labelled Active Tourer. This model is a spacious BMW without being an SUV and has nothing to do with the coupe and convertible, sharing as it does a platform with the third generation Mini Cooper.
BMW will probably change it all in a year or two anyway.
What really matters is the quality of their cars and not the numbering of their models.
Our thanks to Anthony Ellis, DP of SMG Pietermaritzburg for allowing us to drive a delightful, red 220d auto, with the M Sport Package for a few days and experience firsthand the fact that small is indeed beautiful.
The main reason purchasers give up the convenience of four- doors for the more cramped nature of two is because of a coupe’s good looks and with cars first impressions really do count.
The 220d is every inch a BMW, with the usual split kidney grill at the front, a centrally- placed BMW badge flanked by headlights ending in sharp points.
The contour lines on the bonnet mirror air flows and, so say the manufacturers, the integrated air curtain thus formed make you faster and presumably happier.
At the sides the car has a dynamic sweeping line, which proclaims its speed and dynamism.
At the rear the L- shaped, single unit tail lights visually underscore the 220d’s width and road hugging stance.
In all the design is deliciously svelte and athletic.
The car caught the eye of a number of ladies in carparks across the city and one asked me if I had any more like it at home.
Those familiar with BMW will be completely at home in the interior. The front sports seats are leather covered and easily- adjustable, as is the leather- covered, 3- spoke, multi- function sports steering wheel.
The dials in front of the driver are easy to read, without looking away from the road and the dash is dominated by an easy- to- read screen, which handles the details of the Harmon- Kardon 6- speaker audio system and, should you want to turn the car into a fourwheeled laptop, you can have the BMW Connected Drive Services and apps installed.
There are also various driver assists available but these are extras, as is the GPS. The system is operated by the usual, centrally- placed, iDrive controller.
The rear seats are also finished in soft leather and with a little front seat adjustment the car will take two rear passengers, but not for long drives.
This is more a car for young couples and their kids. The boot will take 390 litres of luggage, not huge but sufficient.
Safety and security
The 220d has just about everything, ABS, EBD, seatbelts for all, Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Headlights, Adaptive Suspension, which is really nice to have if you can afford it.
The car has intelligent emergency call, with establishes call centre contact in an accident, without cell phone assistance.
The usual central locking and alarm system is also part of the package.
Performance and handling
The BMW brand is synonymous with great handling and this car is no different.
In town you can move around in traffic and park with ease, as the steering provides immediate response and excellent feedback, while park assist does the rest. The two- litre, four- cylinder, twin power, turbo diesel engine provides 140 kW/ 400 Nm which accelerates the car to 100 km/ h in 7,1 seconds and provides a top speed of 230 km/ h.
Fuel consumption is around 5 l/ 100 km, but put your foot down and your consumption leaps up. The car is grippy and corners well. The eight- speed auto box is silky smooth, but if you prefer changing gears yourself the six- speed manual box will suit you. In all this is a fun car for those who love to drive and don’t mind getting the occasional speeding fine while enjoying themselves.
Remember, the 220 comes in a 14- model range, ending with the Mighty 235 and from this year the M Coupe.
Costs and the competition
The 220d auto will cost you around R464 000. More if you are partial to the long options list. The car comes with a fiveyear/ 100 000 km extendable motor plan covering everything but tyres, but don’t forget to read the contract carefully.
Also have a look at Mercedes C- Class Coupe, Mazda MX- 5, VW Golf Cabriolet and VW Scirocco.
A lot of fun for couples.