De­li­ciously svelte

BRIAN BAS­SETT roars around the Mid­lands in the BMW 220d auto Coupe

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

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.

Styling

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.

In­te­rior

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.

PHOTO: BMW

A lot of fun for cou­ples.

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