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BMW 2 Series
The Top Gear car review:BMW 2 Series
What is it like on the road?
Nothing new here. All BMW’s engines – bar the ones it fits to proper M cars like the M3, M5 and so on – are modular, which means the engineers can effectively glue cylinders of 500ccs each together, then add turbos as required. So the core line-up features three petrols of 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0-litres with three, four and six cylinders respectively, and a 2.0-litre diesel (the über-frugal 1.5-litre diesel from the 1 Series is sensibly not offered in the 2). All are turbocharged, and can be variously specified with manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes.
Steering and handling are among the best you’ll find in this class, even though the normal 2 isn’t set up to be especially sharp. All the controls operate with BMW’s signature accuracy and progression (the manual is snappy, and the auto superb). Ride and refinement are more than decent.
But the M240i is a proper hoot. It’s the 2 Series you want. The gorgeous M-fettled six-cylinder engine serves up unnecessarily rapid acceleration, but it doesn’t faze the much tautened suspension and brakes (slightly better even than the M140i). In many ways it’s more road fun than the ballistic but muzzled M6. BMW does an all-wheel drive version of the M240i, but doesn’t sell it in the UK. Boo and indeed hiss.