From £24,6509

Price, fuel economy and range, finance and depreciation

BMW has put the 2 Series on a typically strong footing as an ownership prospect. The middle-sitting 220d enters its segment with not only distinguishing power, torque and consequent performance but also lower CO2 emissions than any proper three-box compact coupé you could compare it with.

Only the Seat Leon SC and Vauxhall Astra GTC – three-door hatchbacks playing at being coupés, really – offer better claimed economy.

It'd be good to see an EfficientDynamics model with super-low emissions

Claimed economy isn’t always to be believed, of course – unless you drive a BMW. On our touring schedule, the 220d returned a true 62.2mpg – almost 10mpg better than the Leon SC 2.0 TDI FR under identical test conditions.

Although our overall test economy result doesn’t quite confirm as much, running this car in a typical usage pattern would certainly produce better than 50mpg.

You'll have to do the mileage to justify the extra cost of one of the diesels, though. If not, then a four-cylinder petrol might prove a more sensible – not to mention refined – option.

On the specifications front, it's worth paying out for the optional Harman Kardon audio system, sports seats and Professional nav. Avoid the variable sports steering and M Sport suspension, and be mindful of ticking too many boxes lest you crank the price up significantly.

Typically strong BMW residuals would complete the picture, but this is where the 2 Series lets the side down a little. Up against desirable, short-supply rivals such as the Peugeot RCZ and Audi TT, the 2 Series doesn’t look quite as strong as you might expect.

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Running costs and reliability should prove good for all 2 Series models, and a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty is standard.