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Steering, suspension and comfort

Even fitted with 18in rims, lowered adaptive M Sport suspension and a variable-ratio power steering set-up, the 220d feels like a particularly laid-back BMW. So it should.

Cabriolet owners will most often appreciate the perfect weight distribution and directional purity of the 2 Series manifested as a level, balanced ride and as uncorrupted steering feel. However, when they go looking for more emphatic evidence that this is a better-handling everyday-use convertible than most, they’ll probably find only just enough of it to satisfy themselves.

The BMW 2 Series turns in quite crisply, holds its line well and resists understeer fairly stoutly

Although it isn’t the tidiest-handling or best-tied-down dynamic prospect in the class, the 2 Series juggles the conflicting briefs of boulevardier and sporting BMW well enough. Even in its firmer settings, the suspension delivers a comfortable, well-isolated ride. Body control is good in Sport and Sport+ modes.

It’s softer and more unchecked in Comfort, rolling somewhat during hard cornering and with larger bumps setting up some vertical heave. It’s nothing like pronounced enough to affect the stability of the car, but it’s also not a problem that some rivals have.

The variable-ratio power steering set-up works better in this application than we’ve found in others, possibly because the 2 Series’ fairly soft chassis rates mask the aggressiveness with which it picks up pace. Only by the scant 2.2 turns of steering between locks are you really aware of its presence.

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That suggests the steering’s extra directness off centre addresses perfectly the rate at which steady-state, roll-related understeer begins to set in, which is very rare to find indeed. Even so, the 220d’s bias for limit-of-grip understeer and preference for remoteness from the road surface rather than connectedness to it make it feel like a slightly conflicted BMW at times.

It’s nothing like a fraud to the blue and white propeller but, perhaps understandably, not the most vivid example of what driven rear wheels can do for driver appeal.