5: BMW 2 Series: proof that modern cars can still be fun

Top cars for 2018: The coupe reminds us why so many hold the BMW in such high esteem


If you were to distill the spirit of 1980s BMWs into a modern car, it would surely be the 2 Series Coupe.

Compact, with styling pulled taut over its underlying structure, it just wouldn’t work as a four-door (even though, eventually, BMW is going to make one of those). It’s practical enough, as long as the kids don’t mind squeezing up just a little, and although the boot is shallow, it’s useful enough.

The cabin tends a little to the cheaper end of things, looking a bit old-hat now, but all of that is forgiven once you find some corners. The 2 Series answers the question of “Can modern cars still be fun?” with a resounding yes. 370hp M2 is pricey, but amazing to drive, like a down-sized NASA rocket with attitude.

Tall-roofed 2 Series Active Tourer is actually front-wheel drive, but still engaging to drive and very practical for family use, even if it’s very expensive by family standards. 225xe plugin hybrid is clever, and surprisingly fun, but hard to get sufficient economy from.

Best model: 220i M-Sport

Prices start from: €33,390

Finance package from: €POA

CO2 emissions: 46-199g/km

Sum-up: A proper, small, fun, practical coupe. Active Tourer useful but too pricey.