BMW 220d M-Sport - The Sweet Spot
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
The BMW 2-series has hit the sweet spot within the car enthusiast community. Although its launch came in as a controversial move all thanks to fitting a front-wheel-drive layout to a uhmm, BMW sedan, there is more to what meets the eye. We have the 220d in its M-Sport avatar looking rad in this Misano Blue shade and a set of yummy M-Sport alloy wheels. Let's find out how this car fares on our roads.
We must start talking about the engine! As much as we know about this motor from the other BMW models like the 3 and the 5 series, the change of layout from longitudinal to transverse makes a whole lot of difference in the way this BMW behaves. The 2 litre, twin-scroll turbocharged diesel engine produced 190 bhp of Max Power and 400 Nm of Max Torque, mated to the legendary 8-Speed ZF torque converter gearbox this is one hell of a smooth setup to drive every day.
The engine packs a punch from the moment you press the accelerator pedal, there is hardly any lag in power and torque delivery, thanks to BMW’s twin-scroll turbo technology the useable punch is available through the rev range.
For a car of its size, it has more than enough poke to smash its competition, and while at it, it is very efficient too! In Mumbai, where we primarily used the 220d, through the traffic we were able to squeeze out almost 720kms of driving range thus making visits to fuel station minimal and also saving on running costs, which is pretty essential when the diesel prices per litre are more expensive than a pint of domestic beer.
And this driving range was observed when the car is in Normal and Sport mode simultaneously and never did I switch it to ECO mode, so essentially there is even more available driving range to play with.
The motor is very refined and hardly makes its presence felt in normal driving conditions, only when pushed to its upper rev limits does it makes itself notice audibly, but in a good way. Being a diesel motor, it does not sound like one. Mechanically, it simply loves to be revved to the redline.
Its transmission complements the motor perfectly. When the 220d is in motion, you feel the smoothness and cohesiveness in the way the mechanical combo functions together.
Shifts are smooth and super quick and in sport mode, they do give a nice kickback also which is good fun, one never finds the car in the wrong gear at any point in time, the transmission is calibrated to the engine like swiss cheese on a french flatbread.
Overall excellent driveline combo 2-series gets for everyday driving and occasional spirited drives.
RIDE & HANDLING
Being A BMW one would assume that it will ride stiff and handle like it is on rails, well that’s where we were in for surprise.
Coming first to ride quality as that is what matters the most during everyday driving. The M-Sport trim comes fitted with 18-inch rims with 45 and 40 section tyres for the front and back respectively, the initial thoughts before driving it were that car will ride harsh and bad, but oh! we were in for surprise it rode simply too well. The suspension is relatively softly sprung and has more travel in it, resulting in the car not scraping in mega-sized speed breakers as well as it to handle everyday driving on bad roads and road traction changes extremely well.
Overall it is a very comfortable ride for everyday use.
Steering, as most modern cars on sale today, is electric, very light and weighs up as you build up speeds, but lacks soul in it as every modern car today, there is a decent amount of feedback that comes in, but for it being a BMW I was expecting more. Still, no issue for everyday normal commuting.
When it came to cornering hard, we were over-estimating its prowess because there was a fair bit of understeer, as the suspension is tuned for comfort plus Front Wheel Drive layout. Also at high speeds even minor road undulations or patch of water makes car unsettled which isn’t comforting at all. High-speed straight-line stability is good but can be better and left us wanting more. .
Brakes on the M-Sport trim can be described in one word - “MEGA”. They kill speed so quick that one wonders if this is a 2 series or a proper M car? Brakes are huge and just don’t fade no matter what you throw at them. With very progressive and responsive brake pedal feedback and overall brakes inspires a lot of confidence.
INTERIOR and ON BOARD TECH
The interiors are very well laid out with everything ergonomically placed and positioned to suit the captain's seat, driver's seat is electric and with 2 memory positions which are very convenient when the car is shared with another family member.
M-Sport seats are highly supportive and very comfortable and one can get a perfect driving position no matter what their size is. The adjustable under-thigh support, adjustable side bolsters hugs the body of the front passengers perfectly.
The M-Sport trim comes with M-Sport steering which is nice and chunky to hold and is superb to use. Additionally, paddle shifters make driving even more fun.
Material quality is top-notch and feels much better than competitors.
It gets a fully digital instrument cluster which is well laid out and easy to read while on move, It gets the latest generation of the BMW iDrive infotainment system with incorporates wireless car play and android auto along with screen mirroring of your smart-phone which is a very good feature indeed and helps to conduct telephony with ease and without taking eyes off the road. The entire iDrive operation can be done with voice commands which are pretty simple and accurate.
The audio quality on this top of the line 2 series is pretty good for a daily driver, well audio s clear and clean but lacks the low-end notes. Overall good system but has a scope of improvement.
Interiors also get a panoramic sunroof which lits up the cabin with a lot of natural light when needed.
Overall with its ambient lighting, wireless charging, panoramic sunroof, M Sport goodies, multiples of charging ports and high-quality material used in the interiors is very very comfy and a good space to spend time in.
Rear seat space is tight if people in front are tall. The headroom is compromised due to its highly sloping roof but for people with moderate average height, it is decent at the back.
Trunk capacity is pretty specious for airport runs and if more space is needed while moving houses or big articles, both rear seats fold down via levers placed in the trunk thus giving much much more space.
It is indeed a very good space to spend time in over daily use and long drives.
Well, it is something which grows on you especially the front end with its huge horizontal grille, looks sharp, crisp, very modern and trendy. The rear looks like mini X6 with its tail light cluster and sloping roof profile. There is a bit of Z4-esque outlook to the front end too, all thanks to the bumper design complimented by the swept back headlamps which makes it look menacing in someone's rear view mirror.
The side profile might not be to everyone's taste with a small rear door and flatter rear end. But it takes time to grow on you, especially in this shade of Estoril Blue. There is a shark-fin antenna on the roof which looks cohesive to the visual with that massive sunroof.
While some competitors might look a tad bit better, although looks are a very subjective matter, this one, however, looks much better in its M-Sport trim. The 2 series packs the right amount of muscle lines and smoothness in its visuals, specially when standing still.
The BMW 220d M-Sport is a great package with a brilliant drivetrain, comfortable suspension, superb brakes and interiors. It does give an excellent fight to its competition with and on-board tech with the new iDrive system it is so much better. The legendary 2 litre turbo diesel engine is an absolute gem, and it being transversely mounted makes it for quite an interesting mechanical setup to live with on a daily basis. What's more, the 220d is capable of achieving fuel economy figure of 20 kmpl and above with absolute ease and in times of mad hike in fuel prices, it comes out to be quite a relief.
We loved our time with the 220d M Sport.
Photography : Siddhant Rajadhyaksha