Some fairly sizeable gains are claimed for the 2 Series on occupant space: an extra 6mm of front-row headroom and 21mm on second-row legroom. Our tape measure confirmed the former – along with an additional 30mm of second-row headroom – but we only measured a 10mm gain on back-row legroom.

Still, the tape measure at least confirmed that the 2 Series is a slightly more practical car than the old three-box 1 Series. Up front, the M240i feels spacious enough even for larger drivers – our only criticisms being slightly offset pedals and a driver’s seat that makes you sit a little higher than we’d ideally like.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Frontal visibility is fine but it's hard to accurately gauge the end of the bootlid

Access to the back is restricted, but there’s an acceptable amount of space once you’re in – enough for medium-sized adults, albeit only two of them.

BMW’s understated performance makeover is big on material plushness but relatively small on sense of occasion. Black leather sports seats are standard and very comfortable and supportive, while the handsome three-spoke M Sport steering wheel is thinner than M Sport rims have been of late and none the worse for it.

Red instrument graphics and an ‘M240i’ logo in the binnacle, meanwhile, are the most exciting visual elements on show.

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As standard, the M240i comes with BMW's iDrive infotainment system, including a 6.5in screen, BMW's ConnectedDrive apps, sat nav, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. There is a host of other convenience items such as automatic wipers and lights, rear parking sensors, sports seats, dual-zone climate control and a Dakota leather upholstery.

Outside, the M240i gets 18in alloy wheels and numerous M Performance developed features including an aerodynamic bodykit, braking system, sports steering rack and suspension set-up, which features on both the convertible and the coupé, while the latter also gets a rear spoiler too.

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