BMW 220i built for comfort and speed

In his Leisure Wheels series of what’s in his garage, Habari Head of Content Mark Keohane, raves about the 2022 BMW 220i.

It’s tough to compete with the 4 series that I spoke so fondly of in one of my last pieces, but the 2022 BMW 220i is a fun and fast machine that I think I only fully appreciated once I took it out of town from Cape Town’s City Bowl to my favourite escape, Arniston.

If you own a BMW and you live in town, you’ll be doing your shopping trips in comfort but you certainly won’t be unlocking the full potential of your vehicle.

I briefly had the latest 220i in my garage and didn’t manage to clock too many kms during the short space of time that I had it. My initial thoughts were “funky, sporty, comfy,” and “this thing gets me to the office pretty quickly.”

I was afforded another opportunity to drive it about two weeks later, and this time the car remained in my possession for a little bit longer. My partner Gillian and I took a drive up to Arniston, and it was only after opening the 2.0l, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that I was allowed the driver experience that so many have sought historically in BMW’s 2 series ranges. 

Credit: Arniston Hotel

The car grips beautifully, the steering is effortless, and at 200km/h you feel like you’re coasting at 120. This coupe is definitely more responsive in sport mode, and the drive also seems to smooth out as the machine gains momentum.

For purposes of record and accuracy, most of the trip was spent well within all speed limits and the play on the accelerator was structured to happen in a vast stretch of road emptiness.

Earlier in the week, we’d done a shorter trip between the city and Melkbos, to test the comforts with my partner at the back, nestled next to our one year old’s baby seat.

This was a comfort drive and not one about speed, and the car has a surprising amount of space at the back for a 2-door sport coupe. My partner is 1.76 metres and she said she was more than comfortable tucked away in the back.

The interior was as classy as has come to be expected with BMW, and the M sport detailing is a nice complement to the Alcantara and black synthetic leather sports seats, which are finished in blue stitching.

The latest 220i is a bold car both in design and the colourways on offer. My son Ollie actually thought at first glance that the car had a body kit, and we also happened to be given a model that had a Brooklyn Grey metallic paintjob. It definitely stood out among the hills of Vredehoek!

Like I said, funky. But functional too, if what you’re after is opening the throttle over the weekends. It was a cool car to take up to one of my favourite places out of Cape Town and the overnight stay at the Arniston hotel completed a very comforting weekend experience.

Credit: Arniston Hotel

Click here for the 220i’s specs!

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Photo: BMW Blog