I recently attended the launch of the first-ever BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe at Zwartkops Raceway.
Fitting effortlessly into the premium compact segment, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe was introduced to the market in March 2020. However, due to COVID-19’s abrupt and unwelcome visit, the brand could, unfortunately, not launch the vehicle to the media as planned.
Luckily for this four-door coupe concept, there is so much more going for it than its lacklustre appearance. It looks exceptional in pictures though – So hello perfect Instagram post.
Available Models and Design
I had the pleasure of engaging with all 3 derivatives of the product offering. Available in one diesel and two petrol engines; a three-cylinder petrol option with 103 kW in the BMW 218i. A 140 kW four-cylinder diesel unit in the BMW 220d and the BMW Group’s most powerful four-cylinder engine – developing 225 kW – in the BMW M235i xDrive.
The car’s front end provides a much needed but confusing aesthetic relief. The fusion of the slightly angled headlights (full-LED is standard) that form the prominent BMW four-eyed face draws attention to the familiar, smaller, but unpopular kidney grille. The four frameless side windows are a win. Nevertheless what threw me off of the overall design the most is the awkward looking backend.
Performance and space – two key components
Once I climbed into the seat of the 218i, my initial impression was how befitting the vehicle is for a small-sized family. Making it the ideal compact car for a compact household. Its additional target market is young couples and first to market trendsetters.
Like its baby sister (BMW 1 Series), the 2 Series Gran Coupe on the 218i and the 220d, runs on an advanced front-wheel-drive architecture. The range-topper M235i includes the BMW xDrive all-wheel drive, M Sport steering, and M Sport brakes.
I was thoroughly impressed by how responsive the 220d was on a straight. Even more so, by how much the M235i unleashes its inner beast and borderline begs you to explore it on an open road. Such sheer bliss.
The technology punch is solid and sees innovations such as the Lane Departure Warning system with active lane return (optional). As well as the Active Cruise Control, Driving Assistant including Lane Change Warning, rear collision warning, crossing traffic warning, and reversing assistant.
If money is no option, buyers can explore the option of having the BMW Digital Key. This allows the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone and also start the engine as soon as the smartphone is placed in its tray.
- Performance [220d and M235i]
- Uninspired design
- Non-electrically-adjustable front seats in the 218i and 220d
Although the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe fails to thrill in the looks department, it certainly makes up for it in many small ways, like its technology, performance, and handling. Ultimately, making it quite a BIG deal.
Standard Model prices (South Africa):
- 218i – R 556 800
- 220d – R 644 600
- M235i xDrive – R 785 100
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