Taking advantage of the renovation of the BMW 1 Series executed in 2019, now it is the turn of the renovation of one of the most interesting BMW cars since it combines the practicality of a compact saloon with the design and stately class of the coupé designs of the segments superior. It is the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, a car that has also been switched to front-wheel drive and that is long dressed in a much more current, modern design and in line with other reference products in the German brand.
At BMW, they do not cut themselves when stating that their commitment to the Gran Coupé-style bodies, that is, bodies with coupé lines but with four doors, have been a complete success. In total, they have exceeded 400,000 units of this style sold worldwide. First came the 6 Series Gran Coupe and then get progressively Series 4, Series 8 and in the future, the BMW i4 Concept also delves into these lines.
That is why from Germany they have not wanted to miss the opportunity to get more out of the platform of the new BMW 1 Series and attack with a saloon with distinguished and dynamic airs. There is no doubt that Series 1 is a more distinguished car and therefore also this Series 2 Gran Coupe, but behind with that third volume it really suits him.
On the front stand out the large headlights with LED technology and a flattened frame that continue with a large front grille whose kidneys touch each other. A grill that, by the way, is active to improve aerodynamics or cooling, depending on your needs.
Outstanding on all series engines are the exterior lines enhanced by sporty bumpers, with many ribs, highly visible (real) exhaust outlets and rims that can go up to 19 inches in diameter on the M235i xDrive (standard are 16 inches in the 218i version).
Moving on to the cabin, we find the well-known vee design of the dashboard. With respect to the outgoing generation, this 2 Series Gran Coupe represents a qualitative step forward with better overall finishes, good assemblies and padded materials on virtually all surfaces.
The control panel is a 100% digital module like that of its older brothers but with a slightly reduced size (10.25″), otherwise it is identical in terms of graphics and operation. The presided infotainment system is also very similar for a 10.25″ screen.
Its operation, fluidity and configuration is identical to the rest of the models located above, also preserving the physical iDrive Controller whose handling we believe is the best on the market (we avoid having to touch the screen). Yes, we would improve the position of the screen, as it is almost perpendicular to the gear and oriented very upwards, generating some unwanted reflections. We also have plenty of piano black inserts especially in the center console. A fashion that we thought we were emerging from.
In the technological section it should also be noted that in addition to compatibility with Apple CarPlay, the Series 2 Gran Coupe is also now compatible with Android Auto, although it is not yet available. It also has BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant intelligent voice recognition, OTA updates and the possibility of opening by card or smartphone.
As expected, the back is at the residential level where we find more advantages. The doors are reasonably sized and open (in theory) more than in a Series 1, allowing relatively easy access to the rear area. The back arrow shape that has been given to the door is a little uncomfortable when accessing the interior.
The rear seat can accommodate two adults in reasonable comfort, and three can also travel, albeit a little tight. The seats are ‘sunken’ to allow sufficient headroom, although from 170 cm in height the feel is not exactly spacious due to the descending roofline.
In the boot, the tactics of BMW have been clear, wanting to position the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe just between the Series 1 and 3 Series. It has a capacity of 430 liters, 50 liters more than the Series 1 and 50 less than the Series. 3. Just the same thing that happens with the total length of 4,530 mm: 20 cm more than a Series 1 and 20 cm less than a Series 3.
Of the four engines that will equip (for now) the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe we have been able to test the three that are currently available: 218i, 220d and M235i xDrive. Later there will be another diesel access engine, the 216d 116 HP, but has not yet been staged. All the mechanics have environmental mark C of the General Directorate of Traffic.
We start from less to more, getting on a unit of the 218i. A three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine with 1,499 cubic centimeters 140 hp and 220 Nm of torque. Reasonable figures for a relatively light car (1,425 kg with this engine); it manages to move smoothly and sufficiently if we look for the upper area of the rev counter, and the only engine that can equip the standard manual transmission or opt for the eight-ratio Steptronic automatic.
In the unit that we could take, precisely it was the second, the automatic gearbox, and left us with a bittersweet taste. Yes, it is smooth and comfortable, but the shortage of torque and slow reactions of the transmission left us wanting to get hold of the manual gearbox to see how far the access motor to the 2 Series Gran Coupé range can really go.
Second, we got on a 220d unit, the only diesel available at the moment, and equipped with the same gearbox, the sensations are totally different. The extra power and torque (190 hp and 400 Nm ) from its 2.0-biturbo suit a car that is otherwise virtually identical, including the gearbox.
There is more reservation available at all times and the perception is that of being a much more dynamic car. So we started to apply ourselves a little more in the curves and we found notable differences.
Sharing the platform with the BMW 1 Series implies, forcibly, abandoning rear-wheel drive and moving to the front. A movement that can tear the garments to the most purist but that from the brand affirm that this way they achieve a lighter set and a lighter steering feel, in addition to increasing safety with a new ARB traction control implanted in the front axle that minimizes understeer.
Yes, it is true that the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe feels like an agile car, and it is also true that from Germany they have worked to avoid understeer so as not to lose character, but it does show that its handling is somewhat less sparkling. Above all, we are referring to a directional touch that has changed by force, with a forward character and a certain sense of buoyancy looking for failure in tight corners. The standard suspensions pulling comfortable don’t help either.
Shortly after it was the turn of the flagship of the range, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe M235i xDrive that is postulated as a separate race within its lineage. This model has a specific undercarriage, sports suspensions, stabilizer bars and the well-known BMW integral transmission.
With the M235i, things change and the steering feels more precise and playful, the car stays in a much more consistent way and its character is infinitely more fun and profitable. A set that allows you to extract all the juice from a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine that raises the bar to 306 hp and 450 Nm of torque .
The response is overwhelming and the elasticity of the engine allows us to play between curves without changing speed, although the stretch seemed a bit terse because after 6,250 revolutions when it delivers its maximum power, it remains a little empty.
There are also notable differences in engine sound, and BMW wanted to give the M235i an extra spice. Its sound is the most thug of all, although in Sport mode it can be a bit tricky, with too much exhaust noise. In any case, it seemed to us an interesting set with a good compromise between dynamism and comfort both in finishes and in touch and sensations.
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