BMW’s Gran Coupe models have been great additions to the German firm’s line-up – offering additional practicality to its sleek two-door coupes.
Currently there are sleek four-door versions of the 4, 6 and 8 Series, but now there is a new version – the 2 Series Gran Coupe. Based on the compact 1 Series and debuting before any of the other 2 Series derivatives, this new car is a niche-filler appealing to those wanting a practical four-seater, but don’t want the more common or more expensive 3 Series.
There are a number of tweaks that have been made to the model over the 1 Series – largely to do with weight distribution that comes from the longer rear overhang, as well as the new pillarless doors, which are a classy touch.
But is there a need for the 2 Series Gran Coupe, and is it worth choosing over other BMWs in the range?
Three engines are available from launch with the new model – including two petrols and one diesel.
The petrol variants very much sit at opposite ends of the spectrum, with buyers able to choose between a 218i and an M235i, which feature 138bhp 1.5-litre and 302bhp units respectively.
But powering our test car is the sole diesel option – the 220d. Unlike the 1 Series, buyers of this 2 Series Gran Coupe only have this pricier and punchier unit to choose from, which features a 2.0-litre petrol unit producing 187bhp and 400Nm of torque. In terms of performance, it allows the model to accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 146bhp.
It also scores on the efficiency front, with BMW claiming that it would return up to 67.3mpg, along with low CO2 emissions of just 110g/km. It’s a great choice for those travelling longer distances thanks to its mix of performance and efficiency, though the engine could be more refined as it can feel a bit gruff under acceleration.
Ride and handling
If you value driving enjoyment, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is a great choice. Even in this non-sporty configuration, the model’s sharp and direct steering and limited body roll make it surprisingly good fun down a B-road, though our test car was equipped with the optional M steering package. The refinement could be improved, though, with plenty of road noise transmitted into the cabin, while the ride isn’t the most comfortable around – though it is better than the regular two-door 2 Series.
Interior and equipment
The addition of a pair of rear doors works wonders for this model’s practicality – adding an extra 33mm of rear knee-room, which is certainly noticeable, and at least means adults can sit comfortably. Though the sloping roofline may leave taller adults brushing their hair on the headliner.
The cabin also features BMW’s latest media operating system, which includes gesture controls and a superb voice recognition service. The touchscreen itself is also super sharp and easy to use, and can be controlled by a rotary dial, as well as by touch.
Three trims are available – Sport, M Sport and the M235i.
Standard kit includes 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, LED headlights and front and rear parking sensors to name but a few features. M Sport then adds a sportier bodykit, heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery and a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen.
The sporty M235i then brings the larger engine, performance tweaks and revised styling to add to the appeal.
Prices for the M235i start from an attractive £25,815, which means it slots neatly into the range between the 1 Series and 2 Series.
There’s quite a distinct difference in price between the models, though, with the 220d available from £31,355 and the M235i from £37,255. Each offers decent value when you consider the levels of kit and performance, though just be careful of choosing too many options as the price can quickly get out of hand.
While many might say this is a new car that BMW didn’t really need to add to its range, the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers plenty of appeal. Its looks might be controversial, but what can’t be queried are the levels of technology and the great driving experience. The small proportions also make it ideal for small families.
This 220d diesel engine tested here isn’t the pick of the range, though, and you could be better served by the affordable 218i or sporty M235i.