Auto M Sport Gran Coupe
is the first ever BMW 2 Series
Gran Coupe model and the smallest
member of BMWs four-door coupe
which includes the 4 Series
Gran Coupe, 6 Series Gran Turismo
and the range flagship 8 Series
THIS NEWCOMER has much in common with the brand's new 1 Series family
five-door Hatchback, using the same front-wheel drive platform although there
is also an xDrive (four-wheel drive) version. Its main competitor will be the
Mercedes CLA which adopts a coupe design from the three-pointed star A-Class
On the road prices for the 2 Series Gran Coupe start from £25K for the 218i
138bhp petrol manual or £27K for the 8-speed automatic version followed by the
220d 187bhp turbodiesel automatic at £31K and the hotshot M235i xDrive 301bhp
petrol version priced at £37K.
The engine and trim come in Sport and M Sport specification along with the go-faster
M235i xDrive. The Sport model comes with standard features that include 17-inch
alloy wheels, front and rear Park Distance Control, two-zone automatic AirCon,
BMW Connected Package Plus, BMW Live Cockpit Plus and Active Guard Plus with
Lane Departure Warning.
M Sport version adds 18-inch alloys, M Sport Suspension, M Aerodynamic body
styling, M Sport steering, powerfolding mirrors, Digital Cockpit Professional,
BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and BMW Connected Package Professional. Customers
who opt for the M235i xDrive get exclusive Cerium grey 18-inch alloys, M235i
M Sport suspension, rear spoiler, M Performance exhaust system, Limited Slip
Differential on the front axle and an eight-speed sport automatic transmission
featuring launch control.
characteristic of the
2 Series Gran Coupe
is its side silhouette,
enhanced by frameless
side windows on all
the doors. It is an inch
over 4.5-metres long
but its roof is just 1.4
metres from the blacktop.
There is a decent
2,670mm wheelbase and,
usefully, various ways
to configure the 430-litre
courtesy of the
The standout characteristic of the 2 Series Gran Coupe is its side silhouette,
enhanced by frameless side windows on all the doors. It is an inch over 4.5-metres
long but its roof is just 1.4 metres from the blacktop. There is a decent 2,670mm
wheelbase and, usefully, various ways to configure the 430-litre load compartment
courtesy of the 40:20:40-split folding rear seatbacks.
At the nose, slightly angled headlights draw attention to the updated trademark
'kidney' grille. As on BMW coupes from further up the range, the one-piece kidney
grille extends to almost the full width between the headlights. The line-up's
sporting flagship the M235i xDrive M Performance goes one further, adding
a pronounced three-dimensional mesh with a wheel-matching Cerium grey finish
in place of the classical bars.
Due to the Gran Coupe's front-wheel drive architecture with transverse-mounted
engines and a lower centre tunnel there is acceptable cabin space. Rear passengers
gain extra knee room over the 2 Series Coupe, while the seating position is
higher with more headroom when the optional panoramic roof is specified.
The newcomer benefits from an array of driver assistance systems already fitted
to BMWs higher up the range. Standard equipment includes the essential collision
and pedestrian warning with city braking function, Lane Departure Warning with
active lane return, and Cruise Control with braking function.
optional Driving Assistant additionally comprises the Lane Change Warning system
which, at speeds from 12-155mph, prompts the driver to steer back into the correct
lane by means of a visual warning and, if necessary, a steering input. The Driving
Assistant's other functions include the Route-Ahead assistant, rear collision
and cross traffic warning (reduces the risk of a collision when reversing into
roads obstructed from the driver's view), and an Active Cruise Control system
with Stop & Go function.
new 2 Series Gran
Coupe allows drivers to
use a variety of operating
methods, depending on
the situation and personal preferences
via the usual buttons on
the centre console and
The Live Cockpit Plus is
standard even on Sport
models and includes
features such as a Touch
system, two USB ports
for data transfer and a
The 8.8-inch control
display features a
touchscreen, whilst the
instrument cluster in
front of the driver
has a 5.1-inch colour
Gran Coupe offers standard-fit Park Distance Control with sensors at both the
nose and tail while a rearview camera is fitted with the Park Assistant option.
The optional Parking Assistant goes further still by offering automatic assisted
parking in bays that are either parallel or perpendicular to the road, also
taking care of steering the car, accelerating and braking. Being a Coupe, rear
visibility support may be needed and the Reversing Assistant helps the driver
to exit parking spots or manoeuvre when space is limited.
The new 2 Series Gran Coupe allows drivers to use a variety of operating methods,
depending on the situation and personal preferences via the usual buttons on
the centre console and steering wheel. The Live Cockpit Plus is standard even
on Sport models and includes features such as a Touch Controller, navigation
system, two USB ports for data transfer and a WiFi interface. The 8.8-inch control
display features a touchscreen, whilst the instrument cluster in front of the
driver has a 5.1-inch colour display.
Apple CarPlay is standard for one year from build but is then renewable via
the BMW ConnectedDrive portal (one year, three year or lifetime subscriptions
are available). Android Auto connectivity becomes available from July 2020.
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional is standard on M Sport and M235i models. This
includes a customisable fully digital instrument display with a 10.25-inch screen
coupled with a 10.25-inch Central Information Display.
But for many BMW aficionados it is what's under the bonnet that counts. The
entry-level 218i's 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit has reduced CO2 emissions
by 29g/km over the previous engine plus a token 4bhp power hike to 138bhp. Maximum
torque is 162lb ft (an overboost function briefly throws in an extra 7lb ft
in fourth gear or higher). Zero to 62mph takes a crisp 8.7 seconds and top speed
is 134mph. With a manual 'box it will return 45.6-47.1mpg with CO2 emissions
of 114 to 123g/km.
the top of the range the M235i xDrive's new 2.0-litre petrol unit is BMW's most
powerful four-cylinder engine, delivering a maximum output of 301bhp. Peak torque
is 331lb ft which helps it to achieve the benchmark zero to 62mph sprint in
a very keen 4.9 seconds. It tops out at a limited 155mph. Despite the poke,
it's no gas-guzzler, returning 36.2-37.2mpg.
noticeable feature once
on the move is a more
compliant ride than
I experienced recently
with the same-specced
The 218is ride is
without giving up any of
its taut handling and
precise body control,
and it feels ideal as a
also a diesel offering a 2.0 four-cylinder 220d with 187bhp and 295lb
ft of torque. En route to a top speed of 146mph it gets you from zero to 62mph
in 7.5 seconds. And returns 53.3-57.6mpg with a lowish 110g/km of CO2.
Externally 218i looks an elegant cruiser with huge kerb appeal but get behind
the wheel and first impressions are of a driver-focussed cockpit. All the controls
fall readily to hand and the displays are within the driver's field of vision.
Glance behind the Sports-style front seats and you'll see about the same legroom
as you'd find in a 1 Series Hatchback; so it's not plentiful but potentially
suitable for a young family. Only adult six-footers will find the coupe roofline
restrictive for headroom.
The next most noticeable feature once on the move is a more compliant ride than
I experienced recently with the same-specced 118i Hatchback. The 218i's ride
is comfortable, seemingly without giving up any of its taut handling and precise
body control, and it feels ideal as a long-legged cruiser.
Matched with the autobox, the turboed 1.5-litre three-pot proved lively although
the real-life test drive fuel economy proved disappointing at 32.2mpg given
the official figures are 42.2 to 44.8mpg. The new CO2 emission levels are also
worrying: currently they are rated at 114g/km but from April 2020, under the
new and more accurate WLTP system, they go up to 146g/km which increases the
road tax costs.
Overall the new 2 Series Gran Coupe might be a niche model range within the
very extensive BMW model line-up, but for some customers niche will be nice!
~ David Miles
BMW 218i Auto M Sport Gran Coupe
Maximum speed: 134mph | 0-62mph: 8.7 seconds | Test Average: 32.2mpg
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 162lb ft | CO2: 146g/km