The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe landed on a Friday, and we owned it through the weekend. Naturally, the best thing to do was to make a quick trip. Thanks to Chandralok Villas in Lonavala we had it all laid out, and I landed up driving it for 250 km, of which around 100 km was on the spare wheel. Joining me was a friend who owned an X1 for the past four years and was naturally excited to have the 2 series around. Until then, we were not sure of the price, and I quizzed him will you upgrade for this. He also drove it and loved the handling, looks, and the conversation ended on the price, and we jointly concluded that it’s the right car for people who are just married or who want to get married. Hang on, and you will resonate with the previous statement. Let’s start.
BMW’s most affordable sedan in India, the all-new BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe, comes with two design variants, both in diesel engines, BMW 220d Sport Line and BMW 220d M Sport. Sport Line emphasizes the car’s sporty genes, and M Sport bequeaths a powerful character defining itself as an elite sports model. It already radiates a familiar athleticism, thanks to the M Aerodynamics package. And we had the 220d M Sport with us.
A four-door, audacious coupe with an impulsive performance and Rs 39.3 lakh & 41.4 lakh for the M badge sits pleasantly below the 3 Series but has Mercedes CLA to spoil its party. Of course, we are not talking about the entry-level luxury SUVs in the shape of Volvo XC40, Audi Q2 and its own X1 and assuming you are a sedan kind of guy. The engine in the 2 series is transversely mounted, and a front-wheel-drive and this structure help the car to become more affordable and practical, without losing its joy of driving.
Design & Exterior – It’s not the usual BMW
BMW is transferring its successful Gran Coupe concept from the BMW 6 Series and BMW 8 Series ranges into the premium compact sedan class for the first time. The 2 series Gran Coupé seamlessly reprises the elegant, premium aesthetics championed by its larger stablemates. The car comes with a mesh design of the BMW kidney grille frame in high-gloss chrome black that creates a dynamic first impression. This will not be sold in China as the Chinese are overly obsessed with large grills, case in point being MG Motor or Great Wall Motors. Thus, BMW could tweak this for other markets, including India. It accentuates the familiar BMW shark nose to create a highly distinctive profile and has angry-angular LED headlights, which helps the car to achieve that confident face, and it looks quite decent and modern too. It also has determined shields full of scoops and vents.
The all-new design of the rear lights extends well into the centre of the rear end. The combination of the rear lights encircles the centrally located BMW badge that makes a horizontal statement and accentuates the width of the rear. At the back, there are long, slim horizontal LED lights that remind you about 8-series cars.
Moving on to the side profile of the car, you’ll notice they have tried to create a fascinating interplay of light and shade along the various lines.
The standout characteristic is its dynamically stretched silhouette and the frameless doors; both lifted from the classical coupé blueprint. It measures 4,526 millimetres in length and 2,081 millimetres in width (including the mirrors) but stands just 1,420 millimetres tall. Despite its low-slung, sporty appearance, passengers are well catered for space-wise, thanks to the 2,670-millimetre wheelbase. The rear seat though will be tight for six-footers, and with three adults it’s going to be a war. It has a sporty, low, and broad-set stance on the road. The clean design of four frameless doors puts a modern spin on classic coupe style and a low, sloping, fast roofline tapering towards the rear that provides a sporty-classy finishing, but kills the extra headroom. The thigh room and headspace are good for an average person.
The roofline has a graceful flow, the long window graphic visually reduces the weight over the rear end, and further down, the shoulder line extending well back to the rear has an elongating effect on the body. A large panoramic roof is available as standard, featuring an infinitely variable outward opening action and electrically actuated ventilation mode, the panoramic roof has a glass area of some 0.7 square metres.
Interior & Infotainment– Its the Usual BMW, all frills included
On the inside, the interior dimensions are pretty much similar to the one series, firm, and quite charming design. The interior will be instantly familiar to any current model BMW owner with the properly arranged dash, featuring the professional cockpit setup, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. I think this is the best-made interior in this class, and everything looks near to perfect. It combines sporting flair with exquisite materials and use of space designed with both family life and long-distance journeys in mind.
All of the instrumentation and key controls are neatly arranged towards the driver, and the attention to the details in terms of the quality is high. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional including Navigation, intelligent voice control and Apple CarPlay preparation has two classic analogue dials and a 5.1-inch, 4:3 portrait format screen which displays information such as the car’s speed, the status of the driver assistance systems, and navigation instructions.
The driving position feels nice and comfortable, the seats are pretty good, and there’s nothing to complain about them. The driver and front passenger can enjoy sports seats with electrical adjustment. You can also save your favourite driving seat position through the memory function. Just say “Hey BMW”, and it allows drivers to access various vehicle functions and obtain information simply by speaking. Again talking to cars is fast becoming mainstream these days.
The smartphone holder integrated into the centre console allows inductive, Wireless Charging for mobile phones. But if you have a Samsung Note or Smartphones north of 6 inches, it won’t slide into the wireless tray.
The boot space of this car is in a nice square shape, and you can pull out your things easily. It holds 430 litres of gear, and this can be expanded further by folding down the 40/20/40 split rear seat backrest. For instance, there’s additional storage just right below the main boot space. The tailgate opens automatically at the press of a button. Also, you have netted pockets to carry your small rollable objects, and there’s a strong hook to hang your stuff.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé handles with remarkable agility in front-wheel-drive guise. This is the result of the perfectly orchestrated interaction between cutting-edge chassis engineering, innovative technologies, and the integrated components and control systems affecting the car’s driving dynamics.
The Driving Experience Control lets the driver choose between the standard engine and transmission settings of COMFORT mode, the more efficient ECO PRO mode, and the dynamic SPORT mode. ECO PRO mode adjusts the characteristics of the Steptronic transmission and the heating/air conditioning settings to make the drive as fuel-efficient as possible. It reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.
You can deactivate the DSC system if you wish to take over full control of the car’s sporty handling abilities. When the DSC system is switched off, the Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) function uses brake applications to simulate the effect of a mechanical limited-slip differential.
Engine. Got a good Grunt and is peppy
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé features the diesel engine from the BMW EfficientDynamics family. The 2-litre four-cylinder BMW 220d meets the Bharat Standard-VI (BS-VI) emissions standard and generates an output of 190 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 400 Nm from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. Zero to 100 km/h is the claimed acceleration, in just 7.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 235 kmph. The claimed fuel economy of the BMW 220d engine is 18.64 Kmpl.
The engine in the 220d features two-stage turbocharging with a pair of turbochargers of different sizes. This results in an even sharper response and superior efficiency. The turbocharging system comprises a low-pressure stage with variable turbine geometry, and a high-pressure stage integrated fully into the exhaust manifold.
The engine features a diesel particulate filter, NOx adsorption catalyst, and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. Major upgrades to the turbocharger and common-rail direct injection system have brought about a reduction in fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions. It comes with an eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission. Swift automatic gear changes ensure the car is driving in the highest possible gear, even when travelling at low speeds. The driver can also change gear manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Driver Assistance Systems – Best Suited to freak anyone!
BMW 2 Series has a reversing assistant feature; this innovative feature helps the driver to exit parking spots or manoeuvre when space is limited and represents a further step towards automated driving. It’s actually a real-life video game scenario that you can try in open space, and your co-passenger will freak out while you smile with your hands off the steering and legs off the pedals. This feature offers the highly convenient facility of automated reversing in confined spaces or situations; it basically stores the steering movements for any section the car has just driven forward at no more than 36 km/h. The system is then able to reverse the vehicle for distances of up to 50 metres by steering it along the same 21 lines it took when moving forward. The reversing assistant can back the car up at a maximum of 9 km/h. At first, it sounds a little freaky to experiment with it, but it was a lot more fun to witness this feature.
Driving Experience – The Joy of Driving?
It’s a smooth and surprisingly quiet car; In most of the circumstances, the car remains balanced, which helps to come out quickly from the tight corners. It’s nowhere as accurate as a 3 Series to drive but is pretty good in solitude. One of the benefits of having a 2-series GC is, it is built based on the 1-series that helps to boost the practicality. For example, you get an additional 33 mm of legroom in the back also you get 430-litre boot space that is really nice.
The innovations developed under the BMW EfficientDynamics banner form an overall package that delivers greater driving pleasure combined with lower fuel consumption and emissions. The Cruise Control with braking function makes life easier on long-distance journeys by automatically accelerating or slowing the car to maintain the set desired speed. It is not one of the best cars from BMW, but still, it manages to be the best driving car in its class.
At first, the 2 Series will seem like a complicated package but the more you wrap your head around it, this will make complete sense. It’s a practical 4-door, luxury sedan with a decent boot, tech loaded, and has safety features like a crash sensor, is agile on the road with enough grunt in the engine and lives up somewhat to its name of sheer driving pleasure. A price range of Rs 32-35 lakhs would be a deal-breaker, but that’s wishful thinking. If you are looking for a luxury sedan and a badge, buy it.
We don’t like about the 2 Series.
● The Rear windows don’t go down completely [ of course it’s a coupe ] ● The Tyre profile could be higher. Remember I was driving 100 km on a spare tyre because I had hit upon a bump and the tyre developed a cut and is now in the cremation ground.
● The rear-seat legroom and headroom are not the best.
● Did I say the price of the car is on the higher side?