What is it?
The 2 Series Gran Coupé follows on from the X1, X2 and 1 Series hatchback, sitting on the same FAAR natively front-wheel drive platform and powered by a range of transversely mounted four-cylinder engines, with the 220d set to be the sole diesel offering at launch.
The car was inspired by the coupé, four doors and more leg room than the 2 Series coupé, which stays on a rear-wheel drive platform.
The 220d’s engine is a transverse version of the twin-turbo engine that we’ve already seen in the 320d and 520d, making 187bhp and 295lb ft of torque. Here, it’s able to manage 0-62mph in 7.6sec via an eight-speed automatic – the diesel’s only gearbox option.
What’s it like?
When traveling on the road, the diesel engine is a bit more economical and the car is quite quiet. Engine provides strong thrust when accelerating strongly. The gearbox automatically shifts cleverly to keep the engine in its midrange. Taking manual control through the steering wheel paddles confirms that there is no point in taking the engine beyond the 4000rpm where it delivers peak power, although it will pull cleanly to the limiter.
On stiffer surfaces, the Gran Coupé obtains a vertical amount of movement with the chassis essentially soft. Cruising refinement is good, with the cabin staying well insulated at what would be a rapid motorway cruise and little wind noise despite frameless doors.
The wheels are tested on wet surfaces. While BMW is rightly proud of the 2 Series’ battery of understeer-fighting systems, including quick-acting traction control derived from the system fitted to the i3, these can only do so much. Should accelerate sharply at lower speeds with control wheels fighting with traction. BMW’ss rear-drivers would doubtless have struggled for grip in the same conditions, but the fight would have been a more amusing one.
The on-the-limit handling of a diesel 2 Series Gran Coupé will be a peripheral concern. This compact salon still has a lot more interesting things. The cabin of the car is still reasonably designed. Arrange seating space suitable for the size of the vehicle. Although there are some uncomfortable places in the driving position. The equipment is quite fully installed and suitable for the price of this car.
Should I buy one?
The 220d creates a hard shell for itself, thanks to what remains one of the best four-cylinder diesel engines on the market. This is a car able to deliver both a 0-62mph time under eight seconds and gentle use fuel economy in the high-50s; that remains an impressive combination of talents.
- Price £33,855 On sale March
- Engine 4 cyls, 1995cc, diesel
- Power 187bhp at 4000rpm
- Torque 295lb ft at 1750-2500rpm
- Gearbox 8-spd automatic
- Kerb weight 1505kg
- Top speed 146mph 0-62mph 7.5sec
- Fuel economy 53.3-57.6mpg
- CO2 110g/km