Car Reviews

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Saloon Review

Our first drive in the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

BMW extends its four-door Gran Coupe formula to the 2 Series family for the first time, with somewhat mixed results.


What's this?

A four-door BMW 2 Series, which makes it the most practical ‘true’ 2 Series yet. We say ‘true’ because, in the previous generation, BMW made the 2 Series Active (five-seat) and Gran Tourer (seven-seat) MPVs, which were less like their 2 Series Coupe and Convertible siblings as they were based on front-wheel-drive architecture – more specifically, the 2 Series MPVs were built on a MINI platform, whereas the 2 Series Coupe and Convertible were rear-wheel drive like other BMW models. However, for this generation of 1 Series and 2 Series cars, all models are now on the current MINI platform and are therefore front-wheel drive (unless they are xDrive all-wheel-drive models), so not only is this the first four-door 2 Series, it’s also the first non-MPV 2 Series that is led by the nose.

BMW 2 Series Ireland

How is it to drive?

It’s comfortable and capable, but it never lets you forget that it’s now front-wheel drive. Around town and on motorways, you’ll never expose the shortcomings of the Gran Coupe’s chassis and so it will satisfy on its primary goals – it is comfortable, quiet, refined and, in the case of the 220d, decently punchy, thanks to its 2.0-litre diesel engine generating substantial outputs of 190hp and 400Nm. The 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds more than tells a story of how robust the power delivery is, while the eight-speed automatic gearbox is an utter gem.

But if you’ve bought into a BMW specifically because you’ve heard they’re the ‘Ultimate Driving Machines’, the 220d Gran Coupe is going to leave you disappointed. In truth, for all its supposedly rakish bodywork and prestige badge, the 220d drives just like a run-of-the-mill diesel hatchback.

BMW 2 Series GC IrelandWhen is it coming to Ireland?

The BMW 220d Gran Coupe M Sport is on sale now, with a starting price of €44,260. For that, buyers will enjoy 18-inch alloys, full leather upholstery with heated front sports seats, climate control, DAB, BMW’s Operating System 7.0 infotainment, Park Distance Control sensors front and rear, cruise control with a brake function, the firmer and lower M Sport suspension, a multifunction leather M steering wheel and an extended interior light package, among more. BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe models begin at €34,170, however, for a three-cylinder petrol 218i.

Any juicy technology?

The aforementioned Operating System 7.0 provides a digital instrument cluster in front of the driver and the usual exceptional central information display, controlled by various means – such as the iDrive rotary knob, touchscreen, voice control or even gesture control. So while the 2 Series is the most junior of the Gran Coupe line-up (with 4 Series and 8 Series models above it in the portfolio), it certainly doesn’t skimp on the cutting-edge technology. Also, while it is not exactly high-tech, each of the four doors into the cabin has frameless windows when opened, to reinforce the idea that you’re in a coupe, rather than a small saloon.

BMW 2 Series Interior rating: 3/5

While perfectly smooth and proficient, the BMW 220d Gran Coupe doesn’t exactly wow with its driving manners. Nor do its… ‘challenging’ looks. There are also more practical models in the BMW canon at this sort of price level, such as the X2 crossover, which make the 220d Gran Coupe look like an unnecessary oddity from the product planners in Munich.