You must certainly remember the early 2000s, when a certain Chris Bangle, then at the head of BMW styling, upset the habits of aficionados of the brand with cars with a design that was divisive to say the least. If, today, some of the models he designed, such as the Z3 and Z4, especially with the appropriate engines, see their prices soar, the designer has not always been able to please fans of the brand. .
Nevertheless, its passage was crowned with many successes like the Series 3, Series 5 and Series 6 of the time. If this period was to say the least agitated for BMW in terms of design, it is also currently the case with, in the crosshairs of observers and customers, the new XXL grilles present on the BMW 7 Series, X7 and other Series 4. Regarding our test model, namely the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, it is not a question of imposing grille but rather of its general design.
A design however praised during the International Automobile Festival where the car won the title of "Most Beautiful Car of the Year" with more than 53% of the vote, thus capping the Peugeot e-208 (26.45% of the votes) and Mazda3 (20.22%) to the posts. Objective criterion when it is well argued by design professionals, our point of view concerning this BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé is undoubtedly purely subjective, but we nevertheless find the 4 Series and 8 Series Gran Coupé more harmonious and more fluid aesthetically speaking.
A four-door coupe sedan, really?
Despite a few aesthetic details such as these frameless door windows or even its delicately inclined roofline which continues towards the stern, it is difficult to see a coupe. For once, the exercise is a little more successful on the Mercedes CLA, even if the designers of the star firm have had more latitude to stretch the lines since the CLA is 4.68 meters long, 15 centimeters longer than our Series 2.
Fruit of the new compact range at BMW, the 2 Series Gran Coupé shares its chassis and its mechanics with the new 1 Series. It stretches 21 centimeters in relation to the latter and peaks at 4.53 meters. Surprisingly, the wheelbase remains the same, so it's the rear overhang that supports the aspect ratio.
Good news for the trunk since it is announced at 430 liters. It is indeed less than the Mercedes CLA which culminates in 460 liters but, as stated above, the latter is 15 centimeters more. By balancing these two values, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé does not fare so badly and displays a more than correct boot volume given its dimensions. In the rear seats, above 1.80 meters the head rubs at the roof and the legroom is not exceptional for a sedan.
An interior always designed for the driver
The dashboard of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé is identical to that of the 1 Series and that's good. From a strictly personal point of view, we tend to prefer the interior of the new compacts from BMW, more driver-oriented, rather than those of Mercedes with this famous double digital panel which monopolizes the field of vision a little too much.
As usual with BMW, the finishes are neat, the choice of materials is consistent and the ergonomics are designed for the driver with well-placed controls and above all a few buttons that are still physical and not hidden behind a multitude of sub-menus within the touch screen. Our test model in "M Sport" finish has some specific features such as this steering wheel with a thick rim that is perfect to handle or even the specific seats and pedals.
Even if the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé does not turn towards the all-out digital outrageous, the fact remains that it has a digital instrumentation screen, standard on our "M Sport" finish. We also find air conditioning controls split from the central touchscreen, it is very appreciable and much more ergonomic. BMW is nevertheless a little stingy on certain options, in particular the induction charging charged in a pack for 460 euros.
BMW DNA preserved?
And this traction chassis that caused a lot of ink to flow with the release of the BMW 1 Series, what does that give? Difficult to blame him for anything since, despite the abandonment of propulsion, BMW engineers have infused the brand's DNA. If keeping the propulsion on sports cars such as the BMW M3 and M4 makes sense, it will be the case for the next generations, the abandonment of this transmission on the compact range does not have anything excessive in the sense where the vast majority of customers of this type of car do not care whether it is front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.
Our test BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé is a 220d version, understand by this that it is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel from 190 horses and 400 Nm of torque. Power is therefore distributed to the front axle via an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddles on the steering wheel (option at 150 euros). In fact, this engine turned out to be relatively economical considering our sometimes sustained driving with an average of 6.7 l / 100 kilometers. The performances are also very correct with a 0 to 100 km / h announced in 7.5 seconds.
The engine is therefore in good health, as is the chassis part. even if the engineers had to resort to some modifications compared to that of a Series 1, including a different distribution of different masses and specific adjustments to the front axle. In general, we find the major part of the characteristics which made the success of BMW, that is to say a fun car to drive and a sporty temperament.
This is indeed the case on this Series 2 Gran Coupé with incisive steering, a multi-link rear axle that rolls up to perfection and a perfectly calibrated DirectDrive controlled suspension (lowering the chassis by 10 millimeters). The SelectDrive adaptive suspension allows you to play on two fronts, the "Comfort" mode, which bears its name rather well, and the "Sport" mode which carries it even better. Once is not customary, by activating these two modes, the differences are noticeable at all levels.
The eight-speed automatic transmission provided by ZF is a model of flexibility and pleasure in general, and knows how to adapt to any type of driving. By stepping up the pace, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé is doing it with honors, and even if the Bavarian firm has not become an expert in traction model for the moment, the front axle is rather well guided and incisive. Be careful, however, to the 400 Nm of torque which tumbles a bit early and which tend to overload the front axle, especially in the stance phase. The xDrive all-wheel drive should undoubtedly correct this phenomenon.
In terms of driving assistance, there is everything for a compact model, even a little more like for example the presence of the "Auto-Reverse" function, very appreciable when you take the wrong route and there is no it is not possible to turn around. The car memorizes the last 50 meters made at less than 36 km / h to be able to reverse on its own. We can also cite other driving assistance systems such as the presence of adaptive cruise control or lane keeping assistance.
At what price ?
Like Mercedes or Audi, BMW wants to occupy every corner of the market to leave as little room as possible for its two main competitors. The 2 Series Gran Coupé therefore has its place alongside the Mercedes CLA. If the latter plays on the comfort card, while improving its dynamic aspect, BMW, however, remains one step ahead in the latter area..
It will take, at a minimum, 40'250 euros for a BMW 220d Gran Coupé like our test model, and even 46,600 euros for our "M Sport" finish, without certain options. In the end, our test model claims 57'305 euros, prices similar to those charged by Mercedes since the CLA 220 d (190 horses also) in finish "AMG Line" claims 47,650 euros without options.
To take the leap between Series 1 and Series 2 Gran Coupé, it will take 1350 euros at an equivalent level of finish. A not so substantial sum to gain space without turning to more expensive models, like a Series 3.
However, we must not be too demanding on the engine side since there is, for the moment, only two gasoline in the catalog, namely a 218i version of 140 horsepower and the M235i xDrive of 306 horsepower. There's a chasm in the middle, and a 190 horsepower alternative certainly wouldn't be too much. It is a little more fleshed out on the diesel side with three versions of 116, 150 and 190 horsepower.
|Good points||Negative points|
|Alliance between dynamism and comfort||Is it really a coupe sedan?|
|Impeccable engine / gearbox approval||Headroom for rear passengers|
|Neat dashboard||Incomplete supply of petrol engines|