2020 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the 2020 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe.
Car Tested: 2020 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe 220d M-Sport; Road Test No. 1247; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 47.92 – 50.46 lakhs
Stunning design, high quality and feature-loaded cabin along with a punchy diesel engine make the 2-Series a good sporty sedan
The 3-Series and X1 have been BMW’s entry-level offerings in India for a long time now. Yes, the 1-Series was brought in a few years back but not many people bought it and it was soon discontinued. Now, the 3 and X1 used to be priced much lesser half a decade back but prices of every car have gone up. BMW’s India portfolio lacked a proper entry-level offering and after a long hiatus, they’ve taken care of it by launching the 2-Series Gran Coupe. We sure expected the prices of the 2-Series to be lower than what it is priced at and this being a front-wheel-drive sedan kind of fades away from BMW’s RWD DNA. So, how good is the 2-Series Gran Coupe and what kind of proposition does it offer at this price?
MotorQuest: BMW has never had a proper entry-level sedan in their India portfolio and while we feel that the automaker could’ve brought in a product earlier, it’s not late even now because Mercedes is gearing up to launch the A-Class Limousine while Audi is readying the new A3 for an India launch next year. The 2-Series Gran Coupe is offered only with a diesel engine in India right now but we reckon BMW will launch a petrol variant sooner or later. Globally, there’s a 228i trim available that gets a 2.0-litre engine making 228 HP while there’s also the M235i trim making 301 HP.
Exteriors – I must admit I didn’t really like the styling of the BMW 2-Series when I first saw it in pictures because it looked a bit odd from certain angles. The car does look way better in person with a lot of sporty bits but you can’t deny the fact that it is still not the best looking sedan in this bracket. The front looks quirky but what helps matters is this lovely Misano Blue shade which lends the car a nice sporty appeal and it grabs more eyeballs than the actual styling of the car. The 2-Series does look well-proportioned and the Gran Coupe body style gives it some sort of exclusivity with a lot of non-petrolhead people mistaking the 2GC for a proper sports car.
The 2-Series looks striking, well-proportionate and sporty especially in this Misano Blue shade
The rear of the 2-Series Gran Coupe has some sharp elements but it somehow doesn’t feel right in sync with the front-end’s styling. The tail lamps look sleek but are fairly big in size and the squarish rear kinda draws mixed opinions. The 2-Series is available in two trims – Sportline and M-Sport and we have the latter which gets 18-inch wheels while the former gets 17-inch wheels. These things aside, the 2-Series does exude a sense of sportiness and that is further accentuated by the dual exhaust tips which aren’t fake. The car isn’t too big, in fact, it is compact and sporty. All the lights are LEDs and the dual barrel headlamps are quite powerful too.
Interiors – The dashboard of the 2-Series Gran Coupe has some typical BMW elements and because the car isn’t too big, the cabin feels compact and tightly-packed, but that doesn’t mean space is very limited. The quality and fit & finish everywhere in the cabin are of top-notch quality. The dashboard is well laid out and while some of the buttons are a bit small in size, there aren’t any major complaints as such. The front seats get electric adjustment and the driver’s seat also gets a memory function. You can manually extend the under-thigh support too. You sit quite low but outward visibility is pretty nice.
Despite being one of the most affordable BMWs, quality levels and fit & finish are still outstanding
Move to the rear seat and here’s where you’ll feel some space crunch. Leg space is fine but headroom is very limited, especially for tall people even though BMW has carved out the roof liner a bit to generate some additional headroom. Even though the floor hump isn’t very bothersome, the middle passenger won’t be able to sit comfortably due to the shape of the seat. The dual-pane sunroof lends a lot of airy feel to the cabin while the rear windows aren’t too big. The boot capacity is 430-litres while the rear seat also gets 40:20:40 split functionality.
The BMW 2-Series gets a 10.25-inch infotainment system. The display is extremely crisp and navigating through the menus is easy. The sound quality is also very nice and while the infotainment does offer Apple CarPlay, it misses out on Android Auto. The infotainment gets voice commands and can be activated by saying, “Hey BMW”. Meanwhile, you can control the volume and change the tracks using the dedicated knob/buttons, steering-mounted control, voice commands and even gesture controls. Other features include wireless charging, dual-zone climate control, and a reverse camera. The 2-Series also gets ambient lighting which consists of 6 colours and you can even switch this feature off. While we have generally seen manufacturers using plain strips of light, BMW has made use of a nice textured surface for the LED lighting.
Performance – The BMW 220d Gran Coupe is powered by the same B47 diesel engine as the 320d. The 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine churns out 190 PS at 4000 RPM and 400 Nm of twist from 1750-250 RPM. We have always enjoyed spinning this engine and the experience in the 2-Series is no different. Power is sent to the front wheels, which is very unlike BMW, and there’s a fair amount of wheel spin when you take off. The engine is responsive to the T and it ensures you don’t get bored ever. The urge to rip the 220d remains thirsty always and even after you park the car after a long drive, after some time you again get this craving to go for another drive.
Despite being only FWD, the 2-Series still feels fun and exciting to drive and it also spins its wheels when you take off
The engine produces very less vibrations but the diesel clatter is almost always present. The low-end punch is reasonable and the 8-speed automatic gearbox is a charm. The engine and gearbox work their way up nicely and the torque swoosh in the mid-range is full of ardour. The 2-Series faces no difficulty in crossing unmentionable speeds and while it is quick enough off the mark (0-100 km/hr in 7.5 secs), the 320d is fairly quicker (6.8 seconds claimed). Guess we need to drive both of them back to back, use the launch control feature and measure the acceleration timings in actual conditions because while the 220d is smaller and a bit lighter, the 320d is RWD and there’s some difference in the way both the cars’ aerodynamics are set up too.
The 2-Series gets the usual set of driving modes like EcoPro, Comfort and Sport and you can even switch the DSC completely off but doing that in a FWD isn’t half as fun as doing that in a RWD. The beauty of the gearbox lies in the fact that it has a very undemanding nature and shifts gears almost always at the right time and that too very quickly, thus negating the need to use the paddle-shifters. The 220d is very efficient too, just like every German diesel car, and you can easily attain a range of about 750-800 kms on a full tank of diesel if you drive frugally because fuel efficiency figures hover between 12-14 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe has splendid body control and the chassis has been set up brilliantly. It handles really well and offers appreciable confidence to the driver. The well-weighted steering is also brimming with feedback and the car takes corners with aplomb. Body roll is almost negligible and the 2 remains glued to the tarmac even when it is wet. You cannot slide the tail out in this one and there’s not much understeer either. The 2-Series is a great car to drive irrespective of the roads being straight or twisty.
The 2-Series has a sensational ride and handling balance putting a smile on your face every time you turn the wheel
The ride quality is also comfortable for the most part but you need to be really careful over poor roads because this car comes with 40-profile tyres (225/40/18 on M-Sport and 225/45/17 on Sportline). The tyres are of the run-flat kind and grip well even at high speeds, it’s just that you cannot tackle potholes at speed. The suspension has also been tuned nicely, but it is not very silent and the mechanicals can be heard at times. The 2 Gran Coupe has excellent braking power as well. The ground clearance isn’t very high but once you get the hang of the car, you know how to work your way through undulations and it doesn’t scrape anywhere.
Safety And After Sales Service – BMW has been operating in India since well over a decade and the company has a sizable number of dealerships and service stations across the country. Owners have also had good experiences mostly. Talking about safety tech, the 2020 BMW 2-Series gets six airbags, ABS with Brake Assist, attentive assistance, Dynamic Stability Control with Dynamic Traction Control, Electronic Differential Lock Control, Cornering Brake Control, TPMS and ISOFIX child seat mounts. BMW also offers the Secure Advance Package which covers the tyres, alloys, lost key and engine. Along with that, you get the usual BMW Repair Inclusive and BMW Service Inclusive packages and we whole-heartedly recommend opting for the BSI with the highest cover for the 2-Series being 3 years/40,000 kms with BSI Plus.
Verdict – BMW’s new entry-level offering is good to look at, has a rich cabin and drives amazingly well but the automaker has priced it above everyone’s expectations. For this price, the 2-Series Gran Coupe steers clear from being a value offering and if we compare the on-road prices of this with the 3-Series, there’s not much difference and because the 3-Series has some nice offers going on, I personally don’t see any reason to buy a 2 over the 3. Of course, prices of the 3-Series are likely to increase soon and if BMW starts offering some discounts on the 2-Series then the price gap between these siblings would definitely widen by a decent margin. Still, I think the 2-Series Sportline could sell in decent numbers and buyers are likely to be those people looking to enter the luxury car scene and want something that is different from the usual entry-level offerings.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Mercedes A-Class Limousine, BMW 3-Series, Jaguar XE