By Asian Journal Auto Editor
Drum roll please! Welcome to the newest member of BMW’s 2 Series lineup, the Gran Coupé, a compact 4 door sedan that represents the entry point to the BMW lineup. The Gran Coupé, is the smallest and least expensive sedan from the famed Bavarian auto maker and is features some DNA with the BMW X1 and X2 crossovers, as well as the larger Mini models, all of which share BMWs’ UKL2 platform.
Designed to attract a younger audience, the 228i xDrive Gran Coupé, we tested had some key BMW elements — helped by a vibrant red paint job and gloss black kidney grilles while the optional 19-inch M double spoke wheels filled the wheel arches very nicely. In addition the M Sport equipment treatment fitted to my 228i test car added the optional M aerodynamic aggressive body kit, the aforementioned big 19 inch M wheels and large M Sport brakes. It’s a stubby, aggressive care, in some ways very BMW with a new version of the twin-kidney grille and ringed quad-lamp headlights, but the cool rear light and fascia treatment with its black bar motif are new elements.
The 228i BMW Gran Coupé, is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder version of BMW’s B modular engine delivering 228 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,450 rpm. Power is transferred to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and the xDrive all-wheel drive system. BMW says the Gran Coupé can accelerate from 0t to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 210 km/h or 240 km/h when equipped with higher – performance tires. The BMW 228i Gran Coupé, has a starting MSRP of $42,500. Must have options, however, quickly increase the price – case in point, our tester with its options stickered at $53,395 plus taxes, and destination.
BMW have ensured the interior has not been compromised by price. Despite the Gran Coupés entry level status – the sedans cabin errs more to sporty functionality. Front-seat passengers get plenty of space, and the perforated Dakota leather sport seats provide generous support, and are very comfortable. I just loved the optional super bright 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster Nice to see the slick digital gauge display, touchscreen infotainment system that found on upper level BMW models. The 228i infotainment system offers a bright and crisp 8.8-inch screen, and the ability to operate it via: a rotary knob, the touchscreen itself, or by voice command simply using the words “Hey BMW…” The 7.0 version of the BMWs iDrive system also offers excellent graphics and responsiveness. However for the Luddites amongst us, easy to use buttons remain in place for commonly used features.
Our tester came with a host of options including the $8,750 Premium Excellence package with option too long to list, but included such things as: Sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters, M Sport steering and suspension and M Sport package —active cruise control with stop and go, parking assist, a head-up display, and a Harman/Kardon surround-sound audio system, The M Sport plus package ($1,000) added the19 inch wheels and performance tires, and M sport brakes.
The rear cabin is a little cramped and comfort will depend on just how far back the front driver and occupant decide to push their seat back! The rear trunk features 12 cubic foot of cargo space and can be enlarged by folding down the 40/20/40-split rear seat backrest. The trunk can also be opened via a wave of a foot under the bumper.
On the road, the Gran Coupé 2.0 liter engine provides plenty of power with miniscule to zero turbo lag at the mid- range. The engine revs freely and seems happy all speeds, opening up on the highway and behaving politely at low speeds. Selectable drive modes allow for entertaining driving with the performance Sport mode sharpening up throttle response and adding some heft to the steering wheel for tauter steering responses.
The car is enjoyably tossable with its lively optional M Sport suspension which can reduces ride height by 10 millimetres — aiding in weight transfer in the bends for better control and cornering. The BMW i3 electric car derived actuator wheel slip limitation (ARB) system, also helps in improving traction in cornering by allowing wheel slip to be controlled together with BMW’s Performance Control feature. It can split the drive power in a 50/50 transfer –front and rear when
To sum up. The BMW 228i Coupé, is like all BMWs’- highly desirable – but what sets it apart is the compact size, unique looks, and it’s enjoyable to drive factor. The question is do you stump up for it, or think about the next level BMW 3 series – decisions,
2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupé; priced from: $42,500. Price as tested $53,395