In BMW-speak, the Gran Coupe model name means four doors with a sporty, coupé-like silhouette. There’s already a 4 Series, 6 Series and 8 Series Gran Coupe; the new 2 Series Gran Coupe is the newest and most compact model to join the clan. Unlike the 2 Series Coupé, which is rear wheel drive, the new 2 Gran Coupe is front drive, being based on the platform of the new BMW 1 Series.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s distinctive kidney grille is larger than the one on the 1 Series and closer in style to its Gran Coupe stablemates. It’s flanked by LED lights that wrap around the corners of the car, while the sleek profile sweeps up to peak above the driver’s head before tapering down to a high, spoiler-adorned tailgate. At the rear, slim rear lights accentuate the low, wide proportions. Overall, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is 183mm shorter and 27mm narrower than the current 3 Series, while the space-efficient front-drive layout yields an extra 33mm of interior knee room compared with the 2 Series Coupe. The tailgate opens to reveal a 430-litre boot with even more space when you fold down the 40/20/40 rear bench.
The 2 Gran Coupe is available with two petrol engines and one diesel. Entry point is the petrol 218i which is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine that develops 140hp, matched to a six-speed manual as standard. It’s a free-revving unit that also delivers excellent fuel efficiency (up to 56.5mpg) but if economy is your aim (and you do the kind of long-distance driving where diesels excel) there’s also a 2.0-litre 220d with auto transmission that develops 190hp and achieves up to 67mpg. Both the 218i and 220d are front drive; performance flagship is the M235i xDrive, a 302bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine that drives all four wheels. 0-62mph takes just 4.9 seconds while top speed is limited to 155mph.
Like the 1 Series on which it’s based, the base model 2 Series Gran Coupe offers traditional analogue dials either side of a 5.1-inch display, while the optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional package adds a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a same-sized central touchscreen as well as gesture control. On models with sat nav and adaptive cruise control, the car can preview the road ahead and adapt its gearchanges accordingly. Wireless phone charging, the ability to use your phone as a key, connected navigation and BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant are among the many additional options.
Standard safety systems include collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, which also alerts the driver to the presence of cyclists and can bring the 2 Series Gran Coupe to a halt autonomously. Also standard is the Lane Departure Warning system with active lane return, which is operational from 44 – 130 mph. The optional Driving Assistant package includes lane-keeping assistance, rear collision warning and cross-traffic monitoring.
Verdict: with four doors, a wide opening tailgate and three-way folding rear seats the 2 Gran Coupe is almost as versatile as the 1 Series it’s based on. And with its lower, sleeker profile, it looks almost as sporty as the two-door 2 Series Coupe. Add to that the acclaimed handling of the new front-drive BMW platform and you have a sleek, compact and highly efficient coupe-saloon that ticks a lot of boxes.