2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupe review: A controversial but engaging gateway sedan

The 228i Gran Coupe is BMW’s new gateway sedan.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

You will find quite a hubbub amongst Bimmer lovers bordering the 2020 BMW 2 Collection Gran Coupe. No, it’s not about whether or not the new gateway design is a coupe or sedan — it’s evidently the latter. As an alternative, it’s causing some individuals to choke on their schnitzel because of to its front-wheel-push architecture. Though the X1 and X2 compact SUVs appear to be to get passes for utilizing front-push foundations, a BMW sedan that is just not rear-wheel-push-centered crosses the line in quite a few enthusiasts’ minds. 

Really don’t Like

  • Stiffer journey top quality
  • Disappointing engine notice
  • Can get expensive rapidly

I am not about to go down a foxhole debating whether or not this latest design waters down the legacy crafted by the quite a few generations of BMW sport sedans that came ahead of it. I’ll go away that to the concept boards and the responses section, but I do surprise if all the bellyaching is warranted, since the 2 Collection Gran Coupe is only accessible with all-wheel push in the US. If men and women are prepared to give the 2 Collection Gran coupe a good shake, they may possibly come absent pleasantly shocked by its respectable dose of styling, utility and enjoyment-to-push character, even in base 228i sort. 

Delicate BMW model

Visually, the 2 Collection flaunts respectable proportions, it’s just not as hunkered down as its larger sized four Collection and 8 Collection Gran Coupe brethren. An optional M Sport offer sprinkles in a much more aggressive front bumper, contrasting black trim, aspect sills, rear spoiler, rear diffuser and eighteen-inch, double-spoke M wheels that insert a touch much more visual aggression.

The 2GC does not make a substantial model statement. It is really subtle but sporty, wearing the German firm’s trademark kidney grille, uncluttered sheetmetal and a clean up rear fascia. People in research of much more panache will in all probability like the Mercedes-Benz A-Course or swoopy CLA-Course, or the lately discovered 2021 Audi A3’s sleeker and much more advanced appear. Centered entirely on outer appearances, the 2 Collection arrives in driving both equally the new Audi and Benz in my e book.

Slide inside of the smallest Gran Coupe and it’s unmistakably a BMW. The layout and switchgear are acquainted, mirroring other latest Bimmer products. Most impressively there are no crystal clear indications of price reducing in the components department, which is impressive for a sedan that starts off at a manageable $37,500. Significant swaths of the dash and doorway panels are tender to the touch, the armrests are padded and stitched, and the front seats offer you generous aid keeping riders cozy for prolonged hauls.

Again-seat house is also serviceable with more than enough leg- and shoulder-place for a pair of grown ups to delight in — just after they duck their heads to get in. Rolling with 3 children across the rear will be Alright, but a trio of grown ups will be not comfortable. For shifting nonhuman cargo, the 228i’s acquired fifteen.one cubic feet of house in its trunk, handily outgunning the latest A3’s 10 cubic feet and CLA’s eleven.six cubic feet. 

Product top quality is impressive in the entry-level BMW sedan.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Heaps of tech

When it arrives to technological innovation, you can find no shortage in just the 228i Gran Coupe. For infotainment, my tester rocks BMW’s iDrive 7 program with a 10.25-inch heart touchscreen, 10.25-inch electronic gauge cluster and heart console controller surrounded by shortcut buttons. Screen imagery is crisp and iDrive’s menu composition is straightforward get the job done by way of to regulate navigation, a 10-speaker audio program, satellite radio and Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay abilities are also packaged in, but Android Car stays a lacking-in-action aspect — for now, at minimum.

Charging ports also usually are not an challenge in the 2 Collection, with a pair of USB outlets in just arm’s duration for front and rear passengers. A wireless charging pad is an optional tech aspect, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot, sixteen-speaker Harman Kardon audio setup and gesture controls, for any person who likes to twirl their fingers to alter quantity or wave their hand to settle for and reject calls.

Standard basic safety technological innovation on the 228i incorporates the Active Generate Assistant team of functions like ahead-collision warning with automated braking, lane-departure warning with lane-maintain guide, blind-spot checking, pace limit info, vehicle significant-beams, parking sensors and rear cross-targeted traffic inform. An accessible head-up show is also geared up on my exam vehicle, but adaptive cruise regulate is lacking. If you want the smart cruise tech, it can be lumped in for $one,200. 

BMW’s iDrive 7 program functions a crisp 10.25-inch heart touchscreen in the 228i Gran Coupe.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Deserving performer

As significantly as I would like to be wheeling around in the hotter M235i Gran Coupe, with 301 horsepower on tap, the 228i’s not-as-muscular 2.-liter turbocharged I4 nonetheless delivers a lot of punch. This base engine churns out 228 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, neither of which disappoints. BMW statements a believable -to-60-mph time of six seconds and the pressured-induced mill has peak torque on offer you amongst one,450 and four,500 rpm. The 228i is no slouch off the line and excitedly pulls throughout the rev assortment. It is really just a shame BMW hasn’t been in a position to make its turbo-four engines audio much better — they are generally flat and uninspiring.

An 8-pace automated transmission routes power to all four wheels. Shifts are very well-timed and concluded in in the vicinity of instantaneous vogue, but they usually are not quite as swift as the ZF-sourced ‘box BMW uses in its rear-push autos, which is in all probability the finest automated gearbox out there. The drivetrain pairing returns an EPA-approximated 23 miles per gallon town and 33 mpg highway. During a week of combined driving, I observed 27 mpg matching the EPA put together rating.

A 2.-liter turbo with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque is extremely ample grunt.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Attacking corners in the Gran Coupe reveals impressive dynamic abilities, aided by the M Sport package’s stiffer springs, adaptive dampers, front anti-roll bar and a little reduce journey height. Crank the evenly weighted steering wheel in any route and the front wheels obey promptly. In Sport mode, the dampers maintain the vehicle almost flat by way of turns, with a lot of grip from the eighteen-inch Bridgestone Turanza LS100 tires and robust brakes confidently bleed off pace. 

Will it understeer? Of course, but the M Sport chassis along with slick proactive traction regulate tuning aids the 228i experience much more athletic than a similar A3 or CLA. 

The Gran Coupe’s M Sport managing upgrades, having said that, do come with a journey top quality penalty. Little bumps and ruts nonetheless get smoothed out, but larger sized street imperfections are felt in the cabin. That is not to say that the journey is jarring, since it is just not. It is really just noticeably firm, and might be stiffer than some individuals will be prepared to are living with just for some a little much better reflexes. 

The M Sport package’s eighteen-inch wheels and tires supply ample grip for enthusiastic driving.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

How I might spec it

The 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe pictured listed here is generously geared up with significant ticket goods this kind of as the M Sport offer ($four,000) and quality offer ($three,050). Moreover you can find the upgraded paint career ($one,200) and snazzy Mocha leather-based interior ($one,450) pushing the base-line quantity to $forty eight,195 like $995 for location. 

My great Gran Coupe would not differ much too significantly from the exam vehicle. Indicator me up for the sharper managing and looks that come with the M Sport offer since I’ll are living with the journey top quality compromise. I’ll also take the quality offer for its tech upgrades this kind of as iDrive 7 and electronic gauge cluster, heated seats and steering wheel, as very well as the Storm Bay Metallic paint. All in, my 228i punches in at $forty six,745. Not affordable, but extremely nicely geared up.

The  Storm Bay Metallic paint is well worth the $one,200 upcharge.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Aggressive segment

When it arrives to gateway German luxurious sedans, the $37,500 228i xDrive Gran Coupe is priced competitively. We don’t know exact pricing on the new Audi A3 nevertheless, but a 2020 S-Line design with all-wheel-push begins at $36,500, and it is not going to be a shock if the new one particular arrives in near to that. The Mercedes CLA250 4Matic starts off at $38,650, when its much more conventionally shaped A220 counterpart arrives in at $32,800.

I’ve currently claimed that if it was a splendor contest, my money would go to Audi or Mercedes. But for men and women who set a quality on managing and driving engagement, the 2 Collection Gran Coupe sits at the best of the heap and is well worth a tough appear. Unless you’re one particular of the BMW purists. In that circumstance, give up whining and get a three Collection.

Maria J. Danford

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