A more practical, four-door version of the 2-series sounds quite appealing, doesn’t it? A compact, rear-wheel drive car to fill the gap left by the bigger-than-ever-3-series could be a breath of fresh air in what’s becoming an SUV-dominated line-up.
But before you get excited, although BMW has made something similar to this, the 2-series Gran Coupe is - under the skin - a closer relative of the 1-series hatchback rather than the 2er coupe.
As anticipated, the 2-series Gran Coupe - first teased earlier this year - sits on the same ‘UKL’ platform as the 1-series. That means it’s predominantly front-wheel drive.
But as with the 1er, that means more space inside for people and people accessories. And should the thought of a front-wheel drive BMW make you shudder, it’s worth pointing out some GCs will have the rear wheels powered as well as the fronts.
The GC is about the same width as the current 1-series and the wheelbase is identical, but it’s around 200mm longer and a smidge lower. At the back, the saloon-style boot opening reveals 430 litres of space - plenty for whatever the average Gran Coupe owner wants to carry. Probably something golf-related.
From launch, the car will be available with three engines. The two petrols - the 218i and M235i - are shared with the 1-series. The base 218i uses a 1.5-litre inline-three turbo producing 138bhp, making the 0-62mph sprint possible in a respectable 8.7 seconds. Then there’s a huge performance gap to the all-wheel drive M235i, which kicks out 306bhp from a turbocharged inline-four and hits 62mph in 4.9 seconds, a tenth slower than the M135i.
The halfway house is the 220d, which uses a diesel engine pinched from the existing 2-series range. Go for the oil-burner, and you’ll have 187bhp and 295lb ft of torque available, making for a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds.
The cabin gives off a sense of deja vu strong enough to give Morpheus a nose bleed, as it’s lifted straight from the 1-series. Should you go for either the M235i or an M Sport trimmed version of one of the other two, you’ll get BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional 10.25-inch digital instrument binnacle, paired with an infotainment screen of the same size.
The 2-series Gran Coupe available now, with prices in the UK starting at £25,815, rising to £37,255 for the M235i. This, or a Mercedes CLA?