2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupe evaluate: A controversial however partaking gateway sedan

2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupe evaluate: A controversial however partaking gateway sedan

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

Jon Wong/Roadshow

There’s fairly a hubbub amongst Bimmer followers surrounding the 2020 BMW 2 Collection Gran Coupe. No, it is not about whether or not the brand new gateway mannequin is a coupe or sedan — it is clearly the latter. As a substitute, it is inflicting some of us to choke on their schnitzel attributable to its front-wheel-drive structure. Whereas the X1 and X2 compact SUVs appear to get passes for using front-drive foundations, a BMW sedan that is not rear-wheel-drive-based crosses the road in lots of fanatics’ minds. 


  • Potent base engine
  • Keen handler
  • Spacious trunk

Do not Like

  • Stiffer journey high quality
  • Disappointing engine observe
  • Can get expensive quick

I am not about to go down a foxhole debating whether or not this newest mannequin waters down the legacy constructed by the various generations of BMW sport sedans that got here earlier than it. I am going to depart that to the message boards and the feedback part, however I do marvel if all of the bellyaching is warranted, for the reason that 2 Collection Gran Coupe is barely obtainable with all-wheel drive within the US. If persons are keen to present the two Collection Gran coupe a good shake, they might come away pleasantly shocked by its respectable dose of styling, utility and fun-to-drive character, even in base 228i type. 

Delicate BMW fashion

Visually, the 2 Collection flaunts respectable proportions, it is simply not as hunkered down as its bigger Four Collection and eight Collection Gran Coupe brethren. An optionally available M Sport package deal sprinkles in a extra aggressive entrance bumper, contrasting black trim, aspect sills, rear spoiler, rear diffuser and 18-inch, double-spoke M wheels that add a contact extra visible aggression.

The 2GC would not make an enormous fashion assertion. It is delicate however sporty, sporting the German agency’s trademark kidney grille, uncluttered sheetmetal and a clear rear fascia. These in the hunt for extra panache will in all probability just like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class or swoopy CLA-Class, or the just lately revealed 2021 Audi A3’s sleeker and extra refined look. Based mostly solely on outer appearances, the two Collection is available in behind each the brand new Audi and Benz in my e-book.

Slide contained in the smallest Gran Coupe and it is unmistakably a BMW. The structure and switchgear are acquainted, mirroring different present Bimmer fashions. Most impressively there aren’t any clear indications of price chopping within the supplies division, which is spectacular for a sedan that begins at a manageable $37,500. Main swaths of the sprint and door panels are tender to the contact, the armrests are padded and stitched, and the entrance seats supply beneficiant help protecting riders cozy for lengthy hauls.

Again-seat area can also be serviceable with sufficient leg- and shoulder-room for a few adults to get pleasure from — after they duck their heads to get in. Rolling with three children throughout the rear might be OK, however a trio of adults might be uncomfortable. For shifting nonhuman cargo, the 228i’s bought 15.1 cubic ft of area in its trunk, handily outgunning the present A3’s 10 cubic ft and CLA’s 11.6 cubic ft. 

Materials high quality is spectacular within the entry-level BMW sedan.

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Heaps of tech

In terms of expertise, there is not any scarcity inside the 228i Gran Coupe. For infotainment, my tester rocks BMW’s iDrive 7 system with a 10.25-inch heart touchscreen, 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster and heart console controller surrounded by shortcut buttons. Display imagery is crisp and iDrive’s menu construction is simple work by means of to regulate navigation, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite tv for pc radio and Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay capabilities are additionally packaged in, however Android Auto stays a missing-in-action function — for now, at the least.

Charging ports additionally aren’t a difficulty within the 2 Collection, with a pair of USB shops inside arm’s size for entrance and rear passengers. A wi-fi charging pad is an optionally available tech function, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot, 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound setup and gesture controls, for anybody who likes to twirl their fingers to regulate quantity or wave their hand to just accept and reject calls.

Customary security expertise on the 228i contains the Lively Drive Assistant group of options together with forward-collision warning with computerized braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep help, blind-spot monitoring, pace restrict info, auto high-beams, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert. An obtainable head-up show can also be outfitted on my take a look at automotive, however adaptive cruise management is lacking. If you would like the sensible cruise tech, it may be lumped in for $1,200. 

BMW’s iDrive 7 system includes a crisp 10.25-inch heart touchscreen within the 228i Gran Coupe.

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Worthy performer

As a lot as I wish to be wheeling round within the hotter M235i Gran Coupe, with 301 horsepower on faucet, the 228i’s not-as-muscular 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 nonetheless provides loads of punch. This base engine churns out 228 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, neither of which disappoints. BMW claims a plausible 0-to-60-mph time of 6 seconds and the forced-induced mill has peak torque on supply between 1,450 and 4,500 rpm. The 228i is not any slouch off the road and excitedly pulls all through the rev vary. It is only a disgrace BMW hasn’t been capable of make its turbo-four engines sound higher — they’re all the time flat and uninspiring.

An eight-speed computerized transmission routes energy to all 4 wheels. Shifts are well-timed and accomplished in close to instantaneous vogue, however they are not fairly as speedy because the ZF-sourced ‘field BMW makes use of in its rear-drive vehicles, which might be the very best computerized gearbox on the market. The drivetrain pairing returns an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon metropolis and 33 mpg freeway. Throughout every week of blended driving, I noticed 27 mpg matching the EPA mixed score.

A 2.0-liter turbo with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque may be very sufficient grunt.

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Attacking corners within the Gran Coupe reveals spectacular dynamic capabilities, aided by the M Sport package deal’s stiffer springs, adaptive dampers, entrance anti-roll bar and barely decrease journey top. Crank the frivolously weighted steering wheel in any course and the entrance wheels obey instantly. In Sport mode, the dampers hold the automotive practically flat by means of turns, with numerous grip from the 18-inch Bridgestone Turanza LS100 tires and robust brakes confidently bleed off pace. 

Will it understeer? After all, however the M Sport chassis together with slick proactive traction management tuning helps the 228i really feel extra athletic than a comparable A3 or CLA

The Gran Coupe’s M Sport dealing with upgrades, nevertheless, do include a journey high quality penalty. Small bumps and ruts nonetheless get smoothed out, however bigger highway imperfections are felt within the cabin. That is to not say that the journey is jarring, as a result of it is not. It is simply noticeably agency, and could be stiffer than some of us might be keen to stay with only for some barely higher reflexes. 

The M Sport package deal’s 18-inch wheels and tires present adequate grip for enthusiastic driving.

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How I would spec it

The 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe pictured right here is generously outfitted with large ticket objects such because the M Sport package deal ($4,000) and premium package deal ($3,050). Plus there’s the upgraded paint job ($1,200) and snazzy Mocha leather-based inside ($1,450) pushing the bottom-line quantity to $48,195 together with $995 for vacation spot. 

My perfect Gran Coupe would not differ an excessive amount of from the take a look at automotive. Signal me up for the sharper dealing with and appears that include the M Sport package deal as a result of I am going to stay with the journey high quality compromise. I am going to additionally take the premium package deal for its tech upgrades reminiscent of iDrive 7 and digital gauge cluster, heated seats and steering wheel, in addition to the Storm Bay Metallic paint. All in, my 228i punches in at $46,745. Not low cost, however very properly outfitted.

The  Storm Bay Metallic paint is definitely worth the $1,200 upcharge.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Aggressive section

In terms of gateway German luxurious sedans, the $37,500 228i xDrive Gran Coupe is priced competitively. We do not know actual pricing on the new Audi A3 but, however a 2020 S-Line mannequin with all-wheel-drive begins at $36,500, and it will not be a shock if the brand new one is available in near that. The Mercedes CLA250 4Matic begins at $38,650, whereas its extra conventionally formed A220 counterpart is available in at $32,800.

I’ve already mentioned that if it was a magnificence contest, my cash would go to Audi or Mercedes. However for individuals who put a premium on dealing with and driving engagement, the 2 Collection Gran Coupe sits on the high of the heap and is value a tough look. Except you are one of many BMW purists. In that case, give up whining and get a Three Collection.

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