The most affordable BMW in India
Photos: Karthik A Nair
The first ever BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is in India and we have got our hands on it. In many ways, the 2 Series is special. It is the first BMW sedan in our country to come with a front wheel drive layout, and will serve as the most affordable BMW. The 2 Series is more likely to bump up volumes for BMW India.
I was very sceptical about the car when I knew that it will be a front wheel drive car. BMW cars are loved worldwide for the sporty driving performance, for which the rear wheel drive layout is a primary reason. Coming to the 2 Series, BMW has made it a front wheel drive car which helps reduce the cost so as to make it super affordable, which will in turn result in good sales.
The 2 Series will be available only in a diesel variant in two trims – Sport Line & M Sport.
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Design
The 2 Series is a compact car, if you compare it with the 3 Series. It isn’t short on appeal either. With a length of 4526mm, it is a long car. The wheelbase is 2670mm and the 2 Series is quite a wide car at 1800mm and comes with a large boot space of 430 litres. However with a coupe silhouette, the height of the car is just 1420mm, which means you sit pretty low and of course, ingress isn’t that easy. Once you are inside, you have generous space for 4 adults and the only downside is the amount of rear headroom on offer.
Coming to the design elements, the 2 Series looks like a proper hot BMW sedan. We were driving the M Sport variant which comes with 18 inch, striking looking alloy wheels while the Sport Line comes with 17 inch alloys. At the front, the 2 Series gets quite a dominating and aggressive kidney grille and a neat looking headlight unit which is all LED. The lines on the hood make it look dynamic and you get a sloping roofline that ends with a fastback like rear end. The 2 Series gets a chunky rear end with L-shaped LED taillights. The rear design of the car makes it look like a bigger model rather than a compact sedan. Because of the lower ground clearance, we will have to ensure we don’t scratch the underbelly when driving around our typical Indian roads. However, we didn’t have any problem with the ground clearance while driving around.
The best thing about the 2 Series Gran Coupe is the frameless side doors! It gives the car a sportier stance and there is a BMW logo projector right below the side mirrors. At night it just makes you feel so special! From the the way it looks, nobody will ever think that this car is designed keeping cost cutting in mind. It looks damn sexy from all angles and with those frameless windows, oh boy!
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Interiors
Step inside the 2 Series and you are greeted with a typical BMW cabin. The quality of materials is excellent as usual and there is that chunky steering wheel which feels so nice to hold and comes with paddle shifters as well. Right behind the steering, you notice a full sized digital instrument cluster which shows all the information. It feels even more special with illuminated interiors and ambient lighting on the door pads. The cabin feels a bit narrower but the seats give you that cocooned feel. The driving position is spot on and since the car sits low, it makes you feel like you’re seated in a sports car.
The iDrive touch screen looks nice and is super easy to use. It gets gesture control option as well. However, I felt that the gear lever should have been a bit bigger since it feels very small to hold. The 2 Series comes with a wireless charging pad and c to c type charging ports under the hand rest and at the rear.
At the rear, you get adequate leg room and as expected, lesser headroom. However, average sized adults will be comfortable. The rear seat best fits two and it is 40:20:40 split which is quite useful. The large panoramic sunroof helps to add more airiness to the cabin.
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Drive Experience
The 2 Series is a front wheel drive car with the same inline 4 cylinder diesel from the 3 Series. The engine pumps out 190 horses with a whopping 400Nm of torque. Well, the power and torque figures make the 2 Series a proper hot, sporty sedan. The engine is mated to the smooth 8-speed steptronic sport transmission which comes with launch control and 3 drive modes – Eco, Comfort & Sport.
There is a lot of difference in the way the car moves forward when you floor the throttle. There is good amount of grip on offer as well. Oh, but you can’t slide the rear at every U-turn. The 2 Series moves forward seamlessly and you can enjoy a pretty smooth drive experience. Switch it to Sport mode and the car can sprint from 0-100kmph in just 7.5 seconds with a claimed top speed of 235kmph.
What feels typically BMW, is the steering feedback. It drives like a proper BMW and what feels new is the way it takes you forward. The car feels very planted to the road and gives you great confidence while driving. It is a great car to drive on highways and is super efficient as well, with a claimed efficiency of over 18kmpl.
The suspension setup is super smooth and isn’t as stiff as I expected. The ride quality is pretty nice and the springs absorb road undulations without tossing the passengers. Overall, with the 2 Series, BMW has managed their best to bring up sporty driving dynamics even though it is a front wheel drive car. The punchy engine with 190hp, moves forward seamlessly and the 400nm of torque helps to deliver good thrust. Drive the 2 and it feels super smooth. It is never out of power. Even in Eco Pro, just floor the throttle and it builds up speed with amazing pace.
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Features
- Cruise Control with braking function
- Parking Assistant with innovative Reversing Assistant
- 6 airbags
- Attentiveness Assistance
- ABS with Brake Assist
- ARB Technology (Actuator Contigous Wheel Slip Limitation System)
- DSC (Dynamic Stability Control)
- DTC (Dynamic Traction Control)
- EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control)
- (CBC Cornering Brake Control)
It sure isn’t as dynamically sorted or as fun as a rear wheel drive car like the 3 Series, but this car drives bloody impressively. It is super smooth, offers agile handling and is a great mile-muncher. The steering feedback is the best and I think the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will be the best driving car in its class!
If you can’t stretch your budget up to 3 Series, then the 2 Series will make a lot of sense. It should be priced between 28-35 lakh and if priced well, you’ll be seeing a whole lot of them around.
Engine: In-line 4 Cylinder TwinPower Turbo CRDi Diesel
Max Power: 190hp@4000RPM
Max Torque: 400Nm@1750-2500RPM
0-100kmph: 7.5 Seconds
Top Speed: 235kmph
Boot Space: 430L
Driving stability systems
Standard: DSC incl. ABS, ASC and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), ARB (nearactuator wheel slip limitation) technology, DBC (Dynamic Brake Control), Dry Braking function, fading compensation, Start-Off Assistant, EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control), Performance Control, trailer stability control
Optional: M Sport suspension, Adaptive suspension
Standard: airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags front and rear, three-point inertia-reel seatbelts on all seats with belt tensioner and belt force limiter at the front, crash sensors, tyre defect indicator