BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Review & Prices
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is a four-door coupe with a fine interior and a great infotainment system. Space in the back is average, though, and it looks a bit awkward
Find out more about the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
Is the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe really a coupe at all? We don’t think so. It’s just a 1 Series with a swoopy roof at the back. Fine if you like that sort of thing – and plenty of people do – but the name is making promises the car can’t quite keep.
BMW isn’t alone in moulding coupe and four-door saloon ideas, as the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 Saloon are also small four-door cars with swoopy roofs. All have hatchback equivalents that are more practical – and cheaper.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has a distinctive large grille and LED headlights at the front, exactly like the 1 Series – so it’s only in profile and at the rear that you can tell it’s a 2 Series. The frameless doors and different roofline are really the biggest changes over the 1 Series here as the rest of the car is really similar.
Take the interior, for example – it’s the same set-up as in the 1 Series, and that’s no bad thing. The materials are soft-touch and build quality is good, plus there’s a fantastic infotainment system included on all models.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe just doesn't look coupe-like enough. The concept car looked cool in BMW's sketches but I'm just a bit disappointed with this car's looks, especially from the side
The front seats in the 2 Series Gran Coupe are spacious and comfortable because there’s loads of adjustment. Yet in the back there’s less headroom than in the 1 Series, as the roofline cuts into the available space. At least legroom is still okay.
The boot is slightly larger on paper than the hatchback’s, but in practice, it’s much less useful because the available space is low and flat. The seats fold down for longer items but nothing bulky will go in without a fight.
Your engine choices are between a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol 218i with 134hp, a 176hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder 220i petrol, or the range topping M235i with a 302hp 2.0 petrol. The 1.5 and 2.0 come with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed auto, while the M235i comes with an eight-speed auto only. The 1.5-litre petrol is the best all-rounder but the 220i is good for long trips. The M235i is fast but not quite exciting enough. BMW has dropped the diesels from much of its line-up, including the 2 Series Gran Coupe, due to reduced demand.
No matter which version you pick, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is comfortable over bumps in the road, and it’s easy enough to drive despite visibility being a bit lacking. On a twisty road it’s fun to drive, with lots of grip and precise steering. It’s smooth on the motorway, too.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe really is all about the looks, because it’s the only reason to choose one over a BMW 1 Series. At least everything else is the same: it’s good to drive, comfortable and has a great interior.
If that sounds like your kind of thing, then see what you can save on our 2 Series Gran Coupe deals page, or browse the latest used 2 Series Gran Coupes from our network of trusted dealers. You can also check out other used BMWs, and when you’ve found your new car, find out how you can sell your current car through carwow.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has a RRP range of £33,150 to £46,940. However, with carwow you can save on average £3,778. Prices start at £29,951 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £295. The price of a used BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe on carwow starts at £16,790.
Our most popular versions of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|218i  M Sport 4dr||£29,951||Compare offers|
The critical thing is that the 2 Series Gran Coupe is cheaper than its most significant rival, the Mercedes CLA four-door coupe. In fact, depending on the model, the BMW can be a whopping £4,000 more affordable than the Mercedes. Mind you, if you can stomach your car being officially a saloon rather than a coupe then you could buy a Mercedes A-Class saloon, which narrows the gap to the BMW to around £2,000.
However, if you’re okay with a saloon then there’s always the Audi A3 saloon, which is still a good-looking thing, and which undercuts the BMW by around £1,500 — again, depending on the model. Or, for just a little more than the BMW, you could get yourself into a basic Jaguar XE, which is bigger, better-looking and brilliant to drive thanks to a proper rear-wheel drive setup. If that sounds like a good idea, then it’s also worth considering the Genesis G70 saloon — also slightly more expensive, but also bigger, grander, and rear-wheel drive.
You won’t get a basic BMW 3 Series for 2 Series Gran Coupe money — there’s a £9,000 gap between the two – but you could sort of consider the 2 Series as a replacement of sorts for the old entry-level 316i and 318i models. It is also the best value way to get a car with ‘2 Series’ and ‘Coupe’ badges on your driveway — the ‘proper’ rear-drive 2 Series Coupe is £7,000 more expensive than the Gran Coupe.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe is sporty and engaging to drive, and comfortable enough for daily use. Visibility, particularly when you’re driving around town, is quite poor though
Even the sportiest M-badged models of the 2 Series Gran Coupe are good around town when it comes to comfort. The M235i comes with electronically-controlled suspension which allows you to switch it to the softest setting around town, so it’s actually pretty comfortable over urban ridges and humps. Standard models with the ‘passive’ suspension are a fraction less comfortable, because they lack the adaptive shock absorbers, but even though the 2 Series Gran Coupe is always quite firmly sprung, it’s never really too hard-edged.
The turning circle is also decent, but visibility isn’t great. The windscreen pillars are quite thick, and the shallow-angled rear window, and fast-rising window sill line, means that over-the shoulder and rear visibility aren’t as good as in the BMW 1 Series hatchback, or indeed as in the Mercedes CLA. The reversing camera helps, of course. You can have a manual six-speed gearbox if you’ve bought the basic 218i model, but an eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard on all other models, and that helps to take the strain out of town driving.
On the motorway
If you’ve ticked the automatic gearbox option, then you can also spec your 2 Series Gran Coupe with adaptive, radar-guided cruise control and ‘Driving Assistant’ for extra cost. These two systems can keep you a safe distance from the car in front when you’re driving on the motorway or a dual carriageway, and can keep you in lane by nudging the steering if you’re heading for the white line.
Needless to say, the 306hp M235i is far more responsive when you’re looking to accelerate up to motorway speeds, but the basic 218i, with its 136hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine isn’t actually that slow. The mid-spec 220i, with a four-cylinder 178hp engine, might be the best all-round compromise though. The 2 Series Gran Coupe cruises comfortably on the motorway, and it’s more refined than you might expect, given its hatchback origins.
On a twisty road
Most BMWs have selectable driving modes, so when you put the 2 Series Gran Coupe into Sport mode, it sharpens up the throttle response and adds a bit of weight to the steering, as well as firming up the suspension if you’ve got the optional adaptive dampers fitted. There’s definitely a sense that that 2 Series is sharper through corners than the Mercedes CLA or the Audi A3 saloon — the steering is really well-weighted and chats to you about what’s happening underneath.
Obviously, the sportiest M235i model is going to be the most rewarding on a twisty road, what with its power and four-wheel drive system… Isn’t it? Certainly the M235i is easy to drive quickly, and you do feel keyed-in to the experience thanks to the steering and the chassis balance. But, there’s an argument that says the basic front-wheel drive 218i, with the manual gearbox, is actually slightly more fun on a tight road, because you have to work harder to keep the speed up, and therefore you become even more involved in the experience.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe is practical enough for quite a small car, and the boot is a good size and shape. Space in the back seats isn’t great, and a hatchback would be more versatile
The 2 Series Gran Coupe is basically the same inside as the 1 Series hatchback, so don’t go expecting cavernous cabin space. That said, it’s practical enough. There’s a roomy storage bin under the front seat armrest, and two cupholders mounted in front of the gear stick, which is good as it means tall bottles of water or fizzy pop don’t get in the way of your elbow when selecting a gear. In front of those, there’s an upright storage area which is home to the wireless mobile phone charger, which includes a clip to stop your phone sliding around during, ahem, ‘spirited’ driving. The door bins are quite wide, but rather shallow, although there is a useful shaped area for holding a big bottle of water. The glovebox is quite small, so not much use really.
Space in the back seats
Being based on the 1 Series means that there’s no real difference in rear seat space for the 2 Series Gran Coupe. Kneeroom is alright in the back, but taller passengers are definitely going to find their head scraping the roof lining thanks to that low-slung rear profile. If you’re trying to sit someone in the middle rear seat, the transmission hump isn’t too intrusive, but because the seat-base sits higher up in the middle, headroom is really tight. Three in the back isn’t really an option, so, but then that’s the case for the Mercedes and Audi models too. There are ISOFIX anchor points for child safety seats in the two outer rear seats, and in the front passenger seat as standard.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s boot is actually pretty impressive, as it’s 50 litres up on the boot of the 1 Series hatch, at a useful 430 litres. For comparison, an Audi A3 saloon has only 390 litres of boot space. Mind you, the Mercedes CLA has 460 litres…
The BMW’s boot is a good, square shape though, with a flat loading lip for heavy items. There’s some useful under-floor storage, as well as some netted areas for smaller items, and a 12-volt charging socket. The boot opening is actually quite wide by small saloon (sorry, coupe…) standards. The back seats split-fold in 40:20:40 formation, so you can have a long item poking through and still fit two people in the back, but in spite of the greater cubic capacity, the Gran Coupe’s boot isn’t as versatile for larger items as that of the 1 Series.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s cabin is well made and everything is to hand, although the infotainment and instrument screens look a little dated against what’s in newer and more expensive BMW models
The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s interior is, like the rest of the car, lifted entirely from the 1 Series so it has the same basic layout. That means it’s not as flamboyant as the cabin you get in a Mercedes CLA, but it’s really well made and feels like it’s using top-quality materials (unless you look down low and find all the scratchy, cheap plastics around the bottom of the dash and the doors).
The layout is really good. All of your driving controls, from the gear shifter to the driving mode and engine start button, are all in the same place on the centre console, and thankfully the 2 Series Gran Coupe still hasn’t given in to on-screen air conditioning controls; these are still proper, physical buttons and are super-easy to use.
The infotainment screen isn’t the biggest, but it’s easy to use with a combination of voice control, steering wheel buttons, and the usual ‘iDrive’ click-wheel controller down on the console. The software in the 2 Series isn’t the latest version that you’ll find in the 3 Series and 4 Series, but it’s actually a little easier to use than the up-to-date stuff. Ditto the main digital instruments, which aren’t the best in class or anything, but which are a little easier on the eye than BMW’s more recent digital work.
Beyond that, the driving position is very good, with lots of adjustment in the seat and the steering wheel, and the seats themselves are really good too. Actually, there’s little enough for us to complain about in here, which is unusual.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe currently doesn’t have an electric or plug-in hybrid option, so it’s maybe not the best choice for company car user-choosers. That said, both the 218i and 220i models have economical engines — 40mpg is easy if you’re not pushing things too hard. Of course, the high-performance M235i is going to be thirstier than that, by far, but it should still get past the 30mpg barrier in daily driving. Is it bad that we miss the old 220d diesel? That could easily do better than 50mpg, without any effort on your part. If you do need to go further on a fill, there is the option of a larger fuel tank, which costs just £55.
Emissions start from 133g/km for the 218i, rising to 140g/km for the 220i, and 162g/km for the M235i. That means your first-year VED road tax is fairly average for those first two cars, but takes a bit of a leap for the M235i, which is also charged a bit extra in years two to six because it costs more than £40,000. If you’re getting one as a company car, the 218i will set you back £167 per month in BIK tax, assuming you’re a 20 per cent rate taxpayer.
According to the independent crash test experts at Euro NCAP, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is a very safe car indeed. It gets a full five-star crash rating, with a 94 per cent score for adult occupant protection, plus an 87 per cent score for child occupant protection. Those are both very impressive scores, as is the 76 per cent rating for vulnerable road user protection.
Standard safety equipment includes front collision warning and automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and cruise control. You’ll have to pay extra for things such as adaptive cruise, parking assistant, or automatic high-beam headlights.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t seem to have any major specific issues, and even the little three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine, which you might imagine should struggle with the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s size, seems to be reliable and long-lived.
BMW offers a standard three-year unlimited-mileage warranty, which equals that of Mercedes and is better than Audi’s (which is limited to 60,000 miles in the third year). When that warranty ends, you can optionally extend it for up to 100,000 miles.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.