When we went to go pick the latest BMW 218i Gran Coupe the above were my exact thoughts. It is a beautiful car, has a bold and athletic character, stands intimidating and demands attention, unapologetically so. For a slight moment there, it looked like it was going to pounce on us and devour our little souls, but that was just my imagination working overdrive.
Styling (Exterior and Interior):
The latest BMW 218i Gran Coupe is sporty and athletic looking and has four doors that feature frameless windows. It sits very low on the ground and one gets a race like feeling stepping into the car, driving it and experiencing how it handles. Even for a short guy like myself, I had to take a while getting used to getting in and out. And I am far from being fat, though I will admit to carrying a few extra kilograms.
The coupe has an overall length of 4 526mm, is 1 800mm wide and stands only 1 420mm high. But, with a wheelbase of 2 670mm and a boot space of 430-litres (which can be achieved in various ways), it allows its occupants to sit comfortably both in the front and rear of the vehicle.
The front is fresh and dynamic and boasts the latest interpretation of the BMW icons. I liked the new grille; it has a certain attitude to it. The headlights are angled and are full LED (and standard) right across the range.
As its sporting looks imply, the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe sets to establish a dynamic yardstick in its class, as BMW South Africa stated. The rear lights extend to the centre of the rear.
Once you enter and settle in the cabin, one is treated to a lap of luxury as expected in a car of this class, much like one would expect in a 5-star hotel. The controls, cabin mood lighting, speedometer cluster and infortainment all modern and quality built, easy to access and user friendly.
I also liked the idea of a black roof lining for reasons of cleanliness in the long run, especially for families with young kids who are inclined to touch anything and everything.
From the comfort of the driver’s seat, one is able to command this German coupe into whatever the driver feels like. The driver can select any of the three driving modes (Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro) or choose a music track and enjoy crisp music from the Harman/Kardon quality sound system.
In Sport mode the coupe is more awake, breaths longer and deeper, and engages all of its ponies with a more responsive steering feel and firmer suspension. A few of these ponies are laid to rest in Eco Pro mode.
Throughout the 2 Series range only three engines are available, one diesel and two-petrol. The power from either of these powerplants is sent to the front wheels through the BMW advanced front-wheel-drive architecture, which is shared with the BMW 1 Series, along with a whole list of other technological developments.
The smaller 3-cylinder petrol engine develops 103 kW of power in the 218i, while the 140 kW 4-cylinder diesel unit has its duties assigned to the 220d. The Bavarian Motor Works most powerful 4-cylinder engine plant that churns out 225 kW of power is delegated to the range topper, M235i xDrive.
As mentioned above, there are 3 driving modes and each mode is calibrated with different driving, handling and performance characteristics. The BMW 218i Gran Coupe sits solid on the tarmac and hugs corners much better than a needy girlfriend to her boyfriend. There is very little body roll and the ride is very comfortable and assuring. It does somewhat feel racy.
My final thoughts:
The new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is sporty, very good looking and appealing to everyone (young and old, male and female alike). It is a car that commands attention despite even when trying hard to drive it away from the limelight.
It is built solid and performs as expected from this premium brand. I see it appealing to the younger higher earning generation or the older folk who still have a lighter soul and want to disrupt what is norm in the pension-nearing-category. I foresee a lot of “tenderpreneurs” flocking BMW showroom floors as they fight the feeling of being left out in the rat race.
It is definitely the type of tool much needed to a troubled midlife soul who is not allowed to own a motorbike by his partner but seeking some kind of validation from the rest of his peers, and wanting to overpower them secretly. Whichever way you choose to look at it, it is a fun car to drive and satisfying even just to drool over.