BMW 2-series Gran Coupe review - engine, gearbox and technical specs

Three- and four-cylinder petrols and a four-pot diesel. Manual only on the three-pot, with all-wheel drive for the M235i

Evo rating
Price
from £25,860
  • Quick and capable M135i, good ride, well built
  • M135i isn’t special enough to drive, awkward styling

As with the previous 1-series and 2-series (the latter of which remains on sale, for the time being), the current entry-level 2-series Gran Coupe is the 218i, using a Mini-derived 1499cc three-cylinder engine, boosted by a turbocharger. It’s good for 138bhp and 162lb ft of torque, sent through either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Next up is the 220d Gran Coupe, moving up to a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel with 187bhp and 295lb ft of torque. Again it’s front-wheel drive, though the sole transmission option this time is an eight-speed automatic.

> BMW M135i 2020 review - BMW goes mainstream with its new Golf R rival

Mechanically the range-topping M235i packs the same 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and all-wheel-drive set-up as the M135i. Power comes in at 302bhp from 5000 to 6200rpm, with 332lb ft of torque developed over a 1750-4500rpm spread.

xDrive all-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential at the front axle. With the latest 2-series Gran Coupe based on a Mini platform the car is predominantly front-wheel drive, though the car’s electronic brain can send power to the rear wheels within a few milliseconds – though only to a maximum 50:50 torque split.

Structurally, think 1-series, but with some extra metal poking out beyond the rear axle. That gives the front-wheel-drive 218i a kerb weight of 1375kg, rising to a hefty 1570kg for the M235i xDrive, 45kg more than the M135i hatchback.

BMW has given the M235i in particular a slightly softer set-up than the hatchback, for a slightly more ‘grown-up’ dynamic personality. It’s as sophisticated under the skin – the latest 1 and 2’s bodies are stiffer than their predecessors, there’s a multi-link rear axle, and the M models ride 10mm lower than standard 2-series models – but given the M135i is far from our favourite all-wheel-drive hatch, a softer set-up doesn’t bode well for the M235i.

Most Popular

Officine Fioravanti Testarossa ­– stunning Italian revival revealed
Officine Fioravanti Testarossa
Ferrari Testarossa coupe

Officine Fioravanti Testarossa ­– stunning Italian revival revealed

Swiss firm reveals its first restoration based on the iconic Ferrari Testarossa Monospecchio
12 Oct 2021
2022 Honda Civic Type R spied – will it live up to its superb predecessor?
2022 Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic Type-R hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Type R spied – will it live up to its superb predecessor?

The next-gen Honda Civic Type R has big shoes to fill, but first indications suggest it’ll have it sorted
13 Oct 2021
2022 BMW M3 Touring spied ahead of reveal
BMW M3 Touring
BMW M3 Touring

2022 BMW M3 Touring spied ahead of reveal

Photographers have spotted the upcoming M3 Touring testing on the Nürburgring before it reaches customers next year
14 Oct 2021