2020 BMW 218i Gran Coupe Review | Asian Car Guide
March 5, 2021

2020 BMW 218i Gran Coupe Review

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

The entry price to owning a four-door BMW just got lowered, now that the 218i Gran Coupe ($47,990 plus on-road cost) is here. But does it live up to its illustrious badge?

Here is what you need to know about BMW’s stylish new four-door car.

Another 2 Series?

You bet. This is the fifth of the lot, counting the 2 Series Active Tourer (a front-drive box), the 2 Series Gran Tourer (a bigger box with seven seats), the 2 Series Coupe (two doors, rear-wheel-drive) and the 2 Series Convertible (two doors, rear-drive, folding roof).

The new car completes the 2 Series family, but BMW prefers to bleat that it completes the Gran Coupe range instead.

Is it a sedan?

Well, it has four doors and a general three-box shape, but it does resemble a scaled-down 8 Series Gran Coupe.

On the flanks, there are flowing lines that visually lengthen the car and the frameless doors enable a nice, low roofline, besides looking pretty stunning themselves.

Details abound to draw the eye, too. Dig the slender strip that links and runs over the tops of the taillights.

The front is how you want a BMW to look; aggressive, but not comically so. The double-kidney grilles are not ridiculously large (note how they are wider at the bottom, like on the 8 Series), and the lamps have a slim, purposeful squint.

Requisite air scoops and bonnet creases provide a bit more to look at, but it is all tastefully done overall.

The cabin of the 2 Series Gran Coupe is like the interior of the 1 Series hatchback, its closest sibling in the BMW family. That means the same dashboard is there, with the same digital instruments and touchscreen infotainment system.

Same playful flourishes too, like the backlit bits of cabin trim.

Luckily, BMW still believes in buttons and physical switches. Just because there is a touchscreen it does not mean you will have direct access to the functions you want.

Pressing a button to speed up the air-con fan beats tapping a screen to look for a menu to look for a virtual button any day.

Like the BMW 3 Series Sedan, the new 2 Series Gran Coupe is equipped with the Intelligent Personal Assistant as standard.

This means you can start a conversation with the car by saying: “Hey BMW”. This ranges with anything from adjusting the air-con, checking your engine oil levels or asking menial things like: “Hey, BMW I am bored!” (This statement switches the car into ‘SPORT’ mode).

Hell, you could even get the car to send a text message to a friend if you needed to.

More importantly, while such a feature is not uncommon in other carmakers, BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant differentiates itself from others by reacting well to your inputs.

The 218i Gran Coupe does not actually have a tiny footprint — it is spacious for a small coupe, or comparable to its rivals.

The rear seat itself is fairly upright, but leg and knee room are acceptable. Still, if you habitually drive people around, you would be better off with a 1 Series hatchback, which feels more spacious in the back.

A decent storage space measures 430 litres, when compared to 1 and 3 Series models. It has 50 more litres than the 1 Series and 50 fewer than the 3 Series. This can be increased by dropping the 40:20:40 rear seats.

Overall, the cabin of the latest 218i GC highlights the German engineering and the design that BMW is known for.

How does it feel on the road?

A 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo engine could move a car under its own kerb weight of 1,350kg. On the road, the 2 Series Gran Coupe feels better composed around corners, and it has a nose that is always keen to turn in and a superb amount of traction out of bends.

In wet weather the test car handled things like a winner, never sliding more than a couple of inches when asked to cope with a bit of over-enthusiasm, and otherwise behaving like something just set up beautifully along the Great Ocean road.

The 218i is not a slow car, nor is it a fast one. The little turbo three-cylinder spins eagerly and smoothly enough, however, and it makes a distinct burble (music to some ears, an affront to others) so wringing it out in search of pace is a pleasant exercise.

The engine does have loads of mid-range torque. Century sprint is accomplished in 8.7 seconds.

Safety-wise, like the BMW Driving Assistant, which includes Lane Change and Departure Warning and the Front Collision Warning, Brake Intervention comes as standard.

If you are looking for an entertaining drive, while getting your foot through the door of a luxury brand with the shape of a four-door coupe, you now have this pleasant option to consider.

The BMW 2 Series comes with a three-year/unlimited km warranty and roadside assist.

Servicing is needs-based, but note that a five-year/80,000km ‘basic’ plan will cost $1,550 plus 12 year rust warranty.

How much does the 2020 BMW 2 Series 218i M Sport Gran Coupe cost?

  • Price: $47,990 plus on-road costs.
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 1,499cc (front-wheel-drive) 3-cylinder
  • Dimensions mm: 1,420(H) x 4,526(L) x 1,800(W) x 2,670(WB)
  • Output: 103kW/220Nm
  • Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch auto
  • Fuel: 5.9L/100km (ADR Combined)
  • Tank: 50 litres