2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupe review: A controversial but engaging gateway sedan

Jeffrey Cuebas

The 228i Gran Coupe is BMW’s new gateway sedan.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

There is very a hubbub amongst Bimmer admirers surrounding the 2020 BMW two Sequence Gran Coupe. No, it is really not about no matter if the new gateway design is a coupe or sedan — it is really clearly the latter. Instead, it is really producing some people to choke on their schnitzel because of to its entrance-wheel-generate architecture. Whilst the X1 and X2 compact SUVs feel to get passes for utilizing entrance-generate foundations, a BMW sedan that is not rear-wheel-generate-based mostly crosses the line in quite a few enthusiasts’ minds. 

Like

  • Potent foundation motor
  • Keen handler
  • Spacious trunk

You should not Like

  • Stiffer experience top quality
  • Disappointing motor be aware
  • Can get pricey rapid

I’m not about to go down a foxhole debating no matter if this newest design waters down the legacy designed by the quite a few generations of BMW activity sedans that arrived prior to it. I will leave that to the information boards and the feedback area, but I do speculate if all the bellyaching is warranted, considering that the two Sequence Gran Coupe is only readily available with all-wheel generate in the US. If individuals are keen to give the two Sequence Gran coupe a reasonable shake, they might occur away pleasantly shocked by its respectable dose of styling, utility and enjoyable-to-generate character, even in foundation 228i sort. 

Subtle BMW design

Visually, the two Sequence flaunts respectable proportions, it is really just not as hunkered down as its bigger four Sequence and 8 Sequence Gran Coupe brethren. An optional M Sport bundle sprinkles in a additional aggressive entrance bumper, contrasting black trim, facet sills, rear spoiler, rear diffuser and 18-inch, double-spoke M wheels that add a touch additional visible aggression.

The 2GC doesn’t make a huge design assertion. It’s delicate but sporty, donning the German firm’s trademark kidney grille, uncluttered sheetmetal and a clear rear fascia. All those in search of additional panache will possibly like the Mercedes-Benz A-Course or swoopy CLA-Course, or the just lately disclosed 2021 Audi A3’s sleeker and additional sophisticated look. Based exclusively on outer appearances, the two Sequence arrives in guiding equally the new Audi and Benz in my e-book.

Slide within the smallest Gran Coupe and it is really unmistakably a BMW. The layout and switchgear are common, mirroring other existing Bimmer models. Most impressively there are no very clear indications of price tag cutting in the components department, which is impressive for a sedan that starts at a manageable $37,500. Important swaths of the dash and doorway panels are smooth to the touch, the armrests are padded and stitched, and the entrance seats offer you generous aid keeping riders cozy for long hauls.

Again-seat space is also serviceable with enough leg- and shoulder-area for a few of older people to love — soon after they duck their heads to get in. Rolling with three youngsters throughout the rear will be Okay, but a trio of older people will be unpleasant. For relocating nonhuman cargo, the 228i’s bought 15.1 cubic feet of space in its trunk, handily outgunning the existing A3’s 10 cubic feet and CLA’s eleven.6 cubic feet. 

Materials top quality is impressive in the entry-level BMW sedan.


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Heaps of tech

When it arrives to technological know-how, there’s no shortage inside the 228i Gran Coupe. For infotainment, my tester rocks BMW’s iDrive seven procedure with a 10.25-inch center touchscreen, 10.25-inch electronic gauge cluster and center console controller surrounded by shortcut buttons. Display screen imagery is crisp and iDrive’s menu structure is straightforward operate as a result of to control navigation, a 10-speaker audio procedure, satellite radio and Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay abilities are also packaged in, but Android Vehicle remains a missing-in-motion aspect — for now, at least.

Charging ports also usually are not an issue in the two Sequence, with a pair of USB stores inside arm’s size for entrance and rear passengers. A wi-fi charging pad is an optional tech aspect, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot, sixteen-speaker Harman Kardon sound set up and gesture controls, for any person who likes to twirl their fingers to regulate quantity or wave their hand to take and reject calls.

Typical safety technological know-how on the 228i includes the Energetic Push Assistant group of options like forward-collision warning with automated braking, lane-departure warning with lane-retain help, blind-place checking, pace limit facts, vehicle significant-beams, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic inform. An readily available head-up screen is also equipped on my test car or truck, but adaptive cruise control is missing. If you want the smart cruise tech, it can be lumped in for $1,200. 

BMW’s iDrive seven procedure options a crisp 10.25-inch center touchscreen in the 228i Gran Coupe.


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Deserving performer

As a lot as I would like to be wheeling all-around in the hotter M235i Gran Coupe, with 301 horsepower on tap, the 228i’s not-as-muscular two.-liter turbocharged I4 continue to presents plenty of punch. This foundation motor churns out 228 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, neither of which disappoints. BMW claims a plausible -to-60-mph time of 6 seconds and the forced-induced mill has peak torque on offer you concerning 1,450 and four,500 rpm. The 228i is no slouch off the line and excitedly pulls through the rev assortment. It’s just a shame BMW has not been able to make its turbo-4 engines sound superior — they’re always flat and uninspiring.

An eight-pace automated transmission routes ability to all 4 wheels. Shifts are effectively-timed and concluded in close to immediate style, but they usually are not very as rapid as the ZF-sourced ‘box BMW utilizes in its rear-generate cars, which is possibly the greatest automated gearbox out there. The drivetrain pairing returns an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon metropolis and 33 mpg freeway. For the duration of a 7 days of combined driving, I noticed 27 mpg matching the EPA put together rating.

A two.-liter turbo with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque is quite ample grunt.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Attacking corners in the Gran Coupe reveals impressive dynamic abilities, aided by the M Sport package’s stiffer springs, adaptive dampers, entrance anti-roll bar and a little bit lessen experience height. Crank the lightly weighted steering wheel in any route and the entrance wheels obey quickly. In Sport method, the dampers retain the car or truck nearly flat as a result of turns, with a lot of grip from the 18-inch Bridgestone Turanza LS100 tires and strong brakes confidently bleed off pace. 

Will it understeer? Of program, but the M Sport chassis along with slick proactive traction control tuning allows the 228i come to feel additional athletic than a similar A3 or CLA. 

The Gran Coupe’s M Sport managing updates, nevertheless, do occur with a experience top quality penalty. Smaller bumps and ruts continue to get smoothed out, but bigger street imperfections are felt in the cabin. Which is not to say that the experience is jarring, simply because it is not. It’s just noticeably firm, and could possibly be stiffer than some people will be keen to dwell with just for some a little bit superior reflexes. 

The M Sport package’s 18-inch wheels and tires supply ample grip for enthusiastic driving.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

How I’d spec it

The 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe pictured here is generously equipped with huge ticket merchandise these kinds of as the M Sport bundle ($four,000) and premium bundle ($3,050). In addition there’s the upgraded paint career ($1,200) and snazzy Mocha leather inside ($1,450) pushing the bottom-line amount to $48,195 like $995 for place. 

My great Gran Coupe wouldn’t differ far too a lot from the test car or truck. Indicator me up for the sharper managing and looks that occur with the M Sport bundle simply because I will dwell with the experience top quality compromise. I will also acquire the premium bundle for its tech updates these kinds of as iDrive seven and electronic gauge cluster, heated seats and steering wheel, as effectively as the Storm Bay Metallic paint. All in, my 228i punches in at $46,745. Not low-priced, but quite nicely equipped.

The  Storm Bay Metallic paint is well worth the $1,200 upcharge.


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Aggressive segment

When it arrives to gateway German luxurious sedans, the $37,500 228i xDrive Gran Coupe is priced competitively. We do not know actual pricing on the new Audi A3 but, but a 2020 S-Line design with all-wheel-generate commences at $36,500, and it will never be a shock if the new a person arrives in near to that. The Mercedes CLA250 4Matic starts at $38,650, though its additional conventionally shaped A220 counterpart arrives in at $32,800.

I’ve by now explained that if it was a magnificence contest, my cash would go to Audi or Mercedes. But for individuals who put a premium on managing and driving engagement, the two Sequence Gran Coupe sits at the top of the heap and is well worth a tough look. Unless you might be a person of the BMW purists. In that situation, stop whining and get a 3 Sequence.

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