2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

Release Date
March 2020
Price Range
$38,495 (228i xDrive, inc. destination), $46,495 (M235i xDrive)

What to expect

  • A new entry-level sedan from BMW
  • Strong performance from the base 228i engine
  • Offers all the same tech from other BMW models
  • The first 2 Series Gran Coupe generation introduced for 2020

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe review
Mercedes-Benz Should Be Worried
What is it?

The 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, despite the name, is a four-door sedan that will compete against other entry-level luxury sedans from Germany. In regard to size, the Gran Coupe is a couple of inches longer than the two-door 2 Series and 7.5 inches shorter than the 3 Series. Initially, two models will be available, primarily distinguished by their engines.

The 2020 BMW 228i xDrive will start at $38,495 and features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. As BMW's xDrive moniker indicates, all-wheel drive is standard here. Also standard is an eight-speed automatic transmission. The M235i xDrive has a more powerful version of that engine (301 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque) plus some additional performance upgrades. The M235i xDrive starts at $46,495.

As we've come to expect from BMW Gran Coupe models, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has an unmistakable fastback-like sloping rear roofline. Standard features, even on the base 228i, are impressive. BMW includes modern safety tech items such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, and blind-spot monitoring.

The M235i will get a bit more in the sporty-equipment department, including upgraded brakes, a lowered suspension, an M Sport steering wheel and added aerodynamic bodywork.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Action Profile
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
Why does it matter?

Before the 2 Series Gran Coupe, BMW didn't have a sedan that competed directly with entry-level models from Audi (the A3) and Mercedes-Benz (the A-Class and CLA). That meant you were out of luck if you went to a BMW dealership and found the 3 Series not quite to your liking or within your budget. BMW's 2 Series was previously a two-door coupe or convertible only. Mercedes-Benz raised the bar in the segment with the new A-Class in terms of perceived quality and luxury features, and BMW looks to be following Mercedes' lead.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Detail
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
What does it compete with?

The main competitors to the 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe are the Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA. The CLA, in particular, shares the same four-door coupe style as the 2 Series Gran Coupe. Likewise, the higher-performing M235i xDrive will compete against the Audi S3 and forthcoming Mercedes-AMG A35. The 228i Gran Coupe is more expensive than the Mercedes A-Class and the Audi A3 by a few thousand dollars but is pretty much equal to the CLA.

Another intriguing rival is the new CT4, Cadillac's replacement for its former ATS and CTS sedans. While the CT4 is several inches longer than the 2 Series and is based on a rear-wheel-drive platform, both cars should have similarly sharp handling profiles.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Front 3/4
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
How does it drive?

Our initial impression is that the base 228i xDrive has enough power for the vast majority of drivers. The same holds true for braking and handling. There's a distinct underlying athleticism to the Gran Coupe that instills confidence.

You can effortlessly get the 228i up to highway speeds without having to pin the pedal to the carpet. The sedan's small footprint makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces and well suited to narrow, twisting country roads. The well-tuned suspension navigates curves without any drama, yet it's compliant enough to absorb road imperfections for a comfortable and composed ride.

For drivers with sporting inclinations, the M235i should be a perfect match. Its suspension tweaks and power increase result in a much livelier driving experience that encourages you to drive with more spirit. It's small and nimble enough to be fun on backroads and peppy enough to make a daily commute a bit more entertaining. We're immediately taken by the noticeably louder and burlier engine and exhaust noises (some of which are synthesized through the car speakers). In Sport mode, the shifts become quicker and more aggressive, and the adaptive suspension dampers firm up to reduce body roll even more.

Improvements to stability control and the manner in which the engine reacts to losses in traction, along with the sport differential, give the M235i a distinct performance advantage over the 228i and the Mercedes and Audi rivals. Making transitions between right and left bends in the road is far more engaging and entertaining. It's fun and entertaining in the same sort of way that modern hot hatches can be.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Action Front 3/4
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
What's the interior like?

There are no surprises when it comes to the Gran Coupe's interior. If you've been in any current BMW, this cabin looks and feels much like the interiors of its more expensive stablemates. The horizontal dash layout and use of above-average materials are right in line with our expectations, not just for the price but for the BMW brand.

BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system comes standard. It includes Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and wireless connectivity, meaning you can bring up the interface on the screen without using a USB cable. Initially, the 2 Series Gran Coupe will lack Android Auto, but BMW has said it'll be adding it to its cars in the latter part of 2020.

One of the more significant differences between the two-door 2 Series and this Gran Coupe sedan is rear-seat space. First off, the Gran Coupe has space for three rear passengers instead of two. There's plenty of adult-size legroom in the rear outboard spots, and headroom is adequate for passengers who are about 5 feet 9 inches or shorter. The seat cushion is mounted a little low, which reduces thigh support, but it still provides more comfort and space than rivals.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Front Interior
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
How practical is it?

Despite the fastback profile, the 2 Series Gran Coupe sports a conventional trunk instead of a big hatch. That said, the trunk capacity is large for the class. There is enough interior storage for your personal items too. Combined with the accommodating rear seats, the Gran Coupe is more practical than the Mercedes A-Class, CLA or Audi A3.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Cargo
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
Edmunds says

Don't think of the 2 Series Gran Coupe as a cut-rate BMW. It has all of the performance, technology and interior refinement we've come to expect from the brand. If you're finding the brand's 3 Series sedan too big or too expensive, the new entry-level 2 Series Gran Coupe should easily satisfy.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Rear 3/4
2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe