First Drive: 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Makes Luxury More Affordable

This all-wheel-drive luxury sedan makes BMW prestige and sporty driving more accessible to younger buyers

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe front driving

Update: Since this first drive was originally published in June 2020, we finished testing the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

See the complete BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe road test.

The 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe isn't simply a four-door version of the 2 Series BMW has been selling for years. The Gran Coupe rides on a completely different, less performance-oriented front-wheel-drive-based platform, and one of the benefits it offers is more rear-seat room. The 2 Series Gran Coupe complements the X1 and X2 SUVs as a third model that BMW has put within reach for less affluent buyers. 

Consumer Reports members will find our detailed first drive impressions below, including what we like and what we don’t like so far.

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe is available in two versions: The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe with 228 horsepower, and the more performance-tuned M235i xDrive Gran Coupe which produces 301 hp. Both utilize a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and both come standard with all-wheel drive.

Prices for the 2 Series Gran Coupe start at $37,500 for the 228i xDrive and jump to $45,500 for the M235i xDrive.  

The 2 Series Gran Coupe's most direct competitors are the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA sedans, but also include the Acura ILXAudi A3, and Genesis G70.  

We’re currently breaking in the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe we purchased, putting on an initial 2,000 miles ahead of the more than 50 tests we’ll send it through at our 327-acre Auto Test Center and out on the road. These tests will include evaluations of acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, our initial assessment of the new 228i xDrive Gran Coupe is already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up yet, click below and become a member to access this full article and all of our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and appliances.

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What we bought: 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe
Powertrain: 228 hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine; eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $37,500
Options: $2,850, including Convenience package (Comfort Access keyless entry, panoramic sunroof, SiriusXM satellite radio with 1-year subscription), 18-inch multi-spoke wheels, and heated front seats and steering wheel.
Destination fee: $995
Total cost: $41,345

CR’s Take

There is a remarkable amount of BMW DNA in the 228i Gran Coupe, despite its small size and relatively approachable base price. It rides on the same platform that serves BMW’s X1 and X2 SUVs, as well as the Mini Countryman, but most drivers won’t feel shortchanged.

The drivetrain’s responsive nature and precise handling make the car feel sporty and fun to drive. Only true driving connoisseurs might feel that this car does not have the rear-drive-biased power delivery that most BMWs—yes, even all-wheel-drive BMWs—are known for.  

The cabin of the 2 Series Gran Coupe has a pretty typical BMW feel, too, which means it uses quality materials and all the trim panels fit together tightly with uniform gaps. The rear seat is small and difficult to get in and out of, which is typical for this class, and our jury is still out on the little BMW’s rather stiff ride quality.

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