Home / Home / BMW 220i Gran Coupe Review – Nothing Set in Stone

 

The BMW 220i Gran Coupe is the adapted, evolved, and restructured new breed. A punchy petrol front-wheel-drive Bimmer proves there’s nothing set in stone and that change is the only constant.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Apurva Ambep

Modular engines. Modular platform. Flexibility. Yet something’s different. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has a petrol variant in India and, surprising or not, it’s a 220i Gran Coupe and it packs near about 200 hp. That’s a decent amount for a 1.5-tonne family car. Especially considering it brings a more than decent 280 Nm of torque to go with it. But a front-transverse engine and wheels powered and steered ahead of the driver make for a different experience. We’d driven the 220d turbo-diesel version not too long ago. This one feels different. Very different.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe

A petrol-engine family car from a premium brand has a special ring to it for many. Especially someone stepping up for the first time. It’s sleek, turns heads, and looks fast standing still. It’s got compact proportions yet looks rather similar — and that’s not restricted to just the uninitiated — to its much larger and far more expensive siblings; 840i Gran Coupe, we’re looking at you. The aggressive front grille, 17-inch wheels, and mirror-like glossy paint finish look stunning. An entry Bimmer is a thing, but this one surely doesn’t look the part. As mentioned earlier, we’ve driven the 220d turbo-diesel version and it will be interesting to note how the rev-happier petrol feels.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe

Frameless, the side-window drops as I pull the door-handle. The four-door Coupe theme is taken very seriously. Get in and the interior, again, is reminiscent of larger and more premium models. The chunky steering wheel feels straight from a 3 Series; a very good thing. The centre console, controllers, and touchscreen all feel just as premium. It’s the sporty trim accents and lack of wood that are the only noticeable differences. Those, too, work well with the vibe the 220i Gran Coupe has going for it. It feels low, sporty, and engaging as I settle into the bucket seat and lower it to its lowest setting, adjust the steering wheel almost parallel to the floor, and gaze out of the windscreen over the Live Cockpit Professional digital dash. It also gets gesture control, navigation with 3D maps, the BMW virtual assistant as well as assistance for parking and reversing, wireless smartphone charging, 10-speaker audio, and a sunroof.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe

The 220i Gran Coupe has two primary rivals — both based on price, one on badge and origin, the new 163-hp/250-Nm Mercedes A 200 Sedan and the other, also on premium feel, numbers, and engagement factors, the 190-hp Škoda Superb. While many wouldn’t want to hear that, it is what it is. And they’re all front-wheel drive, too. Needless to say, the 220i drives well.

At the heart is the 1,998-cc, in-line four, turbo-direct-injection petrol with 192 hp and 280 Nm. Unlike the 220d diesel, however, it doesn’t use the eight-speed automatic unit but a sharper seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Either way, the urge to send power to the front wheels is present at all times but this DCT feels less overwhelmed and that makes for some smooth yet potent acceleration. The 220i Gran Coupe M Sport, in Sport mode, gets from 0 to 100 km/h in a blink over seven seconds and on to a top whack of 240 km/h. On the move, it feels light and agile and gives admirable confidence to throw it into bends. It feels taut, planted, and ready to pounce. Yet, the ride, even in Sport, is sublime and there’s little to fault. The steering feel, as in its elder siblings, is excellent with an incredibly sharp response and appreciable feedback. The sound from the transversely mounted motor, too, is invigorating.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe

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About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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