The 4-door coupe is a newish kind of automotive design invented by Mercedes with the original CLS in 2004 and now copied increasingly by the rest of the automotive industry as as here by the new BMW M235i xDrive Grand Coupe.
The 2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe marks a drastic change in philosophy for the 2 Series. Long available as a two-door coupé, it will be offered for the first time in a sedan format to better compete against the Audi A3 , Mercedes-Benz Class A / CLA, Acura ILX and Cadillac CT4 of this world.
In case someone doesn't know, xDrive is BMW's all-wheel drive. Under normal circumstances, xDrive distributes drive power between the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio. "When the BMW xDrive system detects over-steering, it can send more power to the front axle. If it detects under-steering, drive power to the front axle can be reduced," explains BMW of Sudbury.
Strangely, so far, no manufacturer has really ventured down the same path as the CLA. Audi introduced a sedan version of its A3 and Hyundai turned its i30 into a Fastback version. BMW was remarkably silent. But that was before. After the Series 1 sedan reserved for China, here is the Series 2 Gran Coupé.
The 2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe Specs By the Numbers
- Base Price: $46,495
- Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder | 8-speed automatic transmission | all-wheel drive
- Horsepower: 301 hp @ 5,000-6,250 RPM
- Torque: 332 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 RPM
- 0-60 mph (w/ M Performance Pkg.): 4.6 seconds
- Top Speed: 155 mph (electronically limited)
- Curb Weight: 3,461 lbs
- The Promise: A new entry-level, FWD-based sport sedan that's just as fun as BMW's rear-drive cars.
- The Delivery: Decent looks, good power, and AWD make for a better-than-expected time.
Let's start from the exterior.
The front panel of the 2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe looks very good. The characteristic optics are as aggressive as they are elegant, and pair with a grille, which looks well proportioned. From 3/4 front, the M235i Gran Coupé imposes a beautiful presence. Strangely, so far, no manufacturer has really ventured down the same path as the CLA. Audi introduced a sedan version of its A3 and Hyundai turned its i30 into a Fastback version. BMW was remarkably silent. But that was before. After the Series 1 sedan reserved for China, here is the Series 2 Gran Coupé.
When you look at the rear of the vehicle, it's busy. From certain angles, I have an impression of being in front of a coupe SUV because I see some affiliation with the very big brother 2020 BMW X6, of course! If you don't, it's about taste.
In the interior you will find some elements from the 1 Series, of course. But the materials used int he 2020 BMW M235 are absolutely flawless.
M-badged series obliges, there are many reminders of this lineage, all giving a sporty atmosphere on board.
Inside, the Magma Red Dakota Leather interior is very beautiful. The sporty seats are comfortable and adjust nicely, while the plastic dashboard borrows some of the exterior’s sparkle with its textured silver trim.
The infotainment system is very complete and offers everything that is most modern. The navigation is pretty intuitive. I have ready some reviewes where people complained about the navigation, but for me it was very easy and intuitive. You just have to learn how to navigate. Once you learn it's pretty easy. Apple Wireless CarPlay is an excellent feature in 2020.
The dashboard includes the large iDrive screen that customers seem to love so much. Note that the air conditioning and infotainment controls seem straight out of the 8 Series. In addition, BMW has not skimped on the quality of the finish.
The voice-assistance is always there to help you and easily understands commands. Just say, “Hey, BMW! Then express yourself naturally. Ask him, "How does the rear view camera work? For detailed explanations ask, “Is the oil level good? Your assistant knows the answer. "Where is the nearest gas station ?" This too. "Can you play techno music?" Certainly.
Thanks to its sporty accents and numerous upgrades - including the aerodynamic M package, M Sport suspension and M Sport steering - this model delivers a completely boosted ride every time.
This car really drives like a German precision weapon. The grip is phenomenal, the feel of the steering inspires confidence and, with its intelligent steering, it will make short work of winding roads. The M235i xDrive Grand Coupe has a 26 MPG combined fuel economy and 23 city, 32 highway. The annual fuel cost is expected to be around $1,900 and Fueleconomy.gov estimates that the owners will spend $2,000 more in fuel costs over 5 years.
The car provides a really good level of comfort for everyday use. At a peaceful pace, the M235i Grand Coupe offers unsuspected silence and softness compared to its flashy look. The cushioning comfort is appreciable despite the 19-inch rims and low-profile tires at the 4 corners, a combo generally antagonistic to good absorption of small shocks. Light steering completes the filter of road imperfections. The various driving aids, including active cruise control, allow you to navigate in traffic in complete safety, and can be disconnected if you find certain aspects too authoritative (for example intervention on the direction of lane keeping). The M Sport seats offer exemplary support and are also quite pleasant despite their radical appearance.
With the 2 Series Gran Coupé, BMW is trying to find a place in the premium compact sedan segment. The M235i sports version is a real weapon of precision, but its four-wheel drive and 4-cylinder engine make it a bit generic. However, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and the Volkswagen Golf R do the same. In short, the choice will mainly depend on the badge.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.