Johannesburg - BMW has ‘virtually’ launched its first-ever 2 Series Gran Coupe in South Africa, with the company releasing local pricing and range details for the new low-slung saloon, which starts at R515 000.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe is BMW’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLA, and unlike the rear-driven 2 Series Coupe, the GC is built around BMW’s ULK front-wheel-drive platform. While its styling is not going to garner universal praise, it does have some sporty touches, like frameless side windows and a sloping rear roofline.
In terms of its mechanical content and cabin, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is closely related to the new 1 Series and shares its two-strong petrol engine range, while also adding a diesel motor to the mix.
As has become the norm throughout the BMW line-up, there are no middle-of-the-road petrol engine options, meaning you can either have Lemon and Herb or Extra Hot. The former option is the 218i, which is powered by BMW’s 1.5-litre turbo triple with 103kW and 220Nm. The fiery option is the M235i fitted with all-wheel-drive as well as BMW’s most potent four-cylinder engine - a 2-litre unit that produces 225kW and 450Nm. The 220d turbodiesel variant is a 2-litre model that’s good for 140kW and 400Nm.
BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds for the M235i, while the 218i does the deed in 8.7 seconds and the 220d in 7.5s.
Going up against the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and Audi S3 Sedan, the M235i gains a few distinctive design features to set it apart from humbler 2 GCs, including a 3D mesh design for the grille, larger air intakes and 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19” rims being available on the options list.
The M235i also comes with all-wheel-drive and a mechanical Torsen limited-slip diff, but even the standard GC models get agility-enhancing systems like ARB and Performance Control, which manage the wheel slip and apply brakes on the inside wheel to curb understeer. Buyers can also choose between three suspension types: standard, M Sport (which is 10mm lower) and Adaptive suspension with variable damper control.
Now that we know its basic credentials, let’s take a look at how the 2 Series Gran Coupe is priced in relation to its rivals.
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs alternatives
Audi A3 Sedan 30 TFSI85kW/200NmR464 410Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI110kW/250NmR502 410BMW 218i Gran Coupe
Audi A3 Sedan 40 TFSI140kW/320NmR523 910Mercedes-Benz A200 Sedan120kW/250NmR541 000Mercedes-Benz A200d Sedan110kW/320NmR579 000Mercedes-Benz CLA 200120kW/250NmR579 380BMW 220d Gran Coupe
Mercedes-Benz A250 AMG-Line Sedan165kW/350NmR615 771Mercedes-Benz CLA 220d140kW/400NmR622 000Audi S3 quattro Sedan228kW/400NmR706 189BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe
Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4Matic225kW/400NmR868 566
In terms of design, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is more similar in concept to the Mercedes-Benz CLA than it is to the A-Class sedan, but because the latter is priced closer to the BMW, we added it to the mix to give you a better perspective of what’s out there.
It’s also worth noting that while the CLA is more expensive than the 2 Series GC, it does have a more powerful base engine and it is a bigger vehicle in size, measuring 4688mm in length versus 4526mm. In fact, the CLA is actually longer than the C-Class.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe range
The 218i and 220d GC models are available in five flavours - Basic, Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport - and each trim adds its own unique design features.
BMW has not released the full standard features list and options pricing for the 2 GC as yet (the configurator had not gone live at the time of writing), but we do know that it will be offered with a wide array of options.
These include BMW’s Live Cockpit Plus and Live Cockpit Professional, the latter also including the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant with AI. Here you also get a fully digital display and operating system, featuring two 26cm displays. Buyers can also opt for gesture control, Head-Up Display and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go.
Other available gizmos include the BMW Digital Key, Lane Departure Warning system with active lane return, the Driving Assistant package with Lane Change Warning, route-ahead assistant, rear collision and crossing traffic warning, and the Parking Assistant which provides semi-autonomous parking assistance for parallel and vertical bays.
All cars are sold with a five-year/90 000km maintenance plan and two-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.