If you’re buying a BMW 2 Series model and notice two very different styles, don’t worry. For reasons unknown, his BMW 2 Series models with 2 and 4 doors do not share the same platform. In fact, they don’t share the same powertrain. The BMW 2 Series Coupe and Gran Coupe are related in name alone, so choose wisely which one you’ll bring home.
Comparison of BMW 2 Series Coupé and Gran Coupé performance options
Under the hood, the latest BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe models are equipped with one of two turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base kit offers 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the M235i makes his 301 horsepower. The M235i comes standard with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system, but it’s the base model that’s a real let down. His front-wheel drive 228i Gran Coupe doesn’t feel like a true BMW. Instead, it feels like an econobox with a few plush cabin upgrades.
The BMW 2 Series Coupé offers a more engaging and true BMW experience than the Gran Coupe. This model is based on rear-wheel drive architecture, following the BMW gospel. The base 230i uses his 2.0-liter turbo to send his 255 horsepower to the rear wheels. And in his new M240i, a roaring 382 horsepower comes from a 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 setup. Both models are available with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. That said, if you’re willing to step back in time, you can find his 2 Series Coupe with his three pedals in the Footwell.
Front-wheel drive vs. rear-wheel drive in the BMW 2 Series range
So why bother? Maybe you’re looking to add more utility to your four-door and don’t mind the difference in style. The problem with the 2 Series, however, is the vastly different driving experience. The 2 Series Gran Coupé lacks the sense of agility and engagement offered by the smaller 2. The front-wheel-drive architecture means that it lacks the fundamental sportiness that stands in BMW’s tradition. Without it, he’d be spending over $40,000 on a front-wheel drive compact with less power than his new GTI hatch.
Meanwhile, the rear-wheel drive handling of the 2-door 2-Series Coupe gives the car a sense of dynamism. The front wheels only steer the car. The power passes through the back, which improves weekend joyride handling. And if you buy a BMW, isn’t that what you’re looking for?
With the same name, why are these cars so different?
So why package these cars as 2 Series models? Frankly, I’m not sure. The four-door 2 Series is based on a framework similar to many Mini models. This is no problem in compact hatchbacks or midsize commuter sedans. But in a compact BMW, the whole concept feels mismatched.
The 2 Series Coupe, on the other hand, is its own animal. It delivers sharp steering and a satisfying punch, and you get your money’s worth of fun. Near-perfect weight distribution and 10 cubic feet of boot space make it perfect for both daily driving and weekend canyon blasting.
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