too many compromises mean this car has an identity crisis

And while the engine is brave enough, that doesn’t stop it from feeling special. Its nice midrange punch is great for overtaking, but it doesn’t really give you the aural thrill you’d expect when demanding maximum performance along your favorite roads.

All this, of course, is permissible for a regular family hatchback. But this isn’t one of them, is it? At least according to BMW, the Gran Coupé is the sportier model. The problem is that it doesn’t quite live up to its promises.

At least comfortable, right? Yes, No. Sure, you’ll quickly get tired of this M Sport model’s big wheels, skinny tire sidewalls and stiff suspension around town.

At higher speeds this becomes less of an issue. Indeed, the taut suspension keeps the 2 Series firmly in place and feels very stable and secure. And while the expansion joints are a bit stiff, the Gran Coupe rolls over big bumps in a supple, refined way. Make them completely, non-offensive.

Verdict of the Telegraph

The problem with this car is that it’s neither. BMW wants to sell you a coupe. But it’s not. If you consider it a premium hatchback instead, the cramped passenger space and high price drop the value.

It’s perfectly capable and smooth on the road. But it’s not fun, and can be downright uncomfortable around town. It’s big, but it’s a small consolation when looking up an osteopath’s phone number after many complex rescues of offspring.

It’s all a little overwhelming. If he wants a BMW hatchback, he chooses the 1 Series, and if he wants something a little different and quality, he chooses a Honda Civic. In fact, I’d probably have the Octavia vRS and end up getting a better all-rounder for less.

And the best part is, if you choose one of these cars, don’t feel like you’ve paid the odds for a little marketing zeal. An average car with a fancy name and a price to match. Don’t fall for the hype.


When testing: BMW 220i M Sport Gran Coupe

Body style: 5 door hatchback

Now on sale: now

How much? £35,995 on the road (ranging from £29,890)

how fast? 148mph, 0-62mph 7.1 seconds

how economical? 46.3mpg (WLTP combined)

Engine & Gearbox: 1,998cc 4-cylinder gasoline turbo engine, 8-speed AT, front-wheel drive

Electric powertrain: none

Maximum power/torque: 176 hp / 207 lb-ft

CO2 emissions: 140g/km (WLTP combined)

To: £230 the first year, then £165

guarantee: 3 years, unlimited miles

Spare wheel as standard: No (add option)


Skoda Octavia vRS

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