By on October 16, 2019

bmw

Hoping to attract new clientele, BMW has crafted a sedan aimed at capturing the attention of lower-end American buyers. The 2020 2 Series Gran Coupe is not a four-door version of the well-regarded 2 Series coupe, but you probably knew that by now.

Sporting precious little real estate between the front door and front wheel arch, a raised, pedestrian-cushioning hood, rear flanks and roofline mimicking the Chevrolet Malibu, a front-biased drivetrain, and a platform borrowed from a pair of small crossovers, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is not the long-hood affair you lusted after as a kid. To its credit, BMW couldn’t stomach the prospect of offering the model in FWD.

All-wheel drive comes standard on this thrifty German chariot.

Two models will be on offer when the 2 Series Gran Coupe arrives early next year: 228i xDrive and M235 xDrive. While the automaker describes the vehicle as “an extroverted, performance-oriented entry point into BMW ownership,” one could argue the emphasis lies more on “entry point” than “extroverted.”

bmw

Pricing will have to wait until closer to the model’s March 2020 on-sale date, but with the 3 Series now starting comfortably above the $40k mark, the decision to position a new four-door product in the low-to-mid $30k range isn’t surprising, nor is it a plan worthy of derision. With rival Mercedes-Benz now offering both a compact A-Class and CLA-Class, both available with an AMG makeover, it’s only sensible for Bimmer to fight back.

As for the vehicle itself, it’s fair game for armchair criticism. The car adopts 3 Series styling cues in the shape of the tail lamps and signature kidney grille, though the FWD proportions and economy car greenhouse could leave some BMW diehards feeling cold. Kudos on the frameless windows.

Buyers can expect two turbocharged powerplants: a base 2.0-liter making 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and an uplevel M-bound 2.0L generating 301 hp and 332 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is the only way to manage outbound power.

bmw

Lest drivers start to think there’s an X1 and X2 platform beneath their feet (there is), BMW endowed the 2 Series Gran Coupe with a near-actuator wheel slip limitation (ARB) system that prevents understeer by placing the slip controller in the vehicle’s ECU, rather than in the Dynamic Stability Control’s control unit. The automaker claims this allows the vehicle to make the necessary corrections three times faster, all thanks to a quicker signal path.

Switch DSC off, and the car’s Electronic Differential Lock Control works the brakes to mimic a mechanical limited-slip differential. If looser driving is your thing, you can free up some playful slip by tuning the DSC to its Dynamic Traction Control setting. The all-wheel drive system, depending on drive mode selected, can split torque evenly between the front and rear wheels for drift attempts or channel it mainly through the front wheels for sedate, economy-minded driving.

Expect a torture test once Bimmer starts handing these things out to aggressive journos. In M guise, the smallest of the brand’s Gran Coupes offers Launch Control and a Torsen limited-slip diff to keep front wheel revolutions evenly matched.

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BMW claims the base model will scoot to 60 mph in 6 seconds, with the M model making the trip in 4.7 seconds (4.6 with the M Performance Package).

Standard wheel size is 17 inches for the 228i and 18 inches for the M235i, though buyers can opt for 18- or 19-inch hoops on the lesser model and 19-inchers on the M. While the M variant benefits from a rigidity-boosting strut tower tie bar and bracing on the front axle subframe, as well as a 10mm ride height reduction, 228i buyers can gain these upgrades by ticking the M Sport suspension box at purchase time.

If gazing at the “low-slung” sedan leaves owners feeling overwhelmed, they can retire to the cabin of the vehicle, where a 8.8-inch (iDrive 6) touchscreen awaits. More visual distraction can be had in the form of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional (iDrive 7) display ⁠— a 10.25-inch display that’s paired with a digital instrument cluster of identical width. A 9.2-inch full-color head-up display is optional.

bmw

Should that prove insufficient, 2 Series Gran Coupe owners can listen to whatever 2 Series Gran Coupe owners listen to via an optional 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system. Given that one of the three illuminated interior trim options carries the “Brooklyn” name, perhaps there’ll be banjos? Stingy buyers will have to make do with 10 speakers.

Tech, both safety-minded and convenience-oriented, abounds. Both models come standard with BMW’s Active Driving Assistant, a suite of driver-assist features that includes frontal collision warning, blind spot detection, lane departure warning with active lane return, rear cross-traffic warning, and daytime pedestrian detection. Bumper-mounted sensors should keep drivers from running into curbs and planters.

Of course, if you feel like spending more, there’s a broader suite of features available.

bmw

You’ll also be able to boss your vehicle around, so long as you start the order with “Hey BMW…” The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant introduced on the 2020 3 Series appears here, with a virtual servant learning your favorite settings and defaulting to them if you complain, for example, of being too cold. You may not be the boss in your own home, but at least your car will respond to your pleas.

In a nod to the model’s entry-level positioning, BMW is offering a laundry list of standalone options for those who don’t want to shell out for a full equipment package. If only low-end automakers could offer such à la carte options… Oh well.

[Images: BMW Group]

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87 Comments on “BMW Goes Economy: The 2 Series Gran Coupe Is Not Your Dentist’s Bimmer...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Well there goes the last sliver of my BMW fan boi.

    Gah! That grille. And headlights and taillights. It doesn’t look very ahem Teutonic, more like a current Japanese origami design.

    Anyone remember the days when BMW made understated but still pretty cars?

  • avatar
    blackEldo

    So it’s a Kia Forte with AWD and frameless windows. At least the Kia has a Hofmeister kink, this doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Prado

      Kia Forte was my first thought too. I really don’t get the appeal of frameless windows either. More wind noise, potential for windows to rattle and become loose, and less places to grab on to to close or reposistion the door.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I bet Honda makes a better Civic than BMW does.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I’m pretty sure I’d take a Civic over this. Who know maybe it drives wonderfully, but if I want something that looks like a Corolla I don’t think I’d pay a BMW upcharge for the priveledge. Not many cars make me say no way just from pics but this looks all sorts of wrong to me. Maybe thats just because it has a BMW badge in it and they aren’t known for making such homely cars.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    That’s not a coupe. That’s a cramped sedan.

  • avatar
    ACCvsBig10

    So is it awd with fwd bias or rear?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Herr Kuhn (my beloved landlord back in the early 70s that took this (then) 6 year old for his first ride in a BMW, sealing my love for the marque) is spinning in his grave right about now at this poor attempt at a lease-grab. How many CLA and A3 are MB and Audi really selling, and did BMW have to absolutely play in this pitiful niche space?

    • 0 avatar
      HillbillyInBC

      Gotta get ’em in the door before you can upsell ’em on that subsidized 3-series lease.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Curious if you’ve ever driven any of these cars, threeer.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Freed…save for the new 2 “gran coupe,” yes…yes, I have. The CLA to me is an absolute abomination for a MB (I didn’t even think it was that great of a car, regardless of the badge). I’d like the A3…if it came with a manual. Not sure I even want to get behind the wheel of this new baby Bimmer. I get the desire of the three companies to sell to the lower levels to get them in the door for the brand, but they just seem so compromised for what you pay, and there are quite a few better (my opinion, so take that all with a healthy grain of salt) options out there. But if you just have to have a new BMW/MB/Audi, I guess one of these three is the way to go if you want the least expensive new one to lease for three years before moving on.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Thanks.

          I didn’t think the CLA was a bad driver – it was just inexcusably cheap on the inside. The new one looks to be a big improvement in that regard.

          I bought an A3, and yeah, I’d love a manual, but the DCT has its’ own charms. The car that it’s based on – the GTI – is actually quicker with its’ DCT.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Maybe the goal is partly due to CARB compliance. They’ll pick off a few less discerning people who just want the badge.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I imagine it was designed primarily for emerging markets. Should do well in China.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      My dad leased a CLA after his E class was wrecked in an accident. He preferred the CLA to the E class. He is now in a C45 AMG and has no idea what he has.

      Plenty of people buy luxury cars for image and due to a slick upsell from the salesman rather than actual driving dynamics.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    To all the naysayers: get over it. Seriously. The point here is to move metal, not keep the fanboys happy. This is going to sell, and with 228 hp in a compact package, I’d wager it’ll be an entertaining driver; it’ll certainly be a “better BMW” than the lame 320 sedan that they mercy-killed last year.

    The reality is that every luxury brand needs an entry level sedan. That’s been true in every market aside from ours for a long, long time now; aside from oddities like the BMW 1-series and Mercedes whatever-they-called-it hatches back in the day, we just never got them here. Well, we have them now. So what? Does it mean the M3 is any less of a performance car? Nope.

    The real question with entry-level sedans is twofold: 1) does it fit with the brand, and 2) does the brand still make stuff that an enthusiast aspires to. That question’s unrelated to whether they make cheaper models. Someone’s going to walk away from buying an M3 because this is sitting on the showroom floor? If that’s the case, the problem is snobbery, not this particular car.

    (And, yes, the styling sucks.)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It used to be that you didn’t need to step all the way to a full M-car to get a performance BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Define “performance,” though. Would you consider a 2000 330 sedan to be a performance car? I would. Here’s a road test of one:
        https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15138966/bmw-330i-road-test/

        I’d wager that when someone does a full road test on this “gran coupe,” the numbers will be very similar to this E46’s.

        Yes, the E46 will have RWD handling tendencies, which are more entertaining (and interestingly enough, this review also proves the “dull-steering BMW” phenomenon is almost 20 years old now), but I’d say this level of “non-M3” performance is pretty much what you’re talking about. It’s just done differently now.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Define “performance,” though.”

          The E36 and E46 were considered two of the best driving vehicles of their day, that isn’t the case any longer (unless you opt for an M car).
          A 2020 BMW might put up better numbers than a 2003 BMW, but so will all of its 2020 competition. They’ve comparatively gone from the top-tier sport sedan manufacturer to a mid-level contender.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            It seems like you’re asking them to return to being a “sport sedan” brand. Problem is, back when that label did fit them, they had maybe three or four different models. Good luck talking them into regressing.

            To make money at the luxury game today, you have to have a full line. That’s what BMW has, and they’ve been expanding the line for a *long* time. Has that come at the expense of “sport sedans”? Yes. But they still make sedans that are at least entertaining to drive. I suppose that’s something.

            Hey, at least the entry BMW *is* a sedan with some performance. Over at Lexus, the entry point is the UX, an ugly, slow little FWD blob based on a Corolla that they expect people will pay $40,000 for. Ugh.

            The test of this model will be how it stacks up against its’ competitors, at any rate.

        • 0 avatar
          SPPPP

          “Yes, the E46 will have RWD handling tendencies, which are more entertaining (and interestingly enough, this review also proves the “dull-steering BMW” phenomenon is almost 20 years old now), but I’d say this level of “non-M3” performance is pretty much what you’re talking about. It’s just done differently now.”

          I haven’t driven the E46 330i, but I would wager it still felt much better than the doldrums of F30 3-series or F10 5-series steering feel. I would guess that if you had somehow transplanted a current BMW back in time for those journalists to test, their entire image of the brand would be turned upside-down.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @ajla

        Oh yes, my Mother’s ’83 528e with 127hp and a 3spd slushbox was a performance MACHINE. Sheesh. Nice car though.

        BMW has long done boring to wild. If anything, the modern lineup tends more to the wild side than they did back in the day.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Compared to what else was for sale in 1983 it probably was.
          And what “wild” car do they offer in 2019 that doesn’t wear an M-badge?
          You’re the lifelong BMW man on TTAC. Is the past reputation of their subM cars undeserved and they were really only ever nice to drive compared to a Broughamy battleship?

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            “Compared to what else was for sale in 1983 it probably was.”

            Spot on, alja.

            Background: I learned to drive on an ’82 528e that my parents owned from new. Was it the least performance-oriented BMW you’d find in a BMW showroom in 1982? Yes. Was it a performance-oriented car compared to the 1982 American market in general? Also yes.

            The scribes and the contemporary BWM traditionalists (who numbered in their vast dozens in ’82) groused about the Eta engine, but in the days before VVT it actually was a sound theory for US driving conditions. You got 170+ lb-ft of torque, which was a respectable number for the day (an ’82 Accord had about 105 lb-ft, e.g.), so 0-35 performance was good for the era. And remember that 55 mph was the law of the land back then, and inflation-adjusted gas prices were high. Those factors would change over the course of the ’80s, which I think is a reason the 528e gets remembered as less of a driver’s vehicle than it actually was.

            And yeah, I’ve disagreed with krhodes1 on this in the past.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          They seem to be like Mercedes, and splitting the pie into too many slices.

          Didn’t BMW just cut one of these “coupes” up the range? It was so much simpler with 3/5/7, 6/8!

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Leaving aside the driving merits of the car itself (I mean the Audi A4 has been FWD based AWD for how long now?), does it make sense to offer a sedan like this in 2020?

      Remaining sedan buyers are more likely to be enthusiasts than ever, and regardless of how well this actually drives, they will be put off by the FWD/AWD architecture. Maybe not even considering it. Someone who wants to lease a badge is going to get the X1 anyways. At least that’s how I see it.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Perhaps, but…

        Maybe an enthusiast is put off by AWD “architecture,” but what else is out there today at this car’s price point? This car’s going to go for +/- $40,000 if you don’t go bananas with options, and for that money, you’re looking at something like a base-version 3-series, C-class, Lexus IS, etc. My car’s an A3 with the more powerful 2.0T and AWD, and I shopped it against against all of those cars – the A3’s a LOT more fun to drive. To get a real upgrade over that, you’re looking at the six-cylinder versions of those cars, and now you’re at a mid-$50s pricetag.

        I think these cars *do* make sense to enthusiasts, FWD platform or not, as long as they’re executed well.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          The 2.0T in my $36,000 Accord is about the limit of what I would take with that small of an engine, no matter how good it may be! An Acura TLX wouldn’t be acceptable to me with that engine, much less something from a make that supposedly hits above that class, one that the Acura tries and epically fails to be!

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            And having just missed the edit window…!

            You get to pay extra for the privilege of CarPlay or Android Auto! Which HyundKia gives you for free!

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        There are plenty of great FWD/AWD offerings enthusiasts love so that’s not a valid concern. Plus all RWD is not good RWD. My TLX SH-AWD is way better sorted and much more fun to drive than the open diff non-M-Sport F30 BMWs.

        For me, the problem here is this doesn’t fit in with BMW’s brand image, AND it’s not even in a hot, growing, profitable segment like the X5 or Cayenne were when they came out. It’s just another car to fill another niche for the sake of filling said niche and nothing more.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        No, the A4 has not been FWD based until recently, with the so called quattro ultra, which is a clutch tapping power off the drive to the front for the rear now and then, like virtually everyone else. A fancier name for something worse, there’s marketing for you.

        The A4 up to 2017 had a center torsen differential, which for those unfamiliar with such devices had a separate output for the front and one for the rear. There was no permanent connection to the front wheels from the transmission, merely from the center diff. So no, it wasn’t FWD at all. But now it is. Unfortunately.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      “The reality is that every luxury brand needs an entry level sedan.”

      Isn’t that the 3 series? Why do they have to reach even further down market? Will there be a BMW Ford Fiesta fighter to follow?

      Plus BMW itself has acknowledged it was a bit too aggressive in pursuing volume, and it was either them or VWAG that acknowledged they’d need to boost margin on current models to hedge against their low margin EV gamble. Where does this fit in to that?

      Bottom line this is a car that just didn’t need to be made, especially if BMW was just going to half-ass it like this. Why this over, say, a WRX Limited or Golf R?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Why this over, say, a WRX Limited or Golf R?”

        Doesn’t make much sense to me either, but it doesn’t have to. It just has to make sense to the target market, which I’m thinking isn’t much interested in harder-edged performance cars.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Who is the target market? The X1/X2 seem better in every way, and the X2 even has legit dynamic chops, while still being more practical than this. This is a car that really doesn’t have to exist.

          • 0 avatar
            darex

            This is a whole generation ahead of the X1/X2, in terms of iDrive, interior design and safety systems (most of which aren’t even available on the X1/X2), and the X1/X2 won’t even catch up for about THREE more years. That’s an awfully long time.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            I would wager the form factor is far more important to most people than having the latest tech. Someone who wants a crossover will buy an old crossover over a new sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        It’s unfortunate that the Mini brand is so boxed into a corner styling wise, because something like this would make a lot more sense as a downmarket brand than as a BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I find it amusing to even think of BMW and MB as “luxury” brands. They are premium brands who make *some* actual luxury cars. Most of their output is pretty pedestrian, if still nicer than most cars.

      I don’t love the look, but it’s the result of regulation and aerodynamics. If only European pedestrians would stop wandering out in front of cars we could have decent looking cars again.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        It’s a worldwide thing!

        The other day, I had to move my Dad’s 2011 Accord Sedan a short distance, which made me realize how different the high hoodline on my 2019 is compared to even my previous 2013! My judgement of close-quarters distance has always been sucktastic, so the low cowl was always helpful.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Agreed that there’s a semantic issue in calling the smaller BMWs and Mercedes “luxury.” It depends on what your criteria are: build quality, size, features, performance, comfort, cachet, etc. “Luxury” seems to be the more commonly used term, but I agree with you that “premium” is more accurate.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Brand dilution illustrated. As a 2 Series Gran Coupe (dumb name btw) moves BMW ownership down the price ladder in the NA market, it will drag down value of all BMW branded models. This has happened over and over again, it is not debatable. To devalue its brand in its key market is a monumental error.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Honestly I don’t hate it. It’s not as ugly as a 7 series, or x2/4/6/7. Not seeing how this is their most cynical effort that would make people draw a line in the sand and declare that NOW BMW has lost the plot.

    As long as the next M3 is available with a stick I’m still paying attention. I love my old BMW but it’s a pain in the a$$ to keep it sorted.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    That’s not a coupe, even if it’s shaped like one. It has four full doors, making it a sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Sedan:

      “A closed automobile having two or four doors and a front and rear seat.”

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        How old is that definition?

        coupé
        n. A closed four-wheel carriage with two seats inside and one outside for a driver.
        n. A closed two-door automobile.
        n. In fencing, a sudden shifting of the guard by lifting the foil over the point of the opponent’s blade and thrusting at the same moment on the unprotected side. A coupé is in the nature of a surprise to a careless opponent. See cut over point, under cut.
        More at Wordnik from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

        From another dictionary:
        Definition of coupé (Entry 1 of 2)
        1 : a four-wheeled closed horse-drawn carriage for two persons inside with an outside seat for the driver in front
        2 usually coupe : a 2-door automobile often seating only two persons
        also : one with a tight-spaced rear seat

        Get the point?

  • avatar
    Heino

    Thrifty and BMW don’t go together.

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    Caddy hate notwithstanding, would anyone take this over the CT4?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    My dentist wouldn’t drive a German car

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Like the gen 1 Mercedes CLA, this model has no pretense of selling for any reason other than its badge. It’s ugly, small, will be as unreliable of every other modern BMW, and is built to a low price point.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “no pretense of selling for any reason other than its badge”

      What’s it competing against – what are people cross shopping. I’d wager a CRV or RAV4. I can see wanting this over a CRV for $3XX month on its merits.

  • avatar
    dwford

    “Hoping to attract desperate badge whores looking to blow up their personal finances on a car twice the price of the Kia they should be buying.”

    There, fixed it.

  • avatar
    Fred

    No matter the drive or styling or what fan boys think, a car this size needs a hatch.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Off topic, can’t wait till we see another piece on Ford EcoSpurt.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I am confused by nomenclature. I thought anything ending in 228i was the N20 in ~250hp guise, which was discontinued for the B48 designated as 230i, with similar hp even if the power curve and NVH are somewhat/appreciably different (depending on who you talk to). Is this a different family engine?

    I find it humorous that ajla etc have now discovered the comparable virtues of the CT4, no longer clamoring for “the 6.2l or bust”

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “ comparable virtues of the CT4, no longer clamoring for “the 6.2l or bust””

      No it’s just a gauge to show how much this sucks that it can be compared to that pile of excrement.

      It’s still a very valid argument for the CT4.

      Besides outside of special vehicles (non pedestrian) Europe isn’t known for producing very many desirable engines.

      Cadillac has GMs portfolio of low cost, very potent, extremely efficient, and highly desireable LT series engines.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    I’m middle-aged and married, so honest question here: Are young professional women still impressed by a guy in a BMW the way they were 20 years ago? Because that’s the only reason I can fathom why someone would buy a 228i x-Drive over a loaded-up turbo Accord or V6 Camry – or a Kia Stinger with a proper RWD platform and a useful-as-hell hatchback and a 10-year warranty.

    Oh, wait – nobody is going to BUY a 228i x-Drive. But I’m sure people will line up around the block to lease them.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “Because that’s the only reason I can fathom why someone would buy a 228i x-Drive over a loaded-up turbo Accord or V6 Camry – or a Kia Stinger”

      Wouldn’t you have to drive it first and compare? Also keep in mind Toyota’s gross profit margin is 27.41% vs. BMWs 24.49%. If the BMW costs $5k more it’s because it’s (very roughly) more car.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      If attracting women is the game you’d be miles better off buying the Accord and spending the price difference on a gym membership, healthier food, and nicer clothes.

      • 0 avatar
        cognoscenti

        ajila wrote “If attracting women is the game you’d be miles better off buying the Accord and spending the price difference on a gym membership, healthier food, and nicer clothes.”

        THIS, ten times over. Additionally, with the Accord, you’d be in a car that is better than any new 3-Series. Once I tire of my E90 M3, the Accord is what I’ll be buying, despite decades of BMW ownership. They’ve lost their way.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          As someone who drove German cars for almost thirty years, I can say that I had more women following me around when I wore expensive Italian shoes. They may have been GDWs, but they were a better cut of GDWs then you’ll get from watches or car fobs any day.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The question isn’t whether young professional women are impressed by guys in Bimmers – the question is whether they’re impressed enough by Bimmers to buy one themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      No, they fell for Tesla these days.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    I am from Munich and I despise BMWs with a passion, I always have. My Bavarian car of choice is Audi.

    However, in the interests of fair play I have to admit that this is not offensive or bad looking at all. It could have been a lot worse if you consider the abomination which is the new 1er. BMW trashed that design. This on the other hand appears to be fine, and the side profile is actually very pleasing and sleek in appearance. The cabin design is typical BMW, but with a slight futuristic appearance to it. It is inoffensive, elegant and the materials used appear to be good.

    But overall, I do prefer the styling of the conservative Audi A3 Limousine and the new edgy and sleek Mercedes-Benz CLA-Klasse over this BMW. Perhaps my opinion will change once I encounter the BMW in real life, however it does suffer from having a similar frontal design as the new 1er.

    This vehicle will sell very successfully like its rivals, the Audi A3 Limousine and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Klasse, which, at least in my country, are predominantly bought by younger buyers seeking a premium vehicle with interesting styling. While I am not interested in these types of cars, my two teenage sons have confessed that they find these entry-level premium cars more interesting than the 3er/5er or C-/E-Klasse and above. These smaller, obviously less expensive and equally good-driving entry level premium cars seem to resonate better with the younger buyers. It makes sense, at least to me.

  • avatar
    craiger

    I still remember the first BMW I ever drove, the E36. I didn’t take the plunge, but for years I told everyone who would listen how magical it was. Some years later I finally had the cash for an E39 530, which rewarded all of those years of pent-up desire, and then some. I still talk about that car to this very day.

    I still remember taking the 530 from the GWB onto the FDR for the first time at a ridiculous speed. It felt like it was a maglev…flying through tight turns with fast elevation changes over a semi-destroyed roadbed. Or, that corkscrew where the Lincoln exits into New Jersey, doing slides at 80. I actually would take friends for a ride to show them how special this car was.

    Meanwhile, I’ve already forgotten about the car in this article.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “You may not be the boss in your own home, but at least your car will respond to your pleas.”

    Who’s the Boss then? Oh I know it must be Tony Danza.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    BMW is taking styling cues from Kia.


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  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States