Although the 2 Series Gran Coupé’s interior decor doesn’t quite match its Mercedes rival for outright visual panache, it isn’t exactly lacking in upmarket appeal. Material quality is, for the most part, very much up to the standard you’d expect from a high-end compact saloon.

Inevitably, there are a few areas in the lower reaches of the cabin where harder, scratchier plastics are employed, but these are generally pretty innocuous. Our test car’s Oyster Grey leather upholstery contrasted nicely with the polished piano black and chrome trim elements while simultaneously lending the interior a pleasantly light and airy ambience.

Not only is there less space in the back than in the 1 Series hatch, but it seems the rear door aperture is marginally smaller too, making ingress and egress trickier.

As with its 1 Series sibling, the 2 Series Gran Coupé’s transverse engine layout works wonders for interior packaging – at least in the front row. With no transmission tunnel to impede front-row space, there’s a comfortable amount of distance between the driver and passenger.

Unfortunately, this sense of space doesn’t translate to the second row all that convincingly – and the Gran Coupé’s sloping roofline is undoubtedly the culprit. According to our tape measure, rear head room stands at 870mm, which is 40mm less than you’ll find in the standard 1 Series. That said, the CLA 250 we road tested last year had even less, at 860mm.

As for typical rear leg room, the Gran Coupé’s measures 670mm – a figure that’s equal to the rear leg room in the Mercedes but some 40mm shy of that in the standard 1 Series. As a result, it’s somewhat unlikely that adult passengers would find the back row a particularly comfortable place to spend extended periods of time – although, of course, children should fit just fine.

The BMW doesn’t exactly knock things out of the park for boot space, either. With no hatchback opening to call upon, the aperture is relatively compact and provides access to a capacity of only 430 litres, although the rear seats can be collapsed to make loading particularly long items a bit easier. By comparison, the CLA offers up 460 litres of storage.

2 Series Gran Coupé infotainment and sat-nav

Entry-level Sport models have BMW’s 8.8in Live Cockpit Plus infotainment system but M Sport variants are upgraded to the larger, 10.25in suite as standard. The display is impressively crisp and the graphics usefully fluid, while the operating system is easy to navigate and doesn’t take long to learn. This is largely because BMW has retained its useful rotary control dial, which along with dedicated physical shortcut buttons makes the system that much easier to operate while on the move.

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It comes with a comprehensive roster of features as standard, including satellite navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth, although frustratingly our test car didn’t have Apple CarPlay connectivity. However, BMW has said that this will arrive as a standard feature shortly.

The £1500 Technology pack fitted to our car brought with it a head-up display, wi-fi preparation and a useful wireless smartphone charging pad.

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