It isn’t difficult to understand why BMW elected to build the 2 Series Gran Coupé. A substantial portion of the buying public prioritises aesthetics above dynamics, so a premium-badged four-door coupé that can be built relatively inexpensively on a front-wheel-drive platform ought to sell well. And, in fairness, this 2 Series does deserve credit in some important respects.

It is unusually refined at a cruise, comfortable over long distances and economical with fuel. This new model is also pleasurable enough to steer at sedate speeds, with well-positioned controls, and BMW’s current cabin architecture continues to lead the way for usability.

Junior Gran Coupé hits some high notes but fails to inspire

Why, then, only three stars? Because we expect so much more from BMW in certain areas. Whether or not you find the 2 Series Gran Coupé visually attractive is an individual matter, but we find its styling contrived and awkward. The 218i is also short of performance and enthusiasm, and these attributes are married to the lax body control that fails to deliver the precision or finesse for which BMW coupés are known. The 2 Series Gran Coupé may sell well, but it’s a disappointing BMW.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - BMW

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