The latest BMW 3 Series, as with many cars, is notably bigger than previous versions – which has attracted much comment in our letters pages. There are many who think the latest 3, brilliant as it is, is simply too big.

Well, if you dream of a smaller BMW saloon, could the 2 Series Gran Coupe be the answer? The four-door is slightly bigger than an E46-era 3 Series, and marginally smaller than an E90. Almost by accident, it fills the gap the 3 has – quite literally – grown out of.

Of course, size isn’t everything, and before BMW fans seeking a 2019 version of the E46 get carried away, they might care to consider that, like the closely related 1 Series, the 2 Series Gran Coupe sends its power to the front axle. That might well put off those who believe a ‘true’ BMW is driven from the rear.

From our early assessments, the switch to front drive hasn’t hurt the handling or dynamics of the 1 Series – but that model never had the same driver’s car reputation as the 3. But if the front-drive 2 Series Gran Coupe can deliver a BMW-esque drive, it could become the saloon of choice for those who find the 3 has simply outgrown them.


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