Type 1,995cc, inline fourcylinder turbo-diesel
Max power 190PS@4,000rpm
Max torque 400Nm@1,750-2,500rpm
Price ₹50.5 lakh (on-road Mumbai)
+ve Good spec and space for its economical price
-ve Chubby styling and over-assisted dynamics
India is a diverse country and that also makes it a rather unique marketplace. What may work globally may not find appeal in India and vice versa. One of the examples of that fact is the compact luxury space. While all the accessible entry-level luxury cars have been runaway successes in the global market, India has given them a bit of a lukewarm response. We don’t associate luxury with a hatchback body style and so the 1 Series failed to make an impact. Sedans do make the cut, but the CLA four-door coupé didn’t get the kind of response Mercedes-Benz would have liked and so the new CLA is not even on the Indian roadmap anymore. There is the belief that a more traditional three-box sedan would work better and hence it’s the A-Class limousine which will come to India in place of the CLA. Of course, some might argue that the Audi A3 sedan was a classic three box and after the initial splash, it too disappeared into people’s blind spots. But so did the A4, so let’s just blame it on Audi’s current design language. Well, BMW has been struggling with its designs too, but they seem to understand this entry-level segment and it’s customer rather well - think Mini or the X1 which is the best selling compact luxury crossover in India. Now, they believe they have a sedan that could make a difference in this space.
They are calling it the 2 Series Gran Coupé. The 2 Series is a new model line for India, but in the BMW universe, this is the second generation of it. The Gran Coupé suffix means that this too is a four-door coupé like the CLA and this body style is all-new for a BMW of this size or nomenclature. The first-generation 2 Series had an Active Tourer variant, much like the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, which thankfully didn’t come to India. But the primary variant was the two-door coupé, and we got a glimpse of it with the M2 Competition. It was a stunning car, both in the way it performed and in the way it looked. The 2 Series Gran Coupé doesn’t look as sharp, though.
Despite marrying the styling cues of the new 8 Series to the compact size derived from the 1 Series hatchback, the 2 GC has ended up looking quite blunt and the face has a very upright and chubby appearance to it. Blame it on the Z4/8 Series inspired headlights, the detailing of which makes them look more vertical than horizontal. Adding further to that effect is the kidney grille which sits lower than the headlamps, robbing the 2 GC of the low-slung look we usually associate with BMW sedans.
This problem is typically seen on sedans that are derived out of hatchbacks, where the nose looks a tad bit stubby and upright for the kind of proportions you expect on a three-box style (and we have a whole crop of sub-4m sedans that are apt examples of that). Don’t call me a hypocrite when I’m saying this, but I also believe that the 2 Series could have looked better if it had a larger and wider grille that flowed into the headlamps. My final complaint is with the design of the headlamps, which seems fine when seen head-on, but from the side profile or even the rear three quarter, it has a very ungainly, frog-eye bulge to it, in the same way the previous CLA did.
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