‘Though she be but little, she is fierce,’ says Helena about Hermia, in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hermia is a spirited lady, a bit of a rebel who’s not afraid to stand up to authority in spite of her rather diminutive size. Fast forward 400 years, and that rebel spirit seems to live on in the 2 Series Gran Coupé, which is physically the smallest BMW in the German carmaker’s line-up for India, but isn’t willing to concede ground to its bigger siblings when it comes to things like style, equipment levels, performance, and driving dynamics. For those who firmly believe ‘bigger is better,’ the 2 Series tries hard to change your perception.
There’s no reason why luxury-segment buyers on a relatively tighter budget cannot, or should not, aspire to owning a car from one of the German Big Three. For a few years, the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3 catered to buyers who wanted a premium German badge at a lower price point, while BMW did not have a sedan in that category. Now, BMW has the 2 Series, the CLA is being replaced with an all-new A-Class sedan this month, and Audi, which had discontinued the A3 sometime ago, is expected to launch the next-generation A3 in India later this year. So, clearly, the entry-level luxury sedan segment is all set to witness some action, and BMW’s 2 Series is right in the thick of things.
I recently drove a 220d Gran Coupé M Sport for this review. First, about the size and space inside. The ‘coupé’ in the 220d’s name could either allude to its sporty styling and Coupé-like roofline, or to the fact that while the car does have four doors and can accommodate four adults, the rear bench isn’t particularly spacious. Headroom and legroom at the back are rather limited, and getting a third person into the back seat can be a bit of a tight squeeze. Without a doubt, the much more generously proportioned power-adjustable front seats are the place to be in the 2 Series, especially if you’re in it for the long haul, and those who intend to be chauffeur-driven most of the time should look at a 3 Series or higher.
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