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BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe fills mid-range gap with 141kW 220i

John Law

BMW Australia has announced the imminent arrival of a new mid-spec variant in the 2 Series Gran Coupe line-up, the 220i, which will provide a sensible stop-gap between the three-pot 218i and potent M235i xDrive.

Power is up significantly over the 218i, with the two-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the 220i dishing out 141kW and 280Nm, 38kW and 60Nm more than the entry-level car.

The B58 in the 220i is actually identical to the current Mini Cooper S, and like that car, power will be sent to the front wheels exclusively via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe - 2
The 220i is only distinguishable from the 218i by it’s badge, though this one is debadged.

Additional power and torque see the 220i drop its 0-100km/h time to 7.2 seconds, a whole 1.5 seconds faster than the 218i despite weighing 55kg more.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and 1 Series line-up in Australia have lacked a solid mid-range – in the case of the 2 Series, there’s quite a gulf between the $49,990 ($55,022 driveaway) 218i and range-topping M235i xDrive at $72,990 ($80,126 driveaway).

That gap certainly hurt the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s chances against rivals like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan and CLA-Class and Audi A3 sedan in the small premium four-door class.

2020 BMW 2 Series GC - 2
The M235i is still the choice for backroad blasts.

The 220i is here to fill the gap, at $53,900 (driveaway pricing TBA), it’s only a $4,000 jump over the 218i it almost seems too good to be true, though the remaining specifications lifted from the entry-level car.

Not to say that isn’t generous – the 220i gets a head-up display, digital drivers display, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, BMW’s latest iDrive system, LED lights and a wireless charging pad.

The interior of the 220i is finished with a set of manually-adjustable cloth-appointed seats; leather can be optioned for an extra $2,000. Electric adjustment is included in the $2,300 Comfort Package, which also nets heated front seats and keyless entry.

2020 BMW 2 Series GC - 5
Business as usual – though the 220i doesn’t get leather as standard.

As for active safety tech the 220i includes an automatic parking system, rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, city-speed AEB and speed limit information. Adaptive cruise control is not standard but can be added in the driver assistance package for $1,231.

From the exterior, the 220i will be indistinguishable from the base model 218i – apart from the badge – sharing the same attractive 18-inch alloy wheels. It’s not what we would call a beautifully designed car, but some do fall for the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s charms.

While the M235i xDrive will still be the choice of those looking for a more engaging backroad companion, we reckon the new 220i Gran Coupe will be a real sweet spot in the range.

2020 BMW 2 Series GC - 6
One of the most straightforward modern interiors.

On that topic, we hope BMW will put this two-litre lump into a 1 Series hatch soon because that car is crying out for a mid-range rival to the Mercedes-Benz A250.

BMW Australia says cars will be arriving in the third quarter of this year and start from $53,900 (driveaway pricing TBA).

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe pricing

218i Auto $49,990 ($55,022 driveaway)
220i Auto $53,990 (driveaway pricing TBA)
M235i xDrive Auto $72,990 ($80,126 driveaway)