The new BMW 2-Series Gran coupe has loyalists upset but is an RWD sedan really a great entry point?
Early reactions to the BMW 2-series gran coupe have been less than stellar, its engine is in the wrong configuration, it doesn’t look right, and it’s not a real BMW sum up most first impressions, but guess what, all of that doesn’t matter. Here’s why fans of the brand should embrace this FWD-based sedan even though it veers wildly away from what we think a BMW should be.
While the X3, X5, and 3-series sedan make up the bulk of BMW’s sales, families and home owners making six-digits making up that demo, there are few practical lineup offerings for young professionals and well off millennials who want to make a good impression.
There’s the Mini Cooper lineup but their brand reach can only go so far and I’d reckon a good majority don’t even know BMW owns Mini. Plus, Mini lacks BMW brand recognition.
Sure, there’s the 2 series coupe, but with only two doors and a $37 thousand MSRP, it’s not that practical or affordable noce you get done financing more than $40 thousand . The X1 is a tad more affordable but that compact crossover, excuse me, SAV, says small family rather than up-and-comer.
Enter the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe. 2 signals not quite 3 but affordable. With a starting price probably around CLA 250 Coupe’s $33,100 MSRP, the Gran Coupe is small enough, priced right, and has two more doors for extra practicality.
First, BMW is leveraging an existing platform. This is not a North American only design. The BMW UKL platform, specifically the BMW UKL2, has been in development and on sale since 2014 in the Mini Hatch and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer among other cars in BMW’s small FWD portfolio.
Then there’s brand recognition. It’s a real deal BMW. Most people who see a new one on the street will hardly know it’s FWD-based, and it has all the important design language markings that register to passerby’s that “This is something new, it looks OK, it’s a BMW, and whoever is driving this is doing OK.”
And so what if it’s FWD based? To please enthusiasts and get anyone who thinks BMW has gone off the deep end with this move off their back, AWD comes standard. The Mini Cooper is a fine FWD platform and this BMW 2-series gran coupe should deliver comparable go-kart like handling that Mini is known for.
Let’s be honest, when new owners give this 2-series Gran Coupe the beans, a 6 second 0-60 MPH sprint is good enough.
With slightly less legroom than a 3-series despite being that much smaller, enough trunk space comparable to others in its class, and niceties like an automatic trunk release, a 40/20/40 spit back seat and an 8-speed automatic, this 2-Series Gran coupe is super practical and user friendly.
Finally, there’s the price. As mentioned, estimates for a starting MSRP hover around the CLA 250’s $33,100 FWD version. While that might seem like a lot for an entry level, you can bet your bottom dollar that 2-series Gran Coupe potentials will finance as far as they can go. 6 years with a friendly 1.9 percent APR and a modest down payment means “Hello BMW” life for around $450 a month.
New BMW shoppers can get that BMW life for $450 a month, that’s the end goal. Look like a million dollars and flex on your friends even though the bank has the title.
I’m sure BMW will come out with a cheaper FWD 2-series Gran Coupe once the hub-bub has died down. That’ll be the moneymaker.
So whine all you want about this bold and frankly late move from BMW, but broke millennials who want the latest and greatest need luxury choices, too.