Table of contents:
- The more or less strict hierarchy of Bavarian cars has been cracking lately, and on the models of the second series it has completely broken down. Judge for yourself. There is the BMW 218i Coupe - a canonical 4-seater coupe with two doors, a longitudinally mounted motor and, by default, rear-wheel drive. There is a BMW 218i Active Tourer - but this is either a small minivan or a large hatchback. And his motor is across, and the basic drive is front-wheel drive. Then there is the BMW 218i Gran Tourer, which is definitely a minivan, which even relies on the third row of seats. And yes, it is also front-wheel drive and transverse powertrain. And now there is the BMW 218i Gran Coupe, and it is not a 4-door version of the “just” Coupe. This, scary to say, is the first front-wheel drive sedan of the Bavarian brand on the Russian market
- Technique and reliability
The more or less strict hierarchy of Bavarian cars has been cracking lately, and on the models of the second series it has completely broken down. Judge for yourself. There is the BMW 218i Coupe - a canonical 4-seater coupe with two doors, a longitudinally mounted motor and, by default, rear-wheel drive. There is a BMW 218i Active Tourer - but this is either a small minivan or a large hatchback. And his motor is across, and the basic drive is front-wheel drive. Then there is the BMW 218i Gran Tourer, which is definitely a minivan, which even relies on the third row of seats. And yes, it is also front-wheel drive and transverse powertrain. And now there is the BMW 218i Gran Coupe, and it is not a 4-door version of the “just” Coupe. This, scary to say, is the first front-wheel drive sedan of the Bavarian brand on the Russian market
BMW 218i Gran Coupe 2,090,000 - 2,550,000 ₽ Editor's Choice: Online Edition 1.5 AMT, 140 hp for 2 090 000 ₽ Rating: 3.7 out of 5 Pros
- Weak motor
- Cramped salon
- Package equipment
Ownership cost per year with a mileage of 17,500 km: OSAGO 11,992 ₽ CASCO 71,625 ₽ Maintenance per year 21,000 ₽ Transport tax 4900 ₽ Fuel 79,780 ₽ Total 189,297 ₽
* The cost of policies and tax are calculated for a driver over 22 years old and with more than 4 years of experience living in Moscow
However, in a global sense, he was not the first. A few years earlier, another four-door and front-wheel drive BMW appeared - with an internal index F52. However, the Bavarians for some reason refer to it as part of the first series. Haven't you heard of this? Not surprising. It is produced in China and is little known outside the Middle Kingdom.
But our Gran Coupe with the F44 index is a German assembly model, and even outwardly with the Chinese F52 there is little in common. That one is a real sedan with a rather conservative appearance and a completely different interior. The newcomer, in today's fashion, pretends to be an athlete. The Gran Coupe has frameless doors, a more sloping roof and exaggeratedly flared "nostrils". Where without them.
But most importantly, if the F52 is sold only in China and Mexico, then the F44 is a global model. And fresh. Its world premiere took place in the fall of 2019, and by the spring the novelty reached us. After the sales of the first series cars were stopped, the 218i Gran Coupe is the cheapest BMW that can be bought new in Russia. We have a test car in a package configuration Online Edition for 2,090,000 rubles.
If in general the Gran Coupe is drawn to a revolution on a Bavarian scale, then its interior is a stronghold of tradition. They say that inside the "junior" models should follow the spirit and letter of the more expensive BMWs. In the case of the Gran Coupe, the interior can be described with one phrase: "everything is like a three-ruble note, only a little more compact."
With cars of the G20 generation, the novelty is related not only to many details, but also to the general architecture of the front panel, doors, and the central tunnel. The fact that the Gran Coupe is a simpler and cheaper car is only hinted at by a more modest finish. And it does not in any way affect the comfort of fit and ergonomics - the most, perhaps, the main and traditional values of BMW, carefully preserved in Bavarian cars of any format and price. As gentle as, until recently, the classic layout.
Nobody demands super-practicality from sedans. Especially from those that are served in the wrapper of "four-door coupes". However, according to the official version, the transfer of junior models to front-wheel drive in BMW was conceived for the sake of a more spacious interior as well. In the releases, even a figure of 33 millimeters flashes, which added to the knees of those sitting in the back. Just about what? Probably, in comparison with the rear-wheel drive "just" Coupe, the passengers really feel freer. But when you look at the golf-class regulars, BMW's builders still have a lot of work to do. For example, SkodOctavi after the Gran Coupe will seem like just a limousine. But its wheelbase is only 1 (!) Centimeter larger.
But the trunk of the Gran Coupe is not that small.It does not reach the 4-door regulars of the golf class (we will modestly keep silent about the Octavia), but the main competitor - the A-class sedan - is superior to BMW in terms of cargo capacity. At least a couple of our test suitcases in it, unlike the Stuttgart car, fit comfortably.
Technique and reliability
Technically, the 218i Gran Coupe is simply the first BMW series, with just a tailgate. Like the new "one", which they decided not to bring to Russia, this car is built on the UKL platform. The Bavarians developed it together with the British and first rolled it up under the all new Mini, and then, with minor changes, stretched it to the format of the BMW X1 crossover and the Gran Tourer minivan. And now there is a sedan.
The power unit on UKL cars is installed transversely - therefore, all versions, up to the most powerful, with the letter M, manage with four cylinders. A larger motor simply won't fit under the hood. "Charged" modification, by the way, the novelty also has - the unpronounceable BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe is equipped with a 306-strong "turbo four", an eight-speed "automatic" and all-wheel drive.
But the BMW 218i Gran Coupe has only … three cylinders. Under the hood of the test car is a 1.5-liter B38A15 turbocharged engine known from many other BMW models, slightly boosted from 136 to 140 hp. It is part of the modular B-series of power units that differ in the number of pistons, but are similar in design. Therefore, in the B38 everything is like in adults - an aluminum block sprayed on the cylinder walls, direct injection, phase shifters, Valvetronic valve lift control system and other BMW technological delights of recent years. The transmission of the 218i Gran Coupe in Russia has no alternatives - front-wheel drive and a seven-speed robotized gearbox with wet clutches.
In Europe, in addition to these two engines, a 190-horsepower 220d version is also offered, and in America - a BMW 228i xDrive with a B48 engine, like the previous Mini JCW version, with a capacity of 231 hp.
The UKL platform is McPherson at the front and multi-link at the rear, regardless of engine power and drive type. The Gran Coupe has three chassis options: standard, M-suspension with stiffer settings and 10 millimeters reduced ground clearance, plus an option with adaptive dampers. However, in Russia, the latter two are available exclusively for the M235i, and the less powerful version is sold only with basic stands. It's the same story with the brakes: only the M235i has blue "emotic" calipers and large discs.
Six months after the debut, there is no exact data on the Gran Coupe's resource and cannot be. But we can say with some certainty that the novelty will not present a bunch of problems to its owner.
The B38 engine for several years of use on other models, including the last "one", has shown itself to be a fine fellow. Yes, a direct injection unit does not like bad gasoline, and it is recommended to change the oil in it more often, especially in megalopolises, where the car is a lot in traffic jams. However, in comparison with the previous N-series, the three-cylinder unit no longer has problems with carbon deposits, ring sticking, chain stretching - it seems that BMW engineers have taken into account past mistakes and slightly reduced the engine operating temperature.
Owners of Active Tourer cars with the same engine only complain about the power unit mounts that quickly fail - it seems that even the balance shaft does not save three cylinders from increased vibrations.
Confused only by the fact that the additional four horsepower Gran Coupe received not only due to the new firmware. The release says about more serious improvements: the injection pressure is increased, the crankshaft is lightened by 1.1 kilograms, the engine as a whole - by 5 kg. The cooling system with the new water pump is "optimized" for faster warm-up. As well as the exhaust manifold integrated into the block head. All this, as you probably already guessed, for the sake of meeting the more stringent environmental requirements of Euro-6d TEMP. But won't these improvements affect reliability? We'll find out in two or three years.
The seven-stage "robot" 7DCT300 has been produced by Getrag for several years, and there are no problems with it either. By the way, it is installed not only on BMW and Mini.For example, a Mercedes-Benz A-class or a large Renault Grand Scenic is also produced with it. And on the petrol BMW 218i Gran Coupe, the box will work with a margin. After all, the "robot" is designed for 300 Nm of torque (hence the number in the index), and the "triple" B38 produces at its peak only 220 Nm.
In all honesty, the sedan lacks these very Newton meters in the first place. As well as taken away for the sake of saving the fourth cylinder. With three pistons, the Gran Coupe is like your tractor: it does not start at all with a half-turn and frankly rumbles at idle. And if you add gas, the exhaust pipe makes a cracked and some kind of hoarse sound. Fortunately, all this is not heard in the cabin: the sound insulation of the engine compartment in the second series is premium, at the level of cars a couple of classes higher.
But the passport 140 power and 220 Nm of thrust is too little to proudly carry the BMW "propeller" in the front end. In the city, the Gran Coupe is perceived as a quite dynamic car - of course, it does not pull at the champion of regional traffic lights, but in general it drives cheerful and does not lag behind its neighbors in the stream. Thanks to the responsive gas pedal (the turbo lag is almost imperceptible) and the agile "robot" that neatly changes gears.
But on the highway, sometimes you want to harness yourself instead of the missing fourth cylinder. Thanks to the small and low-inertia turbocharger, the engine reaches its maximum thrust already at 1500 rpm. However, for the same reason, after 4200 rpm, the torque “shelf” drops sharply downward. And the engine, having reached its 140 forces at 4600 rpm, can no longer add a single "horse" to them until the very cut-off.
Due to this nature of the engine at country speeds, the BMW 218i Gran Coupe is not perceived as fast and overtaking is given to him with difficulty. To hang less in the oncoming lane, you have to use the entire arsenal of settings - use the button on the central tunnel to switch the power unit to Sport mode, and then use the joystick to command the box “S” so that it jump down a step and forget about the seventh gear.
The reactions to the accelerator become sharper, the engine revs jump up - fortunately, it still works quietly. At this moment, the electronics understands that it is necessary to take an additional 10 Nm of thrust from the motor - the overboost mode is available starting from the fourth gear. However, you can also forget about fuel economy in such settings: even if you mix the city and the highway in half, the gas consumption will be about 10 l / 100 km.
BMW engineers relied on electronics and the BMW 218i Gran Coupe to drive like a BMW. For the sake of better handling, the car is already "in the base" equipped with the Performance Control system, which brakes the inner wheels on an arc and thus - quote - "improves the steering precision." The advanced traction control also contributes to this. Unlike other cars, in the Gran Coupe, the wheel slip is controlled directly by the engine control unit. Compared to solutions where the stabilization system exists as a separate unit, this design reacts three times faster and more accurately. However, DSC does not relax either - even when the driver presses a button to turn it to the Off position, the electronics simply switches to the imitation of interwheel locking by operating the brakes. Apparently, owners will have to change the front brake pads frequently …
As a result of all these efforts, the inherent power steering and understeer in the Gran Coupe are successfully defeated in front-wheel drive cars - the sedan is almost neutral in corners. He willingly changes direction, reacts even to subtle steering movements, is stable on the arc. Unless it lurches - not much, but noticeably. There are no problems with stability on the straight lines either.
All in all, the Gran Coupe has one of the best chassis among front-wheel drive vehicles. But that's not what BMW fans want, is it? Not neutral, but slightly excessive - and therefore reckless understeer. So that you can, having the desire and skills, it is easy to put the car into a skid and just as easy to control it. However, the driver of the Gran Coupe is deprived of such pleasure - at the limit, the car only smoothly slides into a wider trajectory.Roughly the same can be said about the brakes - they work properly, slow down the car well, but, alas, they do not give the cool "pedal feel" inherent in the old BMW.
But the BMW 218i Gran Coupe on the standard suspension turned out to be quite comfortable. Yes, the sedan meets the seams and other sharp irregularities harshly, which is understandable with 45% tires. But, for example, asphalt (not rubber) speed bumps pass so that other crossovers will envy. Yes, and in the pits, the suspension behaves decently, without annoying blows and, especially, breakdowns.
Today's Gran Coupe buyer won't have to think long about choosing a complete set. There is a 99 percent chance that he will stop at the BMW 218i in special version. Online Edition… First of all, because of the price - from 2,090,000 rubles, the lowest possible for this model.
Moreover, the Online Edition is not a drum at all. The car has adaptive LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors with a rear view camera, tire pressure monitoring, rain and light sensors with automatic long-range switching, cruise control, sports seats and a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, Hi- Fi audio system. The downside is that the buyer only has to choose the body color and one of two upholstery options, black or beige. Both are made of Sensatec leatherette, unloved by all BMW owners. Even the rims are "by default", but an inch larger than the base size.
Contrary to logic, the following configuration is called Basic, although it is already from 2,450,000 rubles for the BMW 218i version. In addition, with her already for any color, except for white, you need to pay extra from 59,500 rubles. However, from the equipment, the "basic tariff" adds only foglights, M-styling of the exterior with black door trims, 18-inch wheels and an M-steering wheel. But at the same time it takes away the heating of this steering wheel and the function of folding the mirrors. Also, the upholstery of the chairs will be combined with fabric inserts.
We bet, sales of cars in this configuration will be zero, because for 2,550,000 rubles there is already a version M Sport Pro, combining the equipment of the first two. And, by the way, no additional payment for the color. This modification also has paid options: wheels of a different design, alarm, comfortable access. The latter for 42,600 rubles allows you to do without a key at all, replacing it with a smartphone compatible with BMW.
There are two equipment levels available for the BMW M235i Gran Coupe - but that's a completely different amount of money. Base worth from 3 680 000 rubles, but very different from the same for "two hundred and eighteenth". The car will have sports suspension, brakes and steering, M Sport front seats with Alcantara, a spoiler on the trunk lid, as well as a Harman Kardon audio system and a virtual "tidy" Live Cockpit Professional, which only the lazy did not scold.
The top modification of the Gran Coupe is called M Special and costs from 3 830 000 rubles… It adds adaptive suspension, electric seat adjustment (with driver's memory), heated steering wheel, head-up display, wireless charging for smartphones, comfortable access. And for a surcharge - a package of driving assistants, active cruise control, panoramic roof and leather upholstery in two colors. With them, the final price of the car confidently exceeds four million.
Ближайший конкурент тестового BMW немного крупнее его и заметно дороже. Подавляющее большинство машин продаются в версии CL200 - с 1,3-литровым турбомотором мощностью 150 л.с., роботом и передним приводом. Рекомендованная цена - от 2 660 000 рублей. Есть также модификация CL250 4Matic (224 л.с., полный привод) и «заряженные» версии от AMG. Прямой конкурент BMW M235i, CL35 AMG 4Matic (306 л.с.), стоит от 3 830 000 рублей" style="width: 823px; margin-right: 8px;">
Mercedes выпускает и «классический» седан А-класса, с рамочными дверями и более высокой крышей. Однако на каждый такой автомобиль приходится в среднем четыре проданных CLA. Технически машины очень близки, только у седана меньше багажник, нет версии А 250, а остальные дешевле. Оснащённый аналогично CLA, А 200 Sport стоит от 2,2 миллиона, есть и совсем простая комплектация Style по цене от 1 960 000 рублей" style="width: 823px; margin-right: 8px;">
Audi A3 Sedan
A3 уже меняет поколение - и пока новое не доехало до России, в Audi открыли продажу седанов в фиксированных комплектациях Premium и Premium Plus. Обе - со 150-сильным турбомотором, роботом и передним приводом. Они оснащены немного скромнее, чем Gran Coupe Online Edition, но и стоят дешевле - от 1 859 000 и 1 930 000 рублей соответственно. Цены на «наборные» А3 начинаются с 2 009 000 рублей, они предлагаются также со 190-сильным мотором и полным приводом" style="width: 823px; margin-right: 8px;">
Более дешёвая альтернатива премиальным моделям, Mazda3 привлекательна дизайном и хорошей управляемостью. В «топе» оснащение японского седана немногим скромнее Gran Coupe Online Edition, при этом его цена - 1 636 000 рублей. Но двигатель только один: слабенький атмосферник мощностью всего 120 л.с." style="width: 823px; margin-right: 8px;">
Summarizing and analyzing the results of this test, it is quite easy to predict the future of the Gran Coupe in Russia. At least the nearest one. When the country moves away from self-isolation, passes, gloves and masks a little, and the novelty begins to flicker more often on city streets, fans of the brand will not hesitate to express their indignation on the Internet. Front-wheel drive, three cylinders, only 150 forces - at least the epithet "under-BMW" is provided to the car.
And, probably, we are in many respects ready to agree with real fans - from Bavarian cars you always want more than a modest 8.7 seconds to 100 km / h and just stability in corners. And little consolation is the fact that there is more real BMW in the Gran Coupe than in the rest of the front-wheel drive models of the brand - adjusted for the absence of a new hatch of the first series in Russia.
However, there is also a certainty that there will be a lot of those for whom the "one with a tail" will be an excellent opportunity to make their first step into the "premium".And the Gran Coupe deserves this epithet not only for its authoritative emblem - its device and equipment are also not at all budgetary, but are offered at a very reasonable price, if we talk about the online edition package.
The main thing is that this "attraction of unprecedented generosity" does not turn out to be a seasonal, quarantine or anti-crisis action (underline the necessary). Without it, the price of 2.5 million rubles is the line from which the price list for a BMW three-ruble note officially begins. And she is no longer just a step, but a full-fledged immersion in the world of driving joy.