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      11-21-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
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Jalopnik first drive review: The M235i Gran Coupe is Actually a Blast to Drive

Jalopnik: The M235i Gran Coupe is Actually a Blast to Drive

Jalopnik has posted their first drive review of the M235i Gran Coupe and came away surprised. Some highlights of what they said:

I was not expecting a bellowing and cracking exhaust note I could hear from 20 feet away.
That and its humble underpinnings may enough to chase off plenty of purists. Thing is, they’re missing out. At least in top-trim form, the 2 Series GC is actually a blast to drive.
While there’s too much front overhang and the profile is awkward—I’ve said it looks too much like a Ford Focus and I stand by that—the important thing is this little thing does not drive like an economy car. And as much as I enjoy Mini Coopers, having owned two myself, the 2GC has a character all its own.

Out on the winding back roads that Clavey and I found near BMW’s factory, the car proved to be both agile and planted—as playful as it was direct and predictable. It’s less like a Mini and more like a legitimate Volkswagen Golf R or Audi S3 competitor, done up BMW style. Or a grown-up Subaru WRX, maybe. BMW’s current all-wheel drive systems happen to be extremely good, and as such, we found only a slight amount of front bias at work.
I didn’t get as much time as I would’ve liked, and I think we’ll get more when the production car launches, but I can say that if you’ve ever driven a Golf R or Audi S3, you get the idea here. They’re very similar. Except the BMW boasts more torque, a smoother gearbox and is, as near as I can tell, quite a bit louder from the factory.
We were pretty impressed by the inside, too, where the GC boasts touches like BMW’s excellent latest iteration of iDrive, a digital display suite and light-up door trim. It doesn’t ever feel cheap in any way.
Will the BMW purists accept the M235i? Can they be made to see it’s a more premium step up from something like a WRX, a Ford Focus ST or even a Mini Cooper S? I’ll withhold final judgment until I drive the real thing, and I still can’t get past those looks.

But for people willing to put platform snobbery aside, I think they’ll be on board with something that seems to be more fun than any of us gave it credit for initially.
Catch the full review at:

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