The last time a BMW in Malaysia wore the 218i badge was a five-seater MPV that was never really a hit as was expected. Fortunes might change with the introduction of a more appealing vehicle in the form of the 218i Gran Coupe M Sport.
You may have seen these cars running around the Klang Valley masked in designs from Komuniti Tukang Jahit, Changgih Designs, INKAA and Kanoe. These designs hid an aerodynamic body with a low centre of gravity, flared wheel arches, frameless doors and ends with a rear that incorporates a ducktail.
The newly-designed single-unit kidney-grille, slanted LED headlights, LED foglight and LED taillights accentuates the dynamism of the Gran Coupe’s outlook. The M Aerodynamic package, BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line and 18-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke style 819 M Bicolour completes 218i’s sporty silhouette.
The BMW M Sport bits continues inside with the M leather steering wheel and sport seats with Leather Dakota upholstery. The interior is also packed with the Lights Package that features Illuminated Boston and LED light sources trim finishers. An analogue speedometer and rev counter feature on the BMW Live Cockpit Plus, as does the 5.1-inch, 4:3 portrait-format screen that displays the car’s speed, status and navigation.
On the front and centre, the 8.8-inch screen can be controlled by touch or the iDrive. The centre console is also home to the driving dynamics controls, push start button, cup holders, storage tray and wireless charging.
At the rear, the lower central tunnel design opens more space for rear passengers. The boot can hold 430 litres worth of things and can be expanded by putting down the rear setback in a 40/20/40 split. Comfort Access 2.0 and BMW Digital Key are included in the car for human convenience.
A 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine lives under the hood, partnered with a seven-speed Steptronic double-clutch transmission. The powertrain produces 140hp and 220Nm that gets sent exclusively to the front wheels. The Gran Coupe achieves the 0-100kph sprint in 8.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 213kph. Fuel economy is also respectable, posting a consumption of 5.9 litres per 100km, with 135g of carbon emissions per kilometre.
Apart from a sportier-tuned suspension, damping and steering, the Gran Coupe comes equipped with the ARB technology. This piece of tech consists of a slip control system placed in the engine control unit to shorten signal paths. The system reduces engine output in the event of a front-wheel slip and minimises understeer.
Driver and passenger safety isn’t forgotten. The 218i Gran Coupe has Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant and Reversing Assistant the brings advanced safety systems and allows some form of autonomy for the vehicle. In the Driving Assistant menu, you’ll get Lane Change Warning, Crossing Traffic Warning at the rear, Rear Collision Warning and Speed Limit Assist. Lane Departure Warning with active steering intervention and Forward Collision Warning with brake intervention comes standard along with the Active Park Distance Control and lateral parking aid.
The locally-assembled BMW 218i Gran Coupe M Sport is priced at RM211,367.00 during the Sales Tax Exemption period. With the Balloon Financing Plan, you only need to service a loan of RM2,418.00 monthly. A booking fee of only RM1,000 is required when you place your order online.
The BMW 218i Gran Coupe M Sport is undoubtedly a handsome car from all viewing angles. Whether or not the Gran Coupe can attract the same people that whole-heartedly embraced the previous generation 1-Series remains to be seen.