2022 BMW 216i Gran Coupe Sport Review - Sweet Sixteen
Singapore - Have you heard of the term, ‘There is no replacement for displacement’? Every time I hear this, I start to wonder if “right-sizing” has really gone well.
You can tell that just about every luxury brand has in one way or another, has jumped onto the right-sizing bandwagon. Down this rabbit hole, among the cars here, we have the BMW 216i Gran Coupe, powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder.
The 216i’s 1.5 litre which also drives the 218i, delivers 109hp, which is 27hp less. This would mean that the 216i qualifies as a Category A COE car, so in this case, less power might not afterall be a bad thing. Coupled with a VES A2 rating, the 216i Gee Cee is around thirty-grand less costly than the 218i - a huge difference, considering that category B COEs have already crossed the 100-grand mark.
However, even with less power, the 216i Gran Coupe drives with the same familiarity as its more powerful sibling. Around corners, the four-door coupe bites with a familiar confidence, even with its mellowed suspension. With just 109hp, it is quite difficult to get into trouble with the 216i, as you would need to do more to find the car’s limits.
To add more pace, we kicked the drive mode into ‘Sport’, and to our pleasant surprise, while the Gran Coupe (mildly) rockets forward, gear upshifts remain extremely smooth.
So while all is good so far, there are some issues, which we hoped that BMW would have ironed out - at low speeds, the driving experience becomes jerky when you lift off; and the 3-cyl judders too violently if you were to use the auto start-stop.
On the inside, there is some carrying-over of switchgear from larger BMW cars, and quality is very good here. The infotainment is powered by the German marque’s very good voice activated Operating System 7, fronted by a 10.25-inch touchscreen. This will mean that you get a whole list of voice-activated features. You also get the all-important Reversing Assistant, which helps you to reverse the car out of challenging spaces.
As the world is facing a chip shortage, the ripples are definitely felt in the automotive industry. The 216i, while it still has the pad for you to wedge your phone into, unfortunately the actual wireless charging architecture is non-existent.
Since the 2 Gran Coupe emulates the 8 Series Gran Coupe, in a similar way that the Mercedes-Benz C Class emulates the flagship S Class, you get a sloping roofline, which is not the best thing if you have passengers at the rear. Rear legroom is also rather cramped for real adults. When combined with the sloping roof, it would likely be a challenge for even not-so-real adults like David Khoo.
Overall, I enjoyed what the 216i Gran Coupe brings to the table, and in today’s climate, where you can still shave around $30k off the price tag… Less is really more.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow and Khai
2022 BMW 216i Gran Coupe Sport
Engine 1499 cc,in-line 3, turbocharged
Power/rpm 109hp/4,300 to 6500 rpm
Torque 190Nm/1380 to 3800 rpm
Gearbox 7-speed twin-clutch automatic
0-100km/h 10.8 seconds
Top speed 200 km/h
Fuel efficiency 5.5L/100km