For some reason I can’t wrap my head around, the new entry-level 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will start at $38,495, including destination, which is just a couple thousand dollars short of the larger 2020 BMW 3 Series sedan.
BMW announced its new 2 Series Gran Coupe 228i will start at $38,495 and the M235i xDrive will start at $46,495. Considering the new “gran coupe” is supposed to replace the 3 Series as the entry-level model, you won’t be saving yourself too much money.
Looking at the competition for the complicated position BMW has tried to squeeze the 2 Series Gran Coupe into—a compact luxury four-door all-wheel drive coupe—it’s priced on par with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA’s all-wheel drive trim, which starts at $39,645.
But the front-wheel drive CLA starts at $36,650, which is probably where BMW should be pricing the 2 Series Gran Coupe. The 2 Series is all-wheel drive in both 228i and M235i trims because BMW still has a shred of pride about its performance credibility—you can’t get it in just front-wheel drive like the CLA.
To me, an entry-level BMW should cost just as much as the competition but offer more performance, so I think BMW could have really sold an advantage pricing their all-wheel drive car closer to the cheaper front-wheel drive CLA on the strength of their car not driving like a front-wheel drive economy car in slightly fancier trim.
It would also offer more pricing distance in the lineup between the “entry-level” 2 Series and the slightly larger, much more attractive and rear-wheel drive BMW 3 Series, which starts at $40,750. Also compare the 228i’s 228 horsepower to the 330i’s 255 hp. Unless you really need the all-wheel drive, why wouldn’t you just go for the more powerful and much better looking car?
Obviously, it would be ideal that the cheapest BMW be a rear-wheel drive luxury compact sedan to take on its lamer front-wheel drive German competitors, but the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s Mini-derived platform would never allow for that.
BMW should pay for its compromises, and that should save us all a little money. Instead, no matter what, the cheapest BMW sedan you can buy is still dangerously close to $40,000, for some reason. I guess the $35,000 BMW X1 crossover is always... an option.