Since the US won’t be getting the new 1 Series hatch anytime soon, the 2 Series Gran Coupe will have to fill in for it. The new model is now arriving in dealerships around the country and reviews are starting to pour in. Since the 2 Series Gran Coupe range is limited to the M235i and 228i models in the US, most of the focus, at least for now, is on the M Performance model. Does it rise to the expectations?

The guys from The Straight Pipes took one out for a spin and, from the gate, there was one subject that came up first: the design. It’s quite interesting to see how many new models from BMW are divisive from the get go. I noticed it at first on the new BMW X6. Whenever I would ask anyone what they thought of it, the responses were along the lines of ‘love it or hate it’. Some like the way it looks while others find it too weird. It’s the same with the M235i Gran Coupe here.

Then there’s the tech side of things. The engine actually makes a really good sound for the 2-liter 4-cylinder it is. There are plenty of pops and bangs at the back and the car pulls rather well. After all, it shouldn’t be a slouch anyway since it has over 300 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque under the belt. As far as the way it drives goes, the new M235i does really well according to the guys. It does have a bit of understeer but it seems like you can also get the tail to slide a bit.

The guys also didn’t agree on the topic of Active Sound Design. The new 2 Series Gran Coupe comes with a feature which allows you to adjust how much fake noise to get pumped through the speakers and, as one would expect, there wasn’t a general consensus here on the best way to use that feature. How would you prefer to keep it?