NZ’s online mag Stuff finds the BMW new 2 Series Gran Coupe to be quite a surprisingly compelling car for its money. The 2 Series Gran Coupe is an interesting proposition in the compact premium segment, as its dimensions near the E46 3 Series from 90s. As editors note, the F44 generation fits rather perfectly in the lineup as the gap between the 1 Series and 3 Series is now wider than ever before.

Like the new F40 1 series, the new compact four-door coupe is also underpinned by the front-driven FAAR platform. So if you are not a die-hard fan of rear-driven Bimmer, the new 2 Series GC should do the trick for you.

At first, New Zealand will get two versions of the new model: 218i and M235i xDrive, just like the Australian neighbors and with similar launch specifications. Stuff editors also highlight the rich standard equipment list for both variants and the top interior build and material quality. The entry-level 218i stars at NZD 58,900.

The editors were also impressed by the driving sensations offered by the range-topping M235i xDrive. The car seems to feel and be very fast, transmitting a sense of power with its incisive character. Compared to the previously-tested X2 M35i, which is powered by the same B48 petrol engine, the M235i xDrive Gran Coupe felt more cohesive and enjoyable on curvy roads.

Yes, the fact this isn’t an AWD version of a RWD car is somehow traceable in the overall dynamic behavior, but the front-engineered M235i xDrive still manages to offer sheer pleasurable sensations behind the wheel. Even the 218i was praised for its nimble feel and the way it efficiently channels and uses the output resources of its 1.5-liter 3-cylinder petrol engine.

If they were to pick one of the two, Stuff editors concluded they would go for the M235i xDrive without a doubt. They also stress the fact the high-end 2 Series GC is almost NZD 10,000 cheaper than the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 opponent and almost similarly priced as the Mercedes-AMG A 35.

In conclusion, the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is quite a competitive and compelling alternative in its class. For most clients, it should be just about perfect. For those in love with RWD, just look elsewhere.