Is the 2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupe a Good Road Trip Vehicle?

Is the 2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupe a Good Road Trip Vehicle?

Since joining our fleet six months ago, the 2020 BMW 228i Gran Coupé has been a loyal driver on a daily basis. From hunting for food on the weekends to practicing martial arts (from a distance), the 228i was up to the task. Recently, I took a 284 mile round trip to and from Thermal, CA to attend the BMW Performance Center Car Control Class. Driving gave me an idea of ​​what the 228i looks like on road trips – and if you’re considering a 228i with the M Sport package, and you like long drives, you’ll want to read on.

Within minutes of starting the trip, I realized I was in for two bumpy hours. The M Sport suspension, which is part of the M Sport package on the 228i and standard on the M235i, slightly improves handling but significantly sacrifices comfort. You feel every bump, rut, and pothole. The impacts are transmitted down your back like acute kidney injections. Having the all-season rubber flat didn’t help; they are noisy and make highway driving even more difficult. Choppy driving is tolerable in the city, but after about an hour the overly stiff suspension setting starts to take its toll.

Aside from the ride, the 228i handled the rest of the trip admirably. Confronted with steep, hilly expanses, the 228i’s 2.0-liter turbo-four buzzed without any drama, ready to serve some of its 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft on command. And the well-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission always seemed to find the right gear for immediate response, making it easier to pass and merge.

When I got home from a useful day of teaching performance driving, some problems arose. I hit a pothole that punctured the left rear tire causing the 228i to pull painfully in that direction for a stressful 20 minutes until it could be limped home. The sudden impact at high speed may have put excessive pressure on a tire, compromising the inner sidewall. I suspect this wouldn’t have happened if the car wasn’t so stiff in the first place, better able to absorb impacts and send them out properly. The price of a new run-flat tire has set my wallet on fire, but I’d rather pay that price than fight with a spare tire on the side of the road. Moral of the story: The 228i isn’t very well balanced, and that’s not because of its FWD layout – it’s because of its compromised suspension. This vehicle was taken out of the oven too early.

After this trip, I continued to think of the 228i Gran Coupe as a travel car. Finally, my conclusion was that if you have another vehicle, don’t take the 2 Series Gran Coupé. The biggest breaking factors are the difficult driving and frustrating ergonomics of this car. Six months later, I still haven’t found a comfortable sitting position; either my knees are too close to the dashboard or my arms are too stretched out. Both front seats feel high to me and my head is too close to the ceiling (I’m only 5’11 ”). There are a lot of adjustments, but no matter how hard I try, there just aren’t any that I find comfortable The fact that the seats feel like rocks doesn’t help matters on long trips no matter what. how much you tinker with the lumbar.

Nowadays, excellent handling can coexist with superb ride quality when a vehicle’s suspension is properly adjusted – for example, the Cadillac CT4, which offers superb levels of comfort and thrilling handling even in the V-focused model. on performance. At the end of a long drive or shuttle ride in the 228i, it feels like the car has beaten you to pulp, showing just how stiff it is.

A week later, the 228i was back on the road with a new tire, which will hopefully stay intact for the rest of the car’s stay with us. Stay tuned as we put BMW’s latest entry-level sedan to the test on the track.

Find out more about our long-term 2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupé:

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