This is a car attracting on the one hand Brexit-like levels of division and ridicule and on the other drooling and adoration in equal measure on social media, with digs ranging from describing its window-line as an ‘economy car greenhouse’ and its rear three-quarters vibe as ‘a slammed BMW X4’, to wince-inducing comments like ‘there are old hags in the depths of the underworld who are better looking than the rear end of this car’.

Risking the possibility of men and women in white coats rushing to our HQ, we actually love the way BMW’s brand new 2 Series Gran Coupe-badged car looks, although M Sport models and especially the M235i get us salivating more than other versions – and colour choice will be important.

It’s available to order now for personal car leasing (PCH), and on business contract hire if you’re a fleet manager or company car driver, with UK deliveries expected to start happening in March 2020 and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe getting its world premiere at the LA Auto Show which starts this week funnily enough.

Is the Gran Coupe a 2 Series Coupe with two extra doors?

Getting scientific gymnastics out of the way first, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is not based on the same platform as the 2 Series Coupe, Convertible, Active and Gran Tourer but is actually built on the new 1 Series’ gubbins yet manages to be larger than the other ‘2’ models and even eclipses the 3 Series that was knocking around in 2013, showing that modern cars are being raised on mountains of protein and spinach like never before.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - exterior front 34b - Car Leasing People

What does the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe look like, then?

While the new 7 Series and X7 SUV may have grilles wider and taller than many people’s driveway gates, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe basically looks the same as the new 1 Series hatch, which is no bad thing, particularly in the flesh rather than just pictures. Sure, there’s a faintly common or garden look to the side windows and general profile, but their frameless design is a nice touch and the car does look reasonably muscular overall, and the slim taillights complete with L-shaped signatures and joined by a black strip look suitably mean and moody in our book, although we realise the steep GT-reminiscent rear won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. The fruity M235i Gran Coupe stands out with its Cerium grey 3D mesh grille and bulging air intakes.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - exterior rear 34b - Car Leasing People

Which engines and drivetrains lie under the skin?

The brand’s purists may frown with the news that the 2 Series Gran Coupe won’t be equipped with slide-happy rear-wheel drive for the foreseeable future or perhaps ever, but it does boast BMW’s latest front-wheel drive and intelligent xDrive AWD architectures, the latter dividing the power 50:50 where applicable, even if Driving Experience Control (DSC) is in Sport mode or if it and Dynamic Traction Control (DCT) are turned off, which we wouldn’t advise in a lease car.

The M235i Gran Coupe’s all-wheel drive system is a Torsen setup with a limited slip differential, combining with the 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, M Sport suspension, M Performance exhaust and ‘ARB’ wheel-slip limitation wizardry borrowed from the electric i3s to eke the most out of its 306bhp and 450Nm peak power and torque outputs, which aren’t to be sniffed at – and nor is the initial flagship’s 39.8-42.2mpg economy banding. Variable Damper Control (VDC) will be well worth specifying if you fancy an M235i GC on your driveway.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - exterior front 34a - Car Leasing People

Most lesser mortals will though buy or lease a BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe in either Sport or M Sport guise with a more modest engine and anyone who racks up high mileage each year will be pleased that the diesel 220d will be available from the off, a familiar 190bhp affair with only 50Nm less torque than the M235i, but capable of efficiency as high as 67.3mpg, on paper at least.

In today’s climate of diesel-bashing, we reckon the most popular BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe in the personal leasing world will be the petrol 218i, though, which is the excellent three-pot already tried, tested and loved in the Coupe and its sibling MINI models, except that Bimmer has shaved 5kg off its weight and added an overboost function. For people who cover less than 15,000 miles per year, which is double the duration of the average personal car lease contract, this petrol version is almost certainly the wise choice for fuel, VED/BIK tax and monthly payment reasons.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - exterior rear 34a - Car Leasing People

Gearboxes for the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe come in the form of 6-speed manual, 7-speed double-clutch Steptronic and 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmissions.

Trim variants and their interiors

In a nod to its agile intentions, the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will come in Sport with Nivala Cloth/Sensatec seats plus contrast stitching to jazz things up a bit, M Sport with Dakota leather, and M Performance trims, the latter reserved for the M235i in which the headrests are finished in Alcantara.

In terms of footwear, Sport models will ride on 17” alloys by default, while M Sport and M235i versions will get 18” rims, the range-topper’s coming in exclusive Cerium grey, and it’s no surprise that the higher up the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe tree one goes, the car looks increasingly tasty with Munich’s usual aerodynamic body-styling upgrades.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - interior lighting - Car Leasing People

Infotainment ranges from BMW Live Cockpit Plus, an 8.8-inch touchscreen and a 5.1-inch digital display nestled between traditional dials in Sport models through to a 10.25-inch touchscreen complemented by Live Cockpit Professional’s fully-digital instrument display in M Sport and M235i editions, which benefit from version 7.0 of BMW’s operating system (OS).

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - interior infotainment touchscreen display - Car Leasing People

Apple CarPlay will be active for one year across all specs, after which the subscription will need renewing, but there’s no mention of Android Auto compatibility, which seems a bit miserly, and BMW specifically mentions that its Digital Key will only work on NFC-capable Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 8.0 or above.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - interior door lighting detail - Car Leasing People

Anyone used to buying or leasing premium German cars will be familiar with options lists as long as proverbial arms, and upgrades that our future BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe leasing customers may be interested in range from Parking Assistant with a rear-view camera and automated bay manoeuvres, a 9.2-inch head-up display and the ‘Hey BMW’ virtual assistant, to the 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, 19” shoes and a relatively large panoramic roof.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe practicality

The new 2 Series Gran Coupe is more practical than the existing Coupe, its 430-litre boot pipping the two-door variant by 40 litres, and there’s 33mm extra knee and legroom in the rear, ideal for beanpoles out there, although the GC’s roofline is still steeply raked at the back and it’s worth noting that occupants sit 12mm higher than in the Coupe even if BMW does promise improved headroom. The Gran Coupe’s rear seats are split 40:20:40 and can be lowered using boot-mounted levers, saving faffing around if it’s raining, you’re juggling kids and shopping, or time is of the essence.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - boot space - Car Leasing People

Musing on how the 2 Series Gran Coupe could fare in the leasing world

The pretty BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe has proved to be one of the car lease market’s bestsellers in recent years, and while we admit that some angles of the more compact newcomer are a bit iffy when stared at too long, we reckon it’s a stylish, affordable and worthy addition to the BMW model range rather than a niche-filler for the sake of it - and one that will prove effective in putting the wind up its main rival, the similarly love/hate new Mercedes CLA Coupe. We can envisage quite a few people going for a higher-spec’ BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe over an entry-level or mid-rung 3 Series built by the Grinch. Heck, when the spicy M2 Gran Coupe is eventually unleased, it’ll be ideal for those who can only dream of driving an M8.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - front seats M235i - Car Leasing People

Lease prices for the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

BMW’s official RRP pricing for its newcomer starts at £25,518 for the 218i Sport before any options are sprinkled on top, meaning it’s cheaper than the £31,380+ Mercedes CLA Coupe, its closest rival, and a whisker under the £26,735 Audi A3 Saloon, which it may tempt some customers away from.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe will be added to our BMW lease deals and offers page soon and we expect prices to begin around the £325 per month mark including VAT, for 4-year personal leasing contracts with 9 months’ initial rental and 8,000-10,000 annual mileage caps.

Contact CarLeasingPeople today to register your interest in the 2 Series Gran Coupe and sign up to receive special offers to ensure that once it goes live on our website, you’ll hear about any specials from the horse’s mouth.