This reviewer has been test driving cars for ten years, but my love of them started in western Nebraska when I was fifteen and got my learner’s permit. That is fairly typical for a young man, and as George Strait renders in his 2000 hit “Best Day”, a teenager’s dreams “revolve around four spinning wheels”. Mine sure did, and as a rule back then I dreamt of a Chevy or perhaps a Pontiac. A BMW? That was something driven through town by a visiting city dweller.
But a dreamy BMW was indeed the test car I received just in time for a birthday (mine) ride all over Weld and Larimer counties recently. The model was a 228i painted Storm Bay metallic (gray) and featured Mocha perforated Dakota leather seating for five. The moniker “Gran Coupe” sounds fancy, but generally a coupe is a 2 door with a sloping roofline. BMW, however, has elected to name this four door as such, and the practice of doing so seems to have been popularized with several other manufacturers.
My test car qualified as a subcompact (178.5” long), and the interior provided supportive seating for two of the passengers, a large moon roof, a 10.3” dandy infotainment screen, and an electronic shifter that I struggled with a little bit. BMW’s always offer the operator a solid, Teutonic feel and sensation, and this 228i was no exception. All of the safety features such as lane change alert were on hand, but the cruise control did not have the radar system that prevents the driver from running up on a slower moving vehicle. The customary cruise control suited me fine, however.
The styling of the 228i is terrific, and neighbors and motorists sure did notice Ruth and I as the day progressed. Power is provided by a turbocharged four with 228 horsepower and the transmission is an eight speed automatic coupled to the all-wheel drive system underneath. Zero to 60 mph can be arrived at in 5.1 seconds and highway fuel economy is rated at 33 mpg.
The M.S.R.P. for my test vehicle worked out to $47,845.00 with all the options.
It was a blast to drive the BMW for the week that I had possession, and I would have to rate my experience driving around in it on my birthday as the “Best Day” of 2020, so far.