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BMW diesel lifts the spirits but its design is stretching it

2-series Gran Coupé is great drive but it is let down by its looks

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Intriguing addition: BMW’s new 2-series Gran Coupé

Intriguing addition: BMW’s new 2-series Gran Coupé

Intriguing addition: BMW’s new 2-series Gran Coupé

I can't quite put my finger on it, but getting into a diesel car after several weeks' absence gave me a huge lift. Maybe I have been brainwashed down the years to enjoy the special hum and powerful pull of a sweet diesel. Sorry Green Party, but I don't care. There remains something exceptional about the genre. Even more so if it happens to be a 2-litre from BMW. I wish I was as fond of everything in this car as that.

I had the 2-series Gran Coupé on test. It's an intriguing presence on the market. Its arrival means the 2-series range is now complete. Just remember, this is a front-wheel-drive BMW (it is set up for all-wheel-drive too). Basically, it follows the pattern set by other BMW four-door coupés (the 4-series, 8-series) as it combines the traditional look and shape of a two-door coupé, but has four frameless doors. They are among key styling elements in a car that contrives to looks sleek (mostly) and sits low.

It is just 1,420mm tall but stretches to 4,526mm in length, is 1,800mm wide and, critically, has a 2,670mm wheelbase.