BMW's entry-level sedan used to be the 218i Gran Coupe (GC), but that model has now made way for the 216i variant.
The main headline though is that the 2GC, which used to be a Cat B COE model, is now in Cat A, thereby making it less expensive. The 218i Gran Coupe was last listed at $225,888, while the new 216i currently starts from $203,888 with COE.
And instead of being VES-neutral, the 216i falls under the A2 band, which qualifies it for a $15,000 VES rebate.
While the 218i was offered in Luxury and M Sport trims, the 216i will only be offered in Sport trim.
The model comes with M high-gloss Shadowline, which sees exterior components such as the window frame surround and C-pillars finished in black high-gloss. Double-spoke, 17-inch wheels are also standard.
Inside, the seats are upholstered in Sensatec, while the trim finishers are in the "Illuminated Berlin" style. Six colour options for the ambient lighting are provided.
The 216i is equipped with BMW's Live Cockpit Professional, featuring two 10.25-inch displays - one for the instrument panel and the other for the infotainment. BMW Operating System 7 is standard.
The key features of the OS are the adaptive navigation system and a hard-drive-based multimedia system.
For safety and convenience, the 216i comes with the Driving Assistant package, which includes the Lane Change Warning system, rear collision warning and crossing traffic warning functions. Also available is the Lane Departure Warning System, which features active lane return.
For easier manoeuvring, the car also has Parking Assistant and Reversing Assistant. The latter helps the driver get out of tight spots by storing the steering movements for any section that the car has been driven forward along at 36km/h and slower.
When activated, Reversing Assistant steers the vehicle for up to 50 metres while it is in reverse, along exactly the same line it travelled when it was moving forward. The driver just needs to operate the accelerator and brake pedal while keeping an eye on his surroundings.
The system is then able to steer the vehicle in reverse - for distances of up to 50 metres at a maximum 9 km/h - along exactly the same line it took when moving forward.
BMW 216i Gran Coupe Sport 1.5 (A)
Engine: 1499cc, 12-valves, inline-3, turbocharged
Max power: 109hp at 4300-6500rpm
Max torque: 190Nm at 1380-3800rpm
Power to weight: 79.3hp per tonne
Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-10-km/h: 10.8 seconds
Top speed: 200km/h
Price incl. COE: From $203,888 (after $15,000 VES rebate)
Agent: Performance Motors Limited
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This article was first published in Torque.