Archive for November, 2017|Monthly archive page

Surprisingly different – BMW 218D GT

In BMW on November 8, 2017 at 12:17 am

M4 2 GTThree hundred miles today in an Auto BMW 218D M Sport Grand Tourer.

Firstly well done Chandlers who were top notch when selling me my smaller 225xe Active Tourer, and equally good at 22,000 miles for my first service.

Today in heavy traffic, then heavy rain I had a 300 mile round trip to Bristol and Gloucestershire.

I’m not sure what my expectations were, but this is a remarkably different proposition to my 2 series.

Let’s run through the differences.

The most obvious? The size. My Active Tourer seats 5, the Grand Tourer seats 7.

What’s more the guys in the middle row have more legroom. My car and this both have the sports seats, with plenty of adjustment.  Mine seem harder, although there should be no difference.

Sat navAlthough both vehicles are of a virtually identical age this has no sat nav within the instrument binnacle, so a phone call wipes out any graphic indicator of one’s route.

The controls on the chunkier steering wheel are less easy to use. Today’s loan car came with a flappy paddles gearbox.

I tried them briefly, but this is more Monster Truck than sports car, and not what I’d consider useful.

Mine’s a “Luxury” and this is an M Sport.  What does that mean?

The blue car here has wider profile tyres, and a at slower speeds a less settled ride.

My 225xe is 4WD, petrol power up front (136 bhp) and up to 82 bhp battery power to the rear, the 218d has a 4 cylinder 2 litre 150 bhp diesel unit powering the front wheels alone.

You’d imagine this big blue machine would be lethargic, but in practice there’s plenty of shove.  Once on the move it’s more relaxing than my daily driver.

Which brings out another difference. Occasionally my rear wheels scrabble on our gravel track when I pull onto a busy road, but other than that it’s always well behaved.

The 2GT is nowhere near as refined on wet greasy road surfaces if you stamp on the loud pedal.  Attempt a quick get away in the wet and there are severe knocking sensations from the front end.

Once at 70 mph on the motorway the bigger car generally feels more secure, but once the roads were saturated the wide tyres seemed to aquaplane too easily.

Economy? Over 46 mpg on my hybrid, and only 41 mpg for the oil burning 218D auto, I was really surprised.

Bottom line.  Is the 218D Grand Tourer any good?

Absolutely. Although I’d rather have a sun roof than half the fancy M Sport features.  The screen on this one kept misting up.

One other unexpected bonus for the diesel, it was even quieter than my 3 cylinder petrol Active Tourer.  The only time the hybrid is less vocal being when the Active Tourer is in battery mode.