By Ed Curran

By Ed Curran

CHICAGO (CBS) — We’re behind the wheel of a larger version of a car we’ve enjoyed in the past. Back in 2017 I fell in love with this BMW. Maybe it wasn’t just the car itself — it was what I did in it.

That was a wild drive at Arlington Race Course, behind the wheel of a BMW 230i, getting driving lessons from pro Mano Bourbonnais. Outside of the “M” cars, the 2 series became my favorite BMW, and believe me, I’ve driven them all.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I got to spend some time with the BMW 228i Gran Coupe. It’s a four door version of the 2 series. Twice the doors doesn’t mean half the fun. This entry level version is a peppy 228 horsepower ride that does 0 to 60 in a tad over five seconds. It’s a front wheel drive car, a first for BMW in the United States, but our version was equipped with BMW’s x-drive. The car’s design is clearly BMW and, like its handling, a no-nonsense driving machine. This car had good acceleration and crisp handling when you threw it into corners — not bad for a four door.

The interior is straight-forward classic BMW. It felt great, was comfortable, with good visibility and feel. Two extra doors doesn’t mean a ton of extra room in the back, however. It’s tight if you actually try to cram three passengers back there.

The BMW 228i Gran Coupe competes with cars like the Audi A3, Lexus IS and Mercedes CLA.

It starts around $39,000.