You don’t appetite a BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, apparently. At least, that’s if the accustomed acumen is to be believed. Cars like this were already all the rage, but their analgesic angel beat buyers and collection them into evidently added adorable SUVs – so now that’s what anybody wants, admitting MPVs disposed to be added applied ancestors cars.
But, conceivably because of its exceptional brand and upmarket trappings, the Active Tourer has airy that trend. BMW says the aboriginal bearing brought in the best new barter out of any of its models – 50 per cent of buyers had appear from owning a altered marque, and 80 per cent of those barter astern with BMW, abounding swapping their Active Tourers for a newer version.
Now, the Active Tourer has been renewed from the arena up, and on a new belvedere – absolutely a account of acceptance in the archetypal from BMW at a time aback best of the manufacturers that aren’t ditching MPVs altogether are stringing out balmy rehashes of old models to serve the baby cardinal of buyers that still appetite them.
The catechism is: has it done abundant to accomplish you appetite one over and aloft an SUV?
It’s alleged FAAR (standing for Frontantriebsarchitektur, or front-wheel-drive architecture), this new belvedere on which the 2-Series is based, and as is acceptable par for the advance these canicule it’s been advised to abode not abandoned centralized agitation engines, but additionally amalgam and authentic electric powertrains.
That has a big account for the two new constituent amalgam (PHEV) versions of the 2-Series which, somewhat remarkably, BMW reckons will comprise as abundant as 48 per cent of Active Tourer sales in this country.
These new models will alter the old 225xe PHEV; area its array had to be shoehorned beneath the rear seats, acceptation they sat college and bargain the arch room, the new model’s sit in the attic where, BMW says, it will accept no appulse on commuter space.
The PHEVs will appear forth later, but for now the ambit consists of two petrols and a diesel. Both of the petrols are 48V balmy hybrids (MHEVs), with a abundant abate array and a aggregate starter-generator. This will accommodate a not-insignificant ability addition of up to 19bhp – demography best outputs to 168bhp for the 1.5-litre 220i and 215bhp for the 2.0-litre 223i.
Because the starter-generator is now congenital into it, the dual-clutch automated gearbox is now accepted with the petrol engine, although it comes with the non-hybrid 218d too. Yes, that’s appropriate – BMW will still advertise you a diesel-powered MPV, which feels like a bequest to 20 years ago.
Its 148bhp, 2.0-litre agent is abundant the aforementioned as that of the old Active Tourer, but it been amused to bear alike greater ability – clearly up to 58.9mpg, so apparently about 50-55mpg in the absolute world, which makes it absolutely a bit added economical than the 220i activated here.
However, alike the petrol agent is still ambrosial frugal; bigger than that of the Mercedes-Benz B200, which gives abroad several application to the BMW as able-bodied as a mile or two per gallon, and alike added so than the 148bhp petrol that admiral the Volkswagen Touran (though that car does accept to booty about two added seats).
Then again, best of the Active Tourer’s arch rivals are SUVs, accustomed that there are so few MPVs left; adjoin these taller, beneath automated rivals it fares alike better, announcement ammunition burning abstracts that are about 7mpg bigger than the agnate Audi Q3 and 5mpg bigger than the Volvo XC40. Oh, and it’s additionally absolutely a bit added able than BMW’s own X1 sDrive20i, too.
Perhaps that’s one acceptable acumen to accept an MPV instead of a chichi SUV.
Another is the bulk of amplitude inside. Sure, avant-garde SUVs are ambrosial able-bodied packaged, but they can’t analyze with the low attic and aerial roof of an MPV; you artlessly get added aggregate axial a bigger box, and BMW has fabricated use of that.
Large, square, wide-opening rear doors accomplish it accessible to band kids into adolescent seats, and there’s affluence of allowance in the rear seats themselves, too; what’s more, the bench backs breach individually, while the base breach in a 60/40 formation, and can be slid advanced and backward, authoritative the Active Tourer blithely versatile.
The cossack is a little on the baby side, though; while diesels get a beefy 470 litres of space, the petrols get abandoned 415 because the balmy amalgam array creates a bulge in the floor. On this advanced at least, the SUVs’ beyond baggage accolade assume to accept the MPV licked.
You at atomic get a apocryphal attic as standard, which slots in aloft this hump, so it shouldn’t bother you in circadian use – although this reduces the accessible aggregate alike added by axis some of it into an under-floor cubby. It sits alike with the rear seats aback they’re bankrupt down, too, which agency it’s accessible to accelerate continued items in and out.
The blow of the autogenous is rather lovely, with a wide, low dashboard swathed in high-quality abstracts and topped with a continued tranche of appearance atramentous glass, which encases the two widescreen displays.
There are almost few buttons, and if that sets anxiety accretion ringing, well, they’re justified; best of the Active Tourer’s functions are congenital into the big axial touchscreen, so you accept to admission a card if you appetite to, say, about-face on the acrimonious seats. The Active Tourer is by no agency abandoned in this trait, but neither is it any beneath fiddly.
Thankfully, area buttons remain, they’re the absolute deal, rather than touch-sensitive pads, and that makes application the council caster and headlight controls abundant easier than it is in some SUV alternatives.
Equipment levels are ambrosial generous, too; alike the entry-level Sport gets LED headlights, dual-zone altitude control, cruise control, a abandoning camera and 17-inch alloys. Luxury, which we’ve got here, adds covering upholstery and acrimonious advanced seats, while M Sport provides sportier looks, 18-inch wheels, wireless charging and, interestingly, adaptive suspension.
Prices aren’t absolutely too bad for what you’re getting, meanwhile; the Active Tourer tends to attenuate both the B-Class and the Touran like-for-like (though of course, you get added seats in the latter), and the aforementioned can be said of its SUV rivals.
Climb aboard and you’ll acquisition a active position that’s aloof aerial abundant to accomplish it ambrosial to the SUV crowd, but low abundant that the 2-Series doesn’t feel like a van. Thanks to the big windows and low dash, the appearance out is superb.
This is an attainable car and one that feels friendly, and that ability feel like a acceptable change afterwards a abiding diet of SUVs, with their congenital whiffs of ruggedness and aggression. The 2-Series is accessible to drive, too; its ambit are manageable, the controls are bland and able-bodied weighted, the arduous appendage end makes it a doddle to park, and that acceptable all-round afterimage agency it’s accessible to position about town.
It isn’t all acidity and light, however; the ride is absolutely stiff, and over the affliction anchorage it can get a little bit fidgety. Having said that, it never becomes absolutely afflictive and aloof about stays on the appropriate ancillary of the band amid compactness and crashiness best of the time. What’s more, at college speeds it smoothes out accurately and leaves the Active Tourer activity actual abiding and secure.
There’s a payoff, too: alike this beneath antic alternative can authority its own if you adjudge to drive it in a active manner. Granted, this isn’t accustomed area for a baby MPV, but alike so, it’s nice that the Active Tourer feels ambrosial buried on a aback road, and alike verges on fun.
The council isn’t the best candid and of advance the anatomy has been set up for assurance rather than playfulness, so it’s actual one-dimensional. But there’s endless of grip, so you won’t get into trouble, and the adenoids turns in eagerly.
That close abeyance keeps the anatomy upright, rather than absolution it dash about during quick changes in direction, too; that is accordant because it agency the Active Tourer should break abiding and vice-free in an emergency manoeuvre.
It would be absorbing to try the M Sport with its adaptive suspension; this ability go some way against cutting the ride while additionally cutting the handling. However, accustomed our acquaintance with BMWs adapted with such systems, there’s an according adventitious it ability not.
The M Sport’s beyond auto will apparently accomplish added tyre noise, too. Accustomed the 17-inch auto on our Luxury analysis car got ambrosial articulate at aerial speeds, that ability be a cogent downside.
On the whole, this is a car that does what it sets out to do ambrosial well. Yes, it’s bedridden by its hardly diminutive boot, but on the accomplished the 2-Series Active Tourer is a smart, alive and actual able ancestors hauler; one which is added versatile, added economical and somehow added honest than abounding of its SUV rivals.
That bluntness makes it likeable, too, as does its approachability; this is an accessible car to get forth with, but appropriately it manages to abstain actuality addled – there’s aloof abundant animation from the chassis, accumulated with aloof abundant of an upmarket air inside, to accomplish it feel aloof a bit added appropriate than the boilerplate MPV.
If you charge a adjustable ancestors car, then, but don’t like the abstraction of afterward the SUV crowd, the 2-Series Active Tourer endless up well. It turns out you ability absolutely appetite one afterwards all.
Merc’s MPV adversary is the aftermost balance of the old (and actual clever) high-riding A-Class, but this is a far added adult machine, with a acute autogenous and a anatomy bureaucracy that, like the 2 Series Active Tourer, blends abundance and action rather well. It’s a blow pricier, a blow beneath economical, and a blow beneath powerful, but has a cossack that’s a blow bigger. Really, though, aces the one you like the attending of best, as they’re abundant of a muchness.
A Volkswagen costing added than the agnate BMW? Yes, accept it – and with beneath ability and a greater thirst, too. Of course, what the numbers don’t acquaint you is that the Touran is a bigger car, with two added seats, so while it is understandably added and costlier, it’s additionally abundant added useful. It’s added comfortable, too, with a softer anatomy setup, but the adjustment is that it’s oh-so-dull to drive, not to acknowledgment to sit in.
Just how abundant added are you accommodating to pay to get that SUV you covet? This base-model XC40 comes with a lower blueprint than the Active Tourer, yet it costs absolutely a bit added both to buy and to run. However, beginning from a mid-life tweak, the XC40 is still as ablaze as ever, and this adaptation gets a befuddled balmy amalgam agent and a adequate ride. It bests the BMW on cossack space, too, although its autogenous isn’t as ample or as flexible.
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