BMW staying 'Active' with its new 2-Series Tourer

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer is a welcome addition to the MPV market
BMW 2-Series Active Tourer is a welcome addition to the MPV market

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218d

BMW and rear-wheel drive have always gone together like jelly and ice cream - well not anymore.

The Germans have decided to ditch traditional values and follow most other brands, with an all-new model that features front-wheel drive.

Step ‘forward’ (if you pardon the pun), the new 2 Series Active Tourer.

This BMW range is growing as fast as Facebook figures lately, and the 2 Series is a welcome addition for families looking for a spacious MPV.

On the outside, the new 2 Series Tourer is a little different from the rest of the BMW range. Yes, it is unmistakeably a BMW with the traditional kidney grille, but there are similarities to the Mazda 5 from a distance.

I have to admit, when I first saw it in the flesh I thought it was very small looking on the outside. But, like they say, looks can be deceiving.

On the inside, the 2 Series Tourer is as spacious as they come. It’s up there with the Ford C-Max for leg and head room, and 40/20/40 seats, which can move forward 130mm, can be adjusted to suit your needs.

However, I feel they should have taken a leaf from the French manufacturers and gone with the three individual seats that can also be removed for those Ikea trips.

Elsewhere in the cabin there are numerous cubby holes to store all the junk the kids seem to haul around with them.

The large windows and optional panoramic glass roof give a real airy feeling throughout the cabin, and the added height gives a commanding view of the road.

I am delighted to say that BMW has, for once, given the centre console a much-needed makeover, and it’s certainly different from every other model you step in to.

Boot space too, is up there with its closest rivals and the automatic tailgate makes loading and unloading a doddle.

On the road, the 2 Series Tourer really surprised me. It was a first for me getting behind the wheel of a front-wheel drive BMW, and I have to say I think they have done a great job.

I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see other smaller models in the BMW range following suit, and going against the traditional rear-wheel drivetrains we are so used to.

As with all BMWs, the engines are superb. There are only a handful of cars that can match them for fuel economy figures.

My 218d Tourer was powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. It develops a maximum output of 150hp at 4,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 330Nm between 1,750 and 2,750rpm, taking this Active Tourer from standstill to 100kph in 9.5 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 208kph.

Meanwhile, fuel consumption is an excellent 4.1//100km and CO2 emissions are just 115g/km – which puts it into tax band A3 (e190 per year).

The 2 Series Active Tourer line-up includes Luxury Line and Sport Line, and there is an M Sport Line if you really want to push the boat out.

Even better news is that for once you don’t have to fork out thousands  for the luxury optional items.

The 2 Series comes with plenty of equipment even in entry-level form.  

Overall the 2 Series is a great addition to the brand, offering customers a premium MPV.I can see it doing really well for the company.

And on top of that there was even better news recently when the German brand unveiled a new seven-seater Gran Tourer version.

This model is due on our shores on June 6, and prices will start at €35,940.