BMW has started taking orders for its second-generation 2 Series Active Tourer, an all-new version of the mini-MPV.
The 2 Series range is a confusing mix of very different models for BMW, so let’s quickly catch you up. The 2 Series Active Tourer shown here is a tall front-wheel drive MPV-style vehicle based on the 1 Series hatchback, while the 2 Series Gran Coupé is a saloon (not an actual coupé) based on the 1 Series hatchback. However, the 2 Series Coupé and (forthcoming) 2 Series Convertible are entirely different vehicles altogether, driven via the rear wheels and possessing a far more sporting personality.
The car, which differs from fellow 2 Series models by only being available with a front-wheel-drive powertrain, will go on sale with a choice of two mild-hybrid petrol engines or a diesel, all combined with a seven-speed auto gearbox.
The three-cylinder 1.5-litre 220i produces 170hp and its four-cylinder 2.0-litre sibling, the 223i, produces 218hp. A diesel option continues to be available, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder model called the 218d which offers 150hp.
In the summer of 2022, the range will be extended by the addition of two plug-in hybrid models. These will offer either 244 or 325hp, with an electric range of 49 miles.
The major changes to the new Active Tourer are in the car’s technology. The interior design is directly descended from BMW’s iX and i4 electric models, with a single-section curved dash housing a 10-inch driver’s digital display and an 11-inch central touchscreen.
BMW has added its latest eighth-generation iDrive infotainment system to the new car, replacing many of the buttons and switches of its predecessor with a smartphone-style display which can be customised to suit the individual owner. The touchscreen operation and voice control replaces many functions previously carried out using a controller adjacent to the gear lever.
The new Active Tourer is slightly larger than its predecessor and visually the obvious difference is a larger front grille which houses the sensor for the car’s extended driver assistance technologies.
A wider track front and rear and re-engineering of the front suspension is claimed to offer better steering response, while the rear three-link suspension is also new.
Prices for the new 2 Series Active Tourer start at just over £30K for the 170hp mild hybrid 220i. The 218hp 223i is just under £33K and the 218d diesel starts at just under £32K. The car will be available in three trim levels dubbed Sport, Luxury and M Sport.