The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has (just about) room for five people and a high quality interior. You’ll pay for that premium feel, though
BMW has built its reputation on cars that drive well, and much of that has been to do with its models traditionally being rear-wheel-drive. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer marks a departure from that, though, being based on the front-wheel-drive Mini and putting space and practicality for five people before performance and handling.
The 2 Series Active Tourer was launched back in 2015, but was updated in 2018, getting a new front-end design with LED fog lights, new interior design and upholstery options and more exterior colours. There’s a wide range of fuel efficient engines to choose from and three trims levels that come packed with equipment.
Inside there are no complaints with the space on offer around the front seats. Even very tall adults will have plenty of head and leg room, and there’s no danger of them rubbing shoulders either. Hop in the back, though, and you’ll find the Active Tourer doesn’t have three individual rear seats unlike rivals such as the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer or Renault Scenic, which means that while headroom and legroom is generous for adults sat in the outside pews, a third adult sat in the middle seat will be more of a squeeze.
Handily, the rear bench splits 40:20:40 as standard, and will slide back and forth in a 60:40 configuration allowing brilliant flexibility. Entry-level cars don’t get this feature as standard, but it can be added as an option. Sadly, all-wheel drive models can’t have it at all.
As you would expect, the 2 Series Active Tourer leads the way when it comes to interior quality in a car of this type and size. Everything inside has BMW’s trademark solid build and most of the plastics look and feel expensive.
Paying extra for the BMW also gets you one of the best infotainment systems on sale today: its iDrive system. OK, so you only get a relatively small 6.5-inch screen on all cars, but it is at least easy to move through its on screen menus via the rotary controller and menu shortcut buttons between the front seats.
If you’re able to come to terms with not have a premium badge on your bonnet, there are MPVs that’ll cart five people in more comfort, but for much less money
Thankfully, BMW hasn’t forgotten its heritage, because the Active Tourer is still good to drive for an MPV, thanks mostly to being based on the playful Mini hatchback. It shares that car’s grippy front end and direct steering, although there’s significantly more body roll to contend with when pushing it hard around tight bends. It rides comfortably, too, as long as you steer clear of the range’s large wheels and stiffer suspension settings.
If the idea of a premium MPV excite you, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a high-tech, high quality option that’s decent to drive. Just don’t expect it to be the most practical choice, nor the cheapest.