BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Review & Prices

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a practical MPV with a posh-feeling cabin, but it’s not as stylish as an SUV

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RRP £34,055 - £49,570 Avg. Carwow saving £2,874 off RRP
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Reviewed by Jamie Edkins after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Decent interior space
  • Fun to drive for an MPV
  • Well-made interior

What's not so good

  • Ride is a bit harsh
  • Styling is challenging
  • Slightly expensive compared to alternatives

Find out more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Is the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer a good car?

Crossovers and SUVs dominate the family car market these days, however BMW is keen to prove that the humble MPV is still deserving of a place on the driveway with the 2 Series Active Tourer.

You can think of the 2 Series Active Tourer as a more sensible alternative to cars like the Audi Q2 and Mercedes GLA, and BMW’s own X1. If those cars were a pair of trendy Nike Air Max trainers, the 2 Series Active Tourer is a sensible pair of Hush Puppies.

In terms of premium people carriers, only Mercedes offers something similar, with the B-Class very much in the same mould as the Active Tourer - practical rather than fashionable for the size.

It may not be as stylish as a modern SUV, but you can lift the 2 Series Active Tourer by going for the M Sport pack. This gives the car some sporty-looking bumpers, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, making it look a bit less dowdy and a bit more aggressive.

This may not hide the car’s boxy shape, but the plus side is a practical cabin. Up-front there’s plenty of headroom, as well as loads of adjustment in the seats to find your ideal driving position.

You get plenty of storage, with a small cubby under the armrest as well as a big space under the centre console where you could keep a bag. The glovebox is an average size, as are the door bins. You can get a wireless charging pad in front of the cupholders, which has a helpful clip to keep your phone in place.

The spacious theme continues in the rear. Headroom is still generous, and there’s plenty of knee room as well. There’s also a handy armrest with cupholders in the rear, and fitting a child seat is easy thanks to the exposed ISOFIX anchor points.

As for the boot, you get 470 litres of space in the 218d models, or 415 litres in the 220i and 223i versions. Plug-in hybrid versions drop to 406 litres of cargo room thanks to a battery pack under the floor, although that’s still around the same as the 405 litres offered by the Audi Q2.

The 2 Series Active Tourer may not be as stylish as an SUV, but it offers plenty of practicality and a really nice interior

The Mercedes B-Class gets 420 litres of boot space, so slightly more than the petrol and plug-in hybrid Active Tourer, but less than you get in the 218d version. It’s worth bearing in mind however that the diesel’s additional storage space is situated under the boot floor., rather than within the main luggage area

The exterior design may not be as exciting as an SUV, however the interior can easily match something like a Mercedes GLA. Everything feels really well screwed together, and the materials used are all high-quality.

The overall cabin layout is very similar to the BMW X1 SUV, meaning you get the same floating armrest and wide central air vent, as well as the same 10.25-inch digital driver’s display and 10.7-inch infotainment system.

Engine-wise, there are plenty to choose from. Only one of them is diesel though, the 218d with 150hp. Then there’s a couple of petrol models, the 220i and the 223i with 170hp and 218hp respectively.

If you’re a company car driver, you’ll probably be looking at the tax-efficient 225e plug-in hybrid. This gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor, producing 245hp and capable of an official 56 miles on electric power alone.

The plug-in hybrid makes the most sense around town, where the instant acceleration of the electric motor makes pulling out at busy junctions easy. Whichever engine you go for though, the 2 Series Active Tourer is easy to drive in the urban jungle.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer may not be the most exciting offering in the family car segment, however if you’re looking for a well-made, premium-feeling car to haul the family around, and you’re not too bothered about looking flash while doing it, this car is certainly worth a look-in.

If you’re looking to make the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer your next car, check out the latest offers available on carwow. Alternatively, you can browse used BMW models, and you can sell your car for what it’s really worth.

How much is the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer?

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has a RRP range of £34,055 to £49,570. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,874. Prices start at £31,753 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £447. The price of a used BMW 2 Series Active Tourer on Carwow starts at £30,355.

Our most popular versions of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer are:

Model version Carwow price from
220i MHT Sport 5dr DCT £31,753 Compare offers

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer undercuts the Mercedes B-Class by some considerable margin. It’s also less expensive than the Volvo XC40, however it’s a fair bit more pricey than the Audi Q2. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the BMW X1 SUV isn’t that much more expensive than the 2 Series Active Tourer, and you get a more stylish exterior as well as more interior space.

Still, the 2 Series Active Tourer is still reasonably well-equipped as standard. All cars get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED front and rear lights, a power-operated tailgate, a 10.7-inch infotainment system, a reversing camera and cruise control.

Performance and drive comfort

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is easy to drive day-to-day thanks to great visibility and a decent turning circle, however it can be a bit hard over bumps in the road 

In town

For nipping around town the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is very good. It may not have the commanding driving position of an SUV, but you get excellent forward visibility, large door mirrors for a good view behind you and blind spots kept to a minimum, aside from a small one over your shoulders. 

The steering is also nice and light in comfort mode, and the turning circle is pretty tight as well. The standard-fit parking sensors and reversing camera make tight car parks much less stressful as well. 

There are no manual gearbox options for the 2 Series Active Tourer, your only option is an eight-speed automatic. Thankfully, it's an excellent gearbox which is smooth and responsive making traffic jams and busy junctions a breeze. 

If you spend most of your time in town, and have easy access to a charging point at home, it’s well worth considering the 225e plug-in hybrid. It can do almost 60 miles on electric power alone, and it’s nice to waft around the city in silent EV mode. 

The petrol engines are both smooth and punchy, with the 220i offering the best blend of performance and efficiency. Those chasing the best fuel economy may be tempted by the diesel. While it’s refined enough and economical, it’s only really worth considering for those doing a lot of motorway miles. 

You may find the 2 Series Active Tourer a bit firm if your local area is particularly potholed. This is made even worse if you go for the larger alloy wheels on M Sport models. It’s fine most of the time, however larger bumps can send a shock through the cabin and broken surfaces can upset things even further. An Audi Q2 is better in this respect. 

On the motorway

The 2 Series Active Tourer does well when you venture out onto the motorway. On the whole it feels secure and the steering weights up to help make the car feel more planted. You do get a bit of wind noise from around the mirrors but it’s not bad at all, and there’s barely any road noise to speak of. 

The suspension settles down at higher speeds as well, although it can still be harsh over rough surfaces and undulations. Overall comfort is good though, and the seats are also nice and supportive, meaning backache is kept at bay. 

If you spend a lot of time on the motorway, it may be worth paying extra for the Driving Assistant Plus package. This includes adaptive cruise control which can automatically keep you a safe distance from the car in front, as well as steer to keep you in lane. 

On a twisty road

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer handles a country road. It’s by no means a hot hatch, however for a practical MPV it’s actually quite good fun to drive.

There’s plenty of grip, especially if you go for one of the plug-in hybrid options with all-wheel-drive, and that slightly stiff suspension means there’s not much body roll either. It’s just a shame that the steering is a bit numb. 

If you just want to get home in comfort, the 2 Series Active Tourer can do that as well. Once again it’s a bit firm over bumps, but on the whole it’s planted, relaxing and it inspires confidence through the bends.

Space and practicality

The 2 Series Active Tourer offers plenty of rear seat space and interior storage, however the boot is a bit smaller than you’d expect from an MPV 

There’s no shortage of space up front in the 2 Series Active Tourer, and it's easy to get settled. You get loads of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel, so finding your ideal driving position is simple, and the boxy shape means that headroom is generous as well. 

The seats are really comfortable, managing to be both grippy and supportive. The extendable thigh support is a welcome addition for those with longer legs. 

Interior storage is decent. You get good-sized door bins with a bottle holder and an average glovebox, as well as two handy cupholders in front of the centre console which can fit a wide variety of drinks. 

You also get a big tray under the armrest and covered storage inside it. The wireless charging pad has a handy clip to keep your phone in place, and it’s positioned in such a way that your phone is easily accessible. 

Space in the back seats

It’s in the back seats where you see the biggest benefit of the boxy shape. There’s loads of headroom, plenty of legroom and enough space for everyone's feet as well. Opting for the panoramic glass sunroof makes it feel even more light and airy. 

The seats can all slide backwards and forwards individually for either added legroom or more boot space depending on requirements, and the backrests can be reclined as well, in case your passengers want to take a nap. 

Fitting a child seat is easy, thanks to the wide opening rear doors and easy-access ISOFIX anchor points. It’s not quite as easy as in something like a BMW X1 though; that car is higher off the ground meaning less bending down to work the seat in. 

There’s even a decent amount of storage in the rear. The door bins will fit a big bottle, there’s a couple of handy cupholders in the armrest and there are two USB charging ports with a tray for your phone lower down. 

Boot space

The boot in the 2 Series Active Tourer isn’t perhaps as big as you’d expect in a car such as this, although the actual size depends on which model you go for. The 218d has the most space at 470 litres, the 220i and 223i petrol have 415 litres and the plug-in hybrids, with their batteries under the floor, have 406 litres. 

That makes it more practical than a Volkswagen Golf, which has 381 litres of luggage space. However, the Mercedes GLA has 435 litres of space in non-plug-in hybrid models and a Skoda Karoq has 521 litres of cargo room. 

The BMW does have a similar amount of room to the Mercedes B-Class, with that car getting 420 litres of cargo space. 

The 2 Series Active Tourer is easier to pack full of stuff than an SUV thanks to a low load lip and a wide, square boot opening. The rear seats also fold completely flat to give you 1,455 litres of space in the 218d, 1,405 litres in the 220i and 223i and 1,370 litres in the plug-in hybrid. The Mercedes B-Class offers a roomier 1,505 litres of space with the rear seats folded though.

There are also plenty of handy shopping bag hooks, tethering points and some underfloor storage in the boot, as well as a 12-volt socket which can be useful for plugging in a hoover or even a cool box on a camping trip.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has a quality-feeling interior which can easily match that of a posh SUV, but it’s not the most exciting cabin on the market

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has a really well-made cabin which can easily compare to cars like the Audi Q2. In fact it looks very similar to the BMW X1, meaning you get loads of plush materials and the switchgear feels solid. 

It’s not the most exciting-looking cabin in this class, an award that goes to the Mercedes B-Class, but there are loads of options to personalise your car, and the overall design is modern with plenty of shiny metallic trims to liven things up. 

There aren’t many physical buttons to be found. There’s a volume wheel on the centre console and some controls for your driving modes, but that’s about your lot. The climate controls are all buried in the touchscreen, which can make them a pain to use on the move. 

You can use voice commands to get around this, and they do a pretty good job recognising most phrases such as “Hey BMW, I’m cold”. As for the infotainment system itself, it’s easy to use and it looks impressive as well. 

You get a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display and a 10.7-inch touchscreen in one single curved piece of glass. The graphics are crisp, however it can look a bit confusing at first glance. It’s highly customisable though, a bit like your phone, so it’s easy to navigate once you’ve got used to it. 

The digital drivers display is ok, however it’s not as good as the one you get in an Audi Q2. It shows plenty of information but it’s not all that customisable, and the screen is on the dark side. 

As part of the BMW Connected Drive feature you get live traffic updates and other online services, and it comes as standard for the first three years before needing renewing. You also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in case you don’t like BMW’s system, and it connects wirelessly.

MPG, emissions and tax

There’s a wide range of engine options available on the 2 Series Active Tourer, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs.

The entry-level engine is a 2.0-litre diesel with 150hp. This will return almost 60mpg according to official figures, and will accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds.

Then there are two petrol engines, starting with the 1.5-litre unit in the 220i. This is the best all-rounder. It has plenty of poke, with its 170hp of power allowing it to accelerate from 0-60 in 8.1 seconds, while offering an official 48mpg.

If you want a bit more performance without going down the plug-in hybrid route, the 223i gets a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 218hp and near hot-hatch levels of acceleration, going from 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds. Fuel economy doesn’t take too much of a hit either at 47mpg.

Company car drivers chasing the best BIK rates will want the plug-in hybrid for its low emissions. The 225e gets a 1.5-litre engine, paired with an electric motor to produce 245hp. This model can also go for up to 56 miles on electric power alone.

Finally, there’s the 230e plug-in hybrid. This uses the same 1.5-litre engine and motor setup as the 225e, only now it produces a bonkers 326hp. It has an official figure of up to 57 miles on electric power alone, slightly more than the 225e. It’s worth noting that this engine is not available on the base-level Sport models.

Safety and security

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer scored the maximum five stars in its 2022 Euro NCAP safety tests, meaning the crash structure is good at keeping you and your occupants safe should the worst happen. 

All models also get lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking to try and prevent you from having an accident in the first place. You can also get things like rear cross-traffic alert and an autonomous parking aid to help mitigate those low-speed impacts as optional extras.

Reliability and problems

All new BMW models come with a three-year warranty as standard. This gives you peace of mind that if something does go wrong, aside from wear and tear items like tyres, the car will be fixed by your local BMW dealer with no charge.

Three years isn’t as generous as some manufacturers though. For example, Toyota offers a five-year warranty and Kia offers seven years of cover.

There are no reliability woes to report with the 2 Series Active Tourer as yet, so you can rest assured that it should be a solid and reliable car.

There have been two recalls for the 2 Series Active Tourer that you should be aware of when buying one second hand. They both relate to a software issue meaning the airbag warning light won’t display if there’s a fault.

In total, 7,336 cars are affected by this recall. If you’re buying a 2 Series Active Tourer second hand, make sure to ask for evidence that this recall has been addressed. If it hasn’t, it’s just a case of taking the car to your local BMW dealer and it will be fixed free of charge.

Buy or lease the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £34,055 - £49,570 Avg. Carwow saving £2,874 off RRP
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