BMW has managed to make the 2 Series Active Tourer handle well for an MPV. Better, in fact, than all of the alternatives
The 2 Series Gran Tourer gets an excellent range of engines – the majority of which offer spritely performance along with affordable running costs. There are both three and four-cylinder options in both petrol and diesel forms, with power outputs ranging from 140-190hp.
The 220d 2.0-litre diesel is bound to be a popular choice thanks to being able to shove itself from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and return real world fuel economy of around 55mpg. Its substantial mid-range performance will also prove useful when the BMW’s packed to the rafters with people and stuff, and it remains quiet and smooth even when rushed.
Quite simply, the 2 Series Active Tourer is great to drive next to other MPVs, but it’s among the worst handling BMW. Don’t expect a big grin on your face.
Don’t be put off the smaller 116d diesel or three-cylinder 118i petrol if you spend the majority of time in town, though. They’re cheaper to buy and run and will feel easily up to the job of town work when full to the brim with a family’s gubbins.
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. M Sport models, for instance, look great, but with their 18-inch alloy wheels and stiffer suspension set-up they tend to thud into potholes a little firmly for an MPV. You’re better off sticking the smallest wheels and standard more comfortable suspension set-up for the plushest ride quality.
The Active Tourer also has plenty of safety kit available, including the BMW Emergency Call system that notifies local emergency services if any of the car’s airbags are deployed.
Driving Assistant monitors the position of the Active Tourer in its lane and prevent the car drifting around. The systems will also detect objects and people in the car’s path and bring the car to a stop if the driver doesn’t react in time.
An optional adaptive Cruise Control maintains a safe distance from the car in front and will adjust speed automatically should it begin closing the gap, bringing the car to a standstill if necessary.