Despite the world largely leaning towards the SUVs these days, there’s still evidently a market for the posh mini MPVs over in Europe. In the face of fresh competition in the segment from its arch rival with their all-new B Class, BMW has now unveiled the all-new 2 Series Active Tourer, with a bold new design and a tech-laden interior, to also fight for a piece of that pie.
On the outside, the biggest (hah) change in design is, of course, the larger kidney grille, which takes on a slightly more square-ish proportion similar to that of the BMW X7, rather than the vertical ones that we see on the BMW 4 Series and iX.
And you know what – we think it actually works pretty well here. At least, it’s not as glaring as the vertical ones that many seem to hate, and it’s functional too – the new grille houses the radar sensor required for new advanced driver assistance functions, and active air flaps behind the chrome slats help improve aerodynamic whenever cooling is not required.
The grille is flanked by new LED headlights (optional adaptive matrix items on high-end models), and below that, the air intakes on the front bumper varies in size and design according to trim levels.
Other exterior design highlights include the new flush door handles and lower side mirrors to aid aero performance, sleek new side creases, large side window openings, 16- to 19-inch wheels, and the new slimmer 3D tail lights at the back that lends the MPV a more modern appearance.
Compared to its predecessor, the all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is slightly larger in every dimension, growing by 32 mm in length (4,386 mm), 24 mm in width (1,824 mm) and 21 mm in height (1,576 mm). The track has also been widened by 25 mm in front and 26 mm at the rear, although the wheelbase remains unchanged at 2,670 mm.
As before, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer continues to be built on the front-wheel drive FAAR platform, which is now also shared with the 2 Series Gran Coupe line-up; the Coupe is the only model in the 2 Series line-up to feature the more “traditional” rear-wheel set-up.
Inside, the 2 Series Active Tourer is the first ICE-powered BMW model to feature the marque’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment system, which combines a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch infotainment touchscreen into a free-standing curved black panel on the dashboard.
The touchscreen interface replaces most of the button controls on the interior, although there’s still a floating centre console between the two front occupants that features buttons for your drive controls and basic multimedia functions.
Highlights on the interior include the augmented reality GPS navigation system, a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon surround sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a wireless phone charging pad, and over-the-air software updates.
The all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is only available as a five-seater model in this generation, but that means there’s more space for the rear passengers and cargo area at the back. No figures were quoted for knee/headroom, although the seats now feature fore/aft movements with up to 130 mm of adjustability.
At the back, the all-new 2 Series Active Tourer boasts 470 litres of boot space, increasing to 1455 litres with the rear seats folded flat in the non-hybrid variants.
At launch, the 2 Series Active Tourer range will kick off with the entry-level 218i variant with a 134 hp/130 Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, which when paired to the a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, boasts a 0-100 km/h time of 9.0 seconds.
The next level up is the 220i, which gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 48V mild-hybrid technology, paired to the same dual-clutch gearbox. Output is rated at 168 hp and 280 Nm, but the 48V system can boost outputs by 19 hp for short bursts to help with performance.
There’s also a 223i variant, which increases the output of the same 2.0-litre turbo four-banger powertrain to 214 hp and 360 Nm of torque, which translates to a 0-100 km/h time of seven seconds flat.
Lastly, there’ll also be a 218d diesel variant, which pairs a 147 hp/360 Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
BMW will also be introducing two PHEV petrol powertrains for the 2 Series Active Tourer from mid-2022 onwards, both featuring a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, with an electric motor on the car’s rear axle.
The 225e xDrive pairs a 134 hp engine and 80kW electric motor for a combined output of 241 hp (180 kW), while the range-topping 230e xDrive gets a boost in both engine and electric motor outputs, for a total of 322 hp (240kW) combined.
The plug-in hybrids will offer up to 80 km of pure electric driving range thanks to the 14.9 kWh battery pack, which will take about 2.5 hours to recharge from empty to full.
The all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will begin deliveries in March 2022 over in Europe, with prices starting from £30,265 (approx. RM172k).