Despite a global disenchantment with minivans, in favor of SUVs, the Series 2 Active Tourer is getting a makeover, bolstered by great commercial success. We were able to approach this Bavarian newborn, near Munich.
In France, one in ten BMWs sold is a 2 Series Active Tourer. If it experienced a significant loss of speed at the end of its career (the previous generation was launched in 2014), public interest in this model has encouraged the propeller firm to keep its high ceiling station wagon. To get up to date, this serious competitor of the Mercedes B-Class is reviewing its copy.
First, on the outside, the new vintage Active Tourer tried to erase anything that could evoke a minivan. Would she struggle to assume her positioning? Possible. The grille, now decked out with large “beans”, is intended to be more massive and higher (2 cm) while the stern gains muscle to mimic the allure of a crossover. The BMW is also reviewing its ribs upward (3 cm more in length – 4.39 m – and 2 cm more in width) to compensate for the disappearance of its extended version from the catalog. A slight inflation which does not prevent this family 2 Series from seeking to optimize its consumption and CO2 emissions. Its coefficient of penetration in the air is also improving, thanks in particular to its active grille (which opens or closes the front ventilation as needed) but also to the outright removal of tailpipes to smooth the air flow. These are replaced, depending on the version, by aerodynamic elements or a more efficient spoiler. The trunk volume, meanwhile, changes little since it allows 470 liters of loading on the purely thermal versions. A little less on hybrids.
VIDEO – Our first impressions of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Goodbye mecha box
If its prices increase, with an entry ticket displayed at 34,200 euros, the new Series 2 Active Tourer is more generous in equipment than the previous one, from its first trim levels. For example, it adopts more powerful full LED lights which have enabled designers to refine the designs of the front and rear light units.
But, it is especially inside that the move upmarket is significant. To compete with the Class B, the Bavarian is equipped with a new digital panel composed of two 10.25-inch screens, oriented towards the driver. Say goodbye to the aging i-Drive control, almost all functions are now accessible via the touchscreen interface. Despite the fluidity of its operation, we regret the lack of haptic feedback. However, the major positive point is the space freed up by the migration of these orders. Behind the wheel of the 2 Series Active Tourer, we therefore enjoy a pleasantly refined presentation. A feeling reinforced by the disappearance of the embossed gear selector. As such, the mechanical box disappears purely and simply from the catalog. All versions are now available exclusively with a 7-speed double-clutch automatic transmission, controlled by discreet buttons flush with the central tunnel.
Finally, the interior of this new version is distinguished by its wider and more comfortable seats (massaging optional), but also by the arrival of a synthetic leather less expensive than real animal skin and also more economical. If the price of this option is still unknown, the result convinced us, both to the eye and to the touch.
A plug-in hybrid next summer
On the technical side, this Series 2 Active Tourer is based on a revised platform. It is still a traction (possibility of having 4-wheel drive on certain high-end versions) which shares chassis elements with the Mini range, in particular. On this subject no surprise, the minivan does not change its family vocation and should focus on comfort. No real sporty version on the program, therefore, but still a variety of petrol and diesel engines, often supported by a 48-volt electric unit. When it is launched next February, the Active Tourer will therefore offer two essence; 136hp and 156hp (+ 19hp via 48 volts) and a 150hp diesel. In the summer of 2022, the 225xe (244hp) and 230xe (326hp) plug-in hybrid versions will be released with a 16.3 kWh battery, including the all-electric range should be around 80 km, which is twice as much as the current plug-in. The first deliveries of these “virtuous” versions will begin in July.
218i Active Tourer 136ch DKG7 : 34 200 euros
220i Active Tourer 170ch DKG7 : 36 600 euros
218d Active Tourer 150ch DKG7 : 36 400 euros
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