The all new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
An overall first impression of the Munich firm's latest creation
The 2 Series Active Tourer has always been a controversial car for BMW. It was the first front wheel drive car that they ever made, when the first generation F45 model was released back in 2014. It was not a massive hit for the BMW fanatics, and to this day it still isn't, mainly because it was an MPV and front wheel drive. However other people, such as families, thought that this was a great car, as it was reasonably spacious, had a decent boot, and the fact they could have an MPV with a BMW badge on it. The first generation Active Tourer sold well throughout its 7 year lifespan, hence why they have made a second generation of it.
The rather gaping front end of the new Active Tourer
BMW have definitely had mixed opinions come through from across the motoring industry on their new design approach to their new cars, specifically the iconic BMW Kidney Grille, which on most of the new models now has become a whole lot larger compared to their predecessors, and this 2 Series Active Tourer is a great example of this. I mean look at it, its definitely eye catching at the very least, and it also looks like it's been nicked straight off the new 7 Series. Personally, it reminds me of a Basking Shark, especially with the chrome horizontal slats in the grille. It's definitely a very vulgar design, but personally I like it, especially in M Sport trim, which gives the car a more aggressive look. However, some people may not like it, and will most likely prefer something like a Mercedes B-Class.
The rather nice side profile of the new Active Tourer
From the side, the new Active Tourer is still rather reminiscent to the previous model. It still has the same kind of form and look from the side, apart from some new body creases and the new door handles taken straight from the 2 Series Coupé. I've always liked this angle of the Active Tourer, and I am pleased to see it is relatively unchanged.
The simple but nice rear end of the new Active Tourer
The 2 Series Active Tourer also has a slightly changed back end. Personally this is my favourite part of the car, its simple, modern, and the best part is that there is no fake exhaust pipes to be seen. In fact, there are no exhaust pipes to be seen at all, and no this is not a full electric version, it's just hidden behind the rear bumper. It looks a lot more clean and simple like this and more manufacturers should do this instead of adding stupid fake exhausts which look cheap and tacky, *cough cough* Mercedes...
The amazing interior of the new Active Tourer
Now we move on to the new interior of the 2022 Active Tourer, and wow is the only word I can describe it with. It is leaps and bounds better compared to the previous Active Tourer. The standout feature is the all-new infotainment system. It uses iDrive 8, BMW's latest iteration of its car infotainment which is found in this Active Tourer, the iX and the i4 electric cars. It incorporates two 10 inch displays, one being the instrument cluster, and the other being the main screen in which basically all of the car's functions, including the climate control, are found. By making it all touchscreen, it means you are left with a very minimalistic and modern looking interior, and knowing BMW, it is probably best in class in terms of build quality. However, there is one problem I have with this interior, and that is the fact that BMW have completely got rid of the iDrive swivel wheel controller which made the system great. This means that it's not going to be easy to use the screen while you're on the move, unlike previous versions of iDrive. The weirdest part about this is that the iX and i4, which run the exact same infotainment system, have a swivel wheel controller, whereas this 2 Series Active Tourer doesn't. BMW has also made the voice control system better, which means that even more functions can be done by simply using your voice. Included with the new interior changes is an all new design to the steering wheel, which looks very modern and very lovely indeed.
Another perspective of the interior of the new Active Tourer
Another huge change is the all-new seats. For UK spec cars there is only one variant of the seats, which are the Sports seats (shown in the image above). As you can see they look absolutely amazing. Not only do they look comfortable, but also very supportive, and very, very big. In fact I think them seats are worthy of use in one of BMW's higher end models, like the X3 or even a 5 Series. These seats also have a massage function, which is a very nice feature usually only found in high end luxury cars.
Trim levels and Equipment
The 2 Series Active Tourer now has just 3 Trim Levels, as the SE model from the last generation Active Tourer is dropped. The entry level is now the Sport trim, which comes with standard LED Headlights, electric tailgate, that awesome BMW Live Cockpit with the dual curved displays, a reversing camera with parking sensors for the rear and cruise control.
Then there is the Luxury line, which adds Aluminium exterior trim with the Luxury Line body styling, 17 inch Bi-colour alloy wheels, a few aluminium details in the interior, open pore wood trim and lovely Vernasca leather seats, which are available in Black, Mocha (which is basically dark brown) and Oyster (which is a light cream colour). For me this is the pick of the range as all of the Luxury line details really do make the car look premium compared to the Sport, which looks a bit generic and boring, especially with the basic 17 inch wheels, the Luxury has Bicolour alloys which look way nicer.
Finally there is the M Sport, which adds an M Sport body kit, which is supposedly "aerodynamic", gloss black exterior trim, 18 inch M Sport Alloy wheels, Alcantara/Sensatec sports seats (Sensatec is basically the name BMW gives it fake leather), an M Sport Steering wheel, and dark aluminium interior trim. It also adds the Technology Pack as standard, which has Adaptive LED Headlights, contrast stitching on the dashboard and on the top of the door trim, wireless charging for your phone, heated front seats, electric folding wing mirrors with auto dimming, and BMWs Comfort Access system, which is basically Keyless entry.
Now this is where the Active Tourer has definitely changed from it's predecessor, all that new technology comes at a price. The entry level Sport model with the smallest 220i engine with the automatic gearbox (no manual available) starts from £30,265 here in the UK, the Luxury Line with the same engine is £32,085, and the M Sport with once again the same engine will cost you £33,940. Now that is a lot of money for what is an MPV, but it's not just a cheaply built basic MPV like a Vauxhall Zafira, this and the Mercedes B Class form the Premium MPV class, and out of these two cars I think I prefer this BMW, yes it's not the best looking car in the world, or the cheapest, but for all the technology and equipment each of the trim levels get, I think its money well spent. Besides, it's still an MPV at the end of the day, even if it's very premium, but it still needs to do what an MPV does best, carry families around with all their stuff in great comfort, and this definitely fills all the MPV tick boxes.
You can expect the 2 Series Active Tourer to go on sale in the UK early next year, however you can order one right now through the BMW Website. I can't wait to get my hands on the new iDrive system and just see the car in the flesh, I have a feeling that like the previous Active Tourer, its going to be a great seller.