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BMW 2 Series Active Tourer First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/14/2014 Christian Seabaugh

All the greats experiment with something out of their wheelhouse at one point or another. KISS went disco at the end of the ‘70s; Michael Jordan tried baseball in the mid-‘90s, and now BMW is debuting at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show a front-drive car. The confusingly named BMW 2 Series Active Tourer -- likely arriving in the U.S. as a 2016 model -- will be Bimmer’s first-ever front-drive car when it goes on sale in Europe late this year, and hits the United States next year.

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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer’s bound to be a bit confusing to the average BMW customer when they walk into a dealership to lease another 3 Series. The car has almost nothing in common with the sleek and sexyBMW 2 Series coupe. Whereas the 2 Series coupe is a traditional rear-drive Bimmer two-door, the four-door 2 Series Active Tourer hatchback looks more like a BMW version of the Mazda5 minivan than anything else. True, it features traditional BMW styling cues such as the kidney grille, Hoffmeister kink, and dual circular headlights, but the snub-nosed 2 Series Active Tourer looks unlike anything else found in a BMW showroom, except for maybe the oddball i3 electric car.

2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer There’s good reason for that – the 2 Series Active Tourer appears to have more in common with the new 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop than any other BMW. The 2 Series Active Tourer shares its platform with the Mini, as well as a few of its engines. The base 2 Series Active Tourer, the BMW 218i Active Tourer is powered by the 1.5-liter turbocharged I-3 in the new Mini, making 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, or 169 lb-ft in overboost for brief spurts. The 218i Active Tourer even shares its six-speed manual and automatic transmissions with the Mini. With the manual, the 218i can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 9.3 seconds, or 9.6 seconds when equipped with the automatic gearbox, and hit a top speed of 124 mph.

A step up the totem pole is the BMW 225i Active Tourer. The 225i uses a more powerful version of the new Mini Cooper S’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4. In the Bimmer, the turbo-4 churns out a stout 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Available with an eight-speed automatic, BMW says the 225i Active Tourer is capable of accelerating from 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds, and can top out at 146 mph.

2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer While the first two engines in the 2 Series Active Tourer’s stable are sure-shots for the U.S.-spec 2 Series Active Tourer, the third engine may end up being for Europe only. The 218d Active Tourer gets a 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 making 148 hp and 243 lb-ft of twist. Like the 225i, the 218d has a standard six-speed manual, and an optional eight-speed slushbox. BMW says the 2 Series Active Tourer diesel nets an 8.9-second 0-62 mph time.

While the 2 Series Active Tourer launches with just three engines, BMW’s got a lot more planned for its new front-drive hatch. The German automaker expects to add another gas variant (220i), and two diesel variants (220d and 216d) to its European lineup. Also in the cards are xDrive all-wheel drive versions of the 220d and 225i Active Tourers. We wouldn’t be surprised to see all-wheel drive on the option list of the U.S.-spec 2 Series Active Tourer.

2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Those who’ve spent any time in modern BMWs will likely feel immediately at home in the new 2 Series Active Tourer. The Bimmer sports a driver-centric cabin with the center stack and large infotainment display canted toward driver, an iDrive controller, and an optional head-up display. Though shorter and stubbier than its Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class rivals, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer’s high greenhouse and large 105.1 inch wheelbase gives the hatch room for five passengers and plenty of cargo space. Taking a trick from the Honda Fit, the 2 Series Active Tourer’s 40/20/40 rear-seats are capable of sliding fore and aft, allowing the rear to be optimized for either passenger comfort or cargo space.

Not surprisingly for a modern BMW, the 2 Series Active Tourer will launch with three different trim “lines” when it goes on sale in Europe this year. The Sport Line finishes the 2 Series Active Tourer with black trim on the grille, “air curtains,” and on the exhaust tip. The Sport Line also gets unique 16- or 17-inch wheels. Inside, Sport Line models get black trim, and leather-trimmed sport seats. The Luxury Line essentially replaces all the black bits from the Sport Line with chrome. The range-topper is the 2 Series Active Tourer’s M Sport package. The M Sport pack includes an M Sport body kit, a blacked-out kidney grille, and an M-tuned sport suspension. The 2 Series Active Tourer M Sport rides on unique 17- or 18-inch wheels, and gets unique brake calipers to match the sporty new looks. Inside, the M Sport pack adds an M steering wheel, footrest, shift lever, and unique sport seats with blue trim.

2016 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Interior© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Interior The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer’s option sheet promises to be vast. Among the available options is the aforementioned head-up display, as well as a panoramic sunroof, and parking assist. Also available are active safety functions including a camera based cruise control system with the ability to bring the car to a stop and restart it again when traffic allows, plus forward collision and pedestrian collision warning systems. Europe also gets what BMW calls Traffic Jam Assistant, which essentially turns the 2 Series Active Tourer into an autonomous car. Under 25 mph, Traffic Jam Assistant will keep a set distance from the car in front, follow the lane markers through turns, and even bring the car to a complete stop when need be.

Though not officially confirmed for the U.S., expect the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer to roll into showrooms in 2015, potentially as a 2016 model. 2016 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer In Motion 2© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer In Motion 2


BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
BASE PRICE $31,000 (MT est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5 pass, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE 1.5L/134-hp/162-lb-ft turbo I-3; 2.0L/228-hp/258-lb-ft turbo I-4; 2.0L/148-hp/243-lb-ft turbodiesel I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual; 6-speed automatic; 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT 3200 lb (MT est)
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT170.9 x 70.8 x 61.2 in
WHEELBASE 105.1 in
0-62 MPH 6.8-9.6 sec (mfr est)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON N/A
ON SALE IN U.S. 2015

2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
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