BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Sue Cooke takes a spin the the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

The European car market is more dynamic than ever before according to Jato Dynamics Ltd.  The growth is a result of car makers continuing to launch new models – giving consumers more choice than ever before.  

ActiveAlternative Fueled Vehicles are performing well, as electrics, hybrids and plug-ins post an increase of 31% and record 450,200 registrations, making up 5.4% of total registrations.

Into this growing market BMW has launched its revised 2 series Active Tourer powered by a new plug in hybrid drive system which has an electric range of up to 28 miles.  The hybrid has a three-cylinder engine and an 88g electric motor which is supplied with energy by a lithium ion battery which sits under the rear seat bench.  Very uniquely, the electric power feeds through the rear axle which combines with the inherent front wheel drive to create electrified all-wheel drive.  What this gives the consumer is outstanding traction in adverse weather conditions.  A benefit which BMWs have not previously been renown for.

The compact exterior has generous room with plenty of space for five passengers.  The elevated seating position which many people like, has good all-round view and my rear passengers said there is ample legroom and it is easy to get in and out of.  I do like a five door.

The boot capacity is generous at 468 litres which can be expanded to a whopping 1,510 litres by sliding the rear seat unit forward.  Plenty of room for those leisure activity accessories such as surfing, golfing or even a generous shopping spree!

A choice of three turbo charged diesel engines now have a quicker response, reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.  Jato says the diesel crisis has affected the speed of growth in the diesel market, particularly in the UK which has seen a decline of -30%.

The exterior of the 2 series Active Tourer is recognisable by the significantly larger kidney grille which is taller and wider and at the front there are new LED foglamps.  The rear has clearly visible twin exhaust tailpipes on all the four-cylinder models.

ActiveThere is a greater choice of 13 exterior paint colours including a very attractive sunset orange. Estoril Blue is reserved for the M Sport models.  There is also a wider selection of light alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 19 inches.

The luxurious interior has new cloth upholstery options.  I found the seats very comfortable with longer seat cushions.

A seven speed dual clutch Steptronic transmission makes its debut in the 2 series Active and Gran Tourer which allows gear changes in fractions of a second with no interruption in the flow of power, so changing gear is smooth and seamless.  There is also a choice of eight speed Steptronic transmission or a six speed manual gearbox in the smaller engined model variants.

The hybrid can partially recharge its battery using braking energy during a journey.  Owners will need around two and a half hours to fully recharge the lithium ion cells from a standard domestic power socket.

An all electric choice might be a step too far for nervous consumers, but the BMW 2 series Active Tourer hybrid option offers the best of both worlds, plus that fantastic traction control.

Facts at a glance

Model: BMW 2 series Active Tourer

Price:  £34,485 otr

Power: 224hp

Performance:  0-62mph in 6.7seconds and on to a top speed of 126mph

CO2 emissions: 57g/km

Combined fuel consumption: 113mpg