BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The small-segment minivan, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, offered a roomier interior for families while keeping the manufacturer’s premium feeling.
With a front fascia that revealed a broad and tall grille, the 2 Series Active Tourer tried on convincing customers that it was a bigger car. Yet, its 4.4 m (173”) length didn’t confirm that. At least, viewed in the rearview mirror, it could impress a bit. Its raked windshield and long greenhouse related to the overall vehicle’s length created somehow an SUV stance, or at least of a crossover. Viewed from its sides, it looked like someone took a 2 Series hatchback and pulled the roof upwards, lengthening the side pillars and the door panels.
Inside, the carmaker installed a dashboard with clean lines, in a minimalist design concept. BMW installed a digital instrument cluster instead of the older analog ones from its predecessor. It continued the display with an additional one that sat atop the center stack, with a touch-screen unit for the infotainment system. On the center console, extended under the dashboard, the carmaker placed a storage area with a wireless charger for mobile phones. The designers relocated the gearbox controls on the center armrest. Since the vehicle was designed for families, the carmaker created ample legroom for all five seats thanks to their raised mounting position.
BMW selected a wide engine choice for the drivetrain, either gasoline, turbodiesel, or hybrid, with plug-in hybrid versions from 2022. The 2 Series Active Tourer was the first from its stables that came fitted as standard with a seven-speed automatic (dual-clutch) gearbox on the entire range. There was no manual option for it.
The first generation of the 2-Series Active Tourer was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014.
It was a shock for all the BMW fans: it was a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
The BMW always featured a rear or an all-wheel-drive traction system. To install a front-wheel-drive one in a BMW was something that its fans couldn’t cope with. But the sales figures for the 2-Series Active Tourer were high. In 2018, the small BMW MPV received a facelift.
Despite its compact size, the 2-Series Active Tourer offered enough room for five adults inside. Since it used the same platform as a Mini, with a transverse engine, the designers had more room for the cabin. With its raised greenhouse and the abrupt end, it looked like an inflated hatchback. The facelift brought a new front fascia, with a larger and taller grille design, and new headlights.
Inside, the center stack was tilted toward the driver, emphasizing its role. There were new materials used for the interior and a new BMW M-Performance package. The longer seat cushions made the vehicle more comfortable on long journeys. The customers could choose from different trim levels, including Luxury Line, Sport Line, and M Sport packages.
For the powertrain, the facelift received a wide choice of three- and four-cylinder units, plus a plug-in hybrid. The 2-Series Active Tourer was available with a choice of a manual or automatic transmission, including a new, 7-speed dual-clutch one.
The 2 Series Active Tourer is the first front-wheel-drive car BMW ever made, sparking a lot of controversy in the automotive world.
For the BMW fans, if someone told them that a front-wheel-drive MPV will actually be a car manufactured by BMW in 2014, they would’ve probably said it is a joke.
The concept of a family car is very well developed in Germany, and maybe it was the perfect timing for BMW to produce a car that excellently combines an MPV with their already known skittish vehicles.
Overall, it was not the usual MPV you would’ve expected. Yes, it had 7 seats, and yes, the driving position was high, but would you expect a 231 hp on 2.0-liter petrol engine?
We guess not. But at the same time, for someone who appreciates the way a BMW rolls and needs more room, the BMW 2 Series sounds like a perfect match.
With an unusual design for the Bavarian company and practicality dictating the way it eventually turned out, the Active Tourer also brought forward a new generation of modular engines with displacements as small as 1.5-liters. The interior was done focusing on versatility and includes sliding back seats that are also foldable 40:20:40, plenty of storage spaces and the first refreshed center console in quite a few years.
At launch, all engines were compliant with the latest CO2 emissions in Europe (the EU6 standard) and came connected to either new 6-speed automatic or manual gearboxes or a more common 8-speed ZF auto unit. The official world debut took place at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014.