- Spacious interior
- Great to drive
- Premium quality
- Styling not to all tastes
- Some rivals cost less
- Five seats only
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a compact, five-seat MPV with a spacious, upmarket interior. It’s one of the few premium-brand MPVs and is a cost-effective option when compared with similarly practical compact SUVs. It’s comfortable yet enjoyable to drive and a wide range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines is available, as is a plug-in hybrid option. All models are well equipped, with climate control, sat nav and smartphone connectivity.
The 2 Series Active Tourer is a relatively small car, but there’s a lot of space packed inside. There’s enough room for five adults and those in the back have more legroom than they would in BMW’s 7 Series luxury saloon. A family of four will have more than enough space, whatever age the children are. If you like the Active Tourer but need more seats, the longer 2 Series Gran Tourer has seven.
The boot is a good size for this type of car. Three large suitcases will fit easily (though the plug-in hybrid 225xe model has less boot space). Fold down the back seats and there’s as much room as you get in a BMW 3 Series Touring estate. Which is handy for getting your new freezer home. There’s a useful storage compartment under the boot floor for storing small items, too.
The interior is a pleasant place to be on a long journey. The seats are comfortable, it’s quiet and the large windows give you and your passengers a great view out. The dashboard is user-friendly and the iDrive infotainment system is among the best. Navigating around it with the ‘click wheel’ controller is really easy. Everything you use regularly has a premium quality and feels like it’s made to last.
The 2 Series Active Tourer feels great to drive. Indeed, better than any other compact MPV. It’s responsive and enjoyable on a country road, nippy around town and settled on the motorway. The ride is on the firm side – it’s not uncomfortable but not as smooth as that of some similar cars.
The Active Tourer’s compact size makes parking easy and all models have parking sensors to help out. High-spec models have cameras and some even have an automatic parking system that steers you into your chosen space.
A wide range of petrol and diesel engines is available, and there’s a plug-in hybrid option. All feel responsive and give good acceleration. An automatic gearbox comes as standard with the more powerful engines. Lower-power engines are available with manual or automatic gearboxes and some models have four-wheel drive, too.
The 2 Series Active Tourer costs more to buy new than many rival MPVs but it’s very competitive compared with many similar-size SUVs.
According to official figures, petrol models give you 40mpg to 47mpg. Diesels give 52mpg to 60mpg. The plug-in hybrid 225xe gives as much as 188mpg according to the official figures but in reality you’ll probably get similar overall mpg to the diesel models. Crucially, though, the hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 28 miles – enough to cover many people’s regular journeys. Recharging the battery takes a couple of hours using an appropriate electric car charger.
BMW has a long-held reputation for building quality cars that rarely go wrong and that applies to the 2 Series Active Tourer. Many of its major components are shared with other BMW (and Mini) models, so everything’s tried and tested. Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded the Active Tourer a full five-star safety rating.
Best for emissions - 225xe
Best for family - 2 Series Active Tourer
Best for fun - 225i
All 2 Series Active Tourer models have climate control, smartphone and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Most also have sat nav. There are driver safety systems like automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist, as well.
The 225xe plug-in hybrid produces the lowest CO2 emissions because it has the capability to run on electric power alone for up to 28 miles, so it’s in a very low tax band. The turbocharged 225i is the fastest Active Tourer model, with acceleration that can match many hot hatchbacks. Four-wheel drive means it inspires real confidence on country roads, too.