- Spacious interior
- Premium quality
- More fun to drive than many MPVs
- Cramped third-row seats
- Costs more than some rivals
- Slightly firm ride
The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is a compact, seven-seat MPV with a spacious interior that has a premium feel. It’s basically the same car as the five-seat BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, except it’s a bit longer and taller. There are few other premium-brand MPVs, so it costs more than some rivals. It‘s enjoyable to drive, well equipped and available with high-tech features also found on BMW’s more expensive models.
The 2 Series Gran Tourer has seven seats in a three-row, 2-3-2 layout. There’s room for five adults to sit reasonably comfortably, helped by rear legroom that’s more generous than in BMW’s 7 Series luxury saloon. The third-row seats are best suited to children and smaller adults – some rivals have much more space there. But the additional seats do give you options if you have more than two children – the eldest can have the rearmost row to themselves, for instance.
The third-row seats fold individually out of the boot floor. With both in place, the boot is on the small side. But if you only need one seat, fold the other down and there’s a usefully large amount of space. In five-seat mode, the boot is big enough to carry everything you need for a two-week holiday. The second row also folds down, creating an even larger space. However, this car doesn’t have individual second-row seats, as many rivals do, so it’s a little less versatile.
The interior looks good and feels comfortable. It’s quiet, too, and you and your passengers get a great view out, which makes long journeys less stressful. All models have BMW’s brilliant infotainment system which has lots of useful features and is easy to use.
The 2 Series Gran Tourer proves that practical family cars don’t have to be boring to drive. It’s responsive and enjoyable on a country road and feels agile around town and relaxed on motorways. The ride is a touch firm – hardly uncomfortable, but not as smooth as that of some rivals.
The car’s relatively compact size and big windows make parking easy. All models have parking sensors to help out, some have cameras as well. You can even have a self-parking system that steers the car into a space.
There’s a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines. Each is numbered to indicate how much power it has. The letter ‘i’ refers to petrol and ‘d’ to diesel. For instance, the 220i is the most powerful petrol model and the 216d is the entry-level diesel model. All the engines give good acceleration, though the more powerful options are better if you regularly carry lots of people or heavy loads. A manual or automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive are available, depending on model.
As the product of a premium brand, the 2 Series Gran Tourer costs more to buy than some rival compact MPVs, but you may feel its premium quality and great driving experience are worth paying for.
According to official figures, petrol models can give fuel economy of 44mpg to 53mpg and diesels can give 55mpg to 68mpg – very similar to what you get with other compact MPVs.
Many of the 2 Series Gran Tourer’s mechanical and electrical parts are shared with lots of other BMW (and Mini) models, so everything’s tried and tested. As a result, its reliability has proven to be as good as you’d expect from a BMW. Safety organisation Euro NCAP hasn’t tested the car, but it did give the shorter 2 Series Active Tourer a full five-star rating.
Best for emissions - 216d Gran Tourer
Best for family - 2 Series Gran Tourer
Best for fun - 220i Gran Tourer
All 2 Series Gran Tourer models have smartphone connectivity, climate control, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Most have sat nav, as well. Driver safety systems include automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist.
The entry-level 216d diesel model produces the lowest of CO2 emissions, which puts it in one of the lowest road tax brackets. MPVs are more about practicality than speed, but the fastest 2 Series Gran Tourer model, the petrol 220i, accelerates swiftly when you need to overtake or join a motorway.