BMW 2 Series Active Tourer: assets

The family BMW is only available with 5 seats, but with a lot of new technology, sometimes even from the iX. First test drive with the 2er Active Tourer.

When BMW launched the first Active Tourer in 2014, it was like a revolution: a compact van with front-wheel drive and a three-cylinder engine - tough stuff for many a Bayern fan. But the brand-atypical technology established itself at BMW just as quickly as the unusual body shape: the Munich-based company was able to sell a total of more than 430,000 units (plus 200,000 of the now omitted Gran Tourer). A solid basis to at least go into extra time with the shorter of the two tourers - although that decision might have been different today given the SUV boom. ,

Technology herald

With the familiar basic shape and only slightly larger dimensions with an identical wheelbase, the new one looks familiar on the outside, but is immediately recognizable by the large kidney grille and the narrower cut headlights and taillights (now always in LED technology). But much more important is what has happened under the sheet metal on the basis of the further developed UKL-2 platform. Like its predecessor, the new Active Tourer comes with a number of innovations from the start that will soon also be found in the sister models of the Group's compact family. ,

As if there were: modernized combustion engines with and without mild hybrid support, a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the latest version of the iDrive operating system, which was previously only used in the iX and i4 electric models. In addition, the first petrol and diesel engines will be followed in the summer by two plug-in hybrids and a more powerful diesel. ,

Before you get your first driving impression, you need to get to know the cockpit; getting to know each other is a bit more detailed in this case. The new Active Tourer has a continuous, slightly curved display panel with two displays. To the left of the infotainment area are four direct selection areas, and at the bottom there are two areas reserved for the air conditioning settings (automatic air conditioning and navigation as standard). Underneath there is now a continuous central air vent, the remaining control elements sit on the seemingly free-floating support between the driver and front passenger - such as the gear selector lever, driving mode button and volume roller. There is no longer a push-and-turn controller (unlike in the iX), nor is there a bar with direct access buttons and the climate control unit, but instead there is an upright smartphone tray with clamp and wireless charging function (optional) and two cup holders. ,

Cockpit order

The basic settings can be made quickly thanks to the predominantly intuitively accessible functions, the large control tiles in the infotainment menu allow quick access and can also be configured individually.Only when setting the temperature does the right hand sometimes reach into nothing at the beginning. In return, the reactivity, sharpness and contrast of the touch display are pleasing. The latter also applies to the area with the driving indicators, whose speed and engine speed display is now scaled vertically in favor of a more variable center area as in other BMW models. ,

For a first driving impression, the two new mild hybrid petrol engines are waiting for us on a mild February day, in which a 48-volt electric motor integrated in the transmission with up to 14 kW (at nominal speed: 10 kW) supports a smoother engine start enabled and intended to reduce consumption. In the case of the 220i (now with three instead of four-cylinder petrol engine), this adds up to a system output of 170 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Nm, while the new 223i with four-cylinder achieves 218 hp and 360 Nm. ,

On the first kilometers of country roads, the two mild hybrid turbo engines and the dual-clutch transmission developed together with Magna present themselves as convincingly tuned drive units that transmit their concentrated power harmoniously and smoothly to the front axle.

Tuning harmony

While the more powerful 223i unfolds its performance in a manner that is both sovereign and cultivated, the appearance of the three-cylinder 220i is naturally a bit more robust in sound, but subjectively hardly less lively. Manual commands to the fast-reacting transmission can increase driving pleasure in certain situations, but are basically superfluous. ,

Matching the dynamic drives, the optional adaptive chassis - interestingly without preselectable characteristic curves - offers a balanced character, which can also tend to be agile in the BMW compact van, without neglecting comfort. The steering, together with the caster-optimized front axle, is free of drive influences and, especially in Sport mode, has a pleasant directness and precision. The van revolution of 2014 will be followed by a successful touring evolution in 2022 - and soon the first test. Did you read along, dear B class? ,

Conclusion

The new Active Tourer upholds the BMW virtues in the shrinking van segment. Convincing drives and agile handling make it an attractive offer in connection with extensive equipment.

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