E you need some courage to commit to the van today. The segment only plays a significant role in Europe, the image is, well, mixed, and as a premium product it is also not so easily perceived. In any case, Ford is doing a little easier, the first-generation S-Max was a successful model, it sold well and is an image boost for the group. Now comes the new one, like Mondeo and Galaxy on the international CD4 platform, which it will share with the two in the future, but also with more exotic vehicles such as the upcoming small Lincoln models. It's not that easy at BMW. There you have to get used to the dynamism-spoiled clientele that there are BMW models with front-wheel drive beyond the Mini. And since last year they have also been able to get used to the fact that a BMW van is expanding the model range with the Active Tourer.
With the Gran Tourer, Bayern are now going one small step further: thanks to the longer wheelbase (11 centimeters ), a higher roofline (53 millimeters) and 21.4 centimeters more exterior length, it moves up to the class of seven-seater vans - probably a shock for traditionalists among BMW fans, but a blessing for those with large families or space-intensive hobbies .
BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer with 190 diesel hp
Decisive for everyone: Drives the big tourer really still like a real BMW? Clear answer: yes. Anyone who knows the Active Tourer will not experience any surprises here. Of course, a van is not an M4, but the coordination of steering and chassis is convincing. The 220d xDrive available for the first comparison (a 220d with front-wheel drive will only be available in July) pleases with feedback-intensive steering (sports steering with Servotronic: 250 euros) and taut, but not bumpy basic set-up (dynamic damper control: 500 euros).
Feeling good is the trend in all available seats anyway, at least then when the tourer competes in cheap luxury equipment, as here. It costs 3,550 euros extra and contains, among other things, cozy dako leather and the pretty precious wood inlays. But even in the basic version, the BMW is appropriately equipped, for example with 16-inch aluminum, air conditioning, divisible rear backrest, sports leather steering wheel or assistance systems such as collision warning with city brake function and emergency assistance.
Ford-S- Max engines with a maximum torque of up to 450 Nm
So let's talk about the money - the BMW is first of all the cheaper offer: a 216i petrol engine with 100 hp is in the price lists from 26,950 euros. The cheapest S-Max is a lot more expensive (30,150 euros), but this is also due to the available engines - in addition to the 24 centimeters longer body. Three-cylinder? So far not in the Ford S-Max. Under the hood of the comparatively leanly equipped van sits the cultivated Ecoboost four-cylinder petrol engine with 150 hp for this price. Above that ranks the very quiet and yet powerful 240-hp petrol engine. In addition, Ford offers four Euro 6 diesels in the S-Max, including a biturbo with 450 Nm and a dual clutch transmission. Most sensible engine: the two-liter TDCi with 150 hp. Cultivated and 350 Nm strong, it pushes the four-door model (from 32,700 euros) forward and looks very harmonious in combination with the precise six-speed manual transmission.
Interesting compared to the Gran Tourer: For an additional payment of 2,000 euros This TDCi and the 180 PS version with 400 Nm combine for the first time with variable all-wheel drive: an ideal competitor to the equally potent 220d xDrive. And how does the Ford S-Max drive? Hardly any sluggish than the BMW, which is over 150 kilos lighter. Regardless of the radius of a curve, the van takes it so easily and lively that you forget to travel in a 1.8-ton seven-seater. One of the reasons for the well-maintained agility: the newly installed adaptive steering (500 euros), an elaborately designed multi-link rear axle and a sensitive, firm chassis. Despite the mounted 18-inch model, it is fun and comfortable at the same time to sweep down winding slopes. Only with the adaptive dampers offered as an option for the two-seater, Ford cannot serve. Five occupants can be accommodated very comfortably. Two more seats that one thanks to the easilyextendable armchairs can be entered more easily than in two, Ford sells for an additional 950 euros. At the push of a button, all five armchairs can be folded forwards either individually or completely, revealing a flat, two-meter-long loading area that can accommodate 2,020 liters of luggage in the seven-seater. Up to the second row there are 965 liters (roof-high). The BMW packs up to 200 liters less. Otherwise there are hardly any differences. Both the Ford S-Max and the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer are easy to operate and can be upgraded with useful extras such as adaptive LED headlights, ACC, active emergency braking and parking assistants and camera-based traffic sign recognition.
This is how it is for BMW and Ford : The courage you have shown should pay off - in terms of customers and image.