By on February 14, 2014

bmw-2-series-active-tourer-05

BMW’s first front wheel drive Ultimate Driving Minivan Machine is set to debut at Geneva next month. It rides on the BMW Group’s new UKL platform, which is also the same platform for Mini’s third generation Cooper and the next generation BMW X1. The top engine in the 225i is said to be a 231 horse power 2.0L turbo four cylinder, while a diesel powered 218d is optional; and power is routed though a standard six speed manual (yay) or automatic transmission for all engines.

The 2-Series moniker comes from its larger size and price over the 1-Series variants sold overseas.

The European model will go on sale soon after the Geneva debut to fight against other popular MPVs, such as the Mercedes Benz B-Class, Ford B-Max, Seat Alhambra, VW Touran, and Fiat 500L. We will not see the 2-Series Active Tourer until Stateside until 2015, where it will be a niche player in an essentially untapped segment.

Styling can be best described as the BMW of minivans, but is pleasant and well proportioned, keeping the family resemblance strong. Front overhang is minimal, and over all exterior dimensions are tidy at 170.9 inches in length, 61.4 inches tall, and 70.9 inches wide, and with a wheel base of 105.1 inches; aiming square at the Mercedes Benz B-Class. Interior room is said to be enough to seat five comfortably, and is highly configurable with not only a flat-folding rear seat, but front seat as well.

An all wheel drive model is expected to arrive later this year, as well. A future M-Sport package and hybrid model are in the pipeline as well.

The 2-Series is a big step in BMW product, expanding beyond what is typically defined as BMW’s idea of the Ultimate Driving Machine. But with the success of their X-series models, who can fault BMW for wanting to bring their vision to the MPV market?

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63 Comments on “BMW Set To Reveal First Front Wheel Drive Model At Geneva, 2-Series Active Tourer...”


  • avatar

    As a Neon driver, I say bring it on. Well, as long as they make a sedan version, of course.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Nearly identical to the Encore dimensions, but about four inches shorter in height. And about 90 more horsepower. Thank God.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Styling can be best described as the BMW of minivans,”

    The [insert brand] of minivans worked so well for Oldsmobile.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Isn’t 2-series a Coupe now? I’m confused.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yes, all odd numbers are four door, even numbers are two.

      Except this.

      BMW knows exactly how to annoy me, in all the right ways.

      • 0 avatar
        Short Bus

        Except that and the 4-Series Gran “Coupe”

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Which should in fact be called the 5-Series Gran Coupe.

          • 0 avatar
            Short Bus

            BMW is drunk.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            It’s based on the 3-series. The 5-series Gran Coupe is a 6-series.

            Ultimately, who cares what they call them? It is no better and no worse than Impala, Malibu, or Cruze. Or ILX, ZDX, SLX. Or Tom, Dick, or Harry. It’s just a name.

            As for the car, why not? MB has the B-series, this will compete nicely. It’s a much more premium Mazda5. Or the nicest short-wheelbase Caravan ever made.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Newsflash: BMW fanboi defends BMW to no end, film at 11.

            Let the reasonable people talk and stay out of it. The whole “series” thing falls apart when one is a RWD coupe and another is a FWD box. They had to use 225i with the 2.0t as the 228i is the coupe with the 2.0t…Well we know they threw the displacement deisgnations long ago.

            Probably doesn’t matter to enthusiasts but might be off putting to normal peeps. I know my less car type friends think the Infiniti Q-everything naming is confusing and seems to put them off. If you can’t remember what it is hard to think its cool. Just the same if you tell everyone you got the new cool 2-series and they might think it is a FWD bread van ha.

            I’m sure you will defend the awesome FWD-ness of it though, fanboi on bro.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny_5.0

          Except those two and the 6 series gran coupe, which was the first to mangle that reported lineup naming strategy. Evens/odds no longer have anything to do with the number of doors or even which wheels get powered. I’m not sure if BMW changed their mind, or if the whole even/odd coupe/4 door was just some misrepresentation or fabrication of media or blog participants.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            I think it was intended as a serious and logical division… Except they decided to go with some weird “a sleek enough roof line makes it a ‘coupé’ in our book!” definition of “coupé”, which puts some four-doors in among the even-numbered two-doors.

            It’s no weirder than how the “C” in Mercedes’ CLS line stands for “coupé” too, and probably at least one of the C’s in “Volkswagen (Passat) CC” too.

            Personally, I still want a Volvo 783, or perhaps a 9124.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris FOM

            Is the only difference between the 5 and the 6GC roof line? If not, what nomenclature best describes those differences?

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            @Chris FOM: No, that’s not really the only difference. The front and rear of the 6GC are of course taken from the 6; a sleeker look in front and older Bangle-butt in back, compared to the 5. But both are of course “legitimate” looks for a sedan as well as a coupe. So the only difference _in principle_ that I can see, which should put one in the “even-numbered series” and the other in the “odd-numbered series” on the basis of any kind of rational/logical reasoning *that also applies to the 1/2 and 3/4 series*, that would have to be the lower rear-seat roofline of the 6GC compared to the 5 sedan.

            That is, I was attempting to divine if there were any rational and systematic logic that BMW uses as the basis of their nomenclature. And given that they first separate two-doors (“coupés”) into even- and four-doors (“sedans”) into odd-numbered series — an immediately obvious, simple logic — but then go assigning *some* four-doors an even-numbered series designation, the only logic they could even _claim_ to be using would have to be this slightly tortured “it has a sleek coupé roof line” guff; otherwise they’d have to call the 6GC a 5-series.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris FOM

            That’s my point though, the distinction between the 5 and 6 GC extend considerably beyond just the body shape (roof line, hood, trunk). Historically the distinction between a coupe and sedan were found in the roof line (notchback in a sedan, sloped/cut back in a coupe, and in fact coupe literally translates as “cut back), and in the B-pillar (present in a sedan, absent in a coupe).

            By that definition 4-door coupes are entirely possible, as are 2-door sedans (in fact the BMW 2002 and early 2-door 3-series were all 22-door sedans, not coupes). The recent use of coupe as 100% synonymous with 2 doors and sedan as 100% synonymous with 4 doors is fairly recent and mostly coincides with many current coupes actually being 2-door sedans and not true coupes.

            If you actually get up close with a 6 GC it makes perfect sense to call it a coupe. The roof line is classic coupe. The B-pillar, while present (the rear doors have to attach to something) is drastically reduced compared to the 5. The windows are frameless (not part of the definition, but a common feature of coupes and rarely seen on sedans). The driving position is lower (again not part of the definition, but commonly seen with coupes). Technically the 6 GC would be a half-sedan due to the B-pillar, but I don’t really have a problem with the GC nomenclature. In many of the major distinctions between a sedan and coupe it comes far closer to the coupe, and the only reason anyone even bats an eye is the rather boring idea that coupe simply means 2-doors and nothing more than that. We already have a word for a vehicle with 2-doors, it’s “2-door.” Coupe implies far more that, so let’s just state the number of doors while letting coupe represent other features that don’t lend themselves to a summary as nicely.

        • 0 avatar
          CRConrad

          Also the 6-Series Gran “Coupe”.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      Yeah, the new numbering system was broken before it even started.

      I guess it’s just there as a reminder of how many steps in the ladder you are above or below that other BMW driving next to you. I mean, how many people can tell the difference between the 3 series sedan, 3 series Gran Tourismo, and 4 series Gran Coupe without looking at the badge?

      I actually like this car if only because it’s the first BMW in a while that doesn’t get me scratching my head as to which tiny niche they are going for this time… not that I would actually buy one.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    Needs sliding rear doors.
    .
    .

  • avatar
    lon888

    From the side, its not that much different from a Honda Fit or Nissan Note. Frankly, I’m bored with it – let it stay in Europe.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    I look forward to seeing this on sale in the US. It is similar in size to the C-Max, but I notice that it has a few advantages. The C-Max has a fixed panoramic roof, this has an operable panoramic roof. The C-Max does not have roof rails, this does. The sliding and 40:20:40 rear seats (and folding front seat) are also not available on the C-Max.

    I also look forward to a Mazda 5 once it gets the full-on Skyactive treatment, because right now it is not competitive at all.

    These kind of vehicles are nearly perfect for people like me – urban dwellers with small kids. I especially like the fact that they kept it under 72 inches wide. It simply cannot be overstated how important that is in the city. When real estate is this expensive, you cram as many parking spaces into a set area as you can. They are very narrow. When you have small kids, a wide vehicle is really hard to deal with. The new Highlander is nearly 6 inches wider than this car. That makes it impossible to open the doors as wide as you would with a car like this.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      The Cmax has pretty good long term reliability, this probably will not. The Cmax gets 48mpg, this will probably not. The Cmax can be purchased for the mid 20s, this definitely will not.

      But this is better looking and will impress the neighbors, sorta. The Cmax will not. And it will be faster and probably drive better.

      • 0 avatar
        SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

        The C-MAX was advertised as 47mpg since Ford used a loop-hole and applied the inflated Fusion hybrid numbers. Expect 37-42mpg in real life.

      • 0 avatar
        rdchappell

        I don’t think you (or anyone else) has any clue about the long-term reliability of the c-max or this thing.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          That may be true but let’s see how many people here think that a bargain priced BMW turbo 4 is going to somehow reverse they trend of expensive and annoying out of warranty problems that the brand has become known for. And while Fords have had thier problems as well, they are generally inexpensive to maintain and fix as they age. My money would be on the Ford all day long.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The C-Max should be reasonably reliable based on the fact that the drivetrain is one that has been reliable. Its an updated Ford hybrid system with a 2.0L I4 that isn’t direct injected.

          It also shares pieces with the Focus and Escape that have been reliable (not the wonky Focus transmission or the fiery death 1.6T in the Escape).

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This one is substantially smaller than the C-Max. It’s more like Ford’s European B-Max, which is based on the Fiesta the same way the C-Max is based on the Focus.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        Width and height are nearly the same as the C-Max.

        The C-Max is two and a half inches longer than the BMW, but the BMW has a wheelbase about one inch longer than the Ford. I am guessing that the shorter front overhang on the BMW accounts for much of the overall length difference.

        I can’t find interior specs on the BMW, but it sure looks like these two cars are pretty much the same size.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The specs say its about the same size as the C-Max, but so is the X1. The C-Max has almost 10 cu ft more cargo/trunk space than this vehicle. The Escape and CRV more than double the 16 cu ft of cargo room. I doubt it will be as open on the inside as the C-Max, but I’ll check it out when they hit the dealers.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            It’s about the same size as an X1, but will have a lot more interior room thanks to FWD. And no pretense of having any off-road capability.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It will have more interior room, but it only has about three more cubic feet of trunk space (it is 5 inches shorter though). I am interested in the 2-series active tourer, but it doesn’t have enough cargo space based on the numbers I have read. I agree that it will have much more interior room than the X1.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Narrow parking spaces are why this sort of thing should have sliding rear doors and be a minivan that is actually, you know, MINI.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        I’m not against sliding rear doors. At the moment, the only mini minivan available is the Mazda 5 which is completely uncompetitive right now – and it was only barely competitive when it came out. But that is not because it has sliding rear doors.

        The problem with the rest of the minivan crowd is that they are so big. The sliding rear door pops out 5 or 6 inches and then slides all the way to the rear of the vehicle. In my particular parking space, if I were to park a Sienna or an Odyssey (my siblings have one of each) far enough to the right so that I can open the driver door wide enough for a comfortable exit and then open the passenger side sliding door, the chances of colliding with the piece of steel that protects a drainage pipe is very high. And of course that is because those vehicles are very large and wide. A neighbor a few spots down has the current gen Nissan Quest and I think the width probably played a part when they chose their car. It’s narrower.

        My Volvo V70 wagon really isn’t too bad in my parking space, but it is also not an extremely wide vehicle. The upcoming V60 is about the same width. But really, for my next family car, I would like something that that fits the profile of the C-Max or this BMW. The added features of the BMW may well be worth the extra cash (for me).

  • avatar

    CLA
    2-series
    Can someone say: “cheapening the brand”?

  • avatar
    TNJed

    Its a slippery slope. First BMW starts installing cupholders and before you know it, they make an “active tourer”, i.e., a mobile sippy cup holder.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      If you’ve seen pictures of the interior you’ll note the cupholders will barely accommodate a sippy cup. I don’t know were you’d put your big ol’ ‘Murican slurpy

  • avatar
    mvlbr

    I thought that the Mini brand was supposed to be their entry level.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    Looks like a cross between a Matrix and Fit, with kidneys on the grill for twice the money. No thanks.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    built in baby seats? 28 cupholders? air tight diaper pail? if any of those are missing sorry not interested.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Mazda and Honda, as well as BMW’s own MINI, have proven that FWD platforms can be satisfying at lower power levels.

    Will BMW get it right? On the one hand, the MINI experience says yes. On the other hand, this product just seems too cynical to bother engineering in any fun-to-drive nature. Looking forward to Alex’s review in a year or two.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    I’m hoping they do a hybrid version with the 1.5T. It would make an excellent replacement for my wife’s Prius.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Am I supposed to be impressed by a minivan seating five people?

  • avatar
    wmba

    Now, I know that it really isn’t fair to criticise styling, eye of the beholder and all that, but I have to say I find this a naff little bag of wind, with a pre-dented bumper crease in the side. It has the latest style Korean fire dragon air vents either side of the grille to scare local sheep milling on the road in the Northern UK and goats in Greece, grrrrrr I’m a tough little tin box.

    But it does have a great derriere and as Helen said to Troy, it keeps ‘em coming back for more.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    It looks like a 2nd gen Mazda 3 hatch on cheeseburgers.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    This will be bought by old people in the US. The target demographic they’re aiming for (25 to 40) will not buy this car. 55+ will.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s coming down to improving efficiency and reducing costs.

    A FWD is cheaper to produce and the reduction in weight will reduce FE.

    BMW want volume as well. The great BMW name will sell the products and value add.

    The 2 Series is a smart and necessary move by BMW.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    What an ugly-looking minivan. Or is it SUV? I don’t know anymore. All I know is that while I fall into their target demographic you wouldn’t catch me dead in one of these ugly pieces of colored soap. It also cheapens their brand even further.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Let’s just hope nobody notices that it’s a (whisper) … station wagon.

    But that’s OK– I like it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I bet this will be double the cost of a similar sized and equipped Japanese and Korean counterpart. People will buy this for the BMW name but the maintenance on this will be at BMW prices. I will keep my loaded CRV which is very reliable and less costly to maintain.

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    This is all I’m saying #Kia

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2012/09/2013-kia-carens-paris.jpg

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    As if soft suspensions, vague steering, and turbo 4 cylinders weren’t enough of a sign that BMW has jumped the shark, then this thing seals the deal.

    Clearly even BMW now believes all that matters is that badge on the hood, and all that wonderful stuff that used to make that badge mean something special is meaningless.

    My family has had 5 BMWs since the late 90s,because the steering feel, the way E car turns, the handling, the way it sounds all make you feel like the best driver on the planet. If all of that is gone, why would people choose BMW over anything else?

    After driving the F11 5 series, and now seeing things like this FWD minivan monstrosity, I think I can confidently say I will never buy another. I might be able to forgive a FWD minivan if I could still buy a 3 that is perfect in every way, but can’t even do that anymore…

    It’s a shame. Reminds me of Honda in the late 90s losing their way as well. Loved loved loved the 90s Hondas we owned.

    Maybe it’s me? The special brands with that little something extra all eventually slide downhill?

    And what to buy instead? It isn’t like Audi or Mercedes or Lexus are really any better… Cadillac??

    Screw you BMW. I understand the need to make money, but I don’t have to like the way you’re deciding to do it.


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