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First drive: BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.

First drive: BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
A seven-seat people carrier from BMW? What is the world coming to?

   



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BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Bringing a premium look and feel to the compact MPV segment, BMW's 2 Series Gran Tourer provides room for seven and the choice of all-wheel drive.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer
Price: 32,005 as tested; range starts at 24,175
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: four-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic
Body style: five-door, seven-seat compact MPV
CO2 emissions: 128g/km (Band D, 110 per year)
Combined economy: 57.6mpg
Top speed: 135mph
0-62mph: 7.6 seconds
Power: 190hp at 4,000rpm
Torque 400Nm at 1,750rpm
Boot space: 645- to 1,905 litres

What's this?

The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is the second compact people carrier to emerge from the Munich car-maker. Packing the largest boot ever to appear in a BMW, it also features an additional third row of seats, to bring the occupancy count up to seven.


Thanks to its compact front-wheel drive architecture there is plenty of room inside the Gran Tourer, especially for those in the centre of the second row. Headroom has increased too in order to not only improve comfort but to make it easier for those climbing in and out of the third row seats. The second row can also slide forward to give more legroom. Overall, space in the rearmost seats is generous from a child's perspective while adults won't be too uncomfortable for short journeys.

How does it drive?

The xDrive all-wheel drive transmission somewhat expectedly adds a far greater sense of surefootedness to the Gran Tourer. Not that it really needs it; the standard front-wheel drive setup proves itself to be a highly capable handler on a variety of roads. The xDrive system splits drive between the front and rear axles evenly and if required can send 100 per cent of drive to just one wheel. This latest xDrive system also reacts faster than before so even running through a patch of oil or gravel on the road should do little to unsettle the BMW. It doesn't have the ground clearance that some SUVs may offer, but the likelihood of this ever going seriously off road is low.

With 190hp coming from the range-topping 2.0-litre diesel (xDrive isn't available with any smaller engines, yet) the Gran Tourer progresses nicely at motorway speeds. The cabin is well insulated too, the car's aerodynamic shape helping to further reduce wind noise at higher speeds. Around town the variable electromechanical steering gives the Gran Tourer plenty of manoeuvrability and remains light to the touch, only weighting up as the car gain pace. There's plenty of torque on offer too, with 400Nm arriving from 1,750rpm, meaning there's always plenty in reserve for overtaking.

The eight-speed automatic transmission slips between gears almost imperceptibly and feels well suited to the torquey nature of the four-cylinder diesel engine. Even when you choose to flip between gears yourself via the steering wheel mounted paddles it does so with no hesitation. The tactile paddle shifters ooze quality too.

Where other - admittedly less expensive - rivals might lack decent body control the BMW feels absolutely planted. The suspension does come in on the firm side but it is very well damped and has the ability to soak up larger imperfections in the road.

Verdict

Naturally the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer carries a price premium over rivals like the Kia Carens or SEAT Alhambra, but from even a few moments spent inside the well-appointed cabin it's obvious to see what you're getting for your money. Driving it further justifies the higher cost. The addition of an xDrive variant to the line-up also serves as a worthy alternative to an SUV, where the likes of the Land Rover Discovery Sport also offer compact dimensions and seven seats. Just a few years ago many would have scoffed at the idea of a front-wheel drive BMW people carrier, now its rivals are rightfully looking concerned.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 16 Jul 2015



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2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by Adam Towler.



2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 

2015 BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer. Image by BMW.
 






 

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