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Driven: BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Image by BMW.

Driven: BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
BMW’s practical 2 Series Active Tourer hatchback-cum-MPV has been completely overhauled, but is the new model an improvement on its predecessor?


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2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

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The BMW 2 Series range is hideously complicated, with the 2 Series Coupe – a rear-drive two-door sports coupe – joined by the totally unrelated, front-drive, four-door 2 Series Gran Coupe. Then there’s this: the 2 Series Active Tourer, which has been completely revamped with new tech, new looks and new engines. But is this halfway house between an MPV and a hatchback really any good? And should you choose one ahead of a conventional 1 Series?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 BMW 220i Luxury Active Tourer
Price: £38,655 as tested
Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol
Transmission: seven-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 170hp
Torque: 240Nm
Emissions: 138g/km
Economy/Range: 46.3mpg
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Top speed: 137mph
Boot space: 415-1,405 litres


The old 2 Series Active Tourer wasn’t desperately ugly, but the new car looks and feels significantly more modern. There’s a larger (obviously) new grille, but it isn’t offensively oversized, and there are much cleaner lines down the flanks. It is perhaps a little more blocky and bluff than before, but it’s definitely fresher and more in keeping with the new X1 – a car with which the 2 Series Active Tourer shares a great deal.


A big highlight of the new 2 Series Active Tourer is the interior, which borrows the new touchscreen infotainment system from the iX electric SUV. That incorporates a new digital instrument cluster in a kind of one-piece display that dominates the dashboard, while the centre console houses the gear selector and some other key functions. Below the screen is a massive cubby hole that incorporates wireless phone charging, but buttons are few and far between.

That's because almost everything has moved to the screen, including the climate control system. Normally, we'd be set against such a move, but the BMW system is so good that the arrangement works surprisingly well, even if it isn't perfect. What is pretty much spot on, though, is the quality and the luxury. The materials are excellent, as is the engineering on display, and the cleanliness of the design makes it feel light and spacious.


As well as feeling light and airy inside, the 2 Series Active Tourer has plenty of space. But then if it didn't there wouldn't be much point. Happily, it scores well in terms of capacity, with ample space for four adults to travel in comfort, and their luggage can come too. The boot measures more than 400 litres, making it larger than that of a conventional family hatchback, while folding the rear seats frees up more than 1,400 litres of capacity. And because it's quite a tall car, fitting bulky items shouldn't be an issue.


The 2 Series Active Tourer is available with a choice of engines, including the 1.5-litre 218d diesel and the 1.5-litre 220i petrol tested here. That's joined by more powerful 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines (the 223i and 223d respectively), as well as a choice of two plug-in hybrids, the 225e and the 230e. The 170hp 220i is the cheapest option, but it's more than powerful enough for most drivers' needs. The 8.1-second sprint from 0-62mph proves acceleration is ample, while the promise of almost 50mpg on a long run should also be enough to keep customers happy. With every engine coming with a seven-speed automatic gearbox and front-wheel-drive, there's really no need to choose another engine.

Ride & Handling

BMW prides itself on building the ultimate driving machine, so perhaps it's no surprise that the new 2 Series Active Tourer is a class leader when it comes to handling. It isn't what you'd call sporty, but it doesn't roll too dramatically in corners and the steering is precise, if a little light. Sure, a 1 Series is more agile, but the 2 Series Active Tourer is still better than anything of its rivals. And it's comfortable with it, soaking up the majority of the bumps quite happily. It's soft and comfortable both in town and on the motorway, making it a brilliant mode of family transport.


The 2 Series Active Tourer range kicks off at £32,135, and that's pretty competitive. In fact, it's less than £5,000 more than the cheapest 1 Series, and you get plenty of kit as standard. Even the cheapest Sport versions come with satellite navigation, climate control and a reversing camera, as well as an automatic tailgate and cruise control. Our test car, a 220i Active Tourer in mid-range Luxury trim, came with everything you'd ever really want or need, and it still cost less than £40,000.


The new 2 Series Active Tourer is a vast improvement on its predecessor, but it isn't for everyone. If you just want a family hatchback, the 1 Series is cheaper and better to drive, but if you need the extra space, rest assured you won't sacrifice too much by upgrading. And if you do go for the more spacious option, you'll get the added bonus of buying the undisputed class leader.

James Fossdyke - 6 Jan 2023    - BMW road tests
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2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.

2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.2022 BMW 220i Active Tourer. Image by BMW.


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