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      07-17-2014, 10:33 PM   #1
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Car and Driver Review....

2015 BMW 2-series Active Tourer FIRST DRIVE REVIEWarrow VIEW PHOTOS (46) | COMMENTS (36)
2015 BMW 2-series Active Tourer

The revolution will be front-drive.



This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future: BMW insiders tell us that half of the company’s lineup eventually will consist of front-wheel-drive vehicles. The 2-series Active Tourer is the first such vehicle, and it has so little in common with any other BMW that it could send shockwaves throughout the enthusiast community. It is called 2-series because it is bigger than a 1-series, not because it has anything in common with the 2-series coupe. It is a tall-roofed minivan. It comes with three- and four-cylinder engines. It is front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is coming later). And it shares its platform with a Mini.

Why this departure? BMW figures there are a lot of young, active folks who need space for their healthy and exciting outdoor activities. Then there are those who need a spacious but compact second car. Also there are mobility-challenged people who simply like the easy ingress and egress of a vehicle with a high roof. Many have little interest in the finer points of sports and performance cars as discussed among enthusiasts. The merits of rear-wheel drive? Turbo four or naturally aspirated inline-six? Should an "M" have an automatic? They couldn't care less. Yet they want a BMW, and the company has listened.

Styling-wise, BMW has kept the shock factor to a minimum—perhaps too much so. The exterior of the 2-series Active Tourer is as pleasant to look at as it can be given its shape, but there isn't a single character line that we haven't seen somewhere else. A Mercedes B-class has more pizzazz; a VW Golf Sportsvan is better resolved. Inside, it's a different story. Here, the 2-series Active Tourer serves up a sophisticated and contemporary interpretation of BMW's layered interior design language. It is practical, too, although a lot of functions would be easier to access if they had their own control buttons instead of hiding several menus down in the iDrive system.

The driver gets a thick, grippy steering wheel and a slightly elevated seating position. Two elements, however, hint at cost-cutting pressures: The head-up display, which is linked to the optional navigation system, is projected onto a separate panel (think Mazda 3), not the windshield. And the gear selector for the automatic transmission operates a conventional linkage and is thus much better to use than the finicky electronic gear selector in the brand's larger cars. There’s a crossover’s worth of cargo space inside—53 cubic feet of it with the rear seats folded.

Even though the Active Tourer’s lineup will include a range of models with both diesel and gasoline engines, BMW is sending just the top-of-the-line 225i to the U.S. It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo and eight-speed automatic. Rated at 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, it is the most powerful car in the segment, such as it is. It just doesn't feel that way. The power rush is strong, but the engine tone is subdued; the overall noise level is so low that we constantly underestimated the speeds driven, especially those driven in a straight line. The Aisin-supplied automatic is unobtrusive, but when using manual mode, less gears would be more. Here's a typical situation: You want to get to a lower gear for a passing maneuver or an upcoming corner. But the transmission has put you in seventh or eighth. It takes way too many downshifts with marginal rev changes to actually get the engine where you want it to be.

The electromechanical power steering is precise, but effort is a bit on the heavy side. About all we can say about the handling is that it’s fine—like a tall Mini, in fact—although enthusiasts will call for a firmer ride. Indeed, this car’s ride/handling balance is skewed to the comfort side, and we found the car easier to unsettle than one of BMW's rear-drivers. The Active Tourer’s higher center of gravity doesn’t help here.

The 2-series Active Tourer competes in the compact-tall-wagon segment along with the odd minivan with sliding doors, such as the Mazda 5. As such, it’s new ground for the Bavarian automaker. While it may very well be one of the best offerings among competitors in Europe, it’s not one that will warm the hearts of the many enthusiasts who have been the core of the BMW brand for decades.

But hey, it's the future. Better get used to it.
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      04-20-2015, 08:44 PM   #2

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The exterior of the 2-series Active Tourer is as pleasant to look at as it can be given its shape, but there isn't a single character line that we haven't seen somewhere else. A Mercedes B-class has more pizzazz; a VW Golf Sportsvan is better resolved.
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      01-27-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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Decent review.
As all reviews you need to taker the facts and the opinions separated.
Engines, options,.. depends on region (and time of release, look at the 225xe).

I like xdrive combination automatic transmission for daily use.
For looks you got plenty of options. In my opinion BMW can make there sport seat a bit more sport (look at Mercedes, I miss that in BMW, even when I see a real M).

I like what BMW did with the adaptive (M) suspension as a option in the lower series. I still hate that they don't have ventilated/massage seats in option, only starting from a 5 serie where you have it in a 308 or small Opel.
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      01-31-2016, 09:01 PM   #4
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It does show how interested people are in BMW/Mini Active (what ever it is) by the amount of people on this site.

BMW will never admit they have made a mistake with front wheel drive.They will just suck it up.
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