Launch Report: Latest BMW 2-Series Active Tourer a premium choice in shrinking segment

22 April 2022

BMW Active Tourer

When BMW launched the first-generation 2-Series Active Tourer in 2015, it ventured into new territory with a new-to-the-brand body style, front-wheel drive and a three-cylinder engine. The second-generation BMW 2-Series Active Tourer is now ready to roll onto the streets and features some major improvements over the previous generation.

The new model features the new BMW design language and the large kidney grille. A flatter-angled A-pillar and two distinctive character lines on the side emphasise a more dynamic look compared to the predecessor. Despite the wheelbase remaining unchanged at 2,670mm, the model has grown in size and is now 32mm longer, 24mm wider and 21mm higher. Passengers will benefit from increased headroom, shoulder room and elbow room in both rows. A seven-seater variant is no longer available as the Gran Tourer will not be renewed.

The interior is dominated by the double-screen curved display, which features the new BMW Operating System 8, a debut in a compact-class BMW. The new iDrive control system is designed around voice control and the multi-functional steering wheel but dismisses the iDrive button on the centre console, which will be missed by many. The optionally-available sliding rear bench can travel 13cm backwards or forwards and therefore allows for more luggage space or legroom.

The initial powertrain line-up includes three petrol engines with 136-218hp, and only one diesel version with 150hp. All variants come with the seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission, while a manual transmission is not available. The 220i and 223i petrol variants feature a 48V mild hybrid system and the additional 19hp electric engine serves as starter generator and power booster for mid-range acceleration. Two plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models will be added to the range this summer  with an expected fully-electric range of up to 90km, although final values have yet to be determined.

BMW states that ‘comfort and safety in the new BMW 2-Series Active Tourer are enhanced by the largest selection of automated-assistance functions ever offered in a compact BMW.’ Basic versions of assistance systems, e.g., a simple cruise control with brake function, are fitted as standard equipment, in line with requirements for an NCAP top rating or legal regulations. Functionality can then be enhanced via optional packages and also ‘by means of remote software upgrades and functions on demand’.

Prices of the new BMW 2-Series Active Tourer match the premium positioning of the brand and can easily be pushed upwards by adding options from the extensive option list. The high final cost could discourage potential buyers and prevent winning customers over from other brands.

The C-MPV segment and MPV-segments in general have been continuously decreasing in volumes and market share over recent years. People seeking for space, versatility and an elevated seating position more often than not opt for an SUV. In Italy and the UK, the share of C-MPVs on the used-car market is already below 2% and decreasing further. While in Austria, for example, 6.5% of three-year old used-cars are C-MPVs this share reduces to 2.6% when analysing the 12-month-old used cars.

Competition is small in the segment and the only direct premium or near-premium rivals are the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and the already-dated Volkswagen Touran. Out of these three BMW has the highest share of three-year-old used cars in Italy and France and comes second after the Touran in Austria and the UK. The potential for the new 2-Series Active Tourer therefore lies in the combination of a strong competitive position in a small set of rivals despite a shrinking segment.   

The interactive launch report dashboard, which benchmarks the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer in Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK provides more details. The interactive launch report presents new prices, forecast residual values, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.