Despite its name, the AT is unrelated to the 2 Series Coupe, using the same platform as the new MINI instead. BMW has extended the wheelbase, though, to a more family-friendly 2,670mm – that’s 30mm shorter than the Mercedes B-Class.
For the moment it’s a five-seater – a seven-seater arrives later in the year – but BMW has boosted practicality with sliding and reclining rear seats that allow you to increase the space for passengers at the expense of boot space, and vice versa. Maximum boot space stands at 468 litres – about 20 litres down on the B-Class –but you can fold the seats down 40:20:40 to 1,510 litres. You can fold down the passenger seat if you need to carry objects up to 2.40m long.
Engines are borrowed from the latest MINI, kicking off with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo in the 218i. It boasts 134bhp, covers 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds and returns up to 57.6mpg. The 218d gets a 2.0-litre diesel engine, producing 148bhp but can also return 68.9mpg – making this the cleanest model in the line-up. There’s also a flagship 225i xDrive version, powered by a 228bhp 2.0-litre turbo.
A few months after the initial launch BMW will introduce 220i, 220d and 216d models as well as four-wheel drive Active Tourers. A six-speed manual comes as standard but there are six-speed and eight-speed autos available, too.
To improve the handling BMW is offering M Sport suspension, which is 10mm lower than the standard set-up, plus you can spec adaptive dampers. As well as the typically luxurious BMW interior, there’s a range of hi-tech features and options, too, like a head-up display and a Traffic Jam Assistant, which can steer, accelerate and brake for you in traffic up to 40mph.
Buyers can pick between a basic 2 Active Tourer or opt for the Luxury or Sport Line models, with each boasting a bespoke look. An M Sport variant will be introduced in November. Order books for the 2 Series Active Tourer are open now, with first deliveries in September and prices starting from under £23,000.