BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer 7-seater to tempt family buyers

BMW takes the five-seater Active Tourer MPV, adds two extra seats and creates the Gran Tourer

BMW is going big with its MPV line-up. The German giant shocked traditionalists with the launch of the 2 Series Active Tourer five-seater MPV last year, and with its practical shape and front-wheel-drive platform, it was uncharted territory for the brand.

Now, BMW has taken the Active Tourer and created an even larger version – the 2 Series Gran Tourer, complete with seven seats. Auto Express had exclusive access to the newcomer weeks before its global debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

Best MPVs to buy now

In what seems like a never-ending new model launch spree, BMW claims it is entering a new marketplace with the 2 Series Gran Tourer. “It’s a premium seven-seater,” product leader Peter Krist told us. “There’s no other premium seven-seater in the market. We are completely unique.”

UK buyers, though, will view the Gran Tourer as another big MPV offering extra space and the flexibility of seven seats all wrapped up in a stylish body. Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso, the Ford S-MAX and Renault’s Grand Scenic are big players in the seven-seater MPV field and the BMW is priced to match them. When it arrives in the UK in September, prices will range from £24,175 to £33,885 – depending on model, the Gran Tourer commands a £2,000 premium over the Active Tourer.

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer: specifications

There’ll be the choice of two or four-wheel drive, three and four-cylinder petrol or diesel engines and four trim levels. Entry-level SE cars come with sliding middle row seats, folding rear seats, 16-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, a powered tailgate and Bluetooth. Sport adds 17-inch wheels and sports seats; Luxury comes with leather upholstery, while sports suspension and 18-inch wheels are reserved for the M Sport.

The Gran Tourer shares its UKL1 platform with the smaller 2 Series Active Tourer, as well as the current MINI Hatch and a whole host of future new models from the British premium brand. A large number of body panels and interior parts are also shared with the Active Tourer – although the big news is what the Gran Tourer doesn’t share.

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer: dimensions

Measuring 4,556mm in length, the Gran Tourer is 214mm longer than the 2 Series Active Tourer. And while it’s the same width, Krist’s team has squeezed another 53mm in height, giving vital headroom for passengers in the third row. The two rearmost seats fold neatly out of the floor and offer reasonable space – adults taller than 5ft 11in will find it hard to get comfortable, but there's bags of room for teenagers and children.

The second-row seats have been raised by 3mm over the Active Tourer’s to give some extra storage below them, and the seats slide and tilt forwards and backwards by up to 130mm to allow entry into the back. Total boot space with the third row folded is 645 litres and this can be expanded to a massive 1,905 litres once the second row of seats is folded – this can be done by pressing a button in the boot.

Like the Active Tourer, the Gran Tourer has a beautifully built cabin that not only reflects the rest of the BMW range, but also boasts practical touches like big cubbies in the doors and under the centre armrest, plus large storage places under the seats to hide away valuables.

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer: engines

Under the bonnet, there will be the choice of two petrol engines – a 1.5-litre three-cylinder for the 218i and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder for the 220i. There’ll also be three diesels – a 1.5-litre three-cylinder for the 216d, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder for the 218d and a more powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder for the four-wheel-drive-only 220d xDrive.

BMW predicts 75 per cent of Gran Tourer customers will be new to the brand and the car is set for a UK launch in June.  

For more details of the cars that'll be making their debuts at Geneva 2015, click here.

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