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BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

It's not quite as flexible as some cheaper rivals, but the Gran Tourer is still a spacious family car

Large rear doors and a middle row of seats with a quick tilt and slide function aid access to the very back of the 2 Series GT; once inside, there is easily enough room for smaller children. In fact, by sliding the middle row forward and reclining the seat backs slightly, we found it possible to configure the car so that you can carry seven average sized adults in relative comfort – for shorter journeys at least. 

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Being available with all-wheel drive means the Gran Tourer has to make room for a propshaft to send power to the rear wheels and so there’s a transmission tunnel which eats into foot space for the central middle seat – a problem you don’t get on the Citroen. Thankfully it’s not too intrusive and overall this is a very well thought out car.

Plenty of thought has gone into packaging too. There are cup holders between the rearmost chairs while the back door pockets can hold a 1.5-litre bottle as can the fronts. The glove box is a reasonable size and there’s under-seat storage in the front and middle row. But as ever with BMW you can pay more if you want more.

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Other practical extras include height adjustable and removable picnic tables, which use a bracket that can be replaced by iPad holders if you do a lot of long-distance driving with the family in tow.

Size

The Gran Tourer has an extra 12cm between the wheels and a further 9cm in the boot over the 2 Series Active Tourer. The extra length has freed up room for a third row of two small chairs which can be folded out of the boot floor at the pull of a slightly fiddly lever. 

Leg room, head room and passenger space

It helps that BMW has raised the middle row of seats up slightly over the Active Tourer so those in the very back can just about slide their feet under the chairs in front. Because of this, the Gran Tourer’s roof is raised by 5cm to ensure that even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted there’s still enough headroom. 

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Room in the middle row is adequate too so three can sit abreast. However, unlike with a Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer, the chairs aren’t all the same size. Instead there’s a 40:20:40 split with a narrower centre seat, so it’s best to sit the smallest person in here for longer journeys. That said, three ISOFIX child seats mounts are standard on all models.

Boot

With the rear seats in place there’s a little room for a couple of soft bags (145 litres), but with them stowed the boot space increases to 560 litres – slightly less than a Volkswagen Touran (695-litres) but a little more than Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer (537-litres). This extends to 720 litres with the middle row in its most forward position.

At the flick of a switch, the middle row electrically flops down and its carrying capacity grows to 1820 litres – a figure which trumps every other BMW apart from the marginally larger X5. A load bay that’s almost completely flat and has no load lip boosts practicality further as does the easy-to-remove parcel shelf, which can be stored under a hidden compartment in the boot floor. 

If you regularly need to carry really long items, you can option the folding front passenger seat, which folds flat to give 2.6 meters through-load capacity. Go for the electric front seats though and you lose this feature. 

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