There Are Two Kind Of People When It Comes To The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

2 Series, Models | January 21st, 2015 by 19
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer xdrive 11 750x500

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has seen its share of controversy since it was introduced last summer. While some have praised the small family …

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has seen its share of controversy since it was introduced last summer. While some have praised the small family car for its generous interior space and price point, there are others who have equally expressed their dissatisfaction with BMW’s first front-wheel drive vehicle.

The FWD platform is the one single complaint  that stands out and has been the topic of many heated discussions.

So we decided to give both sides an equal voice share and we put together some pro and con arguments of why one would love or hate the 2 Series Active Tourer.

Pro Arguments

1. Usability

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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has been praised in its early reviews for its usability and cabin space. Marketed by BMW as a vehicle that will be equally loved by youngsters and families, the 2 Series Active Tourer fits the profile of a premium car that offers significant spacious interior in relation to overall dimensions, a tight and muscular design and plenty of space for four people and their luggage.

Families with children will also get to enjoy the rear space with clever space for storage, including the folding rear seats for increased luggage space.

2. Design


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and granted the 2 Series Active Tourer steps outside the typical BMW design, but yet it is not ignoring its heritage. The 2 Series Active Tourer features the iconic kidney grille with elongated double round headlamps, coupled with attractive design lines running across the sides of the car and its hood. The front-end also features the now typical Air Curtains with chrome inserts for a sporty look.

Overall, the BMW minivan looks stylish and modern in every way, communicating that premium look that brand is so proud to tout.


When you have a blank sheet of paper with inflexible specifications, the design options are limited. Add to this the front-wheel drive platform and the longitudinally mounted engines, and the design sketches are getting limited.

Considering the restrictions and guidelines, some believe BMW designers have done a great job with the 2 Series Active Tourer.

3. Technological Advancements


Just like top BMW athletes, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer knows how to make use of technology to wow its customers. First, we have the new innovative family of BMW engines, both in three and four cylinders which offer intelligent BMW EfficientDynamics energy management ensuring lower fuel consumption and emissions. Yet, they are still fun to drive.

BMW also packed a lot of safety features and comfort options in the 2 Series Active Tourer, like adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, traffic jam assist, parking assist and the iDrive multimedia system.

Con Arguments

1. Appeal

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer-xdrive-25

Appeal and good design are often interchanged, but one car could have a great design yet lacking appeal. Remember the 5 Series GT? The 2 Series Active Tourer seems to follow the same principles. While its design is as good as it can get, the overall appeal might be lacking when compared to other BMWs in the current lineup. Yes, it has some iconic BMW design cues, but it’s also missing the sporty stance and road warrior look that some other bimmers employ.

The interior design quality is also slightly lower than other BMWs, a normal cost cutting measure to make the car competitive in the segment.

We believe that most of the 2 Series Active Tourer customers will buy the car based on its versatility, prestige of the brand and most important, pricing.

2. Front-wheel Drive


BMW’s first adventure in the front-wheel drive land wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Backlash was expected and an uphill marketing battle was always in the plan. Embracing a new direction always comes with a negative voice and more often customers are reluctant to quickly adopt new technologies. Or in this case, a new philosophy to design the Ultimate Driving Machine driven by front wheels.

In order to compete in a new segment and subsequently allow the company to grow, the BMW bosses decided a cost effective entry-level BMW is needed. The shared platform allows, not only to spawn off several models, but also to save significant coin by sharing the platform, technology, parts and production processes. All of these allow BMW to price the car in low 20k euros.

But die hard fans are usually immune to these arguments so when asked what’s there to hate about the 2 Series Active Tourer, the first topic that comes up is the front-wheel drivetrain.

3. Design

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This one is both a pro and a con. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so naturally it was bound to be a group of people that would be less likely to embrace the quirky design.

As we mentioned before, in our opinion the overall design is great – if you fit all the optional goodies that is. Remove the LED headlights, the panoramic sun roof and some sport packages, and the car becomes a bit bland looking. We hold the BMW design team to high standards so it’s only normal to expect the best.

So while we don’t hold a degree in fine arts and design, we certainly feel that more can be done to improve the looks of the car. Maybe the 2 Series Active Tourer facelift will come to validate our assumptions.

19 responses to “There Are Two Kind Of People When It Comes To The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer”

  1. Chris Llana says:

    Odd, that at the same time BMWBlog is running a Mini Cooper review (presumably written by a die-hard BMW fan) describing the handling as “what makes a MINI and this new one still delivers. The turn-in is sharp and the car is agile. It has loads of grip and truly puts a smile on your face,” it declares that die-hard BMW fans will hate the Active Tourer’s front wheel drive. Same platform. I really doubt that people who buy the Active Tourer can tell the difference between a FWD and a RWD car, nor should they care. I also doubt that most BMW drivers could tell the difference. BMW caters to the great bulk of its customers, making decisions based on engineering logic and market realities. As for the fanatics, they can always buy their old favorites.

    • Tinky-Winky says:

      BMW has said that 80% of 1-series owners think that their cars are FWD. An average BMW customer probably cares more about the badge rather than what wheels move the car around.

      • Horatiu B. says:

        It’s an old survey and we don’t even know how many people were sampled. I think customers know more about RWD vs FWD than we were let to believe. And yes, badge is prolly more important, but that doesn’t meant they dont know a RWD from FWD

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Two different cars, they handle differently. I drove them both. A MINI customer doesn’t strike me as a 2 Series AT customer. They might buy a 1 hatch, but I dont see them dying for the 2 AT.

      • Chris Llana says:

        Of course they handle differently. The AT is bigger, heavier, and taller and is designed for a different purpose. But would a RWD 2 Series AT handle like a true sports car? Would anyone notice a positive difference in everyday driving? Would it be a better mini-van?

        A MINI customer might really go for a 2 Series AT after they have two kids and a dog :-)

    • Vanja Kljaic says:

      Completely different cars, designed and made for a completely different ownership crowd too. Nothing between them can be described as similar when the driving dynamics and overall style goes.

      • Chris Llana says:

        My point was, having front wheel drive does not mean a car will have mediocre handling, so why the uproar about a FWD BMW? It seems like irrational dogma. We’re not talking about racing cars.

        • Vanja Kljaic says:

          In a way, you are saying that, with this type of a body layout and the overall purpose, no need for RWD is shown, is that correct? I think that’s what BMW’s engineers, marketing people and financial executives thought about it.

          • Chris Llana says:

            Correct. Certainly M cars are not good candidates for FWD, because with all their torque, there’s a lot of weight shift from front wheels to rear under hard acceleration. The extra weight on the rears allows more power transfer to the road, while on a FWD car, you would start to get wheel spin. Of course, with enough power/torque applied in a RWD car, you’re going to get wheel spin on the rear wheels (hence traction control). AWD would help, but that adds complexity and weight. But for moderate power levels (e.g. Active Tourer), FWD has definite advantages. The AWD hybrid version will have the best of both worlds.

  2. […] There Are Two Kind Of People When It Comes To The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer While some have praised the small family car for its generous interior space and price point, there are others who have equally expressed their dissatisfaction with BMW's first front-wheel drive vehicle. The FWD platform is the one single complaint … Read more on BMWBLOG (blog) […]

  3. Lance Pool says:

    I would buy this in a heart beat if it was offered for sale in the US. As someone that will be retiring in a few years, I would love to have the Active as a daily driver parked in the garage next to my 2002 E46 cabriolet.

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