A Purist’s View On The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

2 Series | February 13th, 2015 by 5
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Some of the reasons why the new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and the previously launched Active Tourer could find place in a lot of European homes in the future.

Recently I caught a lot of flack for my views on the BMW M3 and the probable introduction of an optional all-wheel drive in the future. While some may call me a bit of a hard headed when it comes to changes, the recently introduced BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the just released BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer do make me somewhat happy.

While the purists are screaming murder, there are others that see the potential in BMW minivans.

While the whole idea of a BMW minivan makes more than a few BMW enthusiasts cringe, the potential sales and the premium design of a high-class soccer mom automobile make could change some opinions down the road.

So I decided to look at some of the reasons why the new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and the previously launched Active Tourer could find place in a lot of European homes in the future.

1. Design

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Purists generally don’t have an objection to the design of the Active Tourer, or the Gran Tourer for that matter. Many understand that there are only so many ways one can design a minivan and in all fairness, BMW design team has done a good job with their first vans.

The boxy vans feature the typical design cues, starting with the A-pillar and short bonnet, and ending with the D-pillar and upright rear-end. The two front-wheel drive minivans retain though the typical BMW design elements: kidney grille, L-shaped rear lights and double round headlamps.

2. Utility

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Without a doubt, one of the first requirements for a minivan is …drum roll…utility. That’s right, utility makes or breaks a minivan, and the more features package in and outside the car, the better for sales. In all fairness though, the BMW X5 offers similar interior cabin space and gadgetry, but at a much higher price. The lack of a true seven-seater SUV also gives the Gran Tourer and Active Tourer room in the BMW lineup.

With the 2 Series Gran Tourer, there is no real need to buy an X5, if space and utility are the main purchasing criteria. And those that want xDrive, well, BMW offers the intelligent all-wheel drive system in the minivans as well. The xDrive option makes it even more attractive for younger families in the Northern parts of the world as well.

3. Overall Appeal


This builds atop the two previous points and somewhat brings the conclusion home. Truth is that BMW needed a minivan, and a fairly affordable one, to stay competitive in the premium segment. Both Audi and Mercedes are pumping lots of R&D money in future products, niche or mainstream, so BMW needs a new area to grow into. The front-wheel drive, with its cost advantage and new packaging, can offer that.

There are still plenty of customers out there that are not looking for an SUV, nor for a sedan, so previously they would have to turn to another automaker to fulfill their needs. No more. Now BMW offers an option for almost everyone and we can already see the BMW minivans becoming as popular as tourings in Europe.

BMW can also get a younger demographic in their cars, one that loves the roundel but previously didn’t have the budget for it. So a new generation of bimmer fans will be born.

5 responses to “A Purist’s View On The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer”

  1. Lawrence says:

    I have no problem with change as long as it is in the right direction. I do not doubt that there is a market for this segment of cars just like there is a market for one-ply toilet paper. The question should be whether the BMW brand for it stands for, the Ultimate Driving Machine, should be filling this market. Like I mentioned before, just because there is demand for something doesn’t mean that you have to make it and slap a BMW badge on it to make sure it sells well. The damage to the brand and future prospects is far greater than the short term gain. This is especially true when customers don’t want to return to BMW after experiencing below expectation products, as I suspect and experienced to be the case after experiencing the 2 Series Active Tourer. There is a market for a BMW super car and that will actually enhance the brand like it did for Audi, let’s see that come through??? Yet BMW board members make arrogant comments like BMW does not need an image boost with a super car… BMW can take the knock with a FWD. Ask yourself, is this in any way consistent with the promise the brand has given to all its customers for decades – the Ultimate Driving Machine, because if not, you know this does not deserve the BMW badge, rather slap another name on it like BMW’s Triumph name that it acquired or Mini (but wait, they won’t sell as many with those badges) OR stop lying to your customers and change your slogan to something like “The Car for All”. If we allow this today, who is to say that BMW board members won’t say one day that they have identified customers who would want a Rolls Royce badged Mini Cooper? You mess up the integrity and values of your brand by doing things like these!

    This begs the next question of what premium is. BMW is the Number 1 Premium Car Company in the world and makes only premium products. In the race to the yearly volume king, BMW products have always been considered premium. At what point do you draw this line? I can tell you that the quality of these FWD cars are poor, both interior and exterior. It is shocking how these cars just scream cheapness! Look at the harsh plastics used in the cabin, the lack of interior window frames, the cheapness of the seats! It is shocking! This is not a premium car and should not be counted towards the sales numbers for premium car volume race. I feel exactly the same for the A1 Audi.

    BMW does not have to be everything for everyone. BMW stands for the Ultimate Driving Machine, make sure you are live up to it and uphold your promise to your customers who have trusted you and made you the Number 1 Premium Car Company in the world. I am sure Panke would not have agreed to this brand destruction just for short term gains. I hope these cheap Minivans fail as they should!
    Yes, a new group of customers will flock to BMW, but I can certainly say that the existing ones will definitely not like this when they sit in one. BMW’s exclusivity will be diluted and that is a bad thing. For those of you who want to bring up the argument of the introduction of X and 1 Series, I will say now that they were at least true to what the brand stands for and are still created with the mindset of the Ultimate Driving Machine. The difference here is that they are offering these KNOWING they cannot be the ultimate driving machines but they want short term profits and are now thinking that we no longer need to think too much about the ultimate driving machine anymore, as there is a market for more space, there is a market for MPV, there is a market for one-ply toilet paper, there is a market for plastic spoons. BMW must get back to its roots or some people must rather go and work for VW.

    • Matt Stokes says:

      Unfortunately rose-tinted glasses, nostalgia, and simple idealism is not what keeps the investors in publicly traded companies happy.

      The simple conclusion that is reached when you follow your ideology, in the real world, is that BMW is better to be part of VW, than it is to emulate it.

    • Gonçalo F. says:

      Spot on! you see people here saying “embrace the change” and what not but this is not good for BMW, this is good for the sales! do you want a sellout brand? or do you want a brand that had a premium feel to it, that retains its Pedigree, it’s character. BMW trying to become a people’s car? I for one will need to rethink if in 3 years I’m going to buy a BMW again. It just feels cheap.

    • BMW Cars Hq says:

      “I do not doubt that there is a market for this segment of cars just like there is a market for one-ply toilet paper”. Hahahaha….

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