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.
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.
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.
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.
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.