Few BMW enthusiasts genuinely get excited about the 2 Series Active Tourer. As a people mover, it’s excellent. As an enthusiast’s car, not so much. However, the first generation of 2 Series AT sold so well that it warranted a second go at it and this new second-gen car looks like it could be a big step up for casual customers and enthusiasts alike.

Built on BMW’s newest iteration of the FAAR front-wheel drive architecture, the new 2 Series Active Tourer will wear the unusual chassis code “U06” and brings all-new looks, an entirely unique cabin, more space, and potentially sportier driving dynamics.

Shaper Looks, Fresh New Cabin

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This new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer features one of the largest design jumps we’ve seen from BMW in some time. While it’s still a five-door hatchback/minivan, it’s far bolder and more aggressive looking than before. A massive new grille, one very much in keeping with BMW’s other recent efforts, combine with sleek new headlights, slim taillights, and flush i4-style door handles to make a much sharper looking car. It might not be pretty, per se, but it’s certainly more interesting looking than its predecessor.

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It is slippery, though. With a coefficient of drag of 0.26, it’s a surprisingly aerodynamic car. Those aerodynamics will help increase efficiency, which is a hugely important factor for 2AT customers. Especially for hybrid model customers.

Previously, the 2 Series Active Tourer looked like every other vanilla people mover on the market but this one is distinctly a modern BMW. I stress “modern” because its massive kidney grille will give people no doubt of its true heritage. That bold design is interesting for a car that’s mostly bought by average customers and not enthusiasts but it does add some flare, there’s no doubt about that. Adding even more flare will be an all-new Sparkling Copper Grey Metallic paint option.

It gets snazzy new headlights, too. As-standard, the 2AT gets all LED headlights, which not only look cool from the outside but they also provide better, safer light at night. Adaptive headlights with a non-dazzling matrix LED beam — which uses four separate LED quadrants to actively avoid blinding oncoming motorists — are optional.

Inside is where 2 Series Active Tourer customers are going to be happy, though. The cabin of the 2er AT is all new and not just for this model. Its entire interior design is drastically different from any other BMW product on sale. The only things that seem carryover from any other BMW model are the iDrive 8 screen and new Live Cockpit Professional, which both look lifted out of an iX.

The interior looks good, though. The dash is clean and simple, with nice trim (especially in wood), an interesting central air vent, and double passenger vents. Moving to the door panels, there’s an interesting bit of metallic trim just ahead of the front door handles, which features a sort of checkered pattern that looks quite premium. The door pulls themselves are slim metal bits that look sleek and minimalist. The steering wheel is also new and looks quite good, especially in M Sport guise, with its skeletonized metal spokes at the bottom.

However, the standout of the cabin is the center console arrangement. The toggle switch-style gear selector is very reminiscent of the Audi A3’s but it’s simple and easy to use and it sits on a control panel that’s cantilevered over a cubby hole. Just ahead of that are two cupholders and an interesting, vertical wireless charging pad, which features a little bar to keep your phone from falling out. It’s nice, though, because if you get a message or an email that Apple CarPlay can’t read out to you, you can actually just glance down at it and see quickly.

Underneath that armrest lies another cubby, which reinforces the pragmatic nature of the 2 Series’ cabin. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer isn’t supposed to be a driver-focused sports car. Rather, it’s supposed to be small but spacious, economical family car, designed with interior space and comfort as its main priorities. From the looks of it, BMW nailed that design brief.

There are even all-new seats, which aren’t featured on any other BMW product, designed to work with the increased headroom the new 2 Series Active Tourer. Not only are there new standard seats, there are new Sport seats as well, for cars with M Sport packages. The latter of which come in leather/Alcantara and look very supportive.

Small Car, Big Tech

Despite being one of BMW’s cheaper cars, the 2 Series Active Tourer will come available with its best tech. The newest iDrive 8 system that debuted on the BMW iX will make it to the 2 Series Active Tourer, providing all of the brand’s latest infotainment features. It will also get the latest Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument panel. It features new graphics and upgraded functionality. Additionally, the 2 Series Active Tourer gets BMW’s latest personal voice assistant and the brand’s park assist functions. So while the 2 Series AT might not be the most luxurious or expensive BMW, customers won’t want for technology.

Under the Skin

While the 2 Series Active Tourer isn’t designed to be a sports car, it still needs to feel as if it comes from BMW. Four powertrains will be available at launch; BMW 218i Series Active Tourer (137 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque), BMW 220i AT (170 horsepower and 206 lb-ft, BMW 223i AT (218 horsepower and 265 lb -ft of torque), and the BMW 218d AT (150 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque). All gasoline powered vehicles get 48-volt mild-hybrid systems, while the diesel does not, and all engines are paired with a new seven-speed dual-clutch.

There will also be a BMW 230e Active Tourer (blue model seen in photos), which will be a plug-in hybrid model. Maximum output is 240 kW/326 hp (developed by the combination of the combustion engine with up to 110 kW/150 hp and the electric motor with up to 130 kW/177 hp) for the BMW 230e xDrive Active Tourer. BMW will also offer the 225e xDrive Active Tourer with 180 kW/245 hp (developed by the combination of the combustion engine with up to 100 kW/136 hp and the electric motor with up to 80 kW/109 hp). Both hybrids are said to launch a few months after the initial launch of the 2AT.

As funky as the 2 Series Active Tourer looks, there’s actually some impressive engineering going on, here. An aluminum hood and aluminum bits inside the chassis cell give it a stiffer, more exit chassis than most other Bimmers. Those lightweight improvements, along with newly revised lift-related dampers and what BMW calls near-actuator wheel slip limitation, will make it feel a bit livelier in the bends. The near-actuator wheel slip limitation is said to improve agility, traction, and stability and will be fitted as standard.

An adaptive M Suspension will also lower the ride height fifteen millimeters, which will give the car both sportier looks and superior handling.

Bigger on the Inside

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer isn’t a large car on the outside. In fact, it’s rather small by family car standards. However, the front-drive architecture and clever packaging allows BMW to carve out a ton of interior passenger and cargo space. With the rear seats up, the 2 Series Active Tourer has 470 liters of cargo space, which isn’t a ton but remember how small the car is. With the seats folded, its cargo space expands for 1,455 liters. Though, hybrid models lose a bit of space, dropping to 406/1,370 liters.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Highlights

If you own a trailer and need to do some light hauling, the 2 Series Active Tourer can haul a maximum of 1,500 kg (3,306 lbs), though hybrid models can only handle 1,400 kg (3,086 lbs).

The all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is going to be a big hit with customers. Existing 2AT customers love their cars for their practicality, ride comfort, interior space, and surprisingly good driving dynamics. This new model offers them more style, a much upgraded interior that’s completely unique in the lineup, and the latest and greatest tech BMW has to offer.

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