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BMW'S first front-wheel drive does the job of most SUVs but drives like a car

20 Nov 2014

BMW is renowned for creating a niche vehicle segment right where you thought another would never fit, so don't be surprised to hear it has done it again.

This time with a vehicle it calls a Sports Activity Tourer or SAT, but the company's segment foray is not the big news with the 2 Series Active Tourer.

With a platform related to the third-generation Mini, amid a torrent of controversy, criticism and after nearly 100 years of BMW claiming rear-wheel dive is the only way, its latest model breaches the realm of front-wheel drive.

Despite the inherent flaws of a chassis that tries to do a majority of braking, steering and power transmission through the same wheels, BMW claims its Active Tourer upholds the company's mission statement to offer the ultimate driving machine.

While the Active Tourer may have only one true rival in Australia, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, BMW says that with generous cabin space, an elevated seating position and all the driving enjoyment the company prides itself on, the new arrival will poach sales from the booming SUV market.

The latest addition to the propeller badge stable has to win over both blinkered SUV buyers and longstanding fans of BMW's rear drive handling. That's no mean feat.

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Model release date: 1 November 2014

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