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BMW lobs 2 Series Active Tourer

Getting active: The 2 Series Active Tourer is based on BMW Group’s UKL1 platform that also underpins the current-generation Mini hatch.

First front-drive BMW 2 Series Active Tourer arrives from $44,400 plus ORCs


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18 Nov 2014

UPDATED: 18/11/2014 15:00 THE first front-wheel-drive vehicle in BMW’S history, the 2 Series Active Tourer, enters Australian showrooms this week, priced from $44,400 plus on-road costs and ready to take on its most obvious rival, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

Available in three variants, the all-new spacious hatchback offers a choice between two petrol engines and a diesel-powered version, all with torque sent to the front wheels only.

The entry-level 218i combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine – its first application for the brand – with a six-speed automatic transmission to produce 100kW of power and 220Nm of torque, while consuming as little as 5.2 litres of fuel per 100km.

The top-performing 225i features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine producing 170kW and 350Nm. It teams up with an eight-speed automatic transmission and can dash from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds, a full three seconds quicker than the 218i.

Combined-cycle fuel consumption for the 225i stands at 6.1L/100km but both petrol-powered versions are trumped for frugality by the 218d diesel variant which uses just 4.2L/100km.

Fitted standard with an eight-speed automatic, the diesel model’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine develops 110kW and a hearty 330Nm of torque. It can accelerate to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds and pumps out 111 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

By comparison, the 218i emits 119g/km of CO2, and the 225i 139g/km. All engines are compliant with the Euro 6 standard.

BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology contributes to the low fuel consumption and emissions, including automatic engine idle-stop, brake energy regeneration, power management programs and a front air curtain that reduces vehicle drag by routing air around the front wheels.

The base 218i kicks off from $44,400 plus on-road costs, the diesel Active Tourer carries a $47,800 asking price and the 225i flagship tops the pack at $54,900.

BMW says the move to front-wheel drive for the first time in its near 100-year history has resulted in a vehicle with more interior space, without compromising driving enjoyment.

The Active Tourer’s UKL1 platform is shared with the third-generation Mini – a car noted for its fine front-drive handling. It uses a multi-link suspension layout at the rear, while at the front end BMW has developed a type of MacPherson strut dubbed a single-joint spring strut axle.

The result, says BMW, is “great driving dynamics and the sort of driving experience the brand is renowned for.” Electric power steering is standard on all versions, which is reportedly devoid of undesirable torque-steer frequently associated with front-wheel-drive systems.

Specification and equipment for 218i and 218d versions are the same, with both variants wearing 17-inch wheels, foglights and Sport Line touches that continue through to the interior.

The Sport Line seats have a 40:20:40 split-fold arrangement at the rear (with adjustable backrests) and, with BMW’s ‘through loading’ system, enable cargo capacity to expand from 468 litres to 1510L.

The Active Tourer’s tailgate hatch is power operated with optional ‘touchless gesture control’ which allows users to open the boot with the wave of a foot near the back of the car, similar to the system used in the Ford Kuga SUV.

Interior and comfort equipment on base models includes an anti-dazzle rearview mirror, Bluetooth connectivity, synthetic leather seats and real leather steering wheel cladding, while driver assistance equipment runs to all-round parking radar, a reversing camera, lane departure and forward collision warning, city braking and satellite navigation.

Moving up to the top-of-the-range 225i Active Tourer adds to the 218 kit with more driving-focused equipment.

Larger 18-inch wheels, sports suspension and sports leather seats, variable steering and transmission settings and a Visibility package that brings anti-dazzle door mirrors and LED headlights are all standard.

BMW’s ConnectedDrive also features in the Active Tourer and has a permanently installed SIM card allowing connection to the internet for access to applications and BMW online services.

Despite its Mini connection, the newest addition to the 2 Series range has a 2670mm wheelbase – 75mm longer than the Countryman – allowing “generous levels of space”.

The 2 Series Active Tourer measures 4342mm long, 1800mm wide and 1555mm wide, making it the same height as Mercedes’ B-class, but slightly shorter in length, and a little wider.

Its dimensions have allowed a higher seating position more akin to a small SUV to allow a better all-round view and easier access, according to BMW.

While Mercedes’ tall-boy B-Class is the most obvious rival, the 2 Series Active Tourer will also compete against Citroen’s five-seat C4 Picasso when it lobs in Australia next year.

The B-Class range starts at $40,900 plus on-roads for the base B180 petrol – $3500 less than the entry-level Active Tourer – and tops out at the $50,400 for the more sprightly B250.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer pricing*

218i (a) $44,400
218d (a) $47,800
225i (a) $54,900

*Excludes on-road costs.

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