The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer are far from the most exciting vehicles Munich makes, but the company has persisted with the idea of these not-so-ultimate people-carrying machines. A timely mid-cycle facelift (Life Cycle Impulse in BMW-speak) provides a much needed freshening up, incorporating a number of updates shared with the recently revised MINI Hatch and Convertible models.
Up front, there’s a taller and wider double kidney grille flanked by a new hexagonal corona ring design for the full LED and adaptive LED headlight options. Meanwhile, the front apron now features a broad bone-shaped air intake bookended by C-shaped gloss black highlights and slimline LED fog lights.
The rear sees few changes, with only the rear valance being redesigned, incorporating twin tailpipes on all four-cylinder models. The M Sport pack has also been revised with a more muscular front bumper and a reprofiled rear apron, and there are six new alloy wheel designs ranging from 16 to 19 inches in diameter. New Sunset Orange and Jucaro Beige colour options expands the palette to 13 hues.
Inside, automatic variants get a new electronic gearlever that always returns to its original position after selecting reverse, neutral or drive, finally bringing these models in line with the rest of the BMW lineup. There are also longer seat squabs for improved comfort, as well as two new upholstery options – a cloth/Sensatec faux leather combo with grey or orange stripes for the Sport Line, as well as Mocha Dakota leather.
The latest iDrive infotainment system, first seen on the G30 5 Series, was introduced in July, and adds a touchscreen – measuring 6.5 inches with the regular navigation option and 8.8 inches with the Plus navigation system – as well as a voice control system and a tiled interface. There’s a new black-panel instrument cluster as well.
Also available is Qi wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and BMW ConnectedDrive services like Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), Time-to-Leave notifications, Share Destination and Microsoft Office 365 functionality. Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go has also been added as part of the Driving Assistant Plus package, along with Traffic Jam Assistant that keeps the car in its lane at speeds of up to 60 km/h.
The Driving Assistant pack with City Braking and Lane Departure Warning is retained, as are the Parking Assistant and the Proactive Driving Assistant that advises on when to lift off the throttle before a corner in conjunction with the Plus navigation system.
Together with the new MINI Hatch and Convertible, the 2AT and GT introduce BMW’s new range of engines, featuring a number of key changes. These include a new industry-first form honing process to machine the coated cylinder bores in the aluminium crankcase, reducing friction losses. Also incorporated is a switchable oil circuit, a single-piece timing chain and a new L-shaped accessory belt drive.
What’s more, the exhaust manifold and turbocharger is now built into the cylinder head to improve exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) flow, while the petrol pump and lines have also been optimised for higher-pressure fuel injection. A new coolant pump with separate outlets for the cylinder head and engine block improves heat management – this split-cooling system reduces fuel consumption and emissions under partial loads.
That’s not all – there’s also a lighter crankshaft, plus a new balancer shaft for the three-cylinder engines. On the diesel side, the four-cylinder engines now get sequential twin turbochargers, and all oil burners receive a redesigned EGR system for reduced nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions, upgraded fuel injectors with higher pressure, a particulate filter, a NOx adsorber catalyst and an AdBlue system.
The net result is that the petrol engines are more powerful to the tune of up to 7 hp and 10 Nm of torque, while diesel engines feature 5% lower fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants. The engine range starts with the 109 hp 216i and 140 hp 218i, both powered by a 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine, while the 220i makes 192 hp from a 2.0 litre four-pot.
At the top of the range sits the all-wheel drive 225i xDrive that’s only available in Active Tourer form, and that makes 231 hp and can go from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. Diesels include a three-cylinder 116 hp 216d and the four-cylinder 150 hp 218d and 190 hp 220d, both of which are available with xDrive.
The transmission lineup has also been completely revamped – while the standard six-speed manual has been retained, the previous six-speed automatic option has been ditched for a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. The four-cylinder diesel models, on the other hand, get the option of an eight-speed torque converter automatic instead.
The 225xe iPerformance Active Tourer plug-in hybrid remains unchanged, pairing a 136 hp/220 Nm 1.5 litre petrol three-pot with a rear-mounted 88 hp/165 Nm electric motor (adding all-wheel drive to the mix) and a six-speed auto to produce a total system output of 224 hp and 385 Nm. A 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery provides an all-electric range of up to 45 km.
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