We know what you might be thinking: here comes another BMW with yet another kind of roofline. Only this isn't just another BMW. It's the first front-drive BMW, and the first time we've ever seen it in person.

That model, of course, is the new 2 Series Active Tourer, debuting here in Geneva as the production version of the Concept Active Tourer and the beefier Concept Active Tourer Outdoor that followed. It shares about as much with the 2 Series Coupe as a jelly donut, but takes BMW into a new market segment – that of the high-roofed hatchback (or micro-minivan, depending on your perspective) occupied by the likes of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan.

Power comes from a choice of 1.5-liter turbo three, 2.0-liter turbo four or 2.0-liter turbodiesel – but aside from the forced-induction engines what they all the versions have in common is what makes the 2 Series Active Tourer newsworthy: they all sit up front, driving the front wheels. It's an idea BMW purists might not appreciate, but one we'd all better get used to just the same.


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  • 37 Comments
      sampson
      • 9 Months Ago
      So why is this even called a 2 series? Bmw has thoroughly messed up their number/model system. There's really no rhyme or reason
        Greg
        • 9 Months Ago
        @sampson
        It's smaller than a 3 and larger than a 1, so it has to be a 2.
      avinash Machado
      • 9 Months Ago
      Brand dilution at its finest.
        MarketingGuy
        • 9 Months Ago
        @avinash Machado
        Exactly, I think the current mantra of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes is to sell as many cars into the market as possible. It seems that profits are more important than their brand heritage.
      Teleny411
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wish soccer moms and dads would drive wagons and not God awful misshapen little pieces of crap like this. Ultimate driving machine indeed.
      bonehead
      • 9 Months Ago
      Oh man i cannot wait for the BMW 2 Gran Coupe 220i xDrive activehybrid (with a 1.5L 3 cylinder) and FWD. Man BMW is knocking it out of the park these days! Add a CVT and im sold! grumble grumble
        nomercy346
        • 9 Months Ago
        @bonehead
        haha i was just thinking that the only way to top this would be a CVT
        jonnybimmer
        • 9 Months Ago
        @bonehead
        uh... "xDrive + FWD" ? Seriously though, it was only a matter of time before BMW did smaller FWD cars. MB and Audi have been doing it for over a decade now. There's always been a market for these types of cars and BMW just wants to fill every single market gap they can because the powers to be value profits over brand integrity. But hey, at least it's not as pathetic as a '97 A160.
          bonehead
          • 9 Months Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          uh...328 with a 2.0L 4 uh...328 with a 3.0L 6 uh...335 with a 3.0LT 6 uh...4 series gran coupe (which is not a coupe but 4 series are for coupes that shoudl be called 3 series) My point was that nothing BMW names these days matters. Just give it some crap names and people will buy it.
      mary.keana
      • 9 Months Ago
      How big is the market for a $50K Honda Fit competitor?
      David J. Stern
      • 9 Months Ago
      I am a BMW purist and I love it! Despite my recent 328xd Sports Wagon purchase, this 2 series would have also met my needs. I need a small-to-medium cargo-and-stuff carrier with good safety and economy for my full-time driving job. Performance is just a bonus. As with the 328xd, the Active Tourer isn't perfect and costs a helluva lot of bucks. But it comes with everything besides RWD that a BMW stands for. I won't be tooling around a track, or street corners for that matter. For that, I suppose I could use my other car. The moral of the story is...it might not be right for you and the other 30-odd vocal complainers, but it's going to appeal to many others, me included. So get off your high horse and find something good to say about it.
        Greg
        • 9 Months Ago
        @David J. Stern
        Or, get the Mazda3 5-door with the bigger engine. It probably has just as good performance & better economy for well less cash.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 9 Months Ago
        @David J. Stern
        "I need a small-to-medium cargo-and-stuff carrier with good safety and economy for my full-time driving job" In other words you need something like a Honda Fit or CRV. "costs a helluva lot of bucks. But ....... I won't be tooling around a track, or street corners for that matter." So you are admitting that it is a waste of money. Just buy a Fit.
          David J. Stern
          • 9 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          icemilkcoffee, while I agree the 2 and the Fit might be comparable in terms of size, c'mon, seriously? Apples to oranges. Not to diss the Fit, but the BMW is several levels above the Fit in terms of features, safety, performance, fit and finish, technology, design language and much more. I think the Fit is a great car for the money. And I'll bet the Fit runs circles around the 2 when it comes to reliability. But I have more money to spend, and even if I did spend $20,000 on a Fit, that would be a "waste of money" because it wouldn't be what I wanted. And yes, I could buy two Fits for the price of one 2 but again, that would be a "waste of money".
      Jobu
      • 9 Months Ago
      FWD + BMW = End of Times.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 9 Months Ago
      FWD BMW? That's blasphemy.
      Colin
      • 9 Months Ago
      It looks very like the new Suzuki S Cross, it's practically the same size too. The Suzuki Diesel offers very similar performance and economy as well, and the option of an excellent 4x4 version. Now, given that the Suzuki arguably looks better than this BMW, and that it is very well made and equipped, although out of less plush materials, I'd go for the Suzuki and save a lot of money. I've driven the Suzuki Diesel by the way, and it was huge fun, and very economical. I think the Suzuki looks a bit generic, but this BMW is even worse. Amazing!
      mywingchunsucks
      • 9 Months Ago
      BMW's version of a VW Golf
      James Dailey
      • 9 Months Ago
      I've owned a Mini CooperS convertible, and front-wheel-drive cars can still handle really well and be fun to drive! The problem with the BMW 3- and 4-series is that they've gotten really, really large. If you live in a city, it's reasonable to want something compact but still comfortable for four with luggage. BMW has to compete with the VW GTI, Audi A3, Mazda3, Mercedes GLA, etc. If you live out in the suburbs, go for the 3-series. This is a city car.
        Tuga
        • 9 Months Ago
        @James Dailey
        Not only are the cars you mentioned NOT city cars ( something like a Fiesta or a Fit are city cars, or an even better example, the Spark, which is 2 segments below those cars ), but BMW already offers a true competitor to all of those, the 1 series. And also kinda the X1. Not to mention the Mini Countryman.
      knightrider_6
      • 9 Months Ago
      Accent comes with a better interior.
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