In what enthusiasts will likely see as a continued attempt to dilute the BMW brand, the German manufacturer is testing a three-row variant of its already controversial 2 Series Active Tourer. Our trusty spy photographers captured images of the new, front-drive MPV testing on the roads of Europe.

The easiest way to ID this more passenger friendly 2er is its slightly longer length, which will allow it to accommodate seven people in total. As our spies point out, this should make the 2AT an attractive proposition for European taxi companies. Yep, BMW built a car that will be praised by taxi drivers. On top of the extra seats, the rear overhang appears larger as well, which should mean extra cargo space.

This, of course, is not the first time we've captured images of a new 2AT variant undergoing testing. Back in May, we spotted a hybrid-powered variant out for a drive.

Take a look up top for our full gallery of spy photos to see a front-wheel-drive, seven-passenger BMW people mover in action.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Months Ago

      I'm so stoked for this incredible looking BMW minivan! It has all of the BMW appeal but without that pesky world class handling and handsome looks that nobody likes! I might even have to trade in my E90 335is for one of these Ultimate Status Machines!

      Stover McIlwain
      • 9 Months Ago

      As an owner of five BMW's I don't mind BMW attempting to expand its market as long as they also still have models that appeal to me.  Remember, the Quandt family saved the company in the 50's by building economy cars middle class Europeans could afford.  Nobody seems to care that Daimler Benz makes buses and the Unimog!

        • 9 Months Ago
        @Stover McIlwain

        There is a slight difference. Unimog is cool and MB busses, minivans and tracks look good. BMW products seem to have few common elements like headlights and grill, but overall designs are horrible. That makes BMW uncool... MB products do not have that uncoolness about them ...  

        • 9 Months Ago
        @Stover McIlwain

        BMW leaves a lot of sales on the table by not having a 3 row people mover. There are many BMW customers whose "other car" is a fully loaded Odyssey or Sienna. I'm not sure this 2 series is going to be large enough to go head-to-head with those cars but we know that many are willing to sacrifice space and utility to get the BMW badge. Also, expect this car to be BMW's gateway drug to a full scale minivan. 

      • 9 Months Ago

      As odd as this sounds, I'm glad that there are cars like the 2 Series Active Tourer, 3 Series GT, 5 Series GT, X4, X5, etc..  Cars like those help you distinguish the poseurs from the enthusiasts.  I feel that the true enthusiasts would probably stick to BMW's coupes, and sedans, versus the people who will buy anything with the BMW roundel on it for the 'prestige'. 

      My method for coming to this conclusion is nowhere near scientific, but comes from observation of people on the road, and their lack of driving ability.  I realize that the ever growing number of poseurs probably also buy the coupes, and sedans, but the true badge whores will buy the quirky stuff that purists gawk at.  Either way, I try to keep away from both groups of douches on the road, as they seem to drive as well as immigrants, and or new drivers, who are getting behind the wheel for the first time.

        • 9 Months Ago

        Interesting observation; I had not considered this before. I usually used the following poseur ID system:

        1. Automatic transmission

        2. AWD or equivalent in a mild-climate state like Florida

        3. All the popular accessories that do nothing for the real driving experience, such as "premium packages."

        4. Brake dust-encrusted front wheels (usually = leased vehicle or washed in commercial gas stations).

        5. Utter amazement followed by howling when Joe and/or Buffy are told the replacement runflats cost $1000 (enter your own price here) apiece.

      • 9 Months Ago
      Not sure why they have to dilute their brand this much to make a few bucks more. But whatever.
      • 9 Months Ago

      Hideous Maximus

      • 9 Months Ago

      "The Ultimate Driving Machine."

      So this is what it's come to.  

        • 9 Months Ago

        Yup. It is indeed a sad day for those of us introduced to BMW in the 1960's.

      • 9 Months Ago
      BMW out-GMs GM with ugly duplicative appliances.
      • 9 Months Ago

      kill it with fire!

      • 9 Months Ago

      Are you guys sure this isn't some guy with an old Mazda 5 making a "BMW" out of it?  I'm sure the first generation will sell well, but at what point will BMW have diluted the prestige of it's core products by making these kind of vehicles? I the i cars I understand - that's forward thinking.  But do they really need an alternative to VW Sharans???

      • 9 Months Ago

      It's called "staying competitive."  All brands dilute to survive. 

      • 9 Months Ago
      No surprise; BMW has been talking about building a 3-row people mover for nearly a decade now, since news leaked out about the "Space Functional Concept" in 2005. Some good background here:

      This move makes sense for BMW in building volume for the FWD platform, and it's good news for people who need room for the family but can't bear having to accept the driving dynamics of a Sienna or Caravan. Yeah, it's an abomination in terms of brand purity, in theory at least--but so far BMW has been able to keep stretching with no apparent harm.

      • 9 Months Ago

      BMW's entering the minivan segment. Not long before they make a competitor  to the Kia Soul.

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