What we're looking at is essentially the same mini-minivan/tall-hatchback that emerged almost exactly a year ago as the first front-drive model in BMW's history. Only in the guise of the new 2 Series Gran Tourer, it's been stretched to accommodate that third row of seats to give it seven-seat capacity – which was to be expected, of course, but is still fairly impressive considering how compact this vehicle actually is. It may be less than ten inches longer than the five-seat Active Tourer, but it's still smaller than just about any seven-seater on the market, and to hear the Bavarians tell it, it's "the world's first premium compact model to offer up to seven seats."
Those seats are optional and can fold under the floor, and the middle row splits 40:20:40 and folds flat at the push of a button to give the 2 Series Gran Tourer a flexible cargo capacity ranging from 22.7 cubic feet all the way up to 67 cu ft. All of that in a vehicle no longer than a Ford Focus, which even in European wagon form can only swallow 53 cu ft with the seats folded – and you can forget about the extra seats in the Focus.
European buyers will be able to choose between five engine options with three or four cylinders and ranging from 116 horsepower to 192. Available all-wheel drive might make you forget it's riding on a front-drive platform altogether (but not likely). Either way, the five-seat Active Tourer hasn't found its way to US showrooms, so we won't expect to see this new seven-seat version here either. At least not for the time being. But we'll surely have the chance to check it out in person for you next month at the Geneva Motor Show.
The new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.
With the new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer, BMW has carved out yet another new vehicle segment. With its generous space, versatility and groundbreaking flexibility, the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is the world's first premium compact model to offer up to seven seats and fully meet the mobility requirements of young families.
Compact yet capacious.
Despite its compact dimensions – measuring just 4,556 millimetres long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,608 mm high – the new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer offers ample space and a generous luggage compartment that can be extended in capacity from 645 to 805 litres. With the rear-seat backrests folded down, this rises to an impressive 1,905 litres of load space. Ensuring maximum variability is the standard-fitted fore-aft sliding rear seat bench – with a 40:20:40-split backrest that folds down at the press of a button – which allows three child seats to be fitted. Extending the possibilities even further is an optional third row of seats which can be completely lowered into the loading floor. Maximising the vehicle's everyday practicality is a range of storage options for all three rows of seats, as well as rails on the front-seat backrests with fold-out tables attached. The new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is a pioneer in uniting the segment's traditional attributes – such as spatial functionality and comfort – with the hallmark BMW values of dynamics, elegance and premium quality.
Lined up for market launch: five turbo engines and all-wheel drive.
Five newly developed turbo engines with three and four cylinders (85 kW/116 hp to 141 kW/192 hp, fuel consumption combined: 6.4–3.9 l/100 km [44.1–72.4 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 149–104 g/km)* team up with the unique BMW EfficientDynamics package of measures to guarantee a unique driving experience that couples sporty dynamics with maximum efficiency and the lowest CO2 emissions in the segment. The only vehicle in the premium compact class to offer up to seven seats, the BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer will be available with all-wheel drive right from market launch.
The assistance systems and information and entertainment options available under the umbrella of BMW ConnectedDrive enhance both driving safety and convenience. Take the Head-Up Display, for example, which projects all relevant information directly into the driver's field of view, or the Traffic Jam Assistant that helps the driver accelerate, brake and stay in lane.
Entertainment on the move for children as well.
Thanks to the new "myKIDIO" app (initially available in Germany only), long journeys can be fun even for younger passengers. The app makes its debut in the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and provides appropriate content for children and families – e.g. feature films, series, audio books and audio plays – on tablets such as the Apple iPad to keep rear passengers entertained. The driver or front passenger remains in complete control of the content being played: the app is easily operated via the iDrive Controller and Control Display as soon as the mobile device is connected to the car. At this point the "myKIDIO" app enables the control and release of age-appropriate content on the hooked-up tablets, turning long-distance drives into an enjoyable experience even for children. The Control Display shows what the children are watching on their tablet at any time, while the kids in the rear can also use the BMW Kids Cockpit to check out information relevant to the journey (e.g. time of arrival, speed and outside temperature) in a simple and fun way.
Four model variants for further individualisation.
In addition to the standard version, the new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is available in a further four model variants. The Advantage model offers enhanced functionality over the standard model, including, among other features, two-zone automatic air conditioning, Park Distance Control at the rear, Cruise Control with Braking function and a multifunctional steering wheel. The Sport Line model accentuates the sporting aspect with exclusive exterior specifications, special light-alloy wheels and sports seats, while the Luxury Line highlights its exclusivity with chrome applications, select light-alloys and leather appointments. Beyond these, the M Sport model comes with a choice of the M Aerodynamics package, BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, M leather steering wheel and M Sport seats, among other features.
* Fuel consumption figures according to ECE test cycle, may vary depending on the specified tyre format and optional equipment (e.g. third row of seats).