When BMW released the 2 Series Active Tourer last year for many it was a big shock – a large front wheel drive tourer was not what we are used to from the German manufacturer and now, ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, BMW has unveiled the 2 Series Gran Tourer with seven seats. This is a result of BMW’s aim to staple themselves in the MPV market and is described as a “premium seven seater” by product leader Peter Krist.
BMW are not only pushing into the MPV market but have aimed to grab hold of a niche BMW say has not yet been properly exploited, “There’s no other premium seven seater in the market. We are completely unique.” This doesn’t mean however that BMW have this market to themselves and won’t face stiff competition; the likes of the Ford S-MAX, Renault Grand Scenic and the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso are all big players in the segment and the German tourer won’t have an easy time pushing it’s way to the top of this list with its late entry. Contrary to what some may be thinking, the BMW is also similarly priced to these other seven seater MPV’s. Prices range from £24,175 to £33,885, £2,000 more than the 5 seater Active Tourer.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer will be available with either two or four wheel drive and also has the options of three and four cylinder petrol or diesel engines. There are four levels of trim to choose from. Entry-level SE models come with folding rear seats, 16-inch alloys, sliding middle row seats, dual-zone climate control, bluetooth and a powered tailgate. The Sport model comes includes 17-inch alloy wheels as well as sports seats and the Luxury comes with leather upholstery. 18-inch wheels and sports suspension are available only on the M Sport models.
Petrol engines available for this new models consists of a 1.5-litre three cylinder for the 218i and a 2.0-litre four cylinder engine in the 220i model. There are also three diesel engines to choose from: a 1.5-litre three cylinder in the 216d, a 2.0-litre four cylinder engine for the 218d and a more powerful 2.0-litre four cylinder engine is connected to four wheel drive only in the 220d xDrive.
BMW think that 75 per cent of Gran Tourer customers will be new to the manufacturer and it is scheduled for launch in the UK in June this year.