Launched in 2014 in Europe, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is the company’s first front-wheel-drive vehicle. Mainly aimed at the Mercedes-Benz B-Class , the Active Tourer is powered by three different engines. A 1.5-liter, inline-three delivers 136 horsepower, while a 2.0-liter four-banger cranks out 231 ponies. On the diesel side, BMW offers a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder rated at 150 horses and 243 pound-feet of torque. Although U.S. availability for the 2 Series Active Tourer has yet to be announced as of August 2014, the Germans are already working on expanding the lineup, with a plug-in hybrid model is set to arrive in 2015. As we’re moving closer to the year the regular model is likely to hit U.S. shores, BMW has been caught testing a seven-seat version of the Active Tourer.
If you thought BMW went bananas by launching an MPV-like, front-wheel-drive vehicle, then be prepared to meet the Active Tourer’s bigger brother. Is BMW creating another niche? Well, it’s longer and it can carry up to seven people. Guess it’s different enough to survive on its own.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Based on the regular Active Tourer but bolted on a slightly longer platform, the seven-seat is identical to its smaller brother from the nose to the B pillar. Things start to look different toward the back. The rear doors are a tad longer and taller for easier access to the third-row seats. The longer rear overhang is backed by a boxier fascia, which means the vehicle will also offer a lot of cargo room. Needless to say, the rear end resembles that of an X5 SUV if we ignore taillights and the slightly different bumper and tailgate.
Moving over to the front end, things become rather awkward. Believe it or not, this Active Tourer is fitted with a bumper borrowed from the company’s M Sport package. I know the Active Tourer isn’t exactly slow with a 231-horsepower engine under the hood, but this is ridiculous unless BMW plans to offer a more powerful engine in the seven-seater. Sure, we all like powerful family haulers, but fuel economy must come first.
Speaking of engines, expect for the base model to feature the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder with 136 horsepower and 162 pound-feet on tap, whereas the range-topping version to benefit from the 231 ponies and 258 pound-feet generated by the turbo, 2.0-liter, four-pot. Lastly, the third engine available on the standard 2 Series Active Tourer, the 150-horsepower, 243-pound-feet, 2.0-liter diesel to find its way into the seven-seater as well. In the U.S., the Active Tourer will only be sold with the 2.0-liter gasoline unit.
Essentially an enlarged A-Class, the B-Class was launched in 2005 and described as a compact sports tourer. The B-Class is the main reason the 2 Series Active Tourer exists, but, unlike the latter, it doesn’t benefit from a seven-seat version yet. Introduced in 2011, the second-gen model is powered by two fuel-efficient engines. A 1.6-liter, gasoline-powered, four-pot generates 122 or 156 horsepower depending on trim, while a 1.8-liter diesel cranks out 136 ponies.
Unlike the Active Tourer, the B-Class is available in the United States as well, but, as of August 2014, it can only be purchased in its Electric Drive form. While the exterior and the interior are mostly similar to the regular model, power is provided by an electric drivetrain that churns 177 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. 0-to-60 acceleration sits at 7.9 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 100 mph. The B-Class Electric Drive can can travel up to 85 miles on a single charge. Pricing begins from $41,450.