The seven-seat version of the Active Tourer

BMW took the world by surprise in 2013 by unveiling the 2 Series Active Tourer, a five-seat MPV employing front-wheel-drive and a three-cylinder engine as an entry-level option. The MPV not only cheapened BMW’s image, but also provided yet another hint that Munich began to stray from its performance, RWD heritage. And while it failed to impress as an MPV, mostly because it’s not as spacious or practical as many other vehicles competing in the same segment, BMW decided the Active Tourer needs a seven-seat version, and, as we saw back in 2014, it began testing it soon after the former went on sale.

Come 2015 and Munich’s biggest MPV arrived as the 2 Series Gran Tourer. Essentially a longer Active Tourer with a boxy rear end and seating for up to seven, the Gran Tourer presented itself as "the world’s first premium compact model to offer up to seven seats and fully meet the mobility requirements of young families." For 2018, the Gran Tourer received its mid-cycle facelift with mild updates inside and out. Is this German MPV setting any benchmarks in a segment that’s already crowded in Europe? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.

  • 2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    136 @ 4400
  • Torque @ RPM:
    162 @ 1250
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    127 mph
  • Price:
    26500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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*** The Gran Tourer was built to provide seating for up to seven and a lot more luggage room than the Active Tourer ***

The fact that the Gran Tourer is the Active Tourer’s bigger brother is obvious when it comes to exterior styling. The two MPVs sport identical front fascias, sharing everything from the headlamps and kidney grille to the lower apron and air inlet configuration. Things are a bit different around back, where the Gran Tourer showcases a slightly different tailgate and bumper area, but many details remain common.

However, a quick side comparison reveals the more significant differences between the two. The longer wheelbase, the taller and longer greenhouse, as well as the nearly vertical tailgate suggest the Gran Tourer was built to provide seating for up to seven and a lot more luggage room. Overall, the Gran Tourer is 8.43 inches longer than the Active Tourer.

*** Styling-wise, the Gran Tourer is probably the most boring modern-day BMW ***

Styling-wise, the Gran Tourer is probably the most boring, modern-day vehicle BMW has built as of 2015. Sure, MPVs are more about practicality than looks, but the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and the Peugeot 5008 are living proof that people haulers can be practical and stylish at the same time. While the Grand C4 Picasso exudes luxury and creativity, the 2 Series Gran Tourer looks downright uninspiring. Good thing there’s a BMW badge on that nose, if you know what I mean.

What makes the 2 Series Gran Tourer stand out among similar Fords, Citroens and Peugeots is the fact that it can be ordered in M Sport trim, which adds an M Aerodynamics package for a sportier look, a BMW Individual "Shadow Line" finish and light-alloy wheels.

2018 Mid-Cycle Update

*** The new front apron now features a single-piece air intake that gives the fascia a sportier look ***

Like most facelifts, this one is also about revised bumpers and minor nips and tucks here and there. The new front apron now features a single-piece air intake that gives the fascia a sportier look. The kidney grille is also slightly larger, in line with the current BMW trends.

The headlamps were also revised, but changes are more about what under the glass rather than shape and size. Specifically, the optional LED lights have a more hexagonal look compared to the circular units on the outgoing model. The same goes for the adaptive LED headlamps with dazzle-free high beam. Below, the round LED foglamps, also optional, were replaced by rectangular units.

*** The optional LED headlamps have a more hexagonal look now ***

Around back, there are mildly revised LED taillights and the bumper no longer has the red light units at the corners. Starting 2018, all four-cylinder models have two exhaust pipes.

The M Sport models also gained revised bumpers with new intakes up front and redesigned diffuser elements around back. Six new rim designs are available for the facelifted model. Standard wheels come in 17-inch sizes, but the options list includes 18- and 19-inch units. BMW also introduced two new exterior colors, Jucaro Beige and Sunset Orange.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,556 MM (179.37 Inches)
Width 1,800 MM (70.86 Inches)
Height 1,608 MM (63.30 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,780 MM (109.44 Inches)
Track, front/rear 1561/1562 MM (61.45/61.49 Inches)
Ground clearance 165 MM (6.49 Inches)

Interior

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer Interior
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2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer Interior
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2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer Interior
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*** A quick comparison with the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso reveals the Germans are far from setting a benchmark in terms of luggage space ***

The interior of the Gran Tourer is mostly borrowed from the Active Tourer, which isn’t a bad by any means. The center console, dashboard, and instrument cluster are unmistakably BMW, while the rest of the cabin is packed with high-quality materials. The fit and finish seems to be on par with the more expensive sedans, as is functionality and comfort. Granted, the Gran Tourer is a premium MPV, but it doesn’t seem to set massive benchmarks when compared to rival offerings available in Europe.

When it comes to practicality, which is an MPV’s most important feature, BMW brags about the 2 Series Gran Tourer’s ability to offer up to 1,905 liters (67.2 cubic feet) with five seats folded flat. While that might sound impressive for a vehicle that’s only 179.37 inches long, a quick comparison with the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso reveals the Germans are far from setting a benchmark in this department as well. While only 1.6 inches longer than the Bimmer, the French MPV boasts 2,181 liters (77 cubic feet) of storage room with the second- and third-row seats down.

On the other hand, I have to give BMW credit for adding an array of convenience features to the Gran Tourer, including BMW ConnectedDrive, the driver-oriented Head-Up Display or the Traffic Jam Assistant. BMW also offers a new myKIDIO app to keep the kiddos busy during long trips by streaming content on tablets positioned on the back of the front seats’ backrests.

2018 Mid-Cycle Update

*** The automatic transmissions come with a new electronic selector lever ***

Interior upgrades kick off with a new background panel for the instrument cluster. That’s not much, but it’s backed by a BMW ConnectedDrive interface with BMW’s latest infotainment features. The optional navigation system can be ordered with either a 6.5- or 8.8-inch touchscreen.

BMW ConnectedDrive Services includes Real Time Traffic Information, Time-to-Leave notifications, Share Destination, Microsoft Exchange function for sharing and editing emails, calendar entries, and contact data. Smartphone integration, inductive charging, and WiFi hotspot for up to ten devices are also offered.

A more important addition is the new electronic selector lever for the automatic transmission. The new feature comes with both the seven- and eight-speed Steptronic gearboxes.

As far as materials go, BMW added improved seat covers for the base model. This update is supposed to enhance comfort for long trips in the most affordable Gran Tourer model. The other variants get three new seat upholstery options: two in cloth-Sensatec and one in Mocha leather.

Drivetrain

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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*** The gasoline lineup includes both the 1.5-liter three-pot and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder ***

Like most Bimmers, the 2 Series Gran Tourer benefits from a wide range of drivetrain selections. But since it’s underpinned by the UKL platform, which BMW shares with Mini, options are limited to three- and four-cylinder units, in both gasoline and diesel guises.

The gasoline lineup includes both the 1.5-liter three-pot and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The former motivates the 218i model by means of 136 horses and 162 pound-feet of torque, taking it from naught to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 127 mph. Naturally, the four-banger is the peppier option and comes with 192 ponies and 207 pound-feet at its disposal. This mill makes the 220i Gran Tourer significantly faster, returning a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph.

Moving over to diesels, the base 216d gets its juice from a 1.5-liter three-cylinder rated at 116 ponies and 199 pound-feet. Despite the extra torque, the 216d is significantly slower than the base gasoline model, needing 11.1 seconds to hit 60 from a standing start. Top speed sits at only 119 mph. Next in line are the 218d and 220d, both powered by a 2.0-liter four-pot. The former puts 150 horses and 243 pound-feet to the pavement, while the latter delivers a range-topping 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. While the 218d needs 9.3 second to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph and comes with a top speed of 127 mph, the 220d achieves the 0-to-60 benchmark in 7.6 seconds, making it the quickest of the lineup, and hits a top speed of 135 mph.

*** As far as transmissions go, all versions can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic except for the 220d and 220i ***

As far as transmissions go, all versions can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic except for the 220d and 220i. The former comes with xDrive all-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic, while the latter can be fitted with the 8-speed auto as an optional feature.

So how does it stack up against competition? Well, according to these figures the 2 Series Gran Tourer is more powerful and quicker than the Ford Grand C-Max in both gasoline and diesel guises. Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost cranks out 96 and 123 horsepower, while the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter diesels generate 118 and some 141 ponies (the Blue Oval has yet to release the official figure), respectively. As we can see, while BMW’s entry-level diesel is nearly as powerful as as the C-Max’s base version, both the 218d and the 220d outgun the Blue Oval’s 2.0-liter TDCi options. Same goes for the gasoline units, both being significantly more powerful than Ford’s tiny EcoBoost. And by ’significant" I mean 40 ponies and 69 horses, respectively.

2018 Mid-Cycle Update

*** While output and performance remain the same, both gas and diesel engines gained efficiency-enhancing updates ***

The engine lineup carries over unchanged, so look for the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Two gasoline versions are available with 136 and 192 horsepower, while the diesel lineup includes powerplants with 116, 150, and 190 horses.

While output and performance remain the same, both gas and diesel engines gained efficiency-enhancing updates to the crankshaft, heat management system, valve train, and turbochargers. Additionally, the diesel units gained exhaust gas treatment technology including a diesel particulate filter, NOX absorber catalyst and Selective Catalytic Reduction system. The latter uses urea solution (AdBlue) injection to effectively reduce nitrogen oxides in the car’s exhaust gases.

*** The seven-speed dual-clutch Steptronic transmission is available for the first time ***

All four-cylinder diesels now feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and two turbochargers.

Fuel economy is estimated between 4.3 and 6.4 liters per 100 km, or 44.1 to 65.7 U.K. mpg. Combined CO2 emissions are rated at 112 to 147 grams per km.

Moving over to novelties, the seven-speed dual-clutch Steptronic transmission is available for the first time in the 2 Series Gran Tourer, alongside the already familiar six-speed manual and eight-speed Steptronic automatic.

Unfortunately, the 225xe iPerformance plug-in hybrid version that joined the 2 Series Active Tourer lineup isn’t yet available for the Gran Tourer model.

Drivetrain Specifications

BMW 218i Gran Tourer BMW 220i Gran Tourer BMW 216d Gran Tourer BMW 218d Gran Tourer BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer
Type In-line/3/4 In-line/4/4 In-line/3/4 In-line/4/4 In-line/4/4
Effective capacity 1,499 cc 1,998 cc 1,496 cc 1,995 cc 1,995 cc
Stroke/bore 94.6/82.0 94.6/82.0 90.0/84.0 90.0/84.0 90.0/84.0
Compression ratio :1 11.0 11.0 16.5 16.5 16.5
Max output 136 HP @ 4,400 RPM 192 HP @ 5,000 RPM 116 HP @ 4,000 RPM 150 HP @ 4,000 RPM 190 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Max torque 162 LB-FT @ 1,250 RPM 207 LB-FT @ 1,250 RPM 199 LB-FT @ 1,750 RPM 243 LB-FT @ 1,750 RPM 295 @ 1,750 RPM
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph) 9.5 seconds 7.7 seconds 11.1 seconds 9.3 seconds 7.6 seconds
Top Speed 205 KM/H (127 MPH) 223 KM/H (138 MPH) 192 KM/H (119 MPH) 205 KM/H (127 MPH) 218 KM/H (135 MPH)

Prices

Pricing for the facelifted 2 Series Gran Tourer isn’t available as of January 2018, but it shouldn’t cost significantly more than the outgoing model, which retails from £26,020 in the U.K. This sticker makes the Bimmer the most expensive in its class. The best equipped model available right now, the Grand C4 Picasso, fetches £23,420 before options.

Competition

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

2013 Citroen C4 Picasso High Resolution Exterior
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The Grand C4 Picasso is one vehicle the folks over BMW should consider analyzing before proceeding to develop another MPV. The French seven-seater has been most successful at bringing style, luxury and practicality together in one package, while also providing fuel-efficient drivetrains, and, more importantly, an affordable sticker. The Grand C4 Picasso is also the best in its class when it comes to storage room and that’s more than just PR talk with 77 cubic feet of space with five seats folded flat.

The interior is as premium as it gets and includes attractive two-tone upholstery themes, a multi-colored, asymmetrical dashboard, and the latest in terms of safety and convenience. The panoramic windscreen and the large glass roof makes the Picasso a great place to be during long trips. Motivating the Picasso are a couple of 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engines sipping either gasoline or diesel. The gas version generates 118 and 154 ponies, respectively, while the oil burner cranks out 91 and 112 ponies, respectively. Granted, the Picasso is rather slow when compared to the 2 Series Gran Tourer, but its engine return outstanding fuel economy of up to 74.3 mpg combined on the British cycle.

Conclusion

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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According to BMW, the 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." While I can’t argue with "premium quality," I think BMW’s new MPV is far from being a pioneer in this segment, in which the likes of Citroen, Peugeot and Ford have been setting the benchmark for decades. Munich’s PR talk for the Gran Tourer also includes something about "carving yet another new vehicle segment," which also isn’t true, as Citroen has been delivering premium MPVs for quite a few years.

That’s not to say the 2 Series Gran Tourer is a bad vehicle. The MPV will likely help BMW reach new heights sales-wise, but, as far as practicality goes, it’s just a decent seven-seater with all-wheel-drive and a range of powerful engines. That said, if you’re looking for an MPV with lots of horsepower traveling to all four, the 2 Series Gran Tourer is a vehicle you should consider. If more cargo room and a stylish exterior is what interests you most, then you’re better off with the Grand C4 Picasso. I only wish BMW would stop "inventing" existing segments and focus on improving its core models.

  • Leave it
    • Not exactly a benchmark in terms of practicality
    • The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is the better option
    • Expensive relative to its competition
    • Likely not coming to the U.S.
    • What’s wrong with you, BMW?

Press Release

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.

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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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.

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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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.

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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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.

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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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.

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