BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015 - present)

Seven seats, more driving fun and a touch of luxury: that's the promise of the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Flexible layout with seven seats
Well equipped
More engaging to drive than rivals

Weaknesses 

Tiny boot space when all seats are used
Bumpier ride than other people carriers
Expensive

Cost, comfort and luggage capacity: most people carriers are bought and sold on practicality, but BMW’s first seven-seat car in this category now promises a touch of luxury and driving excitement - at a price.

At roughly the same size as a Kia Carens, Ford Grand C-Max and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, it’s part of a group of people carriers that offer very little luggage space when all seven seats are in use. With both back row seats up in the BMW, there’s just 145 litres of boot space: less than you would get in a Fiat 500.

You would be better off with a Ford Galaxy or Citroen SpaceTourer if more luggage space is needed when you have a full complement of passengers.

The BMW makes more sense if you can cope without one of the rear seats, which fold into the floor individually. Fold both down, and you’ll have 560 litres - about the same as a big family hatchback, and more than enough for most families.

You can turn the car into a temporary van by lowering the middle row of seats too, offering 1,820 litres - more than the Carens, C4 Picasso and Grand C-Max. If that’s not enough, the front passenger seat backrest folds forward, so you can fit objects that stretch the 2.6m from the boot, almost to the windscreen. Underneath the floor of the car, there’s a compartment with 100 litres of space, and room for the luggage cover.

There’s plenty of storage and stowage bins (including under the front and middle row of seats), cupholders, room for 1.5-litre bottles in every door and 12-volt sockets – even in the third row. The middle row of seats slides forwards and backwards, so you can adjust legroom for passengers behind but, however you position them, five adults will not be comfortable in the back, as there isn’t enough space.

For all its practicality, the BMW hasn’t entirely sacrificed style. The plastics used in the interior are good quality and there are silver panels in even the cheapest model that brighten up the dashboard. Sat-nav is standard across the range, and all but the cheapest model has leather seats as standard.

From behind the wheel, the Gran Tourer feels more like driving a car than its rivals. The van-like dimensions of people carriers mean that they have a tendency to bounce around over bumpy roads and lean when cornering. But the BMW keeps these movements under control, remaining steady. The steering is accurate and responds quickly as you turn, making the driver feel more involved, and able to manoeuvre more precisely.

The compromise that BMW has made to achieve this is that the Gran Tourer isn’t quite as smooth as the best of its rivals such as the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and Vauxhall Zafira: you’ll feel more of the bumps in the road, although it cushions them enough to remain comfortable.

It does feel a cut above the competition, but it should do: costing £3,000 more than a Ford C-Max, and £5,000 more than a Citroen C4 Picasso, you pay for what you get.

Last Updated 

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 15:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / unlimited mileage
Boot size: 
560 litres (with five seats in place) 1,820 litres (with two seats)
Width: 
1,800mm
Length: 
4,556mm
Height: 
1,608mm
Tax: 
From B (£20 per year) to F (£145 per year)

Best BMW 2 Series for... 

BMW 216d Gran Tourer
The smallest and lowest-powered diesel is the economy champion, returning 68.9mpg according to official figures (closer to 55mpg in the real world), while low carbon dioxide emissions mean road tax is only £20 a year
BMW 218d Gran Tourer
Still economical (64.2mpg), the 218d feels less sluggish than the 216d, which makes driving more straightforward.
BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer
The addition of four-wheel drive improves on the regular 220d’s 0-62mph acceleration time, reducing it to 7.8 seconds.
BMW 220i Gran Tourer
A 2.0-litre petrol engine is only going to be the choice of a select few buyers. Its 45.6mpg fuel economy means much higher running costs than the diesel models.

BMW 2 Series History 

  • 2015 The BMW 2-Series Gran Tourer goes on sale.

Understanding BMW 2 Series car names 

  • 2 Series
  • Engine
    218d
  • Trim
    M Sport
  • Gearbox
    Auto
  • Engine
    Most BMWs use a three-number system. The first (in this case, 2) indicates that this is a BMW 2 Series. The second two numbers (18) refer to the engine size. The lower the number, the smaller the engine. Diesel engines add a letter d to the end. Petrol versions have an i.
  • Trim
    There are four trim levels, starting at SE, rising to Sport, Luxury and M Sport at the top. The higher the trim level, the more equipment you receive.
  • Gearbox
    2 Series Gran Tourer models are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, unless they are badged Auto - for automatic gearbox.

BMW 2 Series Engines 

218i, 220i, 216d, 218d 220d

The least powerful 218i uses a 1.5-litre engine from the Mini Cooper (BMW owns Mini). It’s designed for economy rather than performance, but its 136 horsepower is enough, as long as you rev it hard when you need strong acceleration.

The 220i, has a larger 2-litre engine with on the other hand, is designed to be relatively sporty, with 192 horsepower, making it feel quick for a people carrier. It does come at a cost of relatively poor fuel economy.

The 216d diesel has a 1.5-litre engine that feels underpowered with 116 horsepower. For a little over £1,000 more, the 150 horsepower engine in the 218d won’t have you groaning in frustration every time you accelerate, and still has a fuel economy figure of more than 60mpg.

With an extra 40hp, the 220d feels almost sporty, with plenty of power without needing to rev the engine. Fuel consumption is still over 62.8mpg but it is £1,500 more than the 218d and not available with the cheapest trim level. This is the only diesel engine available with optional four-wheel drive.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

218i

Petrol

53.3mpg

136hp

9.8s

127mph

220i

Petrol

47.1mpg

192hp

7.8s

137mph

216d

Diesel

68.9mpg

116hp

11.4s

119mph

218d

Diesel

64.2mpg

150hp

9.5s

127mph

220d

Diesel

62.8mpg

190hp

8.1s

138mph

220d xdrive

Diesel

57.6mpg

190hp

7.8s

135mph

BMW 2 Series Trims 

SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport 

Standard equipment fitted to the base SE level includes Bluetooth hands-free telephone functionality with audio streaming, AM/FM radio, iDrive infotainment system and 6.5-inch colour screen, emergency call, automatic lights and wipers, two-zone air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, front foglamps, a multifunction steering wheel, plus autonomous emergency braking – a very effective new safety technology that can also help reduce insurance premiums.

Sport variants add 17-inch alloy wheels, and sports seats. Luxury trim brings leather upholstery and heated front seats. Range-topping M Sport models include leather sports seats, leather steering wheel, and a choice of 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels.

There are also numerous options that buyers can choose to enhance their car, including a full-length sunroof, Dynamic Damper Control, a head-up display, lane departure warning, a wifi hotspot that enables eight devices in the car to access to the internet and a parking assistant that can steer a car into a parking space.

BMW 2 Series Reliability and warranty 

The model is backed by BMW’s standard three-year unlimited mileage warranty, which is fairly standard at the premium end of the market. It’s still too new to know definitively how reliable it is, but BMW hasn’t impressed in recent years. In the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power survey, the company was ranked 21st out of 32 manufacturers for reliability.

Used BMW 2 Series 

The 2 Series Gran Tourer is still relatively new to the market, so there are few genuinely used examples on the market. However, you can find low mileage versions with between £3,000 and £5,000 off: bringing the car into line with the list price of a new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso or Ford Grand C-Max. 

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for economy

Price

£25,945

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BMW 216d Gran Tourer

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Best for families

Price

£27,090

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BMW 218d Gran Tourer

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Best for performance

Price

£32,890

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BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer

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Other Editions