BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014-2021) Review

BMW brings a touch of premium motoring to the MPV market, combining luxury, technology and practicality

Strengths & weaknesses

  • High-quality interior
  • Superior MPV driving dynamics
  • The latest connectivity technology
  • Expensive for a people carrier
  • Only five seats
  • Declining demand for MPVs, so won’t hold value
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer prices from £11,890.
Finance from £264.55 / month.

People carriers – also known as MPVs – are generally family-sized minibuses that are excellent at ferrying kids and luggage around in, but aren’t hugely desirable.

This Active Tourer is BMW’s attempt to add some style and sportiness without sacrificing the practicality that you get from a boxy design.

Buyers will appreciate the combination of practicality, quality and technology that comes with this BMW. Only the Volkswagen Touran comes close in terms of its quality, the Active Tourer is alone among the traditional premium brands in offering a family car of this type.

Quality comes at a price, though. Prices started at around £25,000, some £2,000 more than the practical Renault Scenic, a £1,000 more than the other premium MPV from Volkswagen, the Touran, and a whopping £5,000 more than the Kia Carens.

At least it’s the best-looking of the MPV lot. The 2 Series Active Tourer doesn’t push the design boundaries as much as the Renault Scenic, but its conventional MPV looks work well with BMW’s design cues, such as the kidney-shaped front grille, and it looks compact on the road.

The interior, however, doesn’t feel compact, with lots of space front and rear, and a boot that matches the capacity of a family estate such as the Ford Focus – at 468 litres, it's not bad but it's outdone by the Kia Carens’ 492 litres and the Scenic’s 506 litres.

The quality of the interior is where the Active Tourer surpasses its rivals, bringing the standards of the premium market to the MPV segment. Soft-touch plastics and leather cover the main surfaces, while some trim versions also feature leather seats. The switchgear is all solid feeling and, on the technology side, the 'iDrive' media system is standard in all versions, as is BMW’s 'ConnectedDrive', which offers a range of online services that include emergency call and real-time traffic information working in tandem with the satellite navigation system.

The other department in which the Active Tourer leaves its rivals in its wake is its driving character. Yes, it's an MPV, so it’s not exactly set up to be a sports car, but it is a BMW, so it’s still more involving to drive than the Carens or Scenic. The body control is well resolved, the steering is accurate and the ride quality is firm but not uncomfortable. In fact, it does rather belie the old myth that MPVs can’t be good to drive.

With six engine options and four different trims, there are plenty of combinations to ensure that buyers can find one to fit their requirements, whether slightly sporty, more luxurious in look and feel, along with petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrains that enable a choice of economy, performance or environmental responsibility.

It's up against the Touran, Scenic and Carens. It is certainly the pick of that bunch, although some (more expensive) versions of the Touran offer similar benefits.

The Active Tourer combines quality, technology, on-road ability and practicality to carve itself a nice little niche in the MPV segment. Its premium feel and on-road manners make it a more desirable proposition than the Volkswagen Touran, Renault Scenic, and Kia Carens, but, it is more expensive than these cars as well.


Key facts

Warranty Three years/unlimited miles
Boot size 468-1,510 litres
Width 1,800mm
Length 4,354mm
Height 1,555mm
Tax £25-205 in first year and £140 thereafter

Best BMW 2 Series Active Tourer for...

Best for Economy – BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 216d

Although the 225xe plug-in hybrid is officially the most economical model in the range, with an on-paper economy figure of 113mpg, in real-world driving, the lowest-powered diesel is likely to trump it unless you're able to charge at home and generally cover less than 20-30 miles between charges.

Best for Families – BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218d

The middle variant of the diesel range is likely to be the best for families, especially if they cover more than 10,000-12,000 mile annually, as it blends usable performance with fuel economy of over 60mpg.

Best for Performance – BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 225xe iPerformance

The plug-in hybrid variant, in addition to being the most economical on paper is also the fastest, with the petrol engine and electric motor combining to propel it to 62mph from a standing start in 6.7 seconds.


September 2014: First UK deliveries of 2 Series Active Tourer.
March 2018: revised models arrive in the UK, including engine upgrades and the introduction to the range of a 225xe plug-in hybrid model.

Understanding BMW 2 Series Active Tourer names

Engine 218d

There are six different engines, which include petrol, diesel and plug-in petrol-electric hybrid. The engines comprise a number that starts with a 2 (for 2 Series Active Tourer) followed by two numbers that denote its place in the range and rise in power (e.g 16, 18, 20) and then a ‘d’ for diesel or ‘i’ for petrol, while the plug-in hybrid is designated by the suffix ‘xe’.

Trim MSport

There are four trim levels – SE, Sport, Luxury and MSport – which rise in price as more standard equipment is added to the specification.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Engines

216d, 218d, 220d, 218i, 220i, 225xe

There’s plenty of choice for buyers when it comes to choosing an engine for their 2 Series Active Tourer.

The base 216d is a three-cylinder engine producing 116hp, which results in an 11.1-second 0-62mph time, returns 65.7mpg and emits 113g/km of CO2, with the emphasis more on efficiency than power.

Next up is a four-cylinder 150hp 218d unit that reduces the benchmark acceleration test time down to nine seconds, while official fuel consumption is 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions are 119g/km. This is probably the sweet spot in the diesel range, providing the best balance of performance and economy.

The most powerful diesel is the 190hp 220d, which can hit 62mph from a standing start in 7.6 seconds, while at the same time offering 64.2mpg and 117g/km, which is better than the 218d (though it costs the same to tax), but models with this unit added over £3,000 more to the purchase price when new.

Both petrol engines – the three-cylinder 140hp 218i and four-cylinder 192hp 220i – offer identical fuel consumption figures of 48.7mpg, while CO2 emissions are 132g/km and 133g/m, respectively. It’s hard to recommend them, as they are not only outdone on economy, but comparable diesel are also quicker.

A plug-in hybrid variant was also introduced in 2018, the 225xe iPerformance. A 136hp three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine, which drives the front wheels, combines with an 88hp electric motor that drives the rear wheels, adding up to a combined power output of 224hp, leading to a 6.7-second 0-62mph time. The 7.7kWh battery means that the 225xe can (officially) travel 28 miles purely on electric power, while fuel consumption is a stated 113mpg – although it's worth noting that this is a figure obtained by testing in a laboratory, so the real-world figure won’t come close to this, unless owners only use electric power around town and regularly charge the battery, and at the same time rarely use any petrol.




Fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed
































petrol-electric hybrid





BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Trims

SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport

Active Tourer buyers can choose from four trim levels. The cheapest is SE, which comes with the likes of 16-inch alloys, an electric tailgate, Bluetooth, BMW ConnectedDrive services, digital radio, sat-nav, different driving modes (Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport), rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, roof rails, multi-function steering wheel and cruise control.

Sport cars add 17-inch alloys, exterior and interior styling and trim features, LED ambient lighting and sports seats.

Luxury models add leather upholstery and different styling features to Sport models (less sporty, more luxurious).

The range-topping M Sport trim adds 18-inch alloys, interior and exterior trim features, aerodynamic bodystyling, dark grey headlining and firmer M Sport suspension.

On top of these trim levels, there were numerous extra-cost options and packs.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Reliability and warranty

The 2 Series Active Tourer doesn’t appear in the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey, so it’s difficult to gauge its reliability. BMW’s showing in the table of most reliable manufacturers doesn’t inspire confidence, either, as it is 21st out of 26 brands.

Its warranty covers three years and unlimited miles, which is slightly better than most of the MPVs on the market, purely on the basis of the distance that can be covered. That said, the Kia Carens has a seven-year warranty.

Used BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

The 2 Series Active Tourer was first launched in 2014, so there are plenty of used examples available on BuyaCar. With drivers turning their backs on diesel, used prices for these should be attractive for those covering around 12,000 miles per year or more. Similarly, depreciation has taken its toll on the 225xe plug-in hybrid which makes it an appealing entry-point into electrified people carriers.

Other Editions

2 Series (2013 – 2021)

A sporty driving experience, smart looks and an upmarket feel make the 2 Series Coupe a compelling alternative to an ordinary hatchback

2 Series Convertible (2014 – 2021)

Attractive looks, good handling and excellent engines mark the 2 Series Convertible out as a fun-to-drive compact four-seat soft-top

2 Series Gran Tourer (2015 – 2021)

Seven seats, a pleasant drive and a plush feel: that's the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer's appeal

2 Series Gran Coupe (2020)

Stylish looks, great onboard tech and a more relaxing ride will appeal to a younger BMW audience, but the price tag remains premium

2 Series (2021)

Striking looks, powerful engines and reasonable luggage space make the 2 Series Coupe a tempting alternative to a hot hatchback