A FRONT-wheel drive spacious small car with inner city practicality at a price which doesn't rattle the molars is hardly one you would naturally associate with the BMW brand.
But throw in premium styling, on-trend technology, an exceptionally high level of standard equipment and dynamic driving characteristics and suddenly the Series 2 Active Tourer - the latest offering from the German manufacturer - moves easily from a loitering outsider to a cheeky new member of the BMW family.
Offering a much-valued combination of functionality and performance, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer brings the brand within reach of a whole new customer segment and is likely to appeal to couples and small families who would like space with a premium feel.
There is a choice of three petrol and one diesel TwinPower turbo engines all bursting with efficient dynamic technologies paired either with the a six-speed (218i) or eight-speed (218d, 220i and 225i) Steptronic automatic transmission standard with Comfort, Eco Pro and Sport modes. For the first time BMW shows off a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit, available in the 218i, which delivers a surprising performance to go with the expected efficiency.
The suspension - a single-joint spring strut axle at the front and the multi-link system at the rear - is optimised to provide the dynamics and comfort levels expected from a BMW.
The 2 Series may look compact from the outside but a long wheelbase, high roof and wide body provides for a spacious, comfortable and flexible interior. A comprehensive suite of safety features and a funky exterior design with trademark BMW cues also add to the Active Tourer's appeal. But it is the price - from $44,400 for the entry-model 218i - which will bring the greatest smiles.
"The arrival of the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in Australia really does open up the brand to a whole new customer segment and we are excited to be able to offer such a practical, spacious, stylish and dynamic car in the compact class," said BMW Group Australia general manager Tom Noble.
"The 2 Series Active Tourer offers outstanding value and is eminently at home in an urban environment while maintaining a distinctive, classy and stylish aesthetic that stands out from the crowd."
218i Active Tourer - from $44,400
218d Active Tourer - from $47,800
220i Active Tourer - from $50,900
225i Active Tourer - from $54,900
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