BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Review 2024

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer ain't no looker, but it is a very practical family car that drives way better than its chunky disposition would have you believe. Throw in BMW quality and superb infotainment, and this is one of the best reasons you'll find not to buy an SUV.

+Practical cabin with great infotainment. As posh inside and as fun to drive as any other BMW.

-Not everyone will like how it looks. There's no seven-seater.

New prices start from £31,830
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

The BMW 2 Series is to cars what a Brazilian Ronaldo at Real Madrid was to football – chunkier and less athletic than its teammates in BMW's line-up, the Active Tourer is nevertheless quite capable of producing moments of brilliance that betray its ungainly appearance.

Yes, it may not look like it, but the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer can grip corners like a (slightly sleepy) hot hatch and has beautifully weighted controls that make it a fun and fulfilling car to drive quickly. You'd have never guessed that, would you?

And who could blame you, because the Active Tourer looks like a BMW 1 Series that's undergone an lobotomy and developed an unfulfillable appetite for pork pies as a result. How else can you explain its swelled head and chunky body?

Maybe because it's an MPV? Ah yes, knew there was a real reason... while the Active Tourer has van-like undertones, it's designed to shift people first and foremost and it does that really well – it competes with models such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Volkswagen Touran.

There's easily enough space for four tall adults inside the BMW – it's not a seven-seater like the VW – and the boot is large and well-shaped. The back seat can slide back and forwards on its runners and recline, and the cabin is awash with smaller storage areas and USB-C plugs.

It is also beautifully made with soft-touch plastics almost everywhere and pretty unvarnished wood and machined metal trims to choose from.

The Active Tourer marks the debut of BMW's curved infotainment screen in a small model. Ok, so there's no iDrive controller, but the touchscreen's layout – broken up into large tiles and a smartphone-like home screen – is easy enough to use on the move and it looks great. 

The engine range has also been given a modern makeover. The 170PS 220i and 218PS 223i both get 48V mild-hybrid technology which means they can coast on the motorway, recoup power under braking and get a light electric boost under acceleration so, despite being reasonably brisk, fuel economy is strong. 

There's also the 150PS 218d diesel and, in time, the range will be joined by the 136PS 218i and a pair of PHEVs with either 245 or 326PS. They have scintillating performance and an electric range of more than 50 miles.

The PHEVs have the potential to be the Swiss Army Knives of motoring, but all BMW 2 Series Active Tourers have, like an overweight Ronaldo, the ability to surprise. They may not look like a sporty BMW but they certainly drive like one. 

Ask Honest John

What small plug-in hybrid would you recommend?

"Can you advise as to which in you opinion is the best small PHEV hybrid? I'm not interested in a 'charge on the go' hybrid as a lot of my journeys are short and would not allow sufficient time to charge. I currently drive a BMW 225XE hybrid which is a great car but getting a bit long in the tooth now ."
There are a limited number of small PHEVs on the market, but we would suggest looking at the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and X1, Kia Niro and Peugeot 308, all of which are available as a plug-in hybrid.
Answered by David Ross

What's the best car for easy access to the back seats for my elderly parents?

"I have a 2018 Mercedes A-Class which I bought from new and with 43k miles on the clock. My elderly parents find it difficult to get in and out of the back as the sill is high and the door aperture not that wide. I like the interior quality of the Mercedes but am open to recommendations for a similar size car with solid finish. What would you suggest, and should I trade I. Or try to sell privately. My budget is probably around £20k. "
With a £20,000 budget we're assuming that you're looking for a used car and not a new one, in which case a good option if you like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the company's Mercedes GLA, which is a small A-Class based SUV. If you'd rather not go for an SUV, then a car with similarly Germanic quality, that's inexpensive to run but spacious enough to give your parents better space and access to the rear is the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer, which will be available second hand well within your budget and is a very enjoyable car to drive, as well as a practical one.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

I need a car with a high driver's seat but not an SUV - what would you suggest?

"Can you please tell me some cars (not SUV's) that have a high drivers seat as I struggle to lower myself into a car seat?"
If you are not keen on an SUV you could look at MPVs that have a high seating position, such as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Ford C-MAX or Volkswagen Touran.
Answered by David Ross

Can I fit run flat tyres to my BMW?

"I have a 2022 BMW 223i M Sport Active Tourer which came with non-run flat tyres fitted on BMW alloys. We suffered a puncture in a remote part of Scotland on holiday last week & the tyre repair kit was useless. No spare wheel so we needed a recovery vehicle to transport the car for tyre replacement (took 4 days as it was over a weekend). Don't wish to repeat the experience & no room for a spare/spacesaver wheel. Looking at having four run flat tyres fitted. The car has tyre pressure monitoring. Spoken to several different tyre depots, different BMW dealerships, BMW technical helpline and all give differing advice - from yes go ahead to no it's not advisable. The M Sport suspension is already firm but run flats may compound the problem. Some mention that run flats can only be fitted if the wheels have a special rim so that in the event of a deflation, the run flat tyre will stay in situ on the wheel. Also some mention that run flats over potholes can crack the alloys. I just want to know if I can fit run flats to wheels which were supplied without them and that they will safely get us to a garage in the event of a puncture. Would you advise me to go ahead? The alternative is to change to a car with a spare or spacesaver. They are a dying breed and will become even more scarce in electric and hybrid vehicles. "
If the wheels on your BMW were not originally specified with run-flat tyres then they will not be suitable to accept run-flat tyres being fitted to them. If a space saver is not an option, you could change the wheels to the correct specification items to accept run-flat tyres.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer cost?