BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015 – 2021) Review
BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015 – 2021) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 10–22
On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure
Part of BMW’s strategy to offer a car in every conceivable segment, the 2 Series Gran Tourer is a seven-seat people carrier, the firm’s first. Although this class of car isn’t as popular as it once was, the BMW still has a notable edge over its most obvious direct rival, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class – because that car only seats five.
Based on the company’s latest front-wheel-drive platform, the 2 Series Gran Tourer doesn’t look very exciting, but it’s roomy inside and surprisingly enjoyable to drive. Handling is sharp and the range of engines is comprehensive. Other stock BMW draws, such as class-leading infotainment, add to the appeal. However, like most buyers, we can’t help but be drawn to the better-looking (but less practical) X1 SUV.
The 2 Series Gran Tourer is the seven-seat, three-row alternative to the five-seat BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. That was the company’s first MPV: this stretched, elongated version was its second. And we actually think it makes the most sense – because of that seven-person capacity.
It’s no classic to look at. People carriers tend not to be, as they’re designed to maximise space inside, not the number of heads turned outside. At least the BMW kidney grille is present and correct, and it can be finished off with some surprisingly sporty-looking trim grades, as we’ll see.
It feels good to sit in, with a comfortable driving position and firm seats giving a surprisingly sporty sense (we particularly like the more bolstered seats you get in Sport and M Sport versions). The steering wheel is chunky and all the controls are well-placed.
In the middle row, passengers again have ample legroom and headroom, helped by the sliding rear bench seat. The backrests can be independently angled too, for a comfier and more laid-back ride for passengers – or maximum boot space if they’re less fussy.
Typical of the breed, it’s a bit tricky to get into the third row of seats. If you have children, you might prefer to lift them in and out yourself. The seats aren’t particularly adult-friendly in terms of space either, but they’re fine for kids and fold flat into the floor when not needed.
BMW offers a familiar array of petrol and diesel engines; diesels are most popular, thanks to their combination of economy and fully-laden pulling power. The 218d is a good all-rounder, the 216d is very economical and the 220d xDrive offers all-wheel-drive grip. The 218i and 220i petrols are fine, but much rarer.
We’re pleased to say the 2 Series Gran Tourer still drives like a proper BMW, too. Despite its family pretensions, it’s still clearly set up to please eager drivers, with good steering feel and stable, roll-free handling. It’s a great choice for enthusiasts who have become reluctant MPV buyers – and the ride quality isn’t bad, either.
Add further draws such as good build quality, excellent fuel economy and some of the best infotainment systems around, and you can see why the 2 Series Gran Tourer might win a few fans – even if its styling ultimately dooms it to playing second fiddle to the BMW X1.