BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014) Review

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014) At A Glance

4/5

+Good to drive. Well-finished cabin. Electric tailgate and one-touch folding seats as standard. Efficient engines.

-With options packs it can get expensive. Some rivals offer better practicality and more space.

New prices start from £22,125
Insurance Groups are between 13–24
On average it achieves 68% of the official MPG figure

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is another niche-filling model from the German manufacturer. Larger than a 1 Series but not quite an estate car, the Active Tourer is BMW’s rival for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and the Volkswagen Golf SV. It marks some firsts for the brand, with three cylinder engines and front-wheel drive.

It still feels every bit a BMW though. It’s impressively built, comfortable and yet still good to drive. The interior is smartly designed and uses top quality materials. There are some sumptuous upholstery choices on offer, including cream leather, plus various designs for dashboard inlays, with wood or metal finishes depending on the trim level.

There’s a lot of technology too, including a large infotainment screen with top-notch navigation, linked to to BMW’s intuitive iDrive system. There’s room for five in the cabin, plus there is a large boot with an electronically operated tailgate as standard. Space might not be as generous as a Mercedes-Benz B-Class, but it’s still ample for most families.

The chassis and certain engines in the 2 Series Active Tourer are shared with the MINI range, which is no bad thing. The Active Tourer successfully blends ride comfort with a good level of grip through corners. There is very little in the way of body roll and the controls are perfectly weighted, making driving easy yet enjoyable.

There’s a broad range of engines on offer using typical BMW naming, which has little to do with the engine capacity and more to do with its ‘rank’ in a hierarchy. Entry level petrol and diesel engines are 1.5-litre three cylinder units shared with the MINI and they are fine for most - but motorway or rural drivers will benefit from the extra power and torque offered by the more powerful 218d diesel or 220i petrol.

Those seeking a practical family car with a prestigious German badge now have three options - and the BMW is as impressive as its rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. The B-Class and Golf SV offer better practicality, as does the Citroen C4 Picasso, but the 2 Series Active Tourer feels every bit as plush as a larger car like the 3 Series, plus it offers great driving dynamics and plenty of technology.

Real MPG average for a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

68%

Real MPG

27–81 mpg

MPGs submitted

538

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

I need a ULEZ-compliant family car. Could you make some suggestions?
"I live just outside London and my car is about to be rendered useless by the ULEZ. I have a Ford S-MAX (diesel 2.0-litre) and although I'm used to the space, I don’t really need a 7-seater. I'm totally lost by the amount of choice out there! I have 3 teenage children (4 of us altogether) and we tend to do one really long summer trip abroad in the car. I love the power of the S-MAX and the boot space but otherwise, I have no idea what kind of car I need. My budget is about £12k-13k. Please help!"
We'd recommend a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer or Volkswagen Touran. They're very versatile five-seat people carriers available with punchy ULEZ-compliant engines. If you'd prefer more space, take a look at the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I'm at a loss when it comes to options and trims. Any advice?
"We are both in our 70s and live in Somerset where these are very narrow lanes etc. We go to Cardiff frequently so motorway driving and a bit of city. We have had a Volkswagen Passat Estate, which was very comfortable and reliable with heated seats and the like. We're looking for a used car fairly that's not as long as the Passat Estate but has good boot space. We'd prefer a hatchback with parking assist and infotainment systems. It must be safe, comfortable and quiet with reasonable running costs. Up to around £20k. We've looked at the Volkswagen Golf but the boot is too small. The Golf estate is better but not exciting. BMW Series 2 Active Tourer seems possible but I’m at sea with all the options, trims etc. Any advice greatly welcomed!"
A BMW 2 Series Active Tourer sounds like an ideal choice. All models come with rear parking sensors and a very good 6.5-inch infotainment system. Look out for Technology Pack 1 if you'd prefer a reversing camera, and Technology Pack 2 for the bigger 8.8-inch navigation system. Heated seats are an optional extra, too, available as part of the Comfort Pack. You might wish to avoid the top-spec M Sport model as this comes with larger 18-inch alloy wheels and sports suspension which means it's a bit firmer and less comfortable than other trim levels. As an alternative, have you considered a Mercedes-Benz B-Class? The latest model will be in budget and it's a very comfortable rival to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, with a superb cabin and plenty of space.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you suggest a compact, reliable, petrol MPV for a small family?
"I've been a Honda Jazz obsessive for the past 10 years, but now equipped with two little people, a dog and far too much stuff to lug between stays with the in-laws, I'm craving that little bit more space without losing all that I love the Jazz for. I have dreams of the Honda HR-V or CR-V one day, but sadly cannot currently justify the extra size and cost. So I'm left looking for a reliable and economic compact/mid-size MPV. I have up to £12,000 to spend on a used car, with the criteria - automatic, petrol, as much boot as I can get, a relatively high driving position with easy access, reliable and economic when it comes to tax/servicing. Thank you! "
We'd recommend a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. The 1.5-litre petrol engine used in the 218i provides low running costs and punchy performance. Also consider a Volkswagen Golf SV or Touran – the latter's a particularly practical choice, although you might struggle to find a petrol model. Alternatively, a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer could be a good choice. It's quite a big car but offers loads of space for the money and won't cost a fortune to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best automatic MPV for transporting dogs/bikes?
"What's the best current or nearly-new small, automatic, petrol MPV with a flat load bed that would be easy to load bikes or a dog?"
We'd recommend a Volkswagen Touran or a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (or the smaller Active Tourer if you don't need quite so much space). Both are very versatile people carriers offered with strong petrol engines and automatic gearboxes.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014) cost?