Review: BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015)


Practical cabin with some nice luxury touches. Impressive refinement and good comfort levels. Navigation as standard.

Back seats are too small for teenagers or adults.

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015): At A Glance

If you could go back to 1990 and tell the first person you met that by 2015, BMW would be making a seven-seat, front-wheel drive MPV, you’d be quickly locked away by men in lab coats. Who would believe a crazy story about a BMW meant for seven? And yet, here we are with the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.

Effectively it is a bigger version of the recent Active Tourer, with a larger wheelbase, longer overall length and a higher roof. That means a bigger boot of 560 litres – and if you fold the seats flat with the electronically operated one-touch buttons, that grows to a huge 1820 litres. Access is easy through the standard electric tailgate, while the load height is nice and low - good for heavy items or dogs.

But the real advantage of the Gran Tourer is the additional row of seats, although unless you have particularly small children you’re probably better off with something like a Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. The third row in the Gran Tourer is really very tight when it comes to foot and knee room, so even with the adequate headroom you’re only going to get younger kids to fit without complaints.

That means there are plenty of optional extras – this is a BMW after all. Highlights include a head-up display and additional active safety kit, including cruise control that stops and starts in motorway traffic jams automatically. There is also a larger infotainment screen with a more advanced navigation screen and a hands-free system for opening the electric tailgate.

In fact it is very easy to recommend the 2 Series Gran Tourer. It might upset BMW purists, but it shouldn’t upset owners – the combination of enjoyable driving dynamics, impressive practicality and a luxurious, upmarket cabin gives the Gran Tourer plenty of appeal. There might well be cheaper or more practical options on sale but, as an all-round family car for those who demand a bit of luxury, the Gran Tourer is one of the best. 

BMW 2 Series 218i Gran Tourer 2015 Road Test

What does a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015) cost?

List Price from £25,565
Buy new from £21,307
Contract hire from £179.15 per month

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4556 mm
Width 2038 mm
Height 1612 mm
Wheelbase 2780 mm

Full specifications

Up front the Gran Tourer is exactly the same as the smaller Active Tourer. That means you get typical, plush BMW material quality and impressive comfort levels from the supportive seats. As in the back, there are plenty of cubby holes and storage bins, plus you can specify a fold flat passenger seat for those long items like flat pack book cases.

Access to the third row is quite good, while the middle row is really versatile. The seats slide back and forth in a 60/40 split, with a 40/20/40 split for the folding back rests, plus there are three-abreast Isofix points for child seats. Head and leg room are very generous indeed – adults will be more than comfortable in the back, in part thanks to a higher roofline than the Active Tourer.

Other practical touches include picnic tables on the back rests of the front two seats, though these can be removed if they’re being relentlessly bashed by impatient children. The mount for these can be used to fit other options including iPads – handy on a long journey. There are also various cubby holes for odds and ends or drinks - all of the door pockets can hold a 1.5-litre bottle, for example.

Standard equipment is surprisingly generous – all models get iDrive with navigation, along with DAB, auto lights, city emergency braking, dual-zone climate control and alloy wheels. The trim structure is similar to other BMW models – there is a basic SE model, plus Sport, Luxury and M Sport. Each of these has a distinct look inside and out, but aside from upholstery and styling the different trim levels don’t add much equipment over the SE.

Child seats that fit a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015)

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What's the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015) like to drive?

The engine range is the same as the smaller Active Tourer – buyers can choose between two petrol and three diesel engines with power outputs ranging from 116PS and 192PS. The most frugal option is the manual-only 216d, which emits 108g/km of CO2 and has official economy of 68.9mpg - but all of the engines are modern, flexible and have reasonable emissions and economy figures.

We tested the 218i petrol, which produces 136PS and, more importantly, a useful 220Nm of torque from 1250rpm. It is a three-cylinder engine, but you can barely tell thanks to its impressive refinement and sound-proofing - the Gran Tourer is very quiet on the road. Performance is good, with plenty of low-down grunt for accelerating out of corners or overtaking slower traffic – plus official economy is respectable at 53.3mpg, although in our experience if you can get to 40mpg you'll be doing well.

It might be front-wheel drive, but the Gran Tourer still handles very well. The steering is responsive and nicely weighted while the suspension offers a well-judged balance between good body control and impressively smooth ride comfort, even on larger wheels. As a family car for a keen driver, the 2 Series Gran Tourer ticks the right boxes, but it is also smooth and relaxing in town and easy to park, despite offering space for seven.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
216d 63–67 mpg 11.1–11.4 s 108–116 g/km
216d Automatic 60–63 mpg 11.1–11.2 s 109–117 g/km
218d 59–63 mpg 9.5 s 115–121 g/km
218d Automatic 59–63 mpg 9.5 s 115–125 g/km
218i 50 mpg 9.8 s 123–137 g/km
218i Automatic 50 mpg 9.8 s 126–137 g/km
220d 60–63 mpg 8.1 s 119 g/km
220d Automatic 60–63 mpg 8.0 s 119–122 g/km
220d xDrive Automatic 55–58 mpg 7.8 s 129–134 g/km
220i 44–45 mpg 7.9 s 145–149 g/km
220i Automatic 46–47 mpg 7.8 s 134–142 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015)

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


Real MPG

27–60 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

What have we been asked about the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

EGR valve failure seems common on my BMW engine - do BMW offer assistance with this issue?

I bought new a BMW Tourer 520d in July 2016, it now has covered 11,000 miles. However, drivetrain fault indication recently appeared and the car fell into limp home mode. On contacting my local BMW dealer, they couldn't see the car for a week and advised me to contact BMW Assist. A BMW Assist technician came to my home and replaced the EGR valve. On inspection, I found that the valve was seized through a build up of soot. I also noted that the technician had a small pile of these valves in his vehicle. I asked why he carries these valves, he replied that he is always replacing this valve. It's clear that this valve is not fit for purpose and with a little engineering, it could be designed not to fail due to soot build up. Do you know of any action that BMW is planning to assist owners of this problem? I could not get an answer to this issue from BMW.
First I've heard of this on the B47 2.0 litre diesel engine. The engine probably needs to be run on Superdiesel such as Shell V-Power and the engine oil and filter needs to be changed at least every year or every 10,000 miles whichever comes first. Private hire cab firm Addison Lee found that the optimum mileage to change the oil and filter and avoid problems on a diesel engine with EGR and DPF was 7000 miles. For reasons such as this, N47 timing chain failures and failures of the centre bearings on its new 1.5 litre 3 cylinder engines, BMW is switching from Longlife oil services to 10,000 mile/12 month oil services.
Answered by Honest John
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