BMW 220i ACTIVE TOURER: luxurious edge for fun-to-drive family MPV

PEOPLE carriers used to be the high-rise preference for families not so long ago, before SUVs moved to the front of the queue.

And while MPVs might not have retained the popularity they once had, there are still some good ones around.

Take BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer as an example.Here is a spacious MPV with a high-quality interior that’s also got the best infotainment system in the class. And it doesn’t look like a box.

Luxury trim gives the 220i Series Active Tourer more of a luxurious edge, obviously, adding leather upholstery to the interior, heated front seats and aluminium roof rails.

The entry-level 220i petrol engine uses just three cylinders and a mild hybrid system to create useable amounts of power and good levels of efficiency. It responds quickly to your inputs and can easily deal with spur of the moment overtaking and getting up to motorway speeds.

On fast country roads and motorways, it’s comfortable and does a fairly good job of smoothing out potholes and imperfections in the road.

The three cylinder can be a little raucous if you put your foot down at lower speeds but it soon fades into the background, though, and motorway cruising is fairly relaxing, with little wind noise and road noise.

What will be evident is there’s a need to be fairly firm on the brake pedal to rein in the horses as the initial bite of the pads feels a bit half hearted.

All versions come with a seven-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox that’s incredibly smooth – so smooth that you won’t really notice it shifting through the gears as you drive along, even in slow-moving traffic.

You might not expect a car in this class to be fun to drive – but the 220i is.

The Active Tourer offers a high-quality package of standard equipment and typical BMW driving dynamics. With a load space of up to 1,455, distinctive design (if you can forgive them that massive grille) and a supreme level of technical comfort it’s a more than acceptable machine if you’re one of those with an active lifestyle.

You won’t struggle to get comfortable behind the wheel because all models having plenty of adjustment for the driving position and steering wheel. The seats are comfortable and designed to be like the sports seats in sportier models, so they offer a decent amount of support, although we were left with a feeling it could be better.On the inside, the design and tech is straight out of the BMW iX, so you won’t find many buttons littering the dashboard. Instead, the majority of functions, including the climate control, are controlled through the large curved screen that combines a 10.25in driver display with a 10.7in infotainment system.

There’s no doubt that the car is beautifully finished inside, in a no squeaks or rattles kind of way. The accent is very much on quality and luxury.

You can load the car up with all sorts of extras from the BMW catalogue, and the ones fitted here totalled an amount that you can still buy a reasonable second hand car for.

No such thing as a standard car anymore, is there?


BMW 220i Active Tourer

Price: £31,565 (£39,479 as tested)
Engine: 1.5 litre, three cylinder, petrol plus battery
Power: 154bhp
Torque: 177lb/ft
Transmission: seven speed automatic
Top speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Economy: 47.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 141g/km\

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