Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Smart, well thought-out cabin design
  • Gets the latest BMW technology
  • iDrive multimedia among the best available

BMW expects around 75% of 2 Series Active Tourer buyers to come from conquest sales, but for the other quarter coming from the firm’s other models, the cabin layout will be relatively familiar.

The layering design of the dashboard is something we’ve seen across the rest of the BMW range, as is the tablet-like freestanding multimedia display screen in the centre – while the instruments are very much like those found elsewhere.

That said, some of the switchgear has received an update, the most noticeable being the climate controls which look vaguely reminiscent of an Audi system and the automatic gearlever is a different design to those we have seen recently from the firm.

You’ll probably need to take some time to familiarise yourself with the iDrive interface, unless you’re already a BMW owner – in which instance you’ll wonder how you ever managed without such an intuitive control system. Add to that excellent material quality, fit and finish, plus neat switchgear and the 2 Series Active Tourer’s cabin is one of the highlights.

From July 2017, BMW installed its latest Professional 8.8-inch iDrive infotainment package in the Active Tourer, which includes a built-in SIM card along with a Wi-Fi hotspot, Microsoft 365 connectivity, enhanced voice control capability using real speech, real-time traffic information with time-to-leave notifications, and optional Apple CarPlay connectivity.

A clear head-up display features too, and we noticed that it’s one of the few systems on offer that works perfectly with polarised sunglasses – though during some types of driving (like dusk or in heavy rain) it can become a little distracting. You can switch it off, though.

  • Very solidly built but ride is a little firm
  • Hybrid is the quietest in the range
  • Optional adaptive suspension helps

Built to transport families, it should be no surprise that comfort was near the top of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer’s priority list during development. Certainly, the seats are typically BMW in their breadth of adjustment – there’s plenty, and no excuse for not finding the right driving position.

That said, you do sit 30mm higher than in the maker’s X1 SUV, and it feels high from the driving seat. Along with the seat adjustment up front, there’s plenty of reach and rake movement in the steering wheel too.

On the move, especially in the three-cylinder petrol model, the 2 Series Active Tourer impresses; with this engine the most noticeable noise is from the wind, rather than the pistons – unless you’re really accelerating hard. The diesel isn’t quite as refined, but again once you’ve reached your desired cruising speed it quickly settles to a hushed note, with only a little vibration through the controls.

An underlying firmness to the suspension, which allows the BMW to corner better than a Citroen C4 SpaceTourer for example, does mean you can feel most of the ruts and bumps below you – and that’s without selecting Sport mode in the adjustable suspension.

But while the ride isn’t pillow soft, it’s rarely wearing, and generally very well composed.

If comfort is your primary consideration you’ll find that a 225xe plug-in hybrid should fit the bill nicely. This is because it runs in near-silence when on electrical power, and with a theoretical range of 28 miles it’s possible many drivers could use this model without using any fuel at all as a city commuter car.