BMW

BMW 2 SERIES ACTIVE TOURER 218i Sport 5dr Step Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph9.3s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2148 g/km

From launch, BMW's 2 Series Active Tourer marked a radical departure for the Bavarians in its use of front wheel drive and its targeting of the compact MPV segment. But this model has brought a weight of talent to the compact MPV sector that has some other rivals very worried. Power in this base 218i petrol version comes courtesy of a 140hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine as seen in the MINI Cooper and all of BMW's chassis tuning experience is brought to bear. Plus the brand has recently lightly facelifted this car and improved its safety provision.

WARM FRONT

BMW's 2 Series Active Tourer compact MPV arguably makes most sense in base 218i petrol form. Jonathan Crouch reports

Ten Second Review

From launch, BMW's 2 Series Active Tourer marked a radical departure for the Bavarians in its use of front wheel drive and its targeting of the compact MPV segment. But this model has brought a weight of talent to the compact MPV sector that has some other rivals very worried. Power in this base 218i petrol version comes courtesy of a 140hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine as seen in the MINI Cooper and all of BMW's chassis tuning experience is brought to bear. Plus the brand has recently lightly facelifted this car and improved its safety provision.

Background

Front wheel drive people movers aren't really BMW's forte. Well not until recently at least. BMW is a company that is all about rear wheel drive, with a very profitable sideline in four-wheel drive SUVs. It has let other companies develop MPVs while at the same time quietly selling front-wheel drive cars on the side, albeit wearing the MINI badge rather than a blue and white BMW roundel. At its launch in 2015, the 2 Series Active Tourer crashed straight through all that we thought we knew about BMW product planning. There will still be some BMW traditionalists vehemently opposed to this car, but they needn't worry. BMW will continue to sell them rear-wheel drive sports coupes and such like. If, as an MPV buyer in the compact segment, you thought that your options began and ended with an upscale Ford C-MAX, we think you're going to like the 2 Series Active tourer quite a lot. Here we have a look at the revised version of the entry-level 218i model.

Driving Experience

You're probably showing your age if you remember a BMW badge with '-18' on the back signifying a car with a 1.8-litre engine. These days it's safer to assume the 218i has anything but a 1.8-litre lump plumbed into its nose and such is the case. Pop the bonnet and you're greeted with a 140hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine. At least you can claim that your car has the same engine as the BMW i8 supercar. You're just done a few kW of electrical power on BMW's hybrid sports flagship. In this guise, it gets the car to 62mph in a not catastrophic 9.3 seconds before sending it on to a respectable 127mph top speed. With turbocharging, direct petrol injection, double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and the longer firing intervals of the three-cylinders, it generates a chunky 220Nm of torque at just 1,250rpm, which are figures you might more reasonably expect from a diesel. A combination of a balancer shaft, dual-mass flywheel and a centrifugal pendulum absorber help quell the off-beat vibes you often experience in a three-cylinder engine. Where you might expect to find a compact torsion beam rear suspension, BMW has instead fitted a much more complex and expensive multi-link rear end. The 2 Series Active Tourer also benefits from a chassis where weight has been taken out where possible with the use of ultra-high strength steels in key stress points. The result is that the kerb weight of the 218i is a mere 1,320kg. That's only two kilos more than a 1.4-litre Vauxhall Meriva. A six-speed manual comes as standard, with no automatic option available for this particular engine.

Design and Build

This is a compact MPV and as such, it's fairly inevitable that the basic shape is going to be somewhat generic. Cover the badges and grille and most would probably identify this as a Mercedes. The details are nicely executed, but this remains one of the more conservative designs, though BMW has tried to liven up the look of this revised version a little with a larger front kidney grille, redesigned front fog lamps, smarter wheel designs and twin tail pipes on all four cylinder variants. As before, this Active Tourer runs on a lengthened version of the MK3 generation MINI chassis, with the wheelbase extended to 2,670mm. Here, we're looking at the five-seat Active Tourer, but there's also a mechanically-identical 7-seat Gran Tourer body shape available. For a company with no real track record in MPVs, the Munich maker has clearly been studying what works in rival cars. There are sliding and reclining rear seats that allow you to prioritise space for passengers or luggage. Maximum boot space is a respectable 468-litres - which is 20-litres less than the Mercedes B-Class. The rear bench is a versatile thing that can split 40:20:40 and when fully folded there's access to up to 1,510-litres. The front passenger seat also folds to accommodate items up to 2.4m long. Interior changes to this revised model include redesigned seats and a smarter auto gear lever.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £25,000 for this 218i and it comes well equipped. Even the SE gets an automatic tailgate, two-zone automatic air conditioning, rear Park Distance Control, BMW Emergency Call, a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat with electronic folding functionality and 60:40 sliding rear bench. There's also Bluetooth with USB interface and audio streaming functionality, BMW Professional radio with single CD player and 6.5-inch monitor, DAB digital radio, Performance Control, Comfort Go keyless engine start and Drive Performance Control with ECO PRO, Comfort and Sport modes are also included. Rain sensors with automatic headlight activation, a multi-function leather steering wheel & additional 12V power socket complete tan impressive equipment list. If safety's a priority, you'll want to look at the optional 'Driving Assistant Plus' package. This includes 'Active Cruise Control' and a 'Traffic Jam Assistant' that, in heavy traffic, is able to control the car's speed, steer automatically and keep it in its lane. Also available is Lane Departure Warning and the City Braking function, which applies the brakes automatically at speeds up to 37mph in response to an imminent collision with a car, motorcycle or pedestrian, for instance. The Parking Assistant takes care of manoeuvring into parking spots that are either parallel or perpendicular to the road, while its ultrasonic sensors also help to search for suitable spaces up to a speed of 22mph.

Cost of Ownership

You can buy a 218d diesel model which retails for just over £2,000 more, model for model, but you'd have to be cranking out an unholy annual mileage to make it pay off in terms of fuel savings. That's because this 218i gets some absolutely stellar figures and, as we've seen in the MINI, it's one of those engines that actually can approach the published numbers in real world scenarios, as long as you're not too lead-footed. To whit, BMW quotes 48.7mpg on the combined cycle with emissions rated at 132g/km. The usual suite of BMW EfficientDynamics energy-saving features is responsible for making those vaguely implausible looking figures including Auto Start Stop and ECO PRO. When in ECO PRO mode the throttle response is adjusted to encourage a more economical driving style. The extra economy created in ECO PRO mode is fed back to the driver, with the in-car displays showing the additional number of miles achieved.

Summary

The only constant is change, and it's a truism that applies to automotive manufacturing as much as anything else. Stick to dogma and you end up a footnote in the history books. That's why BMW's decision to market a front-wheel drive MPV is both brave and sensible. Of course, there are going to be old schoolers having a fit of the conniptions about it, but where would Porsche be without the Cayenne and where would Bentley be if it hadn't developed the Continental? Both cars were sniffed at by marque purists and both went on to save their respective companies. The 2 Series Tourer isn't a lifeline model in that regard; BMW is too healthy for that, but it nevertheless accesses a huge market sector from which Munich has been traditionally denied. The 218i model would seem to make the most sense for British customers. It's well-equipped, it's keenly priced and it brings a welcome touch of dynamism to a sector where many car makers have done quite well offering substandard fare. It looks like a few of them will have to seriously up their games.

  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Rain sensor including auto headlights activation
  • Green tinted heat protection glazing
  • Rear window wiper integrated under roof spoiler
  • Electric windows - front and rear, with open/close fingertip control, anti-trap facility and comfort closing

  • Dynamic stability control + (DSC+)
  • Electrically operated hand brake
  • Braking lock
  • Anti lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist
  • Braking readiness
  • Brake drying
  • Front ventilated disc brakes
  • Rear disc brakes
  • Dynamic Traction Control - DTC
  • Hill start assist
  • Brake energy regeneration

  • Velour floor mats

  • Drive performance control with ECO PRO comfort + sport mode
  • Intervention on the front axle when DSC deactivated

  • Apple car play

  • Park assist system with steering assist
  • Attentiveness assist
  • Active Guard incl speed limiting and lane departure functions with auto steering, and front collision warning with brake intervention
  • Speed limiter
  • BMW remote services
  • Servotronic variable electric power steering (EPS)
  • Front/rear park distance control (PDC)

  • Automatic tailgate operation

  • Service interval indicator
  • BMW emergency call
  • BMW Teleservices
  • Real time traffic information
  • BMW Online services
  • Check Control warning system for monitoring of lights and door/luggage compartment open warning
  • Brake pad wear indicator in front and rear
  • Optimum shift indicator
  • Instrument cluster with speedometer with miles per hour read out, tachometer and fuel gauge
  • On board computer - average speed+fuel consumption,service interval, clock date,odometer,trip meter,outside temperature display with acoustic ice warn
  • Lights on warning by audio warning signal when ignition is switched off
  • Personal Profile - automatic lock when driving away selectable

  • Electrically adjustable door mirrors with aspheric on driver side, convex on passenger side with integrated indicators

  • Contrast stitching on instrument panel

  • 2 USB sockets in rear
  • BMW professional radio/CD/MP3
  • DAB Digital radio

  • Rear window aerial
  • Rear bumper with high gloss black finish
  • Front air inlet with high gloss black finish
  • Model designation
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Body colour - front and rear bumpers, door handles, mirror caps, roof mouldings
  • Lightweight engineering
  • Single chrome exhaust tailpipe
  • Kidney grille with 10 extra wide high gloss black fronted vertical slats
  • Exclusive front door sill finishers with BMW designation

  • Reversing light in rear light cluster
  • Direction indicator side lights integrated exterior mirrors
  • Rear fog lights
  • Dynamic brake lights
  • Clear lenses direction indicator lights
  • LED front fog lights
  • High level third brake light

  • Automatic two zone climate control air conditioning

  • 12V power socket in centre console + front with blanking plug
  • Luggage compartment access via BMW roundel
  • Two cupholders
  • Steering wheel column manual adjustment
  • Rear centre armrest
  • Front armrest
  • Multi-function controls for steering wheel
  • Sunvisor with ticket holder
  • Four grab handles integrated in roof lining
  • Front and rear side armrest integrated into door trim
  • Central locking switches for door, fuel filler cap and luggage compartment
  • Three spoke sport leather steering wheel

  • LED ambient lighting in door trim
  • Welcome lighting
  • Glovebox with light
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Interior lighting, front centre over interior mirror and rear centre automatic interior light activation when door is opened

  • No smoker package
  • Extended storage pack - 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer

  • Battery safety cut-off
  • Seat belt security check for driver and front passenger
  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats, front pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters, rear coded belt buckles
  • Child proof locking system in rear door
  • Side impact protection
  • Seatbelt warning
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Twin horns
  • Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors
  • Airbag - Front driver and passenger, front and rear head, front side, curtain head protection, manual deactivation of front passenger airbag possible

  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment for two outer rear seats and front passenger seat with anchorage points
  • Manual 40:20:40 split folding rear seat with of 60:40 sliding bench
  • Front sports seats with electric side bolster adjustment
  • Front head restraints
  • Three rear headrests

  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Remote control with integrated key with silver highlight
  • Thatcham 1 alarm system with remote control and engine immobiliser

  • Dual clutch automatic transmission
  • Electronic differential lock

  • Sunvisors with vanity mirrors and ticket pocket

  • Reduced rolling resistance tyres

  • Noise Level dB(A): 69
  • CO: 0.361
  • HC: 0.02
  • NOx: 0.025
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0001
  • CO2 (g/km): 117
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 206
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 126
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 148
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 148
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 206
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 211
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 149
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 129
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 147
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 151
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 152
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 148

  • Engine Code: B38A15M1
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • CC: 1499

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 43.5
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 65.7
  • EC Combined (mpg): 55.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 31
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 31
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 30.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 42.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 42.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 9.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 9.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 9.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6.7

  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: Sport
  • Coin Description: i
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 140
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 14E

  • Engine Power - BHP: 140
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.3
  • Top Speed: 127
  • Engine Power - KW: 103
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4600
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 162
  • Engine Torque - NM: 220
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1480
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.4

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/55 R17
  • Wheel Style: DOUBLE SPOKE STYLE 549
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Width (including mirrors): 2038
  • Height: 1555
  • Length: 4354
  • Width: 1800
  • Wheelbase: 2670

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1390
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1945
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 51
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 468
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1300
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 695
  • Max. Loading Weight: 555
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1510
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.3

  • Sun protection glass: £300

  • Enhanced bluetooth with wireless charging: £0
  • Bluetooth hands free facility with USB audio interface with bluetooth audio streaming: Included

  • Reversing assist camera: £0
  • Cruise control with brake function: Included
  • Active cruise control with stop and go: £0

  • Traffic jam assist: £0
  • BMW Navigation plus system: £0
  • Head up Display: £0

  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror: Included
  • Heated door mirrors: Included
  • Electrically heated folding and driver auto dimming exterior door mirrors with memory and anti-dazzle: £0

  • Brushed aluminium interior trim with pearl chrome finish: £170
  • High gloss black interior trim with pearl chrome finish: Included

  • 61 Litre fuel tank: £50
  • 51 Litre fuel tank: Included

  • 6 speakers: Included
  • Harman/Kardon loudspeaker system: £600

  • Solid paint: Included
  • Matt aluminium roof rails: £245
  • Car jack: £0
  • Bike rack preparation: £160
  • Metallic paint: £560
  • Black roof rails: £170
  • Panoramic opening glass sunroof: £945

  • LED Headlights: Included
  • High beam assistant: Included
  • Icon Adaptive LED headlights: £0

  • Dakota leather upholstery with perforation and contrast stitching: £1,150
  • Nivala cloth/Sensatec leather upholstery: Included
  • Luggage compartment separating net: £105
  • Heated steering wheel: £160

  • Extended lights package - 2 Series Active Tourer: £0
  • BMW Navigation pack - 2 Series: Included
  • Tech pack I - 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer: £900
  • Tech pack II - 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer: £1,250
  • Driving assistant plus pack - 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer: £1,150
  • Comfort pack II - 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer: £1,000
  • Comfort pack I - 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer Sport/Luxury/M Sport: £850

  • Metallic - Sparkling Brown: £560
  • Metallic - Sunset orange: £560
  • Metallic - Cashmere silver: £560
  • Metallic - Mineral white: £560
  • Metallic - Glacier Silver: £560
  • Metallic - Black sapphire: £560
  • Metallic - Mediterranean blue: £560
  • Metallic - Mineral grey: £560

  • Solid - Jet black: £0
  • Solid - Alpine white: £0

  • Electric front seat adjustment - drivers with memory: £0
  • Driver and front passenger heated seats: £0
  • Standard seat for driver and passenger with manual adjustment: Included
  • Electrically adjustable lumbar support for driver and front passenger: £195
  • Sliding rear seat bench: £260

  • Start/stop button with Comfort Go keyless engine start and auto Start/stop deactivation button: Included
  • Comfort access system with smart opener: £0

  • Detachable towbar: £600

  • Dakota leather - Mocha Brown with chestnut stitching: £1,150
  • Dakota leather - Black with grey stitching: £1,150
  • Dakota leather - Oyster with grey stitching: £1,150

  • Nivala cloth/Sensatec leather - Anthracite with grey highlight: £0
  • Nivala cloth/Sensatec leather - Anthracite with orange highlight: £0

  • Driver + passenger vanity mirrors: Included

  • 18" Burnished star spoke alloy wheels finished in orbit grey - style 512: £545
  • 17" Burnished double spoke alloy wheels finished in orbit grey - style 549: Included
  • 17" Multi-spoke alloy wheels finished in reflex silver - style 546: £0

  • BMW mobility tyre sealing system: Included
  • Space saver spare wheel: £75

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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