I spy a five-seat people carrier. Hardly the sort of car where image and excitement reign.
No this is a sector of the market sorely lacking in The Fizz. But hang on. You're witnessing a moment in history. It's the arrival of the first front-drive BMW. (OK, BMW engineered the Minis and the Rover 75, but they aren't actual BMWs). Not to mention this is the first BMW people-carrier.
I wonder why BMW is bothering. But I'll come to them later. First, is this, to paraphrase the car rental guy in Get Shorty, "the BMW of minivans?"
Amazingly, it is. It's tall and the windscreen is miles ahead of you, bounded by huge pillars that block the view in tight bends. You can't see the bonnet of the stubby nose. Your feet are below you rather than ahead. All the static signals are that it's going to drive like any other family box. But guess what: the steering doesn't have mild dementia, the body control isn't vaguely drunk, the performance isn't wheezing. No, the 2-series Active Tourer closely approaches the dynamics of an actual car.