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Car Review

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer review

610
Published: 08 Mar 2022
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

We’ve been driving the most powerful non-hybrid 2AT, the 223i. It’s blessed with a 215bhp four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, good for 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds. All 2ATs use a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Is it a good one?

It is not. Ask for brisk acceleration and the DCT box takes far too long to get its act together and respond. Pulling out of oblique junctions is laggy and fraught. Only M Sport cars have paddleshifters to override this. The engine is a little buzzy when the gearbox does get caught napping. We’d be more tempted by the cheaper 220i, as the three-cylinder motor is a really sweet powertrain, and the 168bhp effort only takes an extra second to go from 0-62mph.

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What about hybridisation?

Both the 223i and 220i have 48-volt mild hybrid tech, so the car is keen to cut the engine when coasting to a stop and restarts instantaneously to save fuel. Claimed economy is in the mid-40s – our test car managed an indicated 34mpg during a couple of hours on British A-roads. 

Is it fun to drive?

No, which you’d expect of an MPV, but perhaps not of a BMW. But along with the narcoleptic gearbox, you put up with dead, disconnected steering (thankfully imbued with more weight in the Sport mode you’ll never use) and a deeply over-servo’ed brake pedal which makes town driving discombobulatingly erratic. 

The chassis is well damped, the car’s less harsh over poor surfaces than its predecessor and it’s reasonably agile, but if you want something this sort of size and shape that handles with true finesse, try a Ford Puma.

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Variants We Have Tested

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