Crossovers and SUVs might have taken over in Europe and most parts of the world, but that hasn't stopped Mercedes from launching a second generation of its B-Class. BMW also feels there's still enough customer demand to warrant a posh minivan by following suit with a new 2 Series Active Tourer featuring some massive design changes.
The compact luxury MPV gets a giant kidney grille sending strong X7 vibes and flanked by sleeker LED headlights optionally available with adaptive matrix tech. The profile reveals newly designed flush door handles and lower side mirrors to aid aero, while wheel size varies from 16 to 19 inches. At the back, the exhaust tip has been integrated below the bumper to enable a cleaner look and the taillights are now slimmer to lend the people-mover a more modern appearance.
Gallery: 2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Compared to its predecessor, the second-gen model is 32 millimeters longer (at 4386 mm) and 24 mm wider (at 1824 mm) while the wheelbase has remained intact, at 2670 mm. It stands tall at 1576 mm while the front and rear tracks have been widened by 25 mm (1586 mm front / 1586 mm rear). The tweaked proportions along with active aero tech such as adjustable flaps in the upper and lower grilles have lowered the drag coefficient to 0.26.
The interior has been completely redesigned to accommodate BMW's iDrive 8 operating system, now with a 10.25-inch digital driver's display and a 10.7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment. The elongated center armrest includes the start/stop and hazard buttons, along with the tiny automatic gear lever, electronic parking brake, and a rotary knob to control audio volume. The "floating" console has freed up space underneath, which can be used for storage.
Gallery: 2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-in-Hybrid
Being a minivan, it's all about practicality. The rear seats move forward by up to 13 centimeters and can be folded in a 40:20:40 layout, with cargo capacity varying from 470 to 1,455 liters. An electric tailgate is part of the standard equipment, as is the two-zone automatic climate control system. At an additional cost, customers can opt for a panoramic glass roof, Harman Kardon audio system, and an electrically deployable trailer hitch.
As far as engines are concerned, the lineup starts with a 218i model with a turbocharged 1.5-liter unit producing 136 horsepower (100 kilowatts) and 230 Newton-meters of torque. It's good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in nine seconds and a top speed of 214 km/h. Step up to the 220i and the three-pot churns 170 hp (125 kW) and 280 Nm, in which case the sprint drops to 8.1 seconds and top speed increases to 221 km/h.
The four-cylinder 223i model uses a larger 2.0-liter unit with 218 hp (160 kW) and 360 Nm, enabling the 2 Series Active Tourer to cover the sprint in seven seconds and max out at 241 km/h.
BMW hasn't forgotten about diesel fans as there's also a 218d with a four-cylinder 2.0-liter mill producing 150 hp (110 kW) and 360 Nm. This specification of the Leipzig-built premium minivan needs 8.8 seconds for the sprint en route to 220 km/h.
All four send power to the front wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and will go on sale in Europe from February 2022. A few months later, the 2 Series Active Tourer lineup will be expanded to include two plug-in hybrid models, one of which is previewed here by the 230e with xDrive and sportier styling.