The second BMW series is now the most diverse in the whole range. The same indices can have fundamentally different cars - a rear-wheel-drive coupe (a new generation recently came out), a front-wheel-drive sedan, or a compact van. It was the single-volume Active Tourer that in 2014 became BMW's first production model on the front-wheel-drive UKL platform. This family got off to a good start: more than 100,000 cars (including the extended Gran Tourer) were sold in 2016. However, later the demand quickly went down, and in 2020 Europeans bought only 30 thousand of these BMWs. But the second generation still saw the light, although the format and design of the car has not changed fundamentally. But the internal code of the U06 model opened a new chapter after F-gamma and G-row.
The silhouette of the five-door became more "light": the front roof pillars have disappeared additional windows, the hood is now more horizontal, and the rear luggage windows are enlarged. There are recessed handles instead of the usual door handles for natural grip. LED headlights are "in base", for an extra fee - adaptive headlights with matrix high beam. The aerodynamic drag coefficient Cx has been reduced from 0.27 to 0.26.
The new Active Tourer is 32 mm longer (4,386 mm), 24 mm wider (1,824 mm) and 21 mm higher (1,576 mm). The wheelbase remains the same (2670 mm), but the track is now wider, and standard ground clearance is increased from 165 to 171 mm - primarily due to the new tires with an increased profile (205/65 R16 instead of 205/60 R16). Although wheels up to 19 inches in diameter can be ordered for a surcharge.
The UKL2 platform, although it is considered the second generation, has not changed architecturally. In the front - McPherson struts with 15% increased castor, in the rear - three-lever independent suspension with separated springs and shock absorbers. M-suspension with amplitude dependent shock absorbers and reduced ground clearance by 15 mm is offered at extra charge. Cruise control and automatic braking system are already in the basic configuration, adaptive "cruise" and lane keeping system are options.
The new Active Tourer is the first BMW with an internal combustion engine that has received a new interior architecture for the brand. Before, only the BMW iX electric car had such a concept. In front of the driver - a single panel with two screens without a visor: the instrument display has a diagonal of 10.7 inches, and the touchscreen of the media system - 10.25 inches. All control of the climate control is concentrated on the screen, there are almost no physical buttons. The iDrive media system itself is with the BMW OS 8 operating system, like in the older models of the company.
Also from the electric BMW iX is the hovering center armrest, where the miniature transmission selector, emergency and parking brake buttons are located. And what about a lever of "mechanics"? The problem is solved radically - the compact van will not have such gearbox any more. Instead of usual central console there is a huge niche for gadgets, which screens will be well seen by the seats. There is a central airbag, which inflates between the front seats to prevent the collision of the driver and passenger.
The concept of the rear row has not changed. The backrest is divided into three parts in the proportion 40:20:40, each of which is adjustable in terms of the angle of inclination. The longitudinal adjustment range of 130 mm is retained. Moving the rear row, you can add or subtract from the luggage compartment as much as 90 liters of volume. There are four USB-C sockets in the cabin, and 12-volt sockets are installed on the first row and in the trunk.
At the start of sales there will be four modifications in the range, all with front-wheel drive and a seven-speed pre-selective "robot. The petrol engines are turbocharged and have combined fuel injection. The base BMW 218i Active Tourer has a three-cylinder 1.5 engine with 136 hp and 230 Nm, and the 220i Active Tourer is boosted to 156 hp and 240 Nm. The 223i Active Tourer has a two-liter turbo four with an output of 204 hp and 320 Nm. The 220i and 223i have a 48-volt starter-generator, which is built into the gearbox, gives up to 19 hp, works as part of a start-stop system and helps in the first seconds of acceleration. With it, the powertrain peaks at 170 hp and 218 hp, respectively.
The diesel version of the BMW 218d Active Tourer has a two-liter four-cylinder engine with a dual-flow turbocharger. It produces 150 hp and 360 Nm. And all-wheel drive will be available only in rechargeable hybrids. These were in the range before, but now they get the fifth-generation eDrive electric system, like in the latest BMW electric cars.
The same 1.5 gasoline turbo engine drives the front wheels of the hybrids, while the rear axle is equipped with a separate electric motor. The traction battery with a useful capacity of 14.9 kW∙h is installed under the passenger compartment floor. The range in electric mode is up to 80 km in the WLTP cycle, the charger capacity is 7.4 kW, and the full recharging time is two and a half hours.
The hybrid will be offered in two variants instead of one before. The initial BMW 225e xDrive Active Tourer has a 136-horsepower petrol engine and a 109-horsepower electric motor, with a combined output of 245 hp. The BMW 230e xDrive Active Tourer has the engine boosted to 150 hp, the electric motor produces 176 hp, and the peak power of the system is 326 hp. Minus of hybrids is a reduced trunk: it holds from 406 to 1370 liters. Purely petrol versions 220i and 223i have 415-1405 liters capacity, and modifications 218i and 218d have 470 - 1455 liters. For comparison, the former Active Tourer could hold from 468 to 1,510 liters of luggage.
The new Active Tourer will be produced at the same plant in Leipzig where the former model is made. Start of sales in Europe is scheduled for February, with prices starting from 35750 euros. Hybrid versions will be available in summer at prices starting from 44,000 euros.