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BMW has completely re-engineered the 2 Series Active Tourer, with the model now offering a host of new features to create an even more tempting proposition in the premium compact segment. It delivers significant advances in all key areas and comes with an array of innovations previously reserved for the brand’s larger, more expensive models.

Notably, it marks the debut of Operating System 8 and the new generation of the iDrive control system with curved display in a compact-class BMW. Up until now the advanced system has only featured in the fully-electric iX and i4. The range of driver assistance systems specified as standard or available as options sets a new benchmark both for the BMW model line-up and the sector. The new model features an all-new architecture designed to accommodate both electrified drive systems and conventional engines. New engines, the second generation of 48V mild hybrid technology from BMW, the seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission fitted as standard in all model variants, and extensively updated chassis technology take both efficiency and agility to greater heights. Customers can choose from two petrol engines and one diesel, with the range set to expand from this summer with the addition of two plug-in hybrid models equipped with fifth-generation eDrive technology for a significantly extended electric range.

A choice of Sport, Luxury and M Sport variants, plus the availability of extensive individualisation options, ensure the new model appeals to a wide number of drivers. Its style, interior packaging, advanced technology and efficient drivetrains are destined to continue the original’s popularity of the first-generation model which sold more than 430,000 units with, significantly, around 80 per cent of sales to customers who were new to the brand.

The model is produced at the BMW Group Plant in Leipzig with the three and four-cylinder petrol engines built at BMW Hams Hall near Birmingham. Careful selection of materials optimises sustainability in the manufacture of the new model and ensures a high degree of recyclability at the end of its life. The new model is larger than its predecessor by 32mm in length, 24mm in width, and 21mm in height, while the wheelbase is unchanged at 2,670mm, its track widths have been increased by 25mm at the front and 26mm at the back. An intelligent mix of materials minimises the body’s weight while enhancing rigidity and crash safety.

Customers will appreciate increased headroom, shoulder room and elbow room in both rows of seats compared to its predecessor. Rear seat passengers also enjoy a noticeable increase in knee room over the previous model. Newly-developed seats provide improved long-distance comfort and enhanced lateral support. Anthracite cloth upholstery is standard on Sport models with perforated Sensatec as an option. Vernasca leather and Alcantara/Sensatec with blue stitching are featured on Luxury and M Sport models respectively. Seat heating can be specified as an option for Sport models, as can six way electric adjustment with memory, lumbar support and massage function for all models. ISOFIX child safety seat fasteners are integrated into the rear outer seats, and the 40:20:40 split rear backrests can be folded down to expand boot capacity. The backrest angle can be adjusted separately, allowing the boot capacity to grow by up to 90 litres, while the forward/back adjustment allows up to 13cm of travel. Load capacity can be expanded from 470 to 1,455 litres or from 415 to 1,405 litres depending on the variant and the boot of the plug-in hybrid model holds up to 1,370 litres of cargo. Automatic tailgate operation comes as standard, while the optional Comfort Access (standard for M Sport) adds hands-free opening and closing.

Power outputs range from 150-218bhp and the 223i can reach 100kph (62mph) in seven seconds and on to a top speed of 241kph (150mph).

Ian Lynas

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