2018 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer review
Our Rating

4/5

2018 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer review

Can a refresh bring BMWs MPV into the spotlight? We find out…

Introduction

The MPV is a class of car many probably wouldn’t associate with luxury — after all, functionality is the name of the game. That said, it hasn’t stopped manufacturers having a crack at bringing a premium edge to the segment — and this is BMWs effort, the .

Despite its name, it’s not just an extended version of the 2 Series coupe — rather, built on the same platform as FWD Mini products. Originally introduced in 2015, the seven-seater was graced with a refresh earlier this year in a bid to increase its presence on UK roads. Is it set to do that? We find out…

Performance

Our test car came in 220d xDrive M Sport guise, meaning it houses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. It’s good for 187bhp and 400Nm of torque, sent through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 7.6 seconds and a 135mph top speed. As for efficiency, BMW claims it can return 57.6mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 129g/km of CO2.

Despite the car’s size and weight, the torquey engine allows it to shift at a rate more than good enough for the town commute. It’s well-refined too, sitting well at motorway speeds and letting in little noise to the cabin.

Ride & Handling

MPVs should never be associated with serious driving capability — Renault Espace F1 excluded — but that doesn’t mean the 2 Series Grand Tourer can’t be engaging to drive. In fact, we’d go as far to call it the most fun MPV to be behind the wheel of on sale today — offering a hint of trademark BMW dynamics. Don’t expect it to be a sports car, but there’s definitely enjoyment to be had.

Where the Gran Tourer really excels though is in town and on the motorway. Good visibility all around combined with responsive handling allows for easy manoeuvrability, while a host of parking aids means it’s a breeze to pull up despite its size. Refinement continues to motorway speeds, sitting comfortably on the road and remaining quiet.

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Interior & Equipment

As you’d expect of a BMW product, quality is in abundance throughout the cabin. Hard plastics are nowhere to be found, and everything feels incredibly well put together. Leather trimmings give a heightened sense of luxury, and everything is ergonomically designed.

As for space, there’s just 145 litres of space when all seats are in place — although dropping the back row increases that to 560 litres. Rivals do offer more in this respect.

Standard equipment on M Sport models includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Dakota leather upholstery, aerodynamic body styling and sports seats up front. Our car also came equipped with tons of options, including the Tech Pack bringing the firm’s iDrive system, the Comfort pack which adds electric seats and a heated steering wheel, plus the Vision pack — including a reversing camera.

Cost

The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer may pack a lot, but it comes at a price. Base models start from £34,470 OTR while our car after options jumped to monumental £43,105. If it were our money, we’d opt for the 220d but maybe go easy on the options list.

Running costs should be low though, thanks to its efficient diesel engine while an insurance band of 20 should keep premiums down.

Verdict 

The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer brings a genuinely premium offering to a segment otherwise not known for it, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice luxury for the sake or sheer practicality.

It can also be a genuinely fun thing to drive in the right circumstances, while also remaining a usable machine both around the town and on the motorway. A high price might scare some off, but play it sensible with the options list and the seven-seater is a compelling option.

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