Reporting to you live from a special media preview of the BMW World Malaysia 2015 event, BMW Group Malaysia has just launched the much-anticipated, all-new 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
The five-seater, compact, multi-purpose vehicle is BMW’s first foray into the segment, and the brand’s first-ever front-wheel drive model – yes, these are times for big changes.
If you’re wondering, yes, this is here to directly contest with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, and appropriately, the Active Tourer is priced nearly identically to the B-Class, which itself retails from RM218,888 (without insurance).
Despite the 218i nameplate which may suggest a larger 1.6 or 2.0-litre four pot, powering the Active Tourer MPV is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder BMW TwinPower turbo engine which delivers 136hp @ 4,400rpm and 220Nm of torque between 1,250 to 4,300rpm. While tuned uniquely here, the all-new BMW engine in the Active Tourer shares much of its components with the BMW i8 sports car (where it delivers 231hp, before the electric motors boost total output to 362hp), and several MINI and BMW variants.
*Check out our review of the 2 Series Active Tourer in Austria
The transmission is a new six-speed torque converter automatic, sourced from Aisin – a step away from the regular eight-speed ZF transmissions common to most BMWs in this part of the world.
The reason for the swap largely stems for the Active Tourer being a FWD model, and with that, a transverse mounted engine, as opposed to the longitudinal layout of their RWD models. The transmission is similar to what we have in the F56 MINI.
As usual, the transmission and throttle mapping can be set to various driving modes, depending on your preferences: ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ is what you’ll be able to choose from. Auto engine start/stop technology is included as well.
Before we get started, mind the fact that the model you see here is in fact a manual variant of the car, which yes, you can buy: we understand that there’s a very small amount of units available, so you best get to booking one if you must have it. Beyond this, only the automatic variant will be available.
The silhouette of the Active Tourer largely resembles another familiar premium German brand’s compact MPV, with a high roofline, wide body, compact wheelbase, dimensions aren’t at all too far off. Regardless, it still looks like a BMW through and through, with iconic and signature traits of the car visible throughout.
And understanding that the Active Tourer rides on a similar platform to the F56 MINI, the wheelbase is in fact longer by 175mm. Total measurements for the car are 4,342mm overall length, 1,800mm overall width and 1,555mm height.
Standard features to the car include 16-inch alloy Turbine style wheels, LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights and rear LED taillights.
LUXURY LINE: Deciding on coughing up the extra RM30,000 for the Luxury Line package, and the list of exterior upgrades include 18-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels, further chrome embellishments around the kidney grille, front air inlets, rear apron and exhaust tailpipe.
Again, a lot of influence comes courtesy of whether or not you opt for the Luxury Line. As standard, the highlights include Sensatec upholstery (vinyl) and high-gloss black interior trim finishers, with highlights in Pearl Chrome.
The cabin itself is as mentioned, a five-seater arrangement, with all styling cues largely resembling what’s already been in previous BMW models. Once inside, drivers will take note of the higher seating position, distanced front windshield and more cues unique to an MPV.
BMW has done extremely well to package the interior of the vehicle, offering lots of storage compartments, generous head and legroom (for a compact vehicle), flexibility of the space within and so much more.
CARGO & SPACE: Made for people/ cargo carrying, there is a lot of potential within the cabin. The rear seats for example, don’t only fold flat, they slide forwards and backwards to offer either more rear legroom, or more boot space. On its own, the boot offers 468 litres of space, but with the 40:20:40 split folding seats completely folded, there’s 1,510 litres of useable cargo room. Under the cargo floor, there’s another 100 litres of room, but the trade-off is the lack of a spare wheel.
And if for some impossible reason all that space isn’t enough, the front passenger seat can be folded completely flush with the rear to make room for a full on surfboard, if necessary.
FEATURES: BMW Group Malaysia have been generous to specify lots of comfort equipment for its Active Tourer. While we miss out on the full-on 8.8-inch version, Malaysians will benefit from a 6.5-inch control display screen, controllable via a simpler iDrive Controller – no Touch control either.
Infotainment is courtesy of a Radio BMW Professional system, which features a host of BMW Apps and TeleServices, and Bluetooth, USB and AUX-IN connectivity – classis BMW goodies. Sadly, there isn’t a head-up display system as there was on our test drive of the car in Austria.
LUXURY LINE: The optional line brings with it full Leather Dakota upholstery with perforations in the seats, fine-wood trim, contrast stitching in the dashboard and more. Equally updated is the entertainment system, which is an upgraded HiFi 205W loudspeaker system, with seven speakers instead of the standard six. The iDrive controller is also upgraded to include more direct select buttons.
The Luxury Line also adds an automatic operation of the tailgate, allowing you to open and close the tailgate at the touch of a button, and a keyless entry feature.
Not once to slouch where safety is concerned, the all-new 2 Series Active Tourer comes standard with the usual six airbags, ABS, Automatic Stability Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Brake Control, and ISOFIX attachments at the rear. Run-flat tyres are specified as standard.
Also standard to the Active Tourer is a Park Distance Control feature only for the rear of the vehicle, where there’s also a rear-view camera.
LUXURY LINE: Specifying the optional RM30,000 package adds a front Park Distance Control feature, with Park Assistant.
Included in the price is BMW Group Malaysia’s Service + Repair Inclusive package, which entitles buyers to a three-year or 60,000km (whichever comes first) that allows you to “forget about the cost of maintaining, servicing or repairing any wear-and-tear items during the time period. This includes free brake bads, free oil changes, free brake discs, free filters, free drive belts and free scheduled inspections.