BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer MPV
"The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is for big families who think its rivals from Ford, Citroen and Volkswagen are too mainstream"
- Impressive boot space
- Flexible cabin
- Good to drive
- Middle-row seat is small
- M Sport suspension is too firm
The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is the larger of the two MPVs available from BMW. After its first venture into people-carrier territory with the 2 Series Active Tourer, BMW has now added bigger offering, offering a more practical and affordable family car than the likes of the 5 Series saloon or expensive SUVs such as the X3 and X5.
Both petrol and diesel engines are available and all are at least fairly fuel efficient. The Gran Tourer’s engines are borrowed from the MINI range, as are its front-wheel-drive layout and many mechanical parts. This package means the Gran Tourer competes directly with cars like the Ford S-MAX and Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer – albeit at a rather higher price.
To some extent, you get what you pay for, though. Fit and finish is excellent and the interior is beautifully trimmed and constructed. The Gran Tourer looks the part, too. It's too tall and bulky to be elegant, but its prominent BMW hallmarks give it plenty of visual appeal, with a 2018 update lending it a sharper, cleaner look, as well as a smart new touchscreen for the infotainment system. The update also introduced a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox across the Gran Tourer range.
Our favourite diesel is the 218d, a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that's well suited to the Gran Tourer. While the 1.5-litre 218i petrol provides more power and speed, the diesels are still smooth and quiet – and more fuel-efficient to boot. Plus, the Gran Tourer's appetite for luggage, groceries and passengers means a gutsy diesel feels right at home. There are more powerful 220i petrol and 220d diesel options, too, but we don't reckon their extra power is worth their higher purchase and running costs.
Four trim levels are available – SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport – and while the full-fat M Sport looks attractive, the entry-level SE should have enough kit to satisfy most buyers’ needs, as well as helping to justify the Gran Tourer’s higher price compared to rivals . BMW’s handling expertise has been seamlessly blended into the car too, so despite its lofty dimensions, it feels precise and entertaining on the road.
All in all, the 2 Series Gran Tourer is a solid and capable car for anyone who thinks the likes of the Volkswagen Touran, Ford C-MAX and Citroen Grand Picasso are a little too mainstream. Its price may be on the high side, many will feel that its badge appeal and premium finish is ample compensation.