There’s plenty of adjustment to the driving position, so it’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, and all models have a central armrest. The standard manual adjustment is a bit awkward to use, though, because you have to lift or drop your body-weight to alter the seat’s height.
Sports seats, which bring better lateral support, are optional on base SE trim; it’s worth paying the extra for them because they come with electric adjustment, including variable side support, and (manually) extendable thigh support. Adjustable lumbar support is an additional optional extra. Stepping up to Sport trim brings these improved front seats as standard.
BMW has kept the dashboard layout simple, with minimal yet clear buttons for the audio shortcuts, and easy-to-use rotary dials for the climate control. Most functions are controlled through BMW’s excellent iDrive system, which is navigated via the standard, high-set colour screen and large rotary controller, which makes for an intuitive interface. The Navigation Plus Pack is an expensive option available across the range, but does include a head-up display, which beams your speed, and a variety of other information that you can select, onto a glass panel directly in the driver’s line of sight.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer visibility
All-round visibility is good, thanks to the Active Tourer’s thin pillars and relatively low windowline, although you do get slightly better rear three-quarter visibility in the boxier Volkswagen Golf SV. Kids in the back may also find their view out a little more restricted than in some rivals, including the Citroen C4 Picasso and Volkswagen Golf SV. This is slightly better in the 225xe thanks to a rear bench that’s mounted 30mm higher because of the battery.
Rear parking sensors are standard across the range, and you can add front and rear parking sensors to any model, although it’s only available as part of the Comfort Pack. This pack is a fair price given that it also features park assist, which senses an appropriately sized parallel parking space and steers the car automatically into the bay. A reversing camera is also available, again only as part of a pack – this time the very expensive Technology Pack option, which includes adaptive LED headlights.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer infotainment
The 2 Series Active Tourer gets good infotainment kit levels, including a 6.5in colour screen, multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth audio streaming and handsfree function, CD player, USB-input and digital radio. Unusually, it also has sat-nav as standard on all trim levels – a pricey option on most rivals – so there really is no need to add extras, as this rotary-controlled system is the best in the class for usability, and is really well equipped. Even so, many buyers will opt to upgrade to Navigation Plus, which brings an 8.8in screen complete with traffic avoidance, online functionality with App support, a bigger colour screen in the driver’s binnacle and head-up display.
You can also add an enhanced Bluetooth function, which allows connection of multiple devices, improves reception in the car via the external aerial, and means the front passenger can also talk effectively via handsfree connection thanks to the addition of extra microphones.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer build quality
Interior quality is impressive; there are plenty of dense, soft-touch plastics in all the right places, the switchgear feels substantial and everything is solidly built. Even when you fold down the rear seats or prod around lower down in the footwells, the materials make this feel like an upmarket car, and noticeably better finished than any other MPV, including the VW Golf SV. That’s appropriate, given that BMW bills the 2 Series Active Tourer as the only premium family MPV.