On sale: March 2018 Price from: £25,840
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (and its seven-seat Gran Tourer sibling) seem well placed in the MPV market. Rivals are few, in fact, with the only obvious alternatives being the Mercedes B-Class and Volkswagen Touran. The Active Tourer has been well received since its launch in 2014, too, and we like its spacious interior and comfortable ride. These facelifted versions, then, intend to continue that success.
2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer features
Styling updates for the Active Tourer are light, and focus around new front and rear bumpers, a larger grille, new air intakes and new LED foglights. Halogen lights come as standard on both the Active Tourer and the Gran Tourer, with LED bulbs featuring on the options list – as do adaptive lights that can adapt to changing conditions.
There's also a wider selection of paint than before, with buyers able to choose from 13 colours, plus a number of new alloy wheel designs and new ways to personalise your car.
2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer interior
As standard, every Active or Gran Tourer model comes with a 6.5in screen running the latest version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system. This is one of the best sat-nav set-ups around right now, and it's both graphically impressive and easy to use. The screen can also be upgraded in size to 8.8in, and can incorporate connected services including real-time traffic information, wireless charging for your mobile phone and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.
New options include adaptive cruise control, which can accelerate and brake the car from a standstill up to speeds of 87mph, as well as lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking systems.
2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer engines
The 2 Series' current engine range is carried over, albeit with minor improvements for fuel economy and peformance. The petrol range consists of the 218i with 138bhp and the 189bhp 220i, while the diesel options start with the 114bhp 216d, below the more powerful 218d and 220d options.
In the Gran Tourer, there's also the option of four-wheel drive on the 220d xDrive model, while the Active Tourer is available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that allows for up to 28 miles of electric driving.
In both the Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, we currently recommend the 218d diesel option for its low-end pulling power.
2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer price
Prices for the 2 Series Active Tourer start from £24,905, which represents a minor increase over today's car. The cheapest diesel, the 216d, will cost you £25,840 while our recommended 218d models are priced from £27,015. The rival B-Class or Touran will still command less, though.
The Gran Tourer will cost you £27,705 in 216d form, rising to £34,820 for the 220d with xDrive four-wheel drive.
Fancy a used MPV? These people carriers will all cost you less than £5000.
Best used MPVs for less than £5000
10. Renault Espace
Fancy a big seven-seater that doesn’t look like a van with windows? If so, the Renault Espace has to be worth a look. Its angular styling means it stands out from the crowd, and inside it’s just as adventurous, with an upholstered dashboard and swivelling front seats. However, that means there’s loads of storage space, and the Espace’s comfortable ride and impressive safety rating only add to its appeal.
We found: 2007 2.0dCi Tech Run, 72,000 miles, full service history, £3495
The Seat Alhambra manages to be both decent to drive and smooth-riding too; it also feels upmarket and well-built inside. That’s thanks in large part to the fact it’s essentially a Volkswagen Sharan under the skin and, as it’s cheaper to buy, that makes the Alhambra a better bet than the VW. True, there isn’t as much luggage space on offer as you’ll find in some rivals – but if you can live with that, the Alhambra makes for a classy, comfortable and easy-to-drive MPV.
8. Mazda 5
Its firm suspension means it isn’t the most comfortable MPV around, but the payoff is that the Mazda 5 is surprisingly sporty to drive. And while the small middle seat in the second row means it isn’t as spacious as other seven-seaters, it can be folded away to allow access to the rear-most seats without needing to fold those in the second row away. Sliding rear doors are a real plus point too – so as long as you don’t need all seven seats, all the time, the 5 is both enjoyable to drive and practical to live with.
We found: 2010 1.8 TS2, 36,000 miles, £4750
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