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Seven-seat BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer revealed

BMW shows off its first seven-seat MPV in the form of the new 2 Series Gran Tourer, which goes on sale this June

Words ByTom Webster

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The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer will go on sale this summer and is the German company's first 7-seat MPV.

What is it?

The 2 Series Gran Tourer is the bigger version of the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV.

It is similar to the 2 Series Active Tourer in many ways, but has grown in size, been made more practical and will come with a third row of seats as standard in the UK.

It is 4556mm long and 1608mm tall, making it 214mm longer and 53mm taller than the Active Tourer, but it is exactly the same width as the five-seater version.

The majority of the added length is concentrated within the wheelbase, which has grown by 110mm to 2780mm.

Inside, the 2 Series Gran Tourer uses the same dashboard and fittings as the 2 Series Active Tourer - it is from the B-pillar backwards that things are different. The new MPV will come as standard with three rows of seats in the UK.

The boot capacity is 645 litres with the rear-most seats down, rising to 1905 litres when the second row of seats are folded away. These middle seats fold via an electronic button in the boot and split on a 40/20/40 basis. By comparison, the 2 Series Active Tourer offers 465 litres and 1510 litres.

As in its smaller sibling, the second row of seats slide back and forward; however this is something that is offered as standard in the Gran Tourer, while it is an option on the Active Tourer.

The extra length means there is room to move the seats to allow for more width in the cabin. This means that three universal child seats are legally able to sit next to each other in the middle row. BMW also claims that the rear seats are able to each take a child seat, too.

These rear seats are primarily designed for children, but there is sufficient headroom for two adults to sit back there on a shorter journey while there is foot room under the middle seats.

Which engines does it come with?

The new BMW will come with a choice oft turbocharged petrol and three diesel engines, which will be paired with either a standard six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed automatic gearbox. The petrol units include a 134bhp 1.5-litre in the 218i and a 189bhp 2.0-litre in the 220i.

The diesels are a 114bhp 1.5-litre 216d, a 148bhp 2.0-litre in the 218d and a 187bhp 2.0-litre in the four-wheel drive 220d xDrive, which is available in automatic guise only.

This 220d xDrive is the fastest of the engines for now, with a 0-62mph time of 7.6sec and a 135mph top speed. The 216d is the most efficient, with a claimed economy of 72.4mpg and average CO2 emissions of 104g/km.

BMW also plans to add more versions to the 2 Series Gran Tourer line-up shortly after its UK launch, with a 216i petrol and the front-wheel drive 220d set to arrive.

How much equipment does it come with?

There will be four trims to start off with in the UK - SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport.

The SE trim brings 16-inch alloy wheels, digital radio and Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, sliding and reclining middle-row seats, a electronically powered tailgate, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors and roof rails as standard.

Step up to Sport trim and it adds £1250 to the price, and brings 17-inch wheels, front sports seats, gloss black trim in the interior and upgraded cloth upholstery. Luxury trim adds £2000 to the price of an SE and gets another design of 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery and wood trim.

Range-topping M Sport brings 18-inch alloys, aluminium interior trim, M Sport suspension and run-flat tyres. This adds £3000 to the price of the SE model.

How much does it cost?

The 2 Series Gran Tourer starts at £24,175 for the 218i SE and goes up to to £33,885 for the 220d xDrive M Sport model, making it just over £2000 more expensive than the equivalent 2 Series Active Tourer. Full pricing is below:

218i SE - £24,175
218i Sport - £25,425
218i Luxury - £26,175
218i M Sport - £27,175
220i Sport - £27,490
220i Luxury - £28,240
220i M Sport - £29,240
216d SE - £25,110
216d Sport - £26,360
216d Luxury - £27,110
216d M Sport - £28,110
218d SE - £26,255
218d Sport - £27,505
218d Luxury - £28,255
218d M Sport - £29,255
220d xDrive Sport (Auto only) - £32,005
220d xDrive Luxury (Auto only) - £32,755
220d xDrive M Sport (Auto only) - £33,885

Can I get a discount?

There are Target Price discounts of around £1000 a model on the Active Tourer, so we would expect the Gran Tourer to enjoy similar discounts in time.

What are its rivals like?

BMW reckons the Gran Tourer is unparalleled in some ways, as it is the only premium manufacturer to offer a seven-seater in this price bracket - the only other seven-seater BMW offers is the X5.

As a result, the closest rivals are the likes of the VW Touran, Kia Carens and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.

Of these, the Grand C4 Picasso is our reigning MPV of the year, with a good blend of practicality and affordability. It might not have the BMW's premium feel, but it also undercuts it in terms of price, with the pick of the range, the 1.6-litre Exclusive, starting at £23,510.