BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer The is the car growing families looking for a premium badge have been waiting forFor:Well made, good to drive, flexible, spacious cabinSince the introduction of the 2 Series Gran Tourer, BMW really can claim to offer a car for every occasion.
Not happy with the five seat Active Tourer, BMW introduced the seven seat Gran Tourer at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, with sales starting just a few months later.Until now, badge snobs with more than three kids had little option but to get a hulking SUV or van based people mover. Or suck it up and move downmarket.Aimed at people who think a Ford Grand C MAX, Citroen Grand C4 Picasso or even a Volkswagen Touran is too mainstream, the 2 GT promises to be a car they not only need but one they actively desire.However, in order to make a seven seater compact, you first need a front wheel drive platform and only recently has BMW been brave enough to break with its rear drive traditions. By using the new MINI hatchback architecture, BMW is able to introduce a new range of compact cars giving it access to previously untapped segments.The 2 Series Gran Tourer is unashamedly aimed at families, which BMW says will make up 60 per cent of its customer base. A further 20 per cent will go to elderly buyers thanks to its more upright driving position and easily accessible front seats, with the final fifth going to fleet buyers wanting more space and an upmarket image.Four trims, SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport will comprise the range, with the majority specced in popular Sport and M Sport guises.Up front, the seating position is noticeably driver focused and surprisingly low for an MPV, which is a shame as a high vantage point is one of the few things people actually like about driving people carriers. Still the class leading dynamics make up for this, and you do sit higher than you would in a 1 Series hatchback or 2 Series Coupe.You get the coach outlet atlanta kids sense the oily bits underneath the skin are hewn from slightly sturdier stuff than in lesser rivals and that more time and money has been spent developing the car at the test track. And these sensations will help buyers post rationalise their more expensive purchase as they trundle along at 20mph on the school run.Still, they can appreciate the comfort at all speeds. The cabin is well insulated from outside noise and the suspension deals with bumps in that firm but fair, BMW way. Beware of M Sport trim though as combined with the larger wheels, the upgraded lowered and stiffened sports suspension does start to feel a little too harsh on rougher roads for a people mover even when fitted with the optional adaptive dampers.Power for the 2 GT comes from the same range of news engine which debuted in the latest MINI. There's the 134bhp 1.5 litre three cylinder turbo petrol from the Cooper and sporty 2.0 litre turbo four cylinder from the Cooper S which boasts 189bhp. These return up to 53.3mpg and 44.8mpg and cost from 24,710 and 28,025 respectively.We drove the latter, and while its 0 62mph in 7.8 seconds capability makes for fun progress, such an engine seems like overkill in a car which is primarily designed for ferrying families.The same can be said for the equally fast, 187bhp 2.0 litre diesel in the coach outlet locations benign 20d we drove. It's only available with an automatic gearbox and all wheel drive which most people won't need and costs from a whopping 32,540. This puts the BMW 2 GT in the same ballpark as the even more desirable, capable and practical Land Rover Discovery Sport.We also tried the manual only 216d. It's rated to 68.9mpg and 108g/km of CO2, which felt surprisingly capable, despite its meagre 114bhp 1.5 litre diesel engine. For 26,790 the 148bhp 2.0 litre 218d, which promises 64.2mpg, 115g/km and 0 62mph in 9.5 seconds, should offer the best blend of performance, economy and price. Plus you can get it with BMW's excellent 8 speed auto gearbox if you like.Of course there's a whole load of other options such as BMW's Connected Drive, which includes an internet connection and concierge service which you can call for help finding and even booking restaurants. Though playing fast and lose with the options will soon see the actual purchase price of the 2 GT rocketing.Despite being its most family friendly car, BMW has tried to make the 2 coach outlet purses zombie Series Gran Tourer look as sporting as possible albeit with limited success. Its slightly raked profile is less bland than the van like Volkswagen Touran but there's only so much you can do with a car which can seat seven.Better to take Citroen's 'if you can't hide it flaunt it' approach which works so well with the futuristic looking Grand C4 Picasso. Still the trademark BMW grille and familiar tail lamp design leaves onlookers in no doubt the 2 GT is a premium model.This theme continues inside. The well made cabin oozes with BMW's familiar avant garde luxury. There is a selection of different trims to chose from, but most people will find the entry level SE more than adequate.The Gran Tourer improves markedly once you're behind the wheel. You get a hi res sat nav screen as standard, while build quality is first rate and the layout is easy to get along with once you're used to BMW's minimalist button labelling. The steering wheel feels chunky and sporty in your hands, and the iDrive controller makes it easy to navigate through the assorted functions on the dashtop screen.Elsewhere, all models get an electrically operated tailgate, and there are buttons in the boot to fold the back seats. The mechanisms themselves feel robust, but the two seatback trays seem a coach outlet tote bags little flimsy. Each one is mounted in a grooved spine in the middle of the front seatback, and they're easily moved from left to right, although the runners feel like they could easily break if they're pushed or pulled too far.The Gran Tourer has an extra 12cm between the wheels and a further 9cm in the boot over the 2 Series Active Tourer. The extra length has freed up room for a third row of two small chairs which can be folded out of the boot floor at the pull of a slightly fiddly lever.Large rear doors and a middle row of seats with a quick tilt and slide function, aid access to the very back. And once in there is easily enough room for smaller children. In fact, by sliding the middle row forward and reclining the seat backs slightly, we found it possible to configure the car so that you can carry seven average sized adults in relative comfort for shorter journeys at least.It helps that BMW has raised the middle row of seats up slightly over the Active Tourer so those in the very back can just about slide their feet under the chairs in front. Because of this, the Gran Tourer's roof is raised by 5cm to ensure that even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted there's still enough headroom.Shoulder room in the middle row is adequate too so three can sit abreast.
However, unlike with a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, the chairs aren't all the same size. Instead there's a 40:20:40 split with a narrower centre seat, so it's best to sit the smallest person in here for longer journeys. That said, three ISOFIX child seats mounts are standard on all models.
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