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Clever BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer fit for family life

PUBLISHED: 09:06 07 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:06 07 August 2015

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

2015 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Gary Hawkins

BMW’s first seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle opens up loads more appeal for growing families, says Matt Kimberley.

What’s new?

You’re looking at BMW’s first seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle, built on the same architecture as the 2 Series Active Tourer but with 11cm slotted into the wheelbase and a longer boot.

Looks and image

BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

Price: BMW 218i Luxury Gran Tourer, £26,710 (range £24,710 to £34,555)

Engine: 1.5-litre, 134bhp, three-cylinder turbo petrol

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 9.8 seconds; top speed 127mph

MPG: 53.3 combined

C02 emissions: 123g/km

There’s no getting away from the fact that the 2 Series Gran Tourer is a bit awkward in shape and size but it’s all for a purpose, or purposes – the many-faceted principle of practicality. It’s a BMW aimed at people who want a family car to work for them, every day.

Space and practicality

There’s a sliding middle row of seats to allow three rows of adults to get comfortable enough if needed, door pockets sculpted in various ways to hold large bottles and a huge, flexible boot with near-flat folding seats, including the front passenger one, for a potential load length of well over two metres.

Around the boot you’ll find a dedicated slot for the luggage cover, hooks for shopping bags and a handy button to close the automatic tailgate. And there’s cupboard space beneath the two front seats and removable tray tables for row two passengers.

A BMW demo showed that, with the third seat row folded, you can even fit a washing machine – in its box – in the boot behind the middle bench. Handy.

Behind the wheel

Some people will tell you that the Gran Tourer feels no different to drive than any compact MPV, but they’d only be right up to a point. The BMW is very stable and handles neatly via direct steering. If you drive it hard through some corners, it behaves like a hatchback, and a good one at that. True, no one will drive it like that but the fact is that in a desperate swerve to avoid a collision, the Gran Tourer is more capable than you’d expect. Watch out at roundabouts because the thick A-pillar assembly blocks the natural view.

Value for money

If budget is the key concern you won’t buy this car. It’s built to retain business among BMW owners whose needs outgrow the 1 Series, 3 Series or even the five-seater 2 Series Active Tourer. For the amount of usefulness it crams so cleverly into its compact shell, along with the sheer spectrum of kit on high-spec models, it’s not too bad value.

Who would buy one?

The fact you can get four child seats in is impressive enough for parents, and there are options for cleverly-integrated folding tow bars and bike racks that tilt to allow the boot to open without removing bikes. It’s clearly a family car, either for parents at the head of growing families or for grandparents keen to carry all their grandchildren at once.

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