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Review: BMW Releases Not One, But TWO Dynamic Family Cars

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer complete the Bavarian fleet with their great-behind-the-wheel dynamics and family-friendly practicalities.

We are in constant pursuit of the finer things in life and since time immemorial, cars have been the objects of mankind’s hedonistic ideals. They are functional objects that are often beautiful and timeless, a combination of art and engineering. In the luxury space, BMW has been at the top of its game with bangers like the eternal M3 and the monstrous X6 M.

But while the circular blue and white roundel has established itself as a mark of sportiness, quality and prestige, it lacked a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) version of a compact family car that other manufacturers were cashing out on.

That gaping hole in the segment has been aching to be filled and BMW has now answered.

The 2 Series Active Tourer isn’t just BMW’s first front-wheel drive model (BMW engineered the Minis and the Rover 75, but they aren’t full-fledged BMWs) but also its first MPV. Its stretched and more spacious sibling, the Gran Tourer, is the marque’s first seven-seat people carrier.

At the same time, with no direct competition from the likes of Audi or Mercedes-Benz, this family-friendly duo offers something new to the table, a more prestigious alternative to cars like the Citroen C4 Picasso and the Mazda5.

Contrary to their soft-pedal looks, these city slickers are actually the most dynamic family boxes that money can buy. When driven hard, their BMW underpinnings are evident. At times, you even feel like you’re behind the wheel of a plus-sized hot hatch. They may not be the most practical of family compacts, but in our book, they could very well be the most desirable.

If the five seats in the Active Tourer just aren’t enough for your family, the three rows of seats and a sizeable boot in the Gran Tourer will do the trick. You also get good support from the seats in whichever Tourer you pick and an interior quality that’s expected from the brand.

Should BMW be venturing into the likes of people carriers? The 2 Series Active and Gran Tourer sure seem like a sign of good things to come. Such a departure from the typical Bavarian sporty image and rear-wheel driven roots is sure to trouble loyal followers, but will also open up doors to a great amount of car buyers who have never previously considered a BMW.

 

By Nigel Yong, sgCarMart, 16 Februrary 2016

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