This is an experience possible when driving the BMW 225i Active Tourer, the range-topping variant of the German car maker’s first ever front-wheel-drive vehicle. There’s a simple answer if you’re wondering why BMW may have sacrificed decades of rear-drive DNA to create this 2 Series range: the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
Benz’s pint-sized MPV has hitherto been virtually unchallenged in offering a model that appeals principally to older buyers who appreciate the higher step-in point and elevated view once inside. So that’s where the Active Tourer comes in.
Key features over the 218i and 218d include adjustable suspension, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, paddleshift levers, seats made of real rather than fake leather, and a Visibility Package mixing in more interior lighting and side mirrors with auto-dimming and auto-dipping functionality.
The Active Tourer is just over 4.3 metres long – not much longer than a Toyota Corolla – yet it presents an invitingly spacious cabin.
Leg and foot space are generous in the rear seat, as is headroom even if the optional panoramic glass sunroof is fitted.
The availability of four-wheel-drive variants overseas means a transmission tunnel comes at the expense of a flat floor, though, and a narrow middle seat means this is realistically a car for four adults and no more.
The seatback angles can be adjusted via pull-straps, and Isofix hook points that are clearly visible when plastic cap covers are pulled down make it easier to line up the matching child seats compared with those often hidden between cushions.
Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2015