Published on February 11th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer released
Oh BMW, where on earth do you find these ideas for new models? When news of this 2 Series ‘GT’ popped up, there were hopes for a Gran Turismo model- which to the uninitiated is BMW’s version of a liftback. But no, in this case GT stands for Gran Tourer- an expansion on the 2 Series Active Tourer model line. The Active Tourer in itself was the subject of controversy, with numerous BMW enthusiasts banging their fists on the table and demanding to know why it was developed as a front wheel drive car.
When you consider the fact that it takes about 4 to 5 years for a model to go from conception to testing to full production (unless you’re Honda, who can pull off a 2 year development timeframe), it makes you wonder how BMW figured out that this market segment would begin to rapidly expand. Of course BMW enjoys using their own terms to describe their vehicles- Sport Activity Vehicle comes to mind, as they are vehemently opposed to use of the term SUV for their models, but in more conventional terms the 2 Series Gran Tourer is essentially a 7-seater luxury MPV. It is still baffling that BMW is using the “2 Series” name line for these MPV and large-hatchback models, considering that the “2 Series” is inherently sportier than the “1 Series”- but I digress.
How does BMW manage to cram 7 seats into this diminutive hatchback? The third row of seats at the rear are flat folding into the floor, meaning you can choose between hauling people or hauling luggage- but this is something that even cars like the Avanza and Grand Livina struggle with. In terms of dimensions, the Gran Tourer is a little bit longer than the Active Tourer- a slightly increase in the rear overhang. Styling remains largely the same between the two models, with that contemporary BMW face grafted onto a hatchback body. Perhaps not the sleekest looking thing on the market, but definitely a BMW.
You can have any engine you want, as long as it’s turbocharged. Yes, the 2 Series Gran Tourer comes with a choice of 5 different engines. but no, don’t expect most of them to make it here. Power outputs range between 116 hp to 192 hp- which is good flexibility and adequate for soccer mom duties. The jewel of the range is the 220d xDrive variant, which- as the name suggests- is a 2.0 litre diesel with all-wheel drive as standard. There are 4 different trim levels for the 2 Series Gran Tourer, starting with the Advantage model that provides more feature and functionality. Sport and Luxury lines are nothing new to our market, basically being either more aggressively styled or more “classic-luxury” respectively. And finally, there’s the M-Sport model which throws on aggressive aesthetics to make for a more aggressive… MPV.
Thanks to the new “myKIDIO” app (initially available in Germany only), long journeys can be fun even for younger passengers. The app makes its debut in the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and provides appropriate content for children and families – e.g. feature films, series, audio books and audio plays – on tablets such as the Apple iPad to keep rear passengers entertained. The driver or front passenger remains in complete control of the content being played: the app is easily operated via the iDrive Controller and Control Display as soon as the mobile device is connected to the car. At this point the “myKIDIO” app enables the control and release of age-appropriate content on the hooked-up tablets, turning long-distance drives into an enjoyable experience even for children. The Control Display shows what the children are watching on their tablet at any time, while the kids in the rear can also use the BMW Kids Cockpit to check out information relevant to the journey (e.g. time of arrival, speed and outside temperature) in a simple and fun way.
Is this going to sell well? Probably. BMW has a knack for figuring out what the market wants, even if consumers don’t know that they want it yet. With every uncanny move that BMW has made, they have managed to back these decisions up with strong sales figures- starting with cars like the X6. How it will do in our market remains to be seen as entry level BMWs are still a bit of a hit and miss for our consumers.