First front-drive vehicle ever to wear a BMW badge, the 2016 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer makes its debut at the Geneva Auto Show before hitting showroom in Europe this fall. Expected to be a 2016 model when it finally arrives here sometime next year, this premium compact 5-passenger multi-purpose wagon shares much of its platform architecture and powertrain hardware with the new-gen 2014 Mini Hardtop but has completely unique exterior/interior styling infused with traditional BMW flair. 

Roughly the size of a Ford C-Max, the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer initially will be offered with the choice of three engines in Europe, all fuel-efficient motivators employing the latest BMW technology and bolstered by TwinPower Turbo force-feeding assist. The 218i model is fitted with a 1.5-liter/3-cylinder gasoline engine that makes 134 horsepower while the 2.0-liter/4-cylinder in the 225i develops 228 ponies and the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four in the 218d cranks out 148 horses.

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Regardless of engine, all 2 Series Active Tourers feature other mileage-maxing BMW EfficientDynamics technology elements, including Auto Start Stop functionality, Brake Energy Regeneration, an Optimum Gearshift Indicator light and on-demand operation of various ancillary systems. In addition to 6-speed manual transmissions, 3-cylinder 2 Series Active Tourers will offer a 6-speed automatic while 4-cylinder models can be had with an optional 8-speed autoshifter. Shortly after launch, BMW also will add xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system to the options roster. 

Like the new Mini Hardtop, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has a core structure that makes extensive use of high- and ultra-high-strength steel. Anchored to this super-rigid foundation, the suspension has been tuned to deliver an excellent balance of compliance and controlled sportiness while electromechanical power steering reportedly banishes all hint of torque steer. Admittedly far from adventurous, the Active Tourer's clean exterior styling mixes classic BMW signature cues with contemporary aerodynamic touches like front air curtains. Buyers seeking a bit more profile than the Sport or Luxury trim grades deliver can opt for an M Sport Package that brings unique body bits, an M Sport suspension and 17-inch or 18-inch M light-alloy wheels as well as more deeply contoured and uniquely trimmed front seats.  

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While its overall driver-focused/passenger-friendly cabin design shares a good deal of basic character with the rear-drive 2 Series Coupe line, the new Active Tourer features its own unique take on BMW chic along with providing far greater overall versatility. In addition to fore/aft adjustability, the 40/20/40 split rear seat can be flat-folded which will increase maximum cargo space from 16.5 to 53.3 cu ft, including hidden under-floor stow space. A large rear hatch facilitates loading while the optional Smart Opener permits hands-free access by flicking your foot beneath the rear bumper. 

The new 2 Series Active Tourer will come with or offer all of the current 

BMW ConnectedDrive navigation/infotainment elements including Conceirge Service and ConnectedDrive Services & Apps. Along with the latest-generation iDrive Touch Controller and a bounty of safety-centered driver-assist features, it, too can be had with a new Head-Up Display. We expect to hear more U.S.-specific details on the 2016 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in the coming months. 

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BMW is adding a new 740Ld turbodiesel to its flagship sedan line for 2014


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