BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer 220d xDrive M Sport

July 2015

picture of car from the front

Seven-seat 2 Series Gran Tourer apes its five-seat cousin from the from


Overall Rating 8Overall rating

Value for money Rating 8Value for money

Space and Practicality Rating 8Costs

Space and Practicality Rating 9Space and practicality

Controls and display Rating 8Controls and display

Comfort Rating 8Comfort

Security Rating 7Car security

Safety Rating 7Car safety


  • Premium cabin is light and airy
  • Flat load area is practical and family-friendly
  • Lofty driving position helps forward visibility
  • Seven-seat functionality is useable


  • Keen drivers will be disappointed
  • Can look a little awkward from some angles
  • Performance dependent on picking the right engine and gearbox combination
  • Still plenty of potential to spend a lot of money on cost options

First it was a five-seat people carrier wearing the BMW badge, now the German firm has expanded its 'Tourer' range with another lifestyle-centric model, the seven-seat Gran Tourer. It follows the same format as its Active Tourer cousin, which means primarily front-wheel drive plus a cabin layout familiar to 1 and 2 Series owners.

With the arrival of the 2 Series Gran Tourer, BMW has entered the seven-seat compact people carrier market. This might not be as glamorous as producing sports coupes and hybrid sportscars, but the premium lifestyle market is a big one that no manufacturer can ignore.

Styled in a similar vein as the five-seat Active Tourer, the Gran Tourer predictably differs once you're aft of the B pillar. From here the car has been stretched slightly to accommodate the third row of seats. It's not the most elegant of BMW models in profile, but there's no arguing with the amount of space or the car's added versatility.

Realistically the car's rearmost seats are best suited for children, but when not in use they can be conveniently folded into the boot floor. This instantly liberates a conservable amount of extra load space, and it could be argued that purchasing the Gran Tourer purely for its bigger boot isn't a bad idea.

The end result is a car boasting many of the attributes you'll find in a mainstream compact people carrier - lofty riving position, flexible seating layout - but with the addition of a premium badge alongside the extra seats and space.

Our verdict on the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer 220d xDrive M Sport

The market for seven-seat compact people carriers might be modest but BMW's effort delivers a good balance of premium cabin ambience, decent road manners, familiar BMW features and the all-important third row pair of seat. Purists might not approve but it's a good effort for relatively sensible money.

Costs rating 8

With BMW focussing on low fuel consumption and emissions, there's every reason to believe the Gran Tourer won't break the bank. Furthermore, unusually high levels of standard kit and a competitive pricing structure should help convince buyers this is a BMW that can be viewed as an affordable choice.

Space and practicality
Space and Practicality Rating 9

The Gran Tourer offers a high level of flexibility if you want to mix occupants and clobber on a road trip. The car's powered tailgate is a welcome bonus, while the option of a front passenger seat that folds forward can extend the already generous load capacity. There's no question that the third row is aimed mostly at children, while folding the seats into the boot liberates a useful amount of boot space. Cabin oddment space is also good, making it ideal for a demanding family.

picture of car from the rear

Hatchback rear opens to reveal seven-seat layout or versatile expanded load bay

Controls and display
Controls and Display Rating 8

Everything you see and touch exudes BMW's usual high standards. The intuitive controls and clear displays trump many of the car's rivals. The main colour screen offers easy access to the car's various functions, although you'll have to dig deep for the, admittedly good, premium sat-nav option and upgraded audio features. Likewise for the head-up display, although this isn't as slick as BMW's previous efforts.

Comfort Rating 8

Supportive seats throughout the cabin plus a light and airy ambience are a welcome plus, although front sport seats can be a little firm. Low noise levels and a mature ride ensure that passengers are rarely inconvenienced. Resisting the urge to specify large wheels should help boost this experience, although this is hard if the M Sport trim level is selected.

Car security
Security Rating 7

With all the usual bases covered - remote locking, keyless ignition, anti-theft measures - the Gran Tourer is as well protected as possible. The car also includes a sturdy rear load cover to keep your possessions out of sight.

Car safety
Safety Rating 7

There's more than enough safety kit here to please the most protective of parents. The cabin is full of airbags and the car's electronic stability and traction systems should prove sufficient. BMW also offers a pedestrian detection and auto brake package that should prove helpful in busy urban environments.

Driver appeal
Driver Appeal Rating 7

Most drivers won't detect the switch to front-wheel drive as it's only obvious when the car is pushed hard. What's more relevant is the car's polished and composed ride - helped further if you refrain from selecting large wheels - and a pleasingly slick manual gearchange if you pass on the eight-speed auto version. Diesel is the plum choice for effortless overtaking and cruising, while xDrive all-wheel drive adds all-weather versatility.

picture of car interior

Familiar BMW cabin layout works well

Family car appeal
Family Appeal Rating 9

This is where the Gran Tourer excels - even trumping is Active Tourer cousin - as the car's cabin is spacious enough to accommodate a growing family, while the boot is big enough to swallow most things without complaint once the third row of seats are folded flat. The upmarket cabin trim does suit a brace of teenagers more than the sticky fingers of a gaggle of pre-schoolers if you opt for leather upholstery, though.

First car appeal
First car Rating 5

Although a good car, the Gran Tourer is unlikely to appeal to the first timer as its quite big if you don't need the extra space. A 1 Series or even a Mini would be a better choice if wishing to stay loyal to the BMW family.

Quality and image
Quality and Image Rating 6

BMW enjoys a largely positive reputation, although this mainly stems from producing cars for keen drivers. The Gran Tourer is, unashamedly, not a car for the track but for families and it will be interesting to see how it's received long term.

Accessibility Rating

Conventional, not sliding, doors fit the bill here, with access to the car's rear cabin reasonable if not overly generous. That said, once inside cabin space is good and folding the second row makes it easy to reach the third row of seats assuming you're of average size. Predictably, front seat occupants fare best overall. At the rear, power for the tailgate is a welcome inclusion at this price point. It opens to reveal a good-size and flexible load area once the third row seats have ben folded away.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

BMW fans will be familiar with the Gran Tourer's entertainment offering. Similar to the 1 and 2 Series models and identical to the Active Tourer's, you get digital radio plus Bluetooth and USB connectivity accessible via an intuitive interface and clear display. The included sat-nav is impressive but the optional high-end choice isn't cheap.

picture of car in detail

With third-row seats folded into the boot, load space is especially generous

Colours and trim

The Gran Tourer offers a good range of traditional and Ikea-esque contemporary interior trim, be it gloss, matte natural or man made materials. The overall effect is a positive one. On the outside, the car looks best in subdued colours, befitting its premium car family roots and flattering its shape.


Thanks to the car's lofty driving position forward visibility is good. The car's light steering at low speeds also helps, while the car's dimensions shouldn't prove an issue in crowded urban streets. Where fitted, the reversing camera combines with the rear parking sensors to remove the guesswork of reverse parking. Likewise with the optional auto park feature.

Spare wheel

Run flat tyres fitted as standard.


Range information

Petrol engine options - 218i (136bhp); 220i (192bhp). Diesel engine options - 216d (116bhp); 218d (150bhp); 220d (190bhp). Transmission options: six-speed manual gearbox plus eight-speed auto gearbox. Trim levels: SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport.


Alternative cars

Ford S-Max Dynamic benchmark for many and a good, affordable all-rounder

Volkswagen Touran Not the most visually or dynamically exciting VW but a solid performer

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Comparable image to the BMW but can't match it for kit, space and running costs

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Mainstream alternative is a good all-rounder but lacks the BMW's premium image

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July 2015