Front-drive BMW priced from $44,400

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer pricing Australia

BMW’s first front-wheel-drive model – the 2 Series Active Tourer – will be priced from $44,400 plus ORCs.

The price tag represents a $1900 premium over the smaller 1 Series hatchback with the same engine and less equipment.

The BMW 2AT is also $3500 more expensive than the entry-level version of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, the car against which it most obviously competes.

But whereas the 1 Series uses a traditional rear-wheel-drive layout, the 2 Series Active Tourer is the first BMW to break that mould, following the lead set by the likes of the B-Class and driving the front wheels.

It uses a stretched version of the UKL platform developed for the latest Mini hatch, along with a unique-to-BMW multi-link rear suspension.

At 4342mm long, the 2AT is just 18mm longer than the 1 Series hatchback that remains true to BMW’s rear-drive tradition.

While BMW is boasting of a short 848mm front overhang for the 2AT, it’s still 83mm – or 11 percent – more than the 1 Series. Crucially, the overhang is closer to front-drive rivals such as Audi, which BMW has long derided for having an inferior drivetrain layout.

But it is interior space and functionality where the Active Tourer makes up big points. Rear headroom is more than accommodating for tall adults, while leg room is akin to some mid-size cars.

The rear seats also slide to trade-off between luggage space and legroom, while there’s a 40/20/40 split-fold function.

BMW has also thrown plenty of gear at the Active Tourer, including a reversing camera, electric tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth, climate control air-conditioning and a trio of electronic driver aids – lane-departure warning, forward collision warning and “light city brake”, which is designed to autonomously brake moderately (but not at full emergency levels) in traffic.

There are also six airbags (dual front, front-side and side curtain).

Arriving in November, the 2 Series Active Tourer will initially be offered with three engine options.

The 218i AT kicks the range off at $44,400 and brings a 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine while the 218d AT is $47,800 and gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel.

The flagship is the 225i AT, which costs $54,900 and gets more equipment, including LED headlights, adjustable dampers, leather trim and 18-inch wheels.

Towards the middle of 2015 there will also be a 220i, with a more powerful version of the 1.5-litre three-cylinder.

Model: 218i Active Tourer
Engine: 1499cc 3-cylinder turbo
Max power: 100kW @ 4500-6000rpm
Max torque: 220Nm at 1250-4300rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto
Kerb weight: 1320kg
0-100km/h: 9.3sec (manual), 9.6sec (auto) (claimed)
Price: From $44,400
On sale: November 2014

Model: 218d Active Tourer
Engine: 1995cc 4-cylinder turbo diesel
Max power: 110kW @ 4000rpm
Max torque: 330Nm at 1750-2250rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 8-speed auto
Kerb weight: 1375kg
0-100km/h: 9.9sec (manual and auto) (claimed)
Price: From $47,800
On sale: November 2014

Model: 225i Active Tourer
Engine: 1998cc 4-cylinder turbo
Max power: 170kW @ 4750-6000rpm
Max torque: 350Nm @ 1250rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Kerb weight: 1430kg
0-100km/h: 6.8sec (claimed)
Price: $54,900
On sale: November 2014

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