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2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 220i Review: Pro Active

Derryn Wong
23/02/2022


Interior and Features : Lu-iX-ury lessons learnt

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - cabin wide shot
BMW 220i Active Tourer

The 2AT boasts quite a few firsts for a small/compact BMW (currently comprising of the 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe and 2 AT, X1, and X2) two of which are very noticeable inside: It’s the first small Beemer to receive OS 8, the latest infotainment software/system, and also the first to have a new cockpit layout with the BMW Widescreen and shift-by-wire ‘floating’ armrest console.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - BMW infotainment widescreen
BMW 220i Active Tourer

The BMW Widescreen was first seen on the iX, and is a pair of displays – in the 2AT’s case it’s a 10.25-inch driver’s instrument display and a 10.7-inch infotainment screen – combined under one pane of glass. While it’s not one big widescreen as the name suggests, it’s still a pretty execution of the very visible, digital expectations consumers have of the cockpit of a modern car.

The measurement of the latter also means it’s one of the larger in-car displays for the small car segment – small Mercs have dual 10.25-inch screens now. It is sharp, responsive, and easy to reach without ergonomic acrobatics.

That’s particularly important because the 2AT is also the first BMW in recent history to lack a now iconic thing: Unlike the iX, the 2AT is missing the iDrive controller, marking the first time BMW has gone the other way since the system debuted on the 7 Series way back in 2001. A real pity, since we’ve grown to love the tactile alternative to fiddly touchscreens. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - console volume control
Nice knurling on the dial – but hey dude where’s my iDrive controller?

We’re still getting dug in with BMW OS 8 and finding out where everything is, so while it looks very pretty with intricate animations and vivid colours, it’s not as familiar as OS7 and therefore harder to use, for now. Setting up the driver’s display to show different consumption figures was not straightforward, for instance.

But in all other areas, the 2AT is exemplary. It feels like a luxury car, and you certainly couldn’t say that about low-spec versions of the previous car, which had acres of black plastic. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - wireless charger, gearshifter, armrest
Lots of stowage space and utility for the 2AT – this is the M Sport trim

The floating console section looks elegant and gives more storage room, and is made possible by shift-by-wire – the gear selector is now a switch. BMW also adds very visible and tactile flourishes, such as the wood trim, the knurling on the air con vent and volume control. We expect all these to be on small BMWs to come, and that also means the German brand has something to counter the semi-literal flashiness of segment rivals from Mercedes.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - wood trim interior

Note that our test car packed the Luxury trim level, so it’s a higher-spec car – base models for Singapore might be less-well equipped. But as mentioned in our news story, BMW has raised the standard equipment level for the car, globally, with one example being the sport steering wheel. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - cockpit steering wheel M Sport
Singapore 2AT fans rejoice: M Sport steering wheel now standard on all 2 Series Active Tourers

Practicality and space : Space face

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - Review - Singapore - rear seats

The car’s wheelbase is the same as before, but it’s wider and taller, so it does feel more spacious inside, and headroom is good enough for people 1.8-metres tall, possibly more.

Legroom for the second row is plentiful, and the car has the same modular seating – 40/20/40 split bench, which can fold, move fore and aft, and be adjustable for backrest angle. The boot space is similar to before as well, at 415-litres to 1,405 litres, and with its height should easily swallow that COVID-induced bicycle purchase.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 220i Review - Singapore - boot space

One highlight of the rear is that it should be able to fit three adults in relative comfort. An aircon vent is present with two USB-C ports, and it also has a clever cutout so the centre passenger’s feet do not get fouled while exiting the car. There’s also the other benefit that only a significantly larger SUV can equal an MPV in space terms. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 220i Review - Singapore - rear passenger air con vent foot well

In a Singaporean context, the 2AT loses out a key feature: the third-row. There will be no seven-seat Gran Tourer model, and our news story explains why. But there could be a 216i in future, and that would be extra-relevant in an era of high COE prices, and beyond.

Page 3: The real test of a BMW – how does the 2AT drive?

1.Introduction, Design and Appearance
2.Interior and Features, Practicality and space  
3.Driving experience, Competition and Conclusion

Pages: 1 2 3

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2 series 220i Active tourer bmw mild hybrid MPV review small

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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