2022 BMW 218i Active Tourer Review: Van Wilder

Derryn Wong

1. Introduction / Design and Appearance
2. Interior and Features / Space and Practicality
3. Driving Experience / Competition and Pricing

Driving Experience

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore - on the road driving shot of front

Of the first-gen UKL/small BMWs (1 Series, X1, X2, 2AT/GT) it was the 2AT that drove least like a BMW, no doubt BMW’s engineers had nightmares trying to make a tall box handle like a Beemer. 

This time around the 2AT has the poise to match the rest of the car. BMW’s triple-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo engine retains the good bits (the sound, the decent torque, the efficiency) and drops the bad bits (clunky gearbox, vibrations). 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore - side shot of wheels 18-inch m sport wheels

There’s still the occasional jerk in first gear/moving off, but overall, the 2AT’s quieter than before and more refined. The 136hp isn’t massive, but sufficient for day-to-day use. You won’t win drag races, but you won’t feel a lack of power, figurative or otherwise. And despite being a three-cylinder engine, the 218i’s engine note is more pleasing than that of the Mercedes-Benz B 200/ B 180’s 1.3-litre inline four. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  My Mode driving modes

The M Sport Adaptive suspension on this car delivers an okay, though not outstanding, ride as expected of a sportier setup. We expect the non-M Sport ‘Luxury’ model to ride better, if our overseas test is anything to go by. A consolation is that the 2AT isn’t particularly noisy – there’s some wind noise as expected of a tall MPV with large windows, but it’s still quite refined for a small car. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  1.5-litre three cylinder turbocharged engine 136hp

The 218i’s relatively efficient, despite the scary-large looking 6.9L/100km official consumption figure. We drove it in a lot of urban traffic and saw 8.0L/100km, while highway runs were as efficient as 4.0L/100, so a decent mid 6.0L/100km for 80/20 highway/urban driving here should be good. As usual BMW’s efficiency mode is here to help as well. 

The disappointment here is that there is no mild hybrid drivetrain. As explained in our international test drive, the 220i is a mild hybrid, but considering Audi’s less costly A3 is a mild hybrid, nearly every luxury car should have some form of electrified drivetrain by now, and it could’ve helped swing a S$15k VES rebate too. Which leads us to…

Competition and Pricing

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  rear shot low taillights diffuser

In Singapore, MPVs are now on the back foot compared to SUVs, in sheer number terms, and there are a heck of lot of small, luxury SUVs to choose from as our Best Of guide shows.

In the luxury MPV segment though, the 2AT’s sole, direct competitor is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. At current price levels, it’s slightly less expensive (that’s a Benz rarity) at S$195k for the B 180 model, and the B 200 is more expensive at S$245k with COE.

Both cars have a similar level of refinement, but the BMW is more fun to drive and considering the whole package, the 2AT is now very much on par in all other areas too. The deciding factor between the two is badge dynamics more than anything.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  front side shot wide car on road

If you like the idea of a German, small MPV and need seven seats, well there’s the Volkswagen Touran, which can do 90 percent of what the BMW and Merc can, for less cash. 
Want a 2 Series Active Tourer for S$30k less? Given BMW has just announced the 216i Gran Coupe here, it’s nigh inconceivable that it won’t make a 216i AT. And S$30k is the approximate price difference between a 216i Gran Coupe and 218i Gran Coupe now.

It’s wildly different and mostly better, and it’s expensive. But the 218i Active Tourer’s biggest barrier could erode further on down the line. Until then, it’s the only other game – B-Class aside – in the small luxury MPV town.

BMW 218i Active Tourer M Sport 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i M Sport - Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  badge name 218i
Drivetrain type Petrol engine 
Engine1,499cc, inline 4, turbocharged 
Power136hp at 4400-6500rpm
Torque230Nm at 1500-4000rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h9.0 seconds 
Top Speed214km/h
Fuel Efficiency6.9L/100km
VES Band B / Neutral 
AgentPerformance Motors Limited 
PriceS$227,888 with COE and VES
S$238,888 with COE and VES for Launch Edition
Verdict Better in all ways and now properly posh, but also comes with an increased price

Pages: 1 2 3


2 series 216i 218i Active tourer bmw m sport MPV 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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