BMW is heralding the first premium compact MPV to offer seven seats.
The German brand’s new 2 Series Gran Tourer is a progression from the Active Tourer it launched last year.
While that model also features front-wheel drive – a new move for the company – it is strictly a five-seater while the ‘Gran’ has seven.
When it hits UK streets this summer the newcomer will be priced from £24,175 to £32,005, meaning it costs £2,000 more than the Active Tourer.
A pair of turbocharged petrol engines – a 1.5-litre three cyclinder unit in the 218i and a 2.0-litre four cylinder in the 220i – plus three turbodiesels will be up for grabs.
The oil-burners comprise a 1.5-litre powerplant in the 216d, a 2.0-litre four cyclinder unit in the 218d and a 2.0-litre version in the 220d xDrive model, which comes only with four-wheel drive.
Serious efficiency is the promise and, in the case of the 220i and 220d, that includes a 0-62mph time as low as 7.8 seconds.
BMW says the 216d Gran Tourer will be the the most fuel efficient model in the range, developing 116hp for a top speed of 119mph, acceleration to 62mph in 11.4 seconds and a Combined consumption of 68.9mpg. CO2 emissions are also low at 108g/km.
Young families are the target audience, so flexibility is a priority with the Gran Tourer.
Buyers will get a sliding second row of seats with adjustable backrest, a third row of seats that fold into the floor and provision for up to five universal child seats.
Useful features include lashing points in the load bay and ‘monorails’ on the backrests of the front seats, allowing a folding table to be attached.
Thought has also gone into providing the various storage compartments and space, including room for 1.5-litre bottles in each door panel.
Further travel items, like children’s toys, can be stowed away in the hinged compartments under the front or second row seats.
A six-speed Steptronic auto transmission with manual shift function is used for the three-cylinder engines, while the four-cylinder models can be coupled with an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox, and all feature Auto Start Stop.
Trim grades are SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport and plenty of options will be available, both inside and out.