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Car News:  Oversteer

BMW Sells a Small, Front-Wheel-Drive Minivan in Europe

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2017

I'm going to tell you something that might surprise you. You know BMW? The company that makes high-performance cars? And high-performance versions of high-performance cars? And sometimes those high-performance cars are painted gold with blue brake calipers?

Well, in foreign markets, they sell a front-wheel-drive minivan. I'm serious.

The minivan in question is called the 2 Series Active Tourer, and I'm not even slightly exaggerating what it is: It's a front-wheel-drive, tall-roofed people-carrier, a bit smaller than a Toyota Sienna or a Honda Odyssey, that competes in a European segment called MPV. It still looks like a BMW, it has a BMW interior, it rides on the MINI Countryman chassis, and it's very BMW-y, except for the fact that it's a front-wheel-drive minivan. There's even a long version, called the 2 Series Gran Tourer, which seats seven human beings instead of five.

Unfortunately for those of you who love BMW and want to cart around your children in a small minivan with twin kidney grilles, BMW has no plans to sell the 2 Series Active Tourer in the states. I believe this means, unless you visit foreign countries, you won't be able to actively tour.

In fact, BMW has been very selective about what base-level models they offer in the U.S., to the point where they've still never sold anything here with front-wheel drive. The closest they come is the new X1, which also rides on the front-wheel-drive-based MINI Countryman chassis -- but unlike the Countryman, BMW only offers the X1 with all-wheel drive.

Anyway, back to the Active Tourer. Gas-powered versions offer between 134 and 228 horsepower, while diesel models offer 114 to 187 hp -- and 199 to 295 lb-ft of torque. Get a top-level engine, and I bet this thing actually performs pretty well. Which, of course, begs the question: Can you get it in gold with blue brake calipers?

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
BMW Sells a Small, Front-Wheel-Drive Minivan in Europe - Autotrader