BMW Group recently launched one of it smaller cars, the 2 Series Active Tourer in Singapore. Categorized as an MPV, the car can seat a family of 5 in total comfort with the usual levels of BMW luxury and features. It is the first of many BMWs that utilise the new front wheel drive set up which is a clear sign of its intended practicality especially in and around the city. Though the company has no plans to bring it to India yet ti doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all considering the success of small luxury hatches such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class and BMW 1-Series. Could this be BMW’s answer to Mercedes’ B-Class in India?
So, what works for the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in the Indian context? Firstly, its the practicality the car has to offer. Thanks to clever packaging BMW has managed to maximise the space inside so seating for a family of five is not an issue. In fact, dimension-wise its smaller than its natural rival, the Mercedes B-Class. Small size coupled with an electromechanical steering makes for easy usage in and around the city and BMW sporty DNA ensure good performance on the highways as well. In terms of luxury it ticks all the right boxes as even the low end variants come with enough features to qualify it for luxury car status. Standards of safety and comfort aboard the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer are boosted by the assistance systems and various infotainment features that are collectively known as BMW ConnectedDrive, such as Parking Assistant and the automatic opening tailgate. The Singapore spec version also features a Head-up display. And the snob value the BMW badge carries with it will definitely help sales. Design is well proportioned and gets all of BMWs trademark features such as the LED headlamps, LED tail lamps, Kidney grille and sufficient use of chrome around the car. Interestingly, the rear bears more than a passing resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class as does the overall profile of the car.
On the other hand what works against the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will be the Indian mentality. Even though the sales figures of the current luxury hatchbacks have exceeded expectations but they’re still not quite there yet. Keep in mind that expectations were probably not very hing in the first place anyway. If launched in India the car will be priced around the Rs. 25-30 lakh mark which is almost the same as the B-Class but most Indian buyers are yet to cozy up to the concept of shelling out so much for a car which doesn’t have boot sticking out at the back, the whole “badi gaadi” concept. Either that or they prefer SUVs and crossovers in that particular price range. Which could pose another problem for BMW due to the price overlap between the X1 and the 2 Series Active Tourer. For most buyers it will be the second car, a smaller more user friendly alternative to the big sedan or SUV sitting in their garage which is what BMW should be aiming at if it has plans to launch it India. In Singapore the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is available in two variants- BMW 218i Active Tourer Luxury and BMW 218i Active Tourer Business. Both variants feature a three-cylinder 1,499 cc petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology producing 136 hp and 220 Nm torque. India would definitely require a diesel, maybe the 2.0 litre unit borrowed from the X1.
If launched in India the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will be brought in via the CBU route making it a pricey prospect with estimated prices around the 25-30 lakh mark. However, there is a market for such vehicles and even though its very small it is expected to increase as more and more Indian buyers realise the practicality such cars have to offer. And don’t you think Merc’s B-Class needs some competition? BMW, please bring it to India.