Those predicting the eventual death of the minivan segment apparently forgot to tell the folks over at BMW as the Bavarian automaker unveiled its 2-Series Grand Tourer at the Geneva Motor Show.
“The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer unites the segment’s traditional attributes of roominess and flexibility with the hallmark BMW values of dynamics, elegance, premium quality and safety,” said Ian Robertson, head of the BMW brand, during the Geneva Motor Show.
The seven-seater, which will go on sale in Europe next month, isn’t entirely comparable to American minivans. While it will seat seven passengers, it won’t do much else while doing so. It’s a really minivan, if you will.
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To that end, the automaker built a lot of flexibility into its new people mover. The second row of seats slides to provide additional seating room and the third row folds flat into the floor to expand useable cargo space.
While it’s a performer in terms of hauling people and things around, it’s not a racer. It gets five options for three- and four-cylinder powerplants ranging from gasoline engines are found in the 218i (three-cylinder, 134 hp) and the 220i (four-cylinder, 189 hp).
Diesel devotees can select from the 114 hp 216d (three-cylinder), the 148 hp 218d (four-cylinder), and the 220d xDrive (four-cylinder, 187 hp). All choices are mated to a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic and the Grand Tourer is one of the few BMWs with front-wheel drive.
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With 220xDrive, the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is the only car in its class to team four-wheel drive with seven-seat capacity, the company notes.
If you’re hauling people, making sure they’re safe is paramount and while it may be smaller in size, it’s big on safety equipment, including with Head-up Display, Adaptive Cruise Control, Park Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant.
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“When we think about safety, it’s important that the driver is not distracted. We’ve all been there on long journeys with the kids redecorating the back seats and constantly asking ‘are we there yet?’,” Robertson said.
“That’s why, starting in Germany, the Gran Tourer will be launched with the ‘myKIDIO’ app that keeps the family entertained with age-appropriate films, audio books etc. This will help the driver to be left in peace.”
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While it will hit roads in Germany in June – with a price tag starting at $32,000 – there isn’t a firm date for when the 2-Series Grand Tourer will hit American shores…if at all.