BMW 223i Active Tourer test

The party is slowly coming to an end. Gone are the days of diversity in all classes. Convertibles are dying a quiet death from lack of demand, station wagons are now in serious danger, and trucks have been running poorly for a long time.

And so the Gran Tourer 2 Series fell through the net. Very few buyers chose the extended version of the remaining compact truck, which was achieved by expanding the wheelbase and whose modular design could also come from the two-wheeled Munich division. Active Tourer – Doesn’t that sound like a kitchen fitted on wheels in Honda Gold Wing style? After a heavy motorcycle the size of a king can the cheerful silver horses happily acclimatize the golden autumn of retirement?

beautiful um? But the Active Tourer should of course be a car for all age groups. Practical, not as environmentally prone as an SUV, and of course dynamic and fun to drive the way home. However, some details of the equipment already show that young customers with an affinity for the Internet and social media take priority, but we will get to that later.

Intelligently used space

Hans-Dieter Suffert

Behind the low loading threshold is a smooth case. The lid is opened and closed electromechanically.

As a van, BMW doesn’t want the Active Tourer, which in size is a few centimeters similar to the X1, to be misunderstood. It should be more compact with a high ceiling that can be sorted into a large crossbody drawer. The car’s lines, which are approximately 4.40m in length, have been freed from some of the intended distinctive edges and are now appearing in a harmoniously circular shape. Of course, the XXL radiator grille cannot be inconspicuously combined, but it does not look too brutal on the Active Tourer. The wheelbase, compared to its predecessor, has not grown slightly, in width and length. You shouldn’t overestimate it. There is a slightly larger internal width in the front, and a few centimeters of legroom in the second row has disappeared. However, what’s offered is still good enough even for long-haul travelers who have to sit on a very thinly padded back seat. The inside was a bit flat, but the same goes here: it’s not too narrow.

The same cannot be said about the trunk. With the 218i, the minimum volume is still 470 liters. However, the 223i tested is mildly hybridized and therefore carries a 48V battery in the back. It blocks a large part of the storage compartment under the luggage compartment floor, which is why it cannot be entered in two levels of height. That leaves just a modest 415 liters of usable volume.

BMW 223i Active Tourer, Trunk

Hans-Dieter Suffert

The 48-volt battery, installed in the rear, reduces the luggage compartment volume to 415 liters. The rear seat back can be folded in a ratio of 40:20:40.

The good news: Storage is very useful. On the one hand, due to the smooth shape of the side walls, and on the other hand due to the rear seat backrest, which is divided in a ratio of 40:20:40 and can be adjusted according to different angles of inclination to the position of the load. In the latter, the backrests are at right angles to the loading floor, so that cartons and crates can be pushed up to the backrest.

If you need more contrast, you can reserve the rear seat system, which can be moved into two parts by 13 cm, for 300 euros, to achieve maximum contrast, the only thing missing is the foldable front passenger seat – which is not available. Attention is also paid to the little things in everyday life: there is plenty of storage space in the front and rear, the large storage space under the center console between the front seats can only be used by those undisturbed contemporaries who, on a whim, nature provided an additional joint between Elbow and wrist.

No manual shift anymore

With the change of model, the manual gearbox also disappeared; All engines are equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This is operated using a miniature lever in the center console and allows manual intervention via the steering wheel buttons.

In the 223i, its 2-liter four-cylinder engine making 204 hp and 320 Nm at typical low speed for a turbo, combined with the electric motor, making 218 hp and 360 Nm, this gearbox is as good, if not great, and job. In normal driving style, it shifts gears as discreetly as it is discreet and enables powerful acceleration all the way up to a top speed of 241 km/h. However, in Sport or Sport + driving modes, it knocks gears with a noticeable tremor when turning at full throttle speed.

BMW 223i Active Tourer

Hans-Dieter Suffert

5.9 liters is enough for a 223i Active Tourer with a light footing on the throttle. The consumption of the test is 8.3 l / 100 km, whoever sets it to work is in the double digit range.

Like the highly synthetic “iconic sounds” that can happily be disabled, this may be intended to really enhance the feel of the dynamism on the road. But perhaps it is just an incomplete modification of the transmission, which does not reach the level of the predecessor’s eight-speed automatic transmission even when starting. Because with the new model, excessive gas pressure is enough for the front wheels to search helplessly for traction and need support from the control systems. Other powerful front-wheel drive vehicles similarly do this better and also refrain from steering pull, which the Active Tourer comments on strong acceleration on undulating and uneven roads.

top routing

BMW 223i Active Tourer

Hans-Dieter Suffert

The Active Tourer wiggles when she’s dancing, and the ESP keeps her safely in her lane if needed.

At least Active Tourer doesn’t let them get too close; Even with the sporty chassis (500 euros individually or in the expensive 3,600 euros sport package) it offers good comfort with a narrow basic steering. The mode of automation of the dampers is quite convincing, and the individual combination of chassis parameters as before is no longer possible in any case.

When changing direction quickly, the Active Tourer sways dramatically, but driving safety is never at risk. The straightforward and somewhat unemotional interpretation of orientation coupled with the mathematical structure does not quite fit with this interpretation. When cornering sharply, it maintains the sporty character that the car ultimately fails to live up to.

There are huge leaps in development to report in the field of operation: the rotary button of the iDrive now known history is in the Active Tourer as well, replaced by a large number of tiles on the wonderful touch screen of the curved screen, which consists of two screens and a very good voice control.

BMW 223i Active Tourer, cockpit

Hans-Dieter Suffert

A progress worthy of discussion: no more iDrive wheel, but BMW sticks to the right buttons with good steering wheel feedback. On the other hand, the simple plastic display doesn’t sit well with the premium claim.

Air conditioning, opening windows, massage function for successful sports benches? It is operated smoothly by voice, for some, there are also manual shortcuts. In addition to pressing the right-hand buttons on the multifunction steering wheel, the comfort assist is also great. For an additional cost, it offers a wide range of camera, support for self-driving when parking or at a car wash, and automatic return.

On the other hand, features such as the ability to use car cameras to take 360-degree dash cam recordings (which can come in handy in the event of a collision) or to film what’s going on inside and put it online (which may not be the case in court) would be helpful. Falling more into the cheating department.)

Of course, the Active Tourer can also drive itself for an additional fee. But the driver always feels like a driving instructor and it is his duty to watch out at the latest when curves get dangerously close to the outer edge, traffic lights are not reliably recognized or the system goes out with a quiet bell in standard situations, and a little later on narrow country roads with Hidden ways take curves at a pace that leaves you feeling fearful and anxious.

Given these weaknesses, you can save €1,900 for Driving Assistant Professional and instead enjoy the joy of driving. Not only in BMW, this usually manifests itself when actively driving, and not when driving.

opinion poll

yes. Vans are the ultimate in cars and should have more value.

No. This is just car boredom. After all, there are reasons why market shares are steadily declining.

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Advantages and disadvantages


  • good space
  • Durable workmanship and nice materials
  • Highly variable rear seat that can be moved at an additional cost
  • enough payload
  • Lots of shelves
  • Very good audio control
  • …but a complicated process due to the iDrive rotary button being canceled
  • small standard trunk
Driving comfort

  • With a constant base note, the suspension is good to swallow
  • Very good massage function for the front seats (option)
  • low wind noise
  • Sports seats with strong lateral support
  • Low-upholstery seat surface in the back
to cut

  • Powerful motor with good mechanical precision and reasonable consumption
  • No manual shift anymore
  • Occasional toggle vibrations in “Sport” and “Sport +”
  • Normal to try engine sound
Driving Characteristics

  • Agile, lightweight and safe handling
  • traction problems
  • Powerful driving effects
  • pointed steering

  • stable brakes
  • Extensive help
  • … with functional defects

  • Low and acceptable economical test consumption

  • Reasonable maintenance costs
  • Three years warranty

In the second generation, the Active Tourer adds several new features to the essential features of a practical everyday vehicle that is not very spacious but is fun to drive. Not all are important.

Technical information

BMW 223i Active Tourer
Base price 42500 EUR
external dimensions 4386 x 1824 x 1576 mm
trunk size 415 to 1405 liters
Displacement / Engine 1998 cc/4 cylinder
perfomance 150 kW / 204 hp at 5000 rpm
maximum speed 150 mph
0-100 km/h 6.8 seconds
consumption 8.3 liters per 100 km
Test consumption 8.3 liters per 100 km

Show all technical data

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