Like it or loathe it, the 2 Series Active Tourer is a historic BMW, for two reasons: its front-wheel drive model and its first MPV. Although some see it as the most controversial car the firm have ever made, it's actually proving popular among car buyers, both in five-seat Active Tourer and seven-seat Gran Tourer guises, judging by the sales numbers. In fact, it’s actually one of the most popular MPVs on sale today.

As it's now been on sale for around three years, it's time for a facelift. Here, we caught it prepping for what will likely be a particularly discreet Life Cycle Impulse (that's BMW-speak for facelift). We can see the LED lighting signature now has a more angular configuration, similar other recent models. Changes to both front and rear bumpers are likely on the agenda as well, but we’re not expecting any drastic modifications. Expect a similar story on the inside where BMW will only make subtle changes such as trim revisions and updating the iDrive infotainment system to its latest touchscreen, tile-based system.

The powertrains will likely be carried over on the facelifted model, but some of them could be updated to deliver more power and/or better fuel economy. If the 225xe seen here soldiers on with the same hardware, it will feature a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine teamed up with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack with a 7.7-kWh capacity.

With a combined output of 224 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, the 225xe needs just 6.7 seconds to hit 62 mph and maxes out at 126 mph. But what matters the most is the fuel economy, with the hybridised minivan from BMW providing a combined fuel consumption of around 135mpg and an all-electric range of 25 miles — at least on paper.

Given how minor the tweaks are going to be, it shouldn’t take too long to see the facelifted 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer in all of their LCI glory. Expect an official debut sooner rather than later. 

Photos: CarPix


Gallery: 2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer facelift spy photos