With a front-wheel-drive platform, three-cylinder engines, and an MPV shape, the 2 Series Active Tourer and the seven-seat Gran Tourer are not your typical BMWs. While small luxury MPVs are not exactly a novelty considering Mercedes has been selling the B-Class since 2005, the Bavarians took their sweet time as it was only in 2014 when the smaller of the two people-movers was launched. Its larger sibling joined about a year later without a direct rival as instead of introducing a seven-seat B-Class, Mercedes ultimately decided to add another compact crossover – the new GLB.
The three-pointed star renewed the B-Class in 2018, but that won’t be the case with its rival from BMW as the brand’s product management vice-president, Peter Henrich, says the Active Tourer and Gran Tourer won’t live to see another generation. Speaking with Autocar, he explained the two MPVs are “not at the centre of what our brand stands for,” adding BMW will try to switch these customers to SUVs.
Gallery: 2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer facelift
He went on to mention the Tourer duo has been successful in attracting new customers to the BMW brand, but the models will not get a direct replacement, at least not in the foreseeable future. You’ll still be able to get one for a couple of years at least taking into account both the Active Tourer and Gran Tourer were facelifted just last year.
2016 was the best year in terms of sales, with BMW moving 100,502 units in Europe. The sales numbers dropped to 85,255 in 2017 and furthermore to 68,367 in 2018, according to CarSalesBase. So far this year, demand has decreased compared to January-April 2018, so it’s easy to understand why the MPVs are no longer as important as they were a few years ago.
How can BMW convince buyers to hop into an SUV following the demise of their MPVs? One plausible scenario is to go down the Mercedes road and add an extra row to the X1 for the model’s third generation. It will take a while since the company’s entry-level SUV was facelifted less than a month ago, so a replacement is not due for another 2-3 years.