BMW 2 Series 216d Gran Tourer Review
Luxury Van

Story and Photos by Alvan Sio
12 Jun 2016
 

Introduction

This car hardly needs an introduction.

In our land scarce island cars are often branded as luxuries and people often try to get the one piece of metal around four wheels to do as much as it possibly can.

This equals to the rise of MPVs and SUVs; while sedans are (and hopefully always will be) king, the demographic of car buyers has shifted largely to those with cash on hand and willing to part it in what some online media have called a dumb expenditure with no foreseeable return or sensible use of money.

This group of buyers are likely to be those who’ve worked sometime now and probably have a family, which means that all they want is for their loved ones to be pampered and comfortable. Which brings us to why there are so many of the likes of the Toyota Wish and Honda Vezel all over the place.

Because one car needs to fit everyone from Grammy all the way to Baby and still make the driver (and usually owner) feel good about him/herself, there must be loads of space, seating for more than four and a driving position that makes the driver feel like he’s getting ahead of (or above) everyone else.

And on top of that, COE must be Cat A, fuel consumption more than 12 km/l and the car must be safe in the event of an accident. All these sound familiar? Try slapping on a BMW badge front and rear and see how much more you like it.

Exterior, interior

Suffice it to say that this car is built off the same platform as the X1 and you guessed it – the Active Tourer. So it looks exactly the same more or less and is basically like an upsized version.

Key highlights include proper LED headlamps with automatic high beams, chrome line exterior that comes with the Luxury line body kit and multi-spoke 17” alloy rims all round.

And while it doesn’t look like a conventional BMW, it’s not the worst looking thing they’ve built throughout history. Sure there’s none of the excitement you get when you look at any of the other even numbered cars in the existing range (2, 4 and 6 Series started out as sports car ranges) but there’s a proper sense of quality and premiumness about the Gran Tourer that reminds you you’ve just spent $158,800 (11 April 2016) on what’s essentially a minivan.

On the inside, the real wood trimming on the doors and dash are what really impress, along with the proper Dakota leather instead of the Sensatec faux leather nonsense on the entry 1er and 3er. Full ConnectedDrive services including navigation and concierge for when you need to find the nearest amusement park because you forgot your kid’s birthday together with reverse camera, front and rear parking sensors with BMW Park Assist really show you where all that money’s gone to.

Let’s not forget what this car is truly about – those seven seats. The back row is moveable like you’d expect so you can raise the rear-most bench to seat an extra two. It’s not the best place to be in as usual, but I can fit in it without complaining too much so I’ll say it’s pretty decent.

There’s also loads of cargo space when you’re not using the back row and if you fold everything down you’ll have enough space to run your own neutral wheel service at the Tour de France. The 216d GT is indeed a proper family car when it comes to meeting the needs of your family; just don’t expect to look cool in it.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1496cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 3
Compression Ratio 16.5:1
Bore x Stroke (84 x 90)mm
Power 116bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 270Nm @ 1750rpm
Power to Weight 77.6 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 11.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 192 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 23.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type MPV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4556 x 1800 x 1608) mm
Wheelbase 2780 mm
Turning Circle 11 metres
Kerb Weight 1495 kg
Boot Capacity 645 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 51 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs