1 June 2015 – the launch of our new look and with it, some new categories onto the site to expand our ever growing followers.
One of these categories is a motoring section where we will be reviewing vehicles from all the main manufacturers. Being massive supporters of our National rugby team the Springboks, we got in touch with the Green & Gold’s official vehicle partner, BMW, to kick things off…
Thursday 4 June saw the launch of the Springboks Rugby World Cup 2015 jersey in Cape Town and fittingly our transport for this trip was the recently launched BMW 220d Active Tourer M Sport auto.
From the outset, it was love at first sight at the Cape Town International airport. We knew this was going to be a fun weekend exploring the Cape Peninsula.
Easy access was evident when we were handed the “key”. Everything we needed was merely the push of a button away. From unlocking the car, opening the tailgate to starting the engine.
Having read up on the 220d Active Tourer beforehand it was clear that it was designed to be a larger, more practical version of the BMW 1 Series hatchback, and rivals five-seat MPVs such as the Volkswagen Golf SV.
Being a range-topping M Sport model it has comfortable figure-hugging sports seats and large 18-inch wheels and luxury trim leather upholstery features. More great news is that it is front-wheel drive, whereas most BMWs are rear-wheel drive.
Loading our luggage was a breeze. With a simple push of a button on the “key” the boot flipped open and within 2 seconds all our bags were in with no hassles. The easy adjustable rear seats made any space issues a non-negotiable by enlarging it from 468 to 1,510 litres, and the 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest fitted as standard exemplify why this vehicle was produced.
Getting into the car is straight forward with loads of leg room and easy adjustable front seats to your own personal preference. Both driver and front passenger enjoy a far higher seating position than normal sedans, which affords an all-round view at the same time. There is also the option of a large panoramic roof that lets light flood into the interior which honestly is a must have, especially touring the beautiful Cape Penninsula.
All round it must be said that this car has loads of space and must not be deceived for being small in any way or form.
The interior layout is also very driver friendly with the controls for the radio, air conditioning and air vents all angled towards the driver in another trademark BMW design.
Even its engine packs a massive punch at 140kW & 400Nm and it impresses a lot with its steptronic transmission & top speed of 225km/h, which we sadly could not test with all the traffic limitations in and around the mother city. However we were extremely impressed with its average fuel consumption of only…wait for it…4.7 l/100km!!
One feature that works well around the peninsula is the Auto Start Stop function, which makes part of the BMW EfficientDynamics technology elements, that allows the car to switch off when coming to a brief stop and then switching back on once your foot leaves the brake pedal. The only thing that was not so great about this was the slight jerk reaction when it restarted.
The new turbocharged four cylinder 220d M Sport is a comprehensive package of BMW EfficientDynamics measures and the extensive connectivity provided by BMW ConnectedDrive ensure a driving experience defined by sporting ability and exemplary efficiency.
From the outside the BMW trademark features are evident starting with the slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille at the front end flanked by the distinctive twin circular headlights. Another familiar sight is the L-shaped rear lights.
Out on the road, whether it be highway or the small winding roads around the coastline of the Western Cape, the Tourer was such fun to drive. Going uphill or downhill of which there were many around Cape Town, it never felt like one had to push hard at any given stage.
Getting in and out of parking spaces was also done with total ease, especially with the standard Park Distance Control at the rear readily available.
Other regular equipment that made this the best car we have driven in our new category was the Radio Professional including a hands-free telephone facility with Bluetooth interface, the BMW iDrive control system with controller on the centre console and 6.5-inch Control Display, a rain sensor and automatic headlight activation, a sports leather steering wheel, the Intelligent Emergency Call system, front foglamps, cruise control with braking function and a multifunction steering wheel.
Sadly as mentioned before Cape Town was not ideal for taking this car to its ultimate driving limits and we feel we somehow missed out on all its other features due to time constraints, but we cannot deny its ultimate presence wherever we went and as they say “sheer driving pleasure”.
This car is sure to make an impression on those looking to get a “small compact” car with loads of space with lots of power…and not to forget all the ladies and gentlemen turning their heads each time we drove past…
Our Yellow Cap rating: 8.5/10