It's not a huge surprise there's some concern over the BMW 2-series ActiveTourer on the part of its maker. It's a front-wheel drive minivan that contradicts the traditional image of a BMW, as if that's stopped them from pursuing other car shapes before. Still, the 2-series Active Tourer isn't rushing over here.
BMW product VP Frank Niederlaender told Automotive News this week the "2 Active" wasn't designed for roads as spacious as the ones Americans have, and BMW already makes more practical vehicles for our market (not wagons):
You have a lot of space and wide streets, and the X cars are much more useful.
He is aware of the BMW X4, right? Useful?
This all sounds like a cop out for the bigger problem with the newest 2. The Toyota Prius V, Mazda 5 or the Ford C-Max are particularly big sellers in this market, but they do have a niche. They also have an extremely utilitarian image, something BMW probably doesn't think it's ready for.
AutoNews says the 2 Active is still in the running for a U.S. launch, but definitely not before the end of 2015.
Badge image and heritage aside, the 2 Active Tourer looks like a useful package, especially in cities. Priced alongside something like an X1, it could cause people to consider if they want space or some body cladding.
But BMW has an image to maintain, after all.