Yet while it appears slick and works well enough at a standstill, it’s a little frustrating on the move because of the constant need to tap away at a screen for basic functions usually the preserve of traditional buttons. That said, the augmented-reality sat-nav that overlays directions on a real-time camera view of the road ahead does work brilliantly.
Elsewhere, BMW has tried to distill the spirit of some of its sportier models into the Active Tourer, our 223i M Sport test car feeling as agile and biddable as you’d want from a car of this type.
It’s certainly not short of usable performance, the 215bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol combining with the standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to deliver a warm-hatch-baiting 0-62mph time of 7.0sec. (It’s also claimed to be able to crack 150mph, which boggles the mind just a little.) It’s aided by that 18bhp mild-hybrid motor, which adds some low-speed torque fill (and the occasional squirm of torque steer) to deliver a muscular boost off the line and when overtaking.
It’s not the most charismatic unit, with a synthesised accompaniment to its bland note when extended, but it’s smooth enough and usually works well with dual-clutch auto. Only occasionally is the transmission wrong-footed, particularly at low speeds as it and the stop-start system contrive to deliver some learner-driver-specification jerky getaways.
Another niggle is the brakes, which lack the strong initial response that inspires confidence and suffer from a long pedal action that often results in you having to apply sudden inputs at the last moment because the car isn’t slowing as you’d expected. Still, there’s nothing wrong with the outright stopping power.
The steering is quick and decently weighted, if far from the last word in chatty feedback, while strong grip allows the 2 Series to cling tenaciously to your chosen line. It can feel a bit disjointed in tighter turns, as if the rear axle is slightly out of phase with the front as it struggles to keep up. But through faster bends, where there’s more load going through the chassis, the ActiveTourer feels poised and planted, scything this way and that with commendable composure.