Now we’ve covered the everyday family life with the BMW 2 series Gran Tourer it’s time to share how we got on with the bigger trips, a look back on those summer time adventures! We’ll be sharing the day trips we went on, what it’s like for long journeys, changing it to a 7 seater and much more.
As both my husband and I run our own businesses we can be a little flexible with our time (in theory!) so we made sure that we planned in some family day trips over the girls’ summer holidays. The fact that we had a super duper car to go out in was the icing on the cake! Here are our favourite trips and how the BMW 2 series Gran Tourer helped make them even more special.
For the past few years we have been meeting up with friends at Trentham Gardens at the start of the summer. We’ve known Esther and Ash for over ten years now and it’s lovely to get the chance to at least meet up once a year and spend time together.
Trentham Gardens is about an hour and hour away from us so I knew that this would be a good time to put the car to the test with a family road trip. There was no need to look up directions on our phones or laptop as the Navigation System enables you to search for places and postcodes. Using the iDrive Touch Controller you can write where you want to go on the pad or there is voice recognition.
The girls made use of the iPad holder though I must say it was tricky for E to see the screen so you’d need one on the back of the other chair ideally.
Once we’d inputted where we were going and the girls were happy and settled we put on Spotify and headed out on our way. It was great to be able to connect to our Spotify account with the help of the free BMW Connected App and the Spotify app so that we could enjoy our playlists as well as still having the route guidance navigation on.
We arrived without a hitch and had such a wonderful day.
At the end of the day we rounded up the kids to head home and the mister decided to try out the BMW owned Remote App, part of the BMW ConnectedDrive services, to start the air circulation system easily via his smartphone. This app allows you to remote lock and unlock the car, flash the headlights (great if like the Mister you lose your car in car parks all the time) and, like I’ve just mentioned, it can turn on the auxiliary ventilation. You don’t even need to be able to see the car or be in spitting distance to use it! This starts the air circulation system going which on a hot day cools the inside of the car and gets rid of that horrid stuffy hot box feeling cars sometimes get. Whilst not full Climate Control (as this needs the engine running) it is a very cool feature! On this occasion it was brilliant as I hate the way cars heat up like ovens in the summer and it had cooled the car down to a normal temperature by the time we arrived back at the car.
Media City with the grandparents
The mister’s parents came to stay with us one weekend so we seized the opportunity to put the 7 seater option to the test. It was great fun all travelling together and saved us taking two cars.
Can you see myself and E poking up at the very back?
It’s really easy to adapt the car from a five to a seven seater. The fold-out third row of seats which is lowered in the boot floor just pull up and you can get to them comfortably by pulling the folding backrest of the second row forward with the ‘Easy-Entry’ function. I could have sat on the main backseat with Noo and my mother in law quite comfortably but I thought I’d keep little E company. I didn’t feel like we were stuck in the boot as the seats were comfy and there was room for my legs and we even had storage areas and cup holders.
If you’re taking your children’s friends out or like us, making trips with the grandparents, the third row of seats suits that really well. So if you are looking for an occasional seven seater then this is just perfect.
In general, the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is very flexible when it comes to space requirements. All seats are variable in their adjustments. Depending on what you want to transport, all you need is some simple pulling, pushing and folding to quickly transform the seats into additional luggage space. The passenger seat also can be folded down to extend the luggage space of the boot. Additional storage space can be found under the boot floor. To access this space, the folding boot floor can be opened easily with just a few simple hand movements.
We set off for Manchester but because of a motorway closure ended up on a detour that took forever and we ended up with some very rumbly tummies. There was a shout from Noo for Wagamama, her current favourite, so we used the Concierge Service to find out where our nearest one was. The Concierge Service, which is part of BMW ConnectedDrive, is such a great feature, you call up and get to speak to an actual person, it’s not automated and they can help you find what you’re looking for and even send over the directions to your navigation system!
So thanks to BMW we ended up at Media City’s Wagamama for lunch. We’ve not been to Media City yet so it was really good to get the chance to take a look around.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
This was a trip much anticipated by our girls who’ve been desperate to go for a while now.
We had a fantastic day out and there was plenty to keep both girls entertained. E loved the rides in Nickelodeon Land and Noo loved the challenge of the bigger, scarier rides. When the day was over it was nice to know that we had a comfy car to travel home in.
BMW ConnectedDrive Service ‘Real Time Traffic Information’ (RTTI) really helped us out in quickly and easily providing us with the route home. This RTTI brings provides you with precise most up-to-date information on the current traffic situation and also calculates any delays that are to be expects and can even recommend detours alternative route suggestions. This is definitely is bonus when travelling in the summer holidays as there is so much traffic so anything that helps with that is fantastic.
Noo never falls asleep in the car anymore, it must have been the winning combination of lots of scary rides and then the comfort of the BMW highbacked junior seat!
The misters thoughts
Overall I thought this was a great family car. In a practical way it was spacious, economical, practical and allowed us to have a few adventures along the way too. But also if you, like me, spend hours of your life in a car every week you need more than just practical, economical and spacious. The interior had that distinct BMW quality to it which is so important if you spend any amount of time behind the wheel every day, the gadgets work really well with the ability to browse podcasts or Spotify playlists proving a very useful feature.
With the different driving modes you were able to Sport it up a little when you wanted to but tone it back to Comfort or ECOPRO for everyday driving. The different modes are part of the Intelligent Management System. The ECOPRO mode allows you to reduce fuel consumption. Additionally to that you’ll reduce fuel consumption through Automatic Start/Stop function while being stuck in a traffic jam or at a traffic light.
I also found this car really good for my Piriformis Syndrome (a kind of Sciatic Nerve issue caused by driving and running lots). The upright seating position and the adjustable seat meant I suffered no symptoms during the long drive to Trentham Gardens.
We were driving the 1.5l 116BHP 216D manual for the week and the economy was very impressive. If you like smaller or bigger motorisations there is however something to suit all tastes when it comes to BMW’s big product range.
The girls’ thoughts
They loved the extra space and of course the added extra of the iPad holder. My seven year old also commented how comfortable her junior car seat was. In fact in her own word she says the car was ‘Amazing, spectacular and totally cool’, I think that’s as good as it gets! Both girls were really sad on the day that we had to give the car back. They waved it off and E nearly cried!!
Overall the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer works really well as a flexible, comfortable but also sporty family car. It’s spacious and all those gadgets just make life so much smoother, we all know how stressful travelling somewhere new with children can be. The proportions of the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer indicate the versatility of the vehicle as soon as you set eyes on it. When viewed from the front, it appears to be sportily low-slung. The wide kidney grille forms the optical focal point and is lower than the headlights, which creates a dynamic look that is unique in this vehicle segment. If you are looking for a roomy car that needed to be a 7 seater occasionally, for picking up friends or going out with grandparents this is perfect. I absolutely loved driving this car and it definitely took away any stress and anxiety I had when it comes to driving longer journeys.
Written in collaboration with BMW