From the driver’s seat, it’s all very BMW in the Gran Tourer; well built, easy to use and, in typical BMW fashion, with all the major controls angled slightly towards the driver. The driving position is fine and, as in most MPVs, it’s set a little higher than in a regular saloon, giving a commanding view of the road ahead. The pedals are offset to the right, though, so you do have to sit at a slight angle, especially in cars with a manual gearbox. What’s also less impressive is that the thick windscreen pillars restrict your view a lot, making it awkward to pull out of T-junctions, for example.
There’s certainly no shortage of space in the front two seats, and in the second row, too, there’s plenty of space for a couple of six-foot adults. However, the narrow centre seat means that it’s too tight to get three adults across comfortably, and although it’s not too hard for the young or reasonably agile to get into the third row of seats, they won't take adults for anything more than a brief trip. In truth, that’s an accusation you can level at similarly sized rivals like the aforementioned Grand C-Max, but similarly priced rivals like the Seat Alhambra
are far better people-carriers, even if they do feel quite a lot bigger on the road.
On the plus side, though, it’s easy to swap between all the various seating permutations and, once all the seats are folded, they leave an almost flat floor. The boot
itself is also excellent, and easy to load and unload, plus there are plenty of extra storage cubbies dotted all around the car.
The ride on the standard suspension does have a slightly firm edge to it over some lumps and bumps, an effect that’s exacerbated by choosing larger wheels. While it shouldn’t be a problem for most people, those after ultimate family car comfort should probably consider adding the optional adaptive suspension, which has a better range of abilities. Comfort mode makes the car cushier in everyday use, and while it does lead to a little more body roll in the bends, you can simply switch to Sport mode when you want to sharpen things up.