The first front-wheel-drive model to wear the BMW roundel is finally here, in the form of the new 2-Series Active Tourer, which debuted this week at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. BMW first confirmed it was working on a FWD model as far back as 2010 and in between we were treated with a couple of thinly veiled concept versions of the car.

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This production version goes on sale in Europe soon after its Geneva debut and will compete in the burgeoning compact MPV segment against the likes of the Ford B-Max, Fiat 500L, Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Volkswagen Touran. The good news--or bad, depending on your take on BMW’s move into the FWD market--is that the 2-Series Active Tourer is headed to the U.S. in 2015.

We recently reported on why BMW decided to designate the vehicle a 2-Series instead of a 1-Series, as was widely predicted. In case you missed it the reasons were due to the 2-Series Active Tourer being bigger than the current 1-Series hatchback sold overseas and set to cost more as well.

It is based on the BMW Group’s new UKL platform, which also underpins MINI’s third-generation Cooper and is expected to be utilized for the next-generation BMW X1. Measuring just 4,342 millimeters long, 1,800 millimeters wide and 1,555 millimeters in height, the 2-Series Active Tourer combines compact dimensions on the outside with a cabin capable of seating five adults in comfort and packing all of their gear. Further down the track a larger seven-seat model tipped to be called the 2-Series Gran Tourer will be launched.

The engine lineup at launch comprises three- and four-cylinder units, all of them turbocharged. The top model is the 225i and at the other end of the spectrum is a diesel-powered 218d. The 225i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering 231 horsepower. It will sprint from 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 146 mph. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, though customers will be able to opt for an automatic.

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BMW has confirmed that an xDrive all-wheel-drive option will be offered later in the year, and also in the pipeline is a hybrid variant. For those customers after some sporting dynamics, BMW will even offer an M Sport package for the car, which will add aerodynamic tweaks, light alloys, and M accessories in the cabin (see the blue car in the gallery above).

Being a BMW, the 2-Series Active Tourer is also available with a full suite of convenience and safety technologies. These include the ConnectedDrive driver assistant which comes with a camera-based cruise control system and traffic jam assistant, new app functions and a head-up display.

For more from the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, head to our dedicated hub.