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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 225xe is a practical, highly-competent and easy-to-drive MPV that's primed for the electric future.

13 Dec 2017


The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer proved to be wildly popular cars the past couple of years. It offered a combination of family utility, badge desirability and relative value for money.

That they drove pretty nicely was also a plus, though not one that will concern many of its buyers, we suspect.

Now, BMW is offering a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) variant of the 2 Series Active Tourer as part of its iPerformance range, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV 225Xe.

A combined 221bhp and 385Nm of torque from the petrol engine and electric motor make for brisk pace

Effortless electricity

Just like the rest of BMW's iPerformance range, the integration between petrol and electric power is seamless. And there's a healthy amount of power available, too - the 1.5-litre engine and 7.6kWh lithium-ion battery combine to produce 221bhp and 385Nm of torque, allowing the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 6.7 seconds.

However, to fully maximise range, you do have to charge the car using charging points. Compared to the 530e, the 225xe has a significantly smaller battery, which means lesser range.

Also, the 225xe doesn't have the same sort of quick charge battery the 530e has - it doesn't charge the battery as quickly using regenerative braking. This means that the 225xe isn't a car that you could conceivably use without ever going to a charging point.

The cabin is a modern, sleek and premium affair

However, the upside of that is that the engine braking effect when you lift off the throttle isn't as stark as in the 530e - the retardation effect is much less, meaning that there isn't a need to recalibrate the way you drive.

That said, even without using a charging point, we managed to do 14.8km/L over two days of driving the 225xe, which is pretty respectable.

Comfortable utility

Beyond the drivetrain, the rest of the car is as you'd expect from the 2 Series Active Tourer. The interior still feels modern, sleek and high-quality, while there have been some equipment upgrades as well.

The most noticeable one is the updated infotainment system, with a larger, sleeker screen, and the availability of BMW's ConnectedDrive Services. 

You also get a Head-up Display (HUD) that's very useful. With navigation on, the HUD will give you a variety of information, including the next turn to take, how far away it is, a meter showing how close you are to the junction, as well as a graphic showing you the suggested lane you should be in.

That's very handy for the more directionally-challenged among us.

Equipment updates include a new infotainment system with BMW ConnectedDrive

New sensibility? 

The BMW 225xe is a practical, sensible and all-around usable Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) bearing a desirable badge. With the improved level of equipment, it's quite a compelling package indeed.

Yes, it's not particularly cheap (priced at $182,800 as of 8 December), but it may still represent the new value BMW proposition, especially once the new VES kicks in. According to BMW, the 225xe is estimated to be priced just $10,000 more than the 216d Active Tourer come 2018. 

However, comparing this car against the other 2 Series Active Tourer (or even Grand Tourer) offerings seems to be completely missing the point. This car isn't about the past, and in some ways it's not really about the present as well. This car is about the future, one that is going to be increasingly electrified.

The BMW 225xe is a practical and appealing family MPV that's bound to be future-proof

Where the 225xe transforms into a particularly appealing proposition is the fact that it's the most affordable PHEV available at the moment. In this sense, it's a particularly future-proof car, with the projected improvement in our charging infrastructure coming in the next couple of years.

BMW Asia is working with Greenlots to increase and improve the charging infrastructure in Singapore, which will then make PHEVs like this one much more viable in down the road.

So, if you're planning for the future and looking for a future-proof and family-proof car, it could be wise not to look past the BMW 225xe.
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Car Information

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BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-in Hybrid 225xe iPerformance (A)
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Price

: $166,888

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder 12-valve TwinPower Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1499cc

Horsepower

:

100kW (134 bhp) / 4400 rpm

Torque

:

220 Nm / 4300 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) Steptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.7sec

Top Speed

:

202km/h

Fuel consumption

:

38.4 km/L

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