BMW expands their range of plug-in hybrids with the four-wheel drive 225xe. Does a 25-mile electric only range increase the 2 Series Active Tourer’s appeal?
The plug-in hybrid has proved a popular choice for many in the UK.
Given the tax breaks and sizeable government grant plug-in vehicles receive, it’s no surprise to see BMW expanding their range of hybrids to include the 2 Series Active Tourer, particularly given that it’ll be one of the very few plug-in cars in this high-roofed, five-seat MPV class.
The 225xe has enough battery capacity to run for up to 25 miles on electricity alone before the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine kicks in to give you just as much range as a standard petrol 2 Series.
Even this limited electric range gives it some impressive claimed fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures. The 225xe emits 46g/km of CO2 – meaning it falls into the lowest company car tax band – and has a combined fuel economy figure of 141.2mpg.
What is the 2016 BMW 225xe Active Tourer like to drive?
Driven carefully and with a fully charged battery, the 225xe acts just like an electric car. Around town, it’s easy to keep the engine from firing unless you either flatten the throttle or switch the car to battery save mode to preserve charge.
If you’re determined to run on volts alone, there’s an electric-only mode that will prevent the petrol engine from running even under harder acceleration. As you would expect, though, the quicker you gain speed and the higher your speed, the sooner the battery runs out.
Once the battery is fully depleted, the engine runs for much longer periods of time. This means the 141.2mpg figure is only achievable over short distances where the car can run in electric mode for much of the time.
Thanks to the relatively small capacity of the battery, charging doesn’t take too long even off a normal three-pin plug, which will charge the battery in 3.5 hours. A BMW supplied Wallbox charger will cut that to two hours and 45 minutes.
There are other benefits to the hybrid system; while the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces just 134bhp, the rear-mounted electric motor produces another 87bhp. That means there’s 221bhp with both working together, enough for a 0-62mph time of just 6.7sec accompanied by a sporty sounding warble from the engine.
Read more: What Car