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BMW 225xe Active Tourer Test Drive Review

Date: 03 March 2016   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Mini-MPV
Key rival: Mitsubishi Outlander
PHEV P11D: £35,620
On sale: April 2016

For tax and range reasons plug-in hybrids are, for the moment, the best bet for business drivers and fleet managers looking to maintain all the practicality offered by a petrol or diesel car.

And BMW is plunging headlong into this trend with a host of plug-in cars, the latest of which is the 2-series Active Tourer.

To make the hybrid five-seat premium mini-MPV, BMW has twinned the 136hp three-cylinder turbo 1.5-litre petrol engine from the 218i with an 88hp electric motor to give a total of 224hp.

The addition of the electric motor affects the 2-series Active Tourer in a few ways - some for the better and some for the worse.

First the positives. The electric motor feeds its power to the rear wheels, which means the car is all-wheel drive (because the petrol engine drives the front wheels). This gives added grip and makes the car a bit more 'go-anywhere' than the standard model.

The addition of the motor also sees the CO2 figure plummet to 46g/km, so benefit-in-kind stands at just 5%.
And because the motor can drive the car without the petrol engine, it can run almost silently for up to 25 miles.

So what of the negatives? The first issue is that the hybrid system adds about £4000 to the list price - and because the hybrid is only available as an automatic that premium's against a similarly quick xDrive automatic 225i or 220d.

This price hike isn't recuperated in the residual value either, according to KwikCarcost. This means the plug-in hybrid in Sport trim costs 2.1p a mile more to run at 67.3ppm than a 220d xDrive Sport.

The only other negative is that the boot space is 68 litres smaller in the hybrid because the underfloor space is used for the battery and motor. However, it's still 400 litres, which is plenty for most.

In all other respects the 225xe is just like the rest of the 2-series Active Tourer range, which means it drives very well in terms of handling and comfort, has high-quality interior materials and feels very well built.
For some user-choosers, the extra price will be well worth it, but fleets will have to do the sums before plugging in.

BMW 225xe Active Tourer Sport

Model price range £35,155-£35,905*
Residual value 26.9%
Depreciation £26,584
Fuel £1974
Service, maintenance and repair £1948
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £1053
Cost per mile 67.3p
Fuel consumption 141.2mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 46g/km (5%)
BIK 20/40% per month £30/£61
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space (min/max) 400/1350 litres
Engine size/power 1499cc/136hp +88hp electric
*excl. £2500 Govt. Plug-in Car Grant


Seriously appealing user-chooser car. Just the high P11D stops it being 10/10
  • Seriously low CO2, no compromise on range
  • BMW luxury and all-wheel drive grip
  • Expensive list price