BMW 225xe Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid Test Drive Review

1 year ago by Mark Kane 35

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe Active Tourer is an interesting plug-in hybrid that boasts all-wheel-drive and up to 165 kW of system power, with a 0–100 km/h (62 mph) time of 6.7 seconds.

The electric motor sits in the rear axle and is rated up to 65 kW. In the front, BMW installed a 100 kW/136 hp, 220Nm 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine and a six-speed Steptronic transmission with high-voltage starter-generator.

On its 7.6 kWh battery, all-electric range is stated at some 25 miles (40 km), but again rear-world results will be lower, especially since usable capacity stands at only 5.8 kWh.. We think 17-19 miles (27-30 km) is a decent real world expectation

Because the battery takes some additional space, fuel tank capacity was decreased to just 36 litres (15 less than conventional model), seats are also raised a little bit and the trunk has shrunk somewhat – 400 litres instead of roughly 470 litres.

According to Autocar, who recently tested the BMW 225xe, the car offers improved performance and fuel economy at a small premium in price, without sacrificing too much of its overall practicality.

Here are several photos of 225xe drivetrain, before we move to the driving experience:

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe, Exhibit Drive Train

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

Like in case of 330e, BMW implemented in 225xe three driving modes eDrive, Max eDrive and Save Battery.

AUTO eDRIVE is the basic setting activated when the car is started. It ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and gives a pure-electric top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).

MAX eDRIVE allows the car to run on the electric drive system alone up to a speed of 125 km/h (78 mph).

With SAVE BATTERY, the charge of the high-voltage battery can be maintained or, if it’s already depleted, raised to over 50 per cent during a journey – so that the available electric range can be used later in urban areas, for example.

According to the Autocar, despite weight of 1,660 kg (3,660 lbs), the 65 kW electric motor in base eDRIVE is strong enough to accelerate nimbly from a traffic light.

“Despite the complexity of the drivetrain, the dovetailing of the two drive systems is very impressive, providing the new BMW with urgent qualities in lower gears around town and an appealing loping gait in taller ratios out on the open road.”

“Dynamically, the new BMW is quite convincing, displaying excellent body control and tenacious purchase, and given its tall stature it is particularly well tied down. You can whip it through corners at impressive speeds without any undue lurch or premature breakaway at the front end, all of which endows the 225xe with more inherently sporting qualities than the 218i on which it is based.

The traction benefits brought by the electric motor’s ability to provide drive to the rear wheels really do endow the car with greater ability.”

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

Quick specs:

  • 100 kW/136 hp, 220 Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and six-speed Steptronic transmission plus high-voltage starter-generator in the front (power boost when accelerating from a standstill)
  • 65 kW electric motor for the rear wheels
  • AWD (front wheels  – engine, rear wheels – electric motor)
  • overall system output of 165 kW/224 hp and 385 Nm
  • all-electric range of up to 41 km (25 miles), probably NEDC up to 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • 7.6 kWh lithium-ion
  • Average fuel consumption (combined) at 2.1–2.0 litres/100 km (134.5–141.2 mpg imp)
  • 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.7 s

And no, BMW still has no plans to bring the 225xe to North America.

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

Source: Autocar

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35 responses to "BMW 225xe Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid Test Drive Review"

  1. Reddy says:

    I was excited that there would finally be a decent PHEV SUV for the US until I read this:
    “And no, BMW still has no plans to bring the 225xe to North America.” And then disappointed to see only 17-25 mi EV range. Add to this an overpriced BMW and I think I’ll pass.

    1. Nix says:

      With that electric range, it is really a PHEV designed to meet European driving patterns anyways. (EU drivers typically drive less miles than US drivers).

      So it is just as well that they only sell it in a market where it actually makes sense.

      BMW and Audi both have this problem. They are building PHEV’s that are a better match for the EU market and typical EU driving patterns. They aren’t as good a match for typical US driving patterns.

      1. Alpha777 says:

        So, that finally explains the CMax Energi.
        FORD just didn’t have to balls to sell it in Europe.

        1. miggy says:

          The rear seat layout is much better than the Bolt, 40/20/40 instead of the Bolt’s 40/60

  2. Definitely the ugliest BMW ever!

    Has there an Elephant sat on the hood?

    1. Mr. M says:

      Are you blind or do you mean the cutoff?

  3. Rich says:

    Decent looking car.
    “Average fuel consumption (combined) at 2.1–2.0 litres/100 km (134.5–141.2 mpg imp)”
    This stat looks like something out of marketing. Any word on MPG once the electric charge is depleted and the car functions in hybrid mode?

    1. Mr. M says:

      That number matches liter consumed over the year pretty decent. Like the 300mpg of the Volt for many.

      It’s the NEDC number. With the easy forumla here (http://www.autokiste.de/service/verbrauchsrechner-plug-in-hybrid.htm#formel) you can calculate that Combustion only has a consumption of 5.28-5.54 l/100km NEDC. Seems to be quite normal for such a small car.

  4. Scott says:

    That last line though…

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Why would you buy this over the Bolt? except for lack of charging access and BMW logo?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Okay, maybe the AWD.

      1. Nix says:

        The AWD, and if you only really cared about being allowed to drive in EU city centers that ban gas cars, but allow PHEV’s that run on battery through the city center.

        It’s an EU thing.

    2. Mike C says:

      I test-drove one yesterday. It’s quite remarkable how the IC and electric engines work together. And the handling is as good or better than any 1-series or 3-series I’ve driven. Only minor niggle was the visibility at front right, bit fat front column and door column restrict visibility when joining a roundabout, for example. Not a showstopper, though.

  6. Jychevyvolt says:

    I wouldn’t call this a phev. We should have some minimum kWh requirements to call it a phev. Tax credit and hov stricker should also follow this path so as to force companies to improve ev range every year.

    2016 16kwh
    2017 18kwh
    2018 20kwh
    2019 22kwh
    2020 24kwh

    1. Braben says:

      Where would you put the bigger batteries though? They already had to squeeze with this car (raising the seats and shrinking trunk and gas tank). I don’t think sacrificing the rear middle seat and even more trunk space a la Volt would fly for this type of car which is designed to be practical.

      1. Jychevyvolt says:

        That’s for the engineers to solve. Under the seat like ioniq, skateboard design like telsa or bolt, or maybe increase the length.

        I rather not give tax credit or hov access to all phev then let automakers come up with these kind of fake phevs.

        1. Braben says:

          None of the cars you mention are PHEVs (that obviously have to fit engine and gas tank somewhere). The Ionic PHEV has an 8.9 kWh battery …

          1. Jychevyvolt says:

            Ioniq is another phony phev. You think all those talent BMW engineers cannot squeeze 16kwh battery into a car? Is not a engineering limitation, it’s a cultural bottleneck.

            Hopefully, when model 3 takes all the sales away from the BMW 3 series, they will finally wake up.

            1. Braben says:

              I don’t think so. It’s simply a matter of designing the car how they think most customers want it. And I’m pretty sure they know their customers better than you and I do.

              It’s also a fact that there is only a single production PHEV today that has a battery at the lower end of the sizes you propose, and that car is compromised when it comes to practicality as a family car.

              Most people aren’t willing to live with the limitations of today’s BEVs. PHEVs are the next best thing, and even they face an uphill battle. Unrealistic regulatory demands will not help.

              1. Paul says:

                I do not believe at all that these kind of European PHEVs (and most PHEVs) are made in a way that serves best the wishes of their clients.

                They are made in a way to be able to follow the rules of the EU with the least change, investment and creativity.

                The way the EU rules and tests work, already a very small battery leads to a large lowering of CO2 emissions. Only in the tests, of course, because in real life these cars are like normal ICEcars when the battery is depleted, which is after a very short time.

                We need more companies like Tesla that really think about the wishes of their clients and the needs of the planet.

    2. Nix says:

      In what size of vehicle? It would be silly to put a 24 kWh battery in a Honda Fit size PHEV.

      1. Jychevyvolt says:

        There’s a Honda fit ev with 20kwh battery, already. If Honda can make magic seats, they can surely make magic battery.

    3. Speculawyer says:

      I like the intent but Car design cycles don’t move that fast.

      16KWH should be minimum to get a tax-credit or HOV lane sticker.

  7. Speculawyer says:

    These European PHEVs make me a sad panda. The are just compliance cars with batteries so small that people might not bother plugging them in. They should be 16KWH at a MINIMUM. And bigger would be better.

  8. PJ says:

    Does BMW plan on releasing the 330e in The U.S. And if so when?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey PJ,

      Yes they do, and you should start seeing them in about ~10 weeks, (=

      1. PJ says:

        Are there any models that will hit the U.S. between now and then?

        1. Jay Cole says:

          New PHEVs? Nope.

          Just as a somewhat related matter, there is a lot of new models/upgrades in stealth mode from the “majors” that will arrive incredibly quickly (unlike the slow-rolls on the first gens/initial offerings) due to a desire to not bastardize current offerings.

          As a result, we won’t see them break cover until the Fall into Detroit in January and through Geneva 2017 when everyone storms the market at about the same time. Call it the gen 2 “neutral zone” we are in now.

          The 2016 MY (roughly Sept 2015 to Aug 2016) is mostly just the former “non-participants” getting into the action, and the slow-rolls from Europe making their way over now the capacity has built up to Euro-demand (and vice-versa with US to Europe/Asia).

          1. PJ says:

            So no additions to the monthly plug-in report in till the 330e?

            1. Jay Cole says:

              No, it is not likely.

              There is always a chance someone pulls a “Focus Electric” or a “Volvo XC90” and sells/registers a internal/circular transaction months ahead of an official launch (check US sales scorecard to see what I mean), but nothing “retail” is expected.

              1. PJ says:

                Thanks really appreciate the feedback

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  No problemo, news is slow on the “late shift”, (=

  9. Aaron says:

    Drop the i3 EV drive train in it (possibly with a larger motor and obviously with a larger battery) and you have a mass-marketable EV, a’la Bolt EV.

    1. jelloslug says:

      The entire back end of the car would have to be redesigned to get that to work.

  10. GRA says:

    Unlike the purists, I think vehicles like this are an excellent idea, as I subscribe to the philosophy that ‘the best is the enemy of the good enough’. I especially like the Auto EV mode, where the car automatically switches to Battery below 50 mph. It makes little sense to run on the battery while cruising on the freeway, where the ICE is most efficient and least polluting (unless you have a big enough battery to do the whole commute on battery). way). Where you get the biggest advantage from running on the battery is in freeway stop and go and urban driving, and the range is plenty adequate, even here in the U.S. to handle most people’s needs. Installing workplace L1 charging will double the AER at a much lower cost. Installing bigger batteries at this time just makes the cars more expensive and lowers their utility, which will restrict their sales.

    I would like to see the AutoEV mode expanded to all PHEVs, but it would be nice to allow personal setting of the transition speeds/hysteresis to allow for individual needs, in addition to the default settings.

    Eventually, it will make economic sense for major manufacturers to develop EV-specific platforms, but for now it makes far more sense for them to base their PEVs on existing platforms.