BMW gave us a bit of a shock with the 2014 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. At first there was fear that the model would compromise the Identity of the BMW name. Aside from the fact that it is a lower-cost vehicle, it is also front-wheel drive, which skews away from traditional BMW engineering. To some, the front end says, “yes, I am a BMW,” but the rest of the vehicle – including the drivetrain – just didn’t quite fit what some expect from a Bimmer.

Now that the 2 Series has established itself in the market, BMW has decided to add a plug-in hybrid variant of the Active Tourer model. The new model will use the same 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine from the base-model 2 Series, but it will also have an electric motor in the rear. This design means the hybrid version will have front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive (when running on the electric motor only.) Even though the 2 Series fell outside of the normal BMW mold, BMW still managed to supply a vehicle that meets the desires of consumers. The new 225XE hybrid will have a lot of the same features of the non-hybrid version, but will be different in its own way. The 225XE should debut along with the new 330E plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.

Read on to see my review of the new 225XE.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid.

  • 2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    224
  • Torque @ RPM:
    284
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    126 mph
  • Price:
    € 37800
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior of the plug-in hybrid will probably be almost identical to that of the non-hybrid version of the 2 Series AT. Expect to see the same powerful accent lines on the hood, front fascia and doors. The traditional BMW grille will also remain along with the large, lower air dam to accommodate airflow through the intercooler for the twin-turbo 1.5-liter under the hood. There will be other small changes, like an access door for the charging port.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,342 MM (170.94 Inches)
Width 1,800 MM (70.86 Inches)
Height 1,556 MM (61.25 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,670 MM (105.11 Inches)
Track, front/rear 1557/1558 MM (61.29/61.33 Inches)
Ground clearance 167 MM (6.57 Inches)

Interior

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Interior
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2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Interior
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2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Interior
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The interior in the non-hybrid AT was a major selling point for the vehicle. BMW has yet to release any major details on 225XE’s interior, but I suspect it will have all of the features and upscale design feel that we saw in the non-hybrid version. The large, tablet-like screen will probably remain the same, but should be adapted with different programming to accommodate the electric drive and storage system. The 225XE will still have the Driving Experience Control switch that includes sport, comfort and eco-pro settings, but it will also have a second switch dedicated to electric functionality. The “edrive” button has selections for “Auto eDrive,” “Max eDrive” and “Save Battery.”

Aside from the modified display screen, and the eDrive button, it’s safe to assume the interior will remain unchanged from the non-hybrid model. Expect to see the same small wood grain accents on the dash and doors, 40/20/40 folding rear seats, seating for up to five people and the same generous cargo storage from the non-hybrid AT. At this point, BMW hasn’t mentioned whether or not the addition of the rear, electric drive system will affect cargo space at all, but I doubt it will. I expect the 225XE will still have the push-to-start button for gasoline-only operation, and the heads-up display should still be an option – hopefully modified to display battery life and other information related to the electric drive system.

Drivetrain

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Interior
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The drivetrain is where the 225XE really sets apart from its non-hybrid twin. The 2 Series AT came with only front-wheel drive, and the option for one of three different engines. The 225XE version only offers one – a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine with twin turbochargers.

Above 50 mph, or under heavy acceleration, the gasoline engine will automatically start to assist the electric motor, supplying a combined total of 224 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque.

The gasoline engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed Steptronic transmission to the tune of 136 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The 68 kW electric motor – set up like the 2015 BMW i8 – drives the rear wheels with a total of 88 horsepower. The 7.7 kWh battery offers an all-electric range of 25 miles and can achieve a full charge in three hours and 15 minutes, using a standard 120-volt wall socket.

By using the drive control switch, the driver can select between “Auto eDrive,” “Max eDrive” and “Save Battery.” By selecting “Save Battery,” the vehicle will be powered by just the gasoline engine. Battery charge will be maintained, or charged to over 50 percent while driving. The “Max eDrive” selection offers rear-wheel drive only with a top speed of 78 mph. “Auto eDrive,” which is the default selection, allows pure electric operation up to 50 mph.

Above 50 mph, or under heavy acceleration, the gasoline engine will automatically start to assist the electric motor, supplying a combined total of 224 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque.

Fuel economy in Auto eDrive mode is expected to be somewhere in the range of 134.5 to 141.2 mpg Imp. When the engine and electric motor work together, the 225XE can hit 60 mph from a dead stop in only 6.7-seconds.

Drivetrain Specifications

Drive concept Full hybrid drive, torque vectoring to all four wheels from one or both units via electrified xDrive
System output 224 HP
Combustion Engine
Config/No of cyls/valves In-line/3/4
Engine technology BMW TwinPower Turbo technology: turbocharger, High Precision Injection, fully variable valve control VALVETRONIC, variable camshaft control Double-VANOS
Capacity, effective cc 1499
Stroke/bore mm 94.6/82.0
Compression ratio :1 11.0
Max output 136 HP @ 4,400 RPM
Max torque 162 LB-FT @ 1,250–4,300 RPM
Electric Motor
Motor technology BMW eDrive technology: synchronous electric motor, generator function for energy recuperation for the high-voltage battery
Max output 88 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Max torque 122 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
High-voltage Battery
Storage technology/installation Lithium-ion/underfloor, underneath rear seat
Voltage V 293
Capacity (gross) kWh 7.7
Charging time for 100% charge 2.2 h at 3.7 kW (16 A/230 V)

Prices

BMW hasn’t released a listed of available options for the 225XE, but according to its press release, the prices will start in Germany at €37,800, or $21,528 in U.S. currency. I expect to see a maximum price somewhere closer to €47,000 or $27,000 for a fully loaded model once the 225XE is released.

Competition

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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Ford CMAX Energi

2013 Ford C-Max High Resolution Exterior
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Unlike the 225XE, the CMAX Energi plug-in hybrid is available in the U.S, and it is only front-wheel drive. The electric motor is coupled to a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine. Together the two provide 188 horsepower. A 7.6 kWh Lithium-Ion battery provides juice to the electric motor and can be charged with a standard 120-volt outlet. The Energi achieves an overall mileage rating of 88 mpg and has a top speed of 102 mph when the engine and motor are in use. A full charge using a 120 volt plug takes 7 hours – nearly four more than the 225XE – and, while in all-electric mode, the Energi has a range of 19 miles at a top speed of 85 mph. Pricing in the U.S. starts out at $31,770.

You can read more about the 2013 Ford C-Max here.

Conclusion

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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Hybrid vehicles certainly have their place in the market, but I’m not sure if there is that large of a demand for a plug-in hybrid variant of the Active Tourer. At the end of the day, it still looks too much like a C-MAX, and there is the inconvenience of having to plug it in to maintain a full charge. It’s not a bad little grocery getter for smaller families, and the short range would be sufficient for traveling across town to the local market. I would like to see models like the 225xe move into solar charging or even wireless charging to get rid of the inconvenience plugging in the vehicle every night to maintain the high mpg rating.

  • Leave it
    • * Front-wheel drive during engine-only operation
    • * BMW i Wallbox only cuts charging time by 1 hour

Press Release

BMW is adding a plug-in hybrid variant with all-wheel drive to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer model range. The BMW 225xe – a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer variant with eDrive – delivers a combination of sporting ability, economy and everyday practicality unique in its segment. It allows locally emission-free driving without compromising on the driving pleasure you’d expect from BMW, and combines an electric driving experience and high operating range with functional excellence and veryday practicality. The BMW 225xe offers both a higher system output and more boot capacity than its competitors.

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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With its plug-in hybrid drive system, the BMW 225xe combines BMW EfficientDynamics with comfort, driving pleasure and all-wheel drive, and brings versatility and generous levels of space together in a compact vehicle. The BMW 225xe uses its combination of BMW eDrive and a 1.5-litre threecylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo engine to offer both an electric driving experience and unrestricted mobility. Its combined fuel consumption of 2.1– 2.0 litres* per 100 kilometres / 134.5–141.2 mpg imp (CO2 emissions are just 49–46 grams* per kilometre) sets the benchmark in its class.

The BMW 225xe’s plug-in hybrid technology enables locally emission-free driving but also allows owners to cover long distances when required. It is therefore perfectly suited for use in urban areas and for family leisure activities. Like all variants of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive also impresses with its generouslysized interior, practical details and ergonomic ease of use. Since the lithiumion battery is arranged in a space-saving position under the rear seat bench and the electric drive system is fully accommodated under the load compartment floor, the boot’s capacity can be used virtually without restriction.

Electric, efficient and dynamically accomplished

The driving experience is an equally important element of BMW’s family and leisure cars as everyday practicality. However, the BMW 225xe takes enjoyment at the wheel to a whole new level again. The BMW eDrive technologies developed under the banner of BMW EfficientDynamics and a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine team up to create an efficient and dynamically accomplished hybrid drive system which makes the perfect match for a BMW brand model: dynamically adept, locally emission-free thanks to the electric drive and efficient over long distances. The electric drive system at the rear axle joins forces with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer’s regular front-wheel-drive configuration to form what we call “electrified xDrive”. The result is outstanding traction even in adverse weather conditions. The rear-mounted 65 kW/88 hp electric motor drives the rear wheels and allows an electric range of up to 41 kilometres (25 miles). This makes it the obvious emission-free drive option for short distances, urban traffic and, with a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph) on electric power alone, cross-country routes and even motorways.

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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Front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or electrified xDrive

The high-revving three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an output of 100 kW/136 hp is standing by for longer journeys and when higher speeds are the order of the day. The combustion engine sends its power to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission and represents a compelling proposition with its smooth running and 220 Newton metres (162 lb-ft) of torque available up to the 202 km/h (126 mph) top speed.

Under heavy acceleration from rest and for overtaking manoeuvres, the power from the two drive systems combines to give a system output of 165 kW/224 hp and peak torque of up to 385 Newton metres (284 lb-ft). All of which enables acceleration from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.7 seconds. As with the BMW i8, the hybrid drive system in the BMW 225xe creates an “electrified xDrive” system. When the driver accelerates, the combustion engine is activated by the high-voltage starter-generator almost imperceptibly and with no interruption in the flow of power.

In addition to the Driving Experience Control switch – with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings – familiar from other BMW models, the eDrive button in the centre console offers three driving modes: AUTO 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 highvoltage 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. BMW ConnectedDrive is also on hand to help lower fuel consumption. In the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive, the ConnectedDrive package adds the proactive energy management function to the mix, which responds to the driving style and route profile to ensure the plug-in hybrid drive system is used as efficiently as possible. As a plug-in hybrid, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive can charge its lithium-ion high-voltage battery (capacity: 7.7 kWh) either by means of brake energy recuperation during a journey or when plugged into a domestic power socket (in three hours 15 minutes from empty) or the optional BMW i Wallbox (two hours 15 minutes from empty).

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Drivetrain
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The electric drive components, including the high-voltage battery and electric motor, are produced at BMW Plant Dingolfing; series production of the BMW 225xe will begin in late 2015 at Plant Leipzig. Prices in Germany start at €37,800.

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