BMW’s iPerformance petrol-hybrid range is filled with some quality options to cruise around in comfort while offering low levels of emissions.
But the German firm also produces a model that is perfectly suited for families and also uses fuel frugally – the 2 Series iPerformance Active Tourer.
Based on the smaller of the two 2 Series Tourer vehicles, the iPerformance has seating for five and lots of storage space besides, while also being capable of going 25 miles on electric power.
But can this futuristic take on the family MPV help keep the segment alive, as more people move towards crossovers and SUVs? We take a look…
The iPerformance combines the power of a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor to develop 221bhp and 385Nm of torque. Labelled the 225xe, the iPerformance comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive, allowing the model to get from 0-60mph in a surprisingly rapid 6.5 seconds, before topping out at 126mph.
The initial getaway from the 225xe is rather impressive thanks to the rear-mounted electric motor giving a torquey boost, but with the additional weight of the hybrid system, the car doesn’t feel as potent when you get up to higher speeds.See Available 2 Series deals
Ride & Handling
As it’s built by BMW, you can sense that the 225xe comes with the sporty pedigree that is usually found in models built by the Munich-based firm. There is only a hint of that though, as this is still an MPV, but don’t be surprised when we say that it is much more capable through the turns than pretty much all other models in the segment.
What you do have to consider is that with the additional hybrid equipment on-board, the 225xe can feel a bit heavier when cornering and lean a bit more when compared to the conventionally-powered versions of the Active Tourer. When the electric motor is engaged, the 225xe is whisper quiet and when the petrol engine comes in, the change is seamless. Although we would prefer an eight-speed automatic, the six-speed version installed still feels very smooth.
Interior & Equipment
The 225xe wouldn’t be a suitable MPV without having good levels of storage and passenger space, so it is a good thing that BMW has provided it with more than enough. However, with the additional hybrid batteries under the rear seats, headroom in the back is a little smaller than in the standard models. To adjust for more legroom, the Active Tourer comes with a sliding rear bench to allow for either more passenger or boot space. In the standard layout, the 225xe has 400 litres of boot space on offer, while folding the split rear seats down will reveal 1,350 litres of room.
Available on all bar the base SE trim level, the iPerformance comes with an impressive amount of kit as standard in Sport spec, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, electrically-folding rear seats, two-zone automatic air conditioning, automatic tailgate, a central infotainment system with Bluetooth and smartphone integration, cruise control, drive performance control, sports seats and rear parking sensors.
In iPerformance guise, the 2 Series Active Tourer starts from £34,395, which is quite a lot for a family model – especially when comparing it to the entry level price of the standard Active Tourer, which starts from £24,490.
Where the customers will see savings is in terms of fuel economy and lower emissions, as the 225xe can achieve between a claimed 88.3 and 100.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are just 57g/km.
If you’re a driver that lives in and around town needing plenty of room for family members and other items, the 2 Series plug-in hybrid could be the car for you. It offers good levels of practicality alongside plenty of high-end equipment, while also being well-mannered on the open road. The electric mode can be very beneficial for those driving in town a lot, although beyond those boundaries the 225xe can suffer with using too much fuel. On the whole though, the BMW does perform well in many areas.