BMW 225xe iPerformance interior & comfort

The BMW 225xe is as spacious as any 2 Series Active Tourer, and as upmarket as you’d expect of a BMW

As far as passengers are concerned, there’s no real difference between the hybrid 2 Series Active Tourer and the rest of the range. It’s every bit as spacious in the front and although the rear seats are set slightly higher to make room for the battery underneath, they don’t eat up too much space.

In fact, your rear-seat passengers are more likely to be grateful for the excellent view out than to moan about any lack of space. They also shouldn’t worry about loss of comfort, either Although this hybrid model is heavier than the other models in the range, the ride quality hasn’t suffered. On the contrary, the suspension manages to iron out most lumps and bumps very well.

BMW 225xe dashboard

The dashboard in the 2 Series Active Tourer is classic BMW. That means it’s well built from high-quality materials, but it looks a little dated and rather conservative next to the kind of thing that BMW’s big rivals, Audi and Mercedes, are introducing these days.

On the other hand, those rivals could still learn a thing or two from BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. It’s one of the best in the business and you soon learn how to work it, clicking and twirling your way through the various menus.

There’s also no faulting the layout of the dashboard, and the controls are logically laid-out and easy to use. The only difference between the 225xe and the rest of the range in an extra button for the hybrid system’s drive modes.

Equipment, options and accessories

Whereas some hybrid models are available in just one trim level, buyers can choose their 225xe in no less than five different trim levels.

Sport is the cheapest and comes with 17-inch alloys, cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control and DAB radio. On top of that, Luxury adds extra chrome detailing on the outside, as well as leather upholstery and wood trim on the inside, while M Sport models have a sportier bodykit, larger alloys wheels and sports suspension.

There are also ‘Premium’ versions of the Sport and M Sport, which add heated front seats and LED headlights, as well as the Park Assist and Park Distance Control systems and a panoramic sunroof.

If that isn’t enough, there’s no shortage of options to add, some of which are grouped into desirable packs. For example, the Comfort Pack (£725 - £1,000, depending on the trim level to which you’re adding it) gives you electric front-seat adjustment, as well as heating for the front seats and steering wheel. The Tech Pack includes uprated sat nav, improved Bluetooth connectivity and a head-up display, while the Vision Pack adds a reversing camera, power-folding mirrors and LED headlights.

Beyond that, there are also several ways to improve the practicality of your 2 Series Active Tourer. You could add tables on the backs of the front seats, a dividing net for the boot or a ski bag. And, if you’re a music lover, you can choose from a couple of ways to upgrade the basic loudspeakers.

However, with most models costing at least £35,000, you should be careful about adding too many options. Tick too many boxes on the options list and you could easily end up with a car that costs more than £40,000, which will increase your annual road-tax liability from £130 to £440.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

One of the beauties of the infotainment is that it’s controlled by BMW’s iDrive system, which is one of the best in the business. You soon learn how to click and flick your way through the various menus. If you’d rather access music and navigation from your smartphone, that’s fine.

Well, it’s fine if you have an Apple iPhone and don’t mind paying just under £250 extra for the optional preparation. Android Auto isn’t supported on the 2 Series Active Tourer. However, there are plenty of online services that you do have access to through the BMW Connected app. This includes what are called 'remote services', which allow you to check on your car, set the ventilation, flash the headlights and lock or unlock the doors.