BMW 225xe hybrid practicality & boot space
The 2 Series Active Tourer is the company's first MPV, but that inexperience doesn’t show. In fact, the car offers a practical interior and a decent-sized boot. Admittedly, it's not as spacious as a Volkswagen Golf SV or Citroen C4 Picasso, but the higher roof and raised seating position gives it an edge over conventional family hatchbacks, and it's usefully more practical than a MINI Countryman.
Rear-seat space is decent, if not class-leading, but the Active Tourer has a rear bench rather than individually movable chairs. If the Active Tourer doesn’t offer enough space, then the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is likely the next best option and is a similar price, although it also doesn't offer seven seats and isn't as nice to sit in or to drive.
BMW 225xe interior space, storage & comfort
For the driver and front-seat passenger, there’s almost nothing to distinguish the plug-in hybrid version of the 2 Series Active Tourer from the regular model. Which is no bad thing, as there’s plenty of room in the front and lots of adjustment in the driver's seat, so finding a comfortable position should be simple for anyone.
To help accommodate the various components of the hybrid system, the rear bench in the 225xe is set 30mm higher than in a conventional model. However, thanks to the tall roof, there’s still enough head and legroom for three adults in the back – all of whom get a good view out. And the small transmission tunnel leaves plenty of space for the middle-seat passenger to put their feet.
Last, but not least, there's also a load of useful cubbyholes up front and a handy central armrest that doubles as a storage bin, with room to charge your phone or MP3 player.
Inevitably, the space taken by the batteries in this hybrid end up making this 2 Series a little less practical than other models in the range. But by positioning the battery pack under the rear seats, BMW has minimised the reduction in boot space to 68 litres, giving this hybrid 2 Series a total of 400 litres. That’s just 63 litres smaller than the tall and boxy Outlander PHEV, while the Prius+ is more spacious still, with a 505-litre luggage capacity.
Better still, the wide hatchback opening is great for loading in awkward items. It comes with electric opening as standard, so you can begin the process from the key fob before even reaching the car.