BMW 225xe hybrid (2015-2021) performance, top speed & engine
If you think hybrids are slow, the BMW 225xe will make you think again
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The headline here is that the 225xe shares its engine, electric motor and battery pack with the BMW i8 sports car, but they’re not so highly tuned in this car. Instead of serving up 357bhp, the combined output of the 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor in the 225xe is 221bhp. Still, that’s plenty for an MPV, and enough to get the hybrid 2 Series from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds en route to a top speed of 126mph. That’s much quicker than alternative cars, such as the Toyota Prius+ and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
However, most of the time you won’t be trying to sprint from the lights. Instead, you’ll be getting up to speed quietly and smoothly, finding out that this is a great car around town – eager and responsive. Even on an open road, way from the urban jungle, you won’t have any complaints about the car’s performance.
BMW 225xe hybrid engine, 0-62mph and acceleration
The 225xe is available in a variety of trim levels, but they all have the same powertrain: a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a battery and electric motors that give it four-wheel drive. Together, they produce a total of 221bhp, which allows this hybrid to dash off the 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds – similar to the MINI Cooper S hot hatchback.
In fact, it means this is the quickest MPV on the market. It makes for an easy drive around town, and our only disappointment is that the 225xe can feel slow to react when you put your foot down – it takes time for the engine to kick in when you want flat-out acceleration.
Around town, this a very easy car to drive, thanks to the quick responses of the electric motor. However, city streets do show up one of its few shortcomings: its firm-ish ride. That's down to a fairly stiff suspension set-up and you feel the benefits when you hit some corners out of town. Thanks to well controlled movements of the body and nicely balanced handling, this is a tidy car to drive. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that it’s the most enjoyable MPV to drive.
It has great traction and grip, too, much helped by the four-wheel-drive system. That makes for a very sure-footed and reassuring car and means you can really fling the 225xe around in complete safety. Mind you, it’s debatable just how important that is to potential MPV buyers.
In This Review
- 1VerdictOne of the very few hybrid MPVs, the first-generation 2 Series Active Tourer plug-in is worth a look for economy-minded secondhand family-car buyers
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingAccording to official figures, the BMW 225xe is one of the most economical MPVs you can buy
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe BMW 225xe will be one of the cheapest MPVs to run – as long as you can use electric power frequently
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingIf you think hybrids are slow, the BMW 225xe will make you think again
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe BMW 225xe is as spacious as any 2 Series Active Tourer, and as upmarket as you’d expect of a BMW
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThis BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is pretty big, but it sacrifices some passenger and boot space to the hybrid system
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe BMW 2 Series Active Tourer's hybrid technology has been tried and tested in the MINI range