Boasting a combined 477Nm of torque and up to 1,455 litres of luggage space the all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is pushing an efficient drive train, contemporary design and a supreme level of technical comfort as the ideal vehicle for active people.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer started life back in 2014 at the Canadian International Auto Show. A year later they released a long wheel-base version which was known as the Gran Tourer. The concept was to develop a compact MPV, combining the size of a car with the practicality of a minivan with a tall roof and upright seating positions. It was designed to compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. DriveLife reviewed the 2016 BMW 225xe Active Toruer in Japan and we were pleasantly surprised. The Mercedes B-Class is no longer available in New Zealand, which gives BMW a clear and open market segment.

As we teeter on the brink of going full EV or not, the BMW 225e xDrive Active Tourer is the second generation, incorporating hybrid electric technology, and with the latest in small efficient engines the Active Tourer was going to be a very interesting review. 

What We Like and Dislike About The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive

What we like

  • Interior practicality
  • Plug-in Hybrid
  • Sporty engine
  • Technology

What we don’t like

  • Front Grille
  • Bland styling
  • Colour selection
  • Price
  • Top of doors, armrest uncomfortable

What’s In The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive Range?

The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive is the only 2 Series Active Tourer model available in New Zealand. It comes with a 1.5-litre inline 3-cylinder single scroll turbo petrol engine, that creates 100kW of power and 230Nm of torque. This is combined with an 80kW electric motor that generates 247Nm of torque providing a combined 180kW of power and 477Nm of torque. The onboard electric battery can provide up to 93 kilometres of pure electric range. 

The starting price for the BMW 225e XDrive is $78,500. There is a wide list of assistance systems which give you peace of mind behind the wheel. The range of additional options appears to be limited, which might mean customising it to your specific requirements could be challenging.

2024 BMW 225e xDrive Standard Equipment Highlights

  • Lane Departure Warning with an active return to the lane, 
  • Speed Limit Info, manual Speed Limit Assist and front collision warning
  • A rearview camera and automatic braking function
  • BMW Digital Key turns your compatible smartphone into a key
  • 18″ light alloy wheels Star-spoke style 837 Bicolour
  • Personal eSim
  • Connected Package Professional
  • BMW Intelligent Emergency Call
  • TeleServices
  • ConnectedDrive Services and Apps
  • BMW Individual roofliner Anthracite
  • BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line
  • Variable sport steering
  • Adaptive M Suspension
  • Steptronic transmission with gear shift paddles
  • Wireless Charging
  • M leather steering wheel
  • Electric seat adjustment with memory for driver’s seat
  • Interior mirror with automatic anti-dazzle function
  • Floor mats in Velour
  • High-Beam Assist
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • DAB tuner
  • Parking Assistant Plus
  • BMW Live Cockpit Professional

2024 BMW 225e xDrive Colour Range

The 2 Series Active Tourer is available in eight different colours. In my opinion, bright colours work well with the design, making it feel more funky. Unfortunately, only two of the eight are bright – the red and the blue.

  • Alpine White Solid
  • Black Sapphire metallic
  • Black Sapphire metallic
  • Black Sapphire metallic
  • Skyscraper Grey metallic
  • Skyscraper Grey metallic
  • Piemont Red metallic
  • BMW Individual Storm Bay metallic

As our review car had no optional extras, the retail price is $78,500

For a full list of specs and options available for the 2024 BMW 225e xDrive head on over to BMW New Zealand’s website 

How Does The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive Compare To Its Competition?

Without considering compact SUVs, there is currently no direct competition for the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, as the last generation of the Mercedes-Benz B-class was phased out in 2023. 

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
2024 BMW 225e xDrive1,5L I3 petrol turbo + electric motor180 / 47751.4406 / 1455$78,500

Please note that DriveLife does its best to ensure the information above is correct at the time of publication, however, prices, specifications and models can change over time. Please bear that in mind when comparing models in the comparison table.

First Impressions Of The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive

It’s not your average-looking car that’s for sure. The 2 Series Active Tourer does not appear to be trying to stand out from the crowd at all. Its short wheelbase and small wheels provide a modest look, which is a different path for BMW. 

This car sticks to “form follows function” design principles, which more often leads to something a bit different. But the form is where it will stand out, being a practical lifestyle vehicle, or so I hoped. Once inside you immediately feel like you’re in a larger car due to the upright seating position and spacious cabin.

What’s The Interior Like In The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive?

The inside of the car shares a similar design language to the iX SUV range. There is a large LCD panel running across the dash, combining both the central console display and the driver’s information display. The majority of the dash is very clean, with only a few buttons visible. The main feature is the dash vents, with 5 independent vents running from the driver to the passenger side of the vehicle.

The central console consists of an upright wireless phone charger, which is a pretty neat and useful design. But you must remember to use the phone clamp to hold your phone in place once it’s sitting on the charging pad, as it will fall out when driving if not correctly seated. Below that is a pair of cup holders and two USB-C charging ports. There is a large storage space under the main armrest which is supported at the rear, leaving an uninterrupted space below for both the driver and passenger to use. The armrest has a small cubby which opens toward the passenger side, not ideal. At the end of the armrest, there is a control panel which contains the Start/Stop button, transmission selection, drive mode and audio controls. Overall the dash is pretty clean and has minimal design, not a lot of clutter. 

The central display runs BMW’s latest infotainment system. BMW is known for a lot of options and levels in their infotainment, and this one doesn’t disappoint. I kept to the top levels in most cases, but there seemed to be many levels of menus for everything, providing you with a lot of customisable options. It’s super easy to pair your phone, and once that is done you can run Andriod Auto or Apply CarPlay wirelessly. Everything was easy to use, with my only pet peeve being that Spotify would start playing automatically 5 minutes after I started driving, even if I was listening to the radio. I am sure there is a setting, but I did not have the patience to find it. 

The driver’s display has the basic arrangement of driver information requirements, with two large gauges on either side of the screen. The left is for speed and the right is for the percentage of electric power you are currently using. In the bottom right and left of the screen you have two range gauges, on the right you have the purely electric range and on the left you have the combined vehicle range. I was impressed to see over 700km of range when I collected the car, not bad for a mid-sized hybrid.

Front seats are typical BMW, with a firm base and strong side support. The seat design is bland, with the stitching being the only noticeable feature. Both front seats have 6-way electric adjustable seats with a vertically adjusting headrest. The seats themselves are nothing to write home about, but they did the job and I found them to be comfortable during my entire time behind the wheel.

The rear seats are similar in design but less sculpted. The legroom is good too, as the front seats are moved upright and can be further forward for tall drivers. This made it nice and easy to place and fix my daughter’s booster seat. The ISO sockets are marked and have a flick-back plastic cover over them. The seat was easy to click in place, the only thing I struggled with was trying to remove the headrest from the rear seat. Thankfully I was able to raise it high enough so that it didn’t get in the way of the booster seat head support.  

Visibility from the driver’s seat is great, the upright seating position and large windows all around provide great visibility in all directions. 

Boot space is great, something I did not expect as the car’s shape gives you the impression the boot might be a bit tight. With the rear seats up, the boot is a decent 407 litres, more than enough for a weekly food shop. I also loved how BMW have stored the charger and charger cables, just at the foot of the boot there is a lift-up section of the floor, that neatly keeps all the EV-related cables and chargers from taking up valuable boot space. This BMW’s party trick is when you put the rear seats down, the boot opens up to 1,455 litre of space

What’s The 2024 BMW 225e xDrive Like To Drive?

The BMW 225e has a small but peppy 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol turbocharged motor that creates 100kW of power and 230Nm of torque. This does not sound like a lot, but when it’s in a small reasonably light car, it gives the BMW a lively get up and go. It’s not going to break any land speed records, but it’s not a slug either. And compared to a lot of other hybrids, it’s quick off the mark. 

Driver feel is light and precise, which is a common trait on most BMWs; it’s not until you get up into the M cars that you start to feel a lot of feedback from the steering wheel. I also liked that there were no gear-shifting paddles, as it’s a pointless expense in these cars. Simple is better.

The steering wheel itself is simple and not cluttered with buttons. On the right, you have volume, mute and telephone buttons, around a toggle for the driver’s display. On the left, you have cruise control settings and a toggle for speed and range when engaged, and that’s it. Simple right, I loved it. 

Fuel economy is always interesting in hybrids and in a review car. I did my best to drive as sensibly as I could, but I did enjoy stretching the legs of the spirited engine. That being said I managed a combined fuel consumption of 5.0L/100km which is a lot more than advertised. I have no doubt I could get this closer to 3.5 if I were to drive conservatively. I am not sure that I could get it down to 1.5 like BMW advertises, but maybe over time with the use of electric drive daily, it might be possible. I only charged it up once during my time with the car, this was achieved overnight which was great. 

The drive modes available are Normal, Efficient and Sport. Compared to some of the other BMWs I have driven, especially the IX line, the Efficient setting didn’t seem to be as noticeably different as the other cars. Unlike the BMW 225e, the other cars’ HUD displays changed so that you could see when you drive more efficiently or not. Normal mode was just that, right in the middle and I found it perfect for everyday driving. Sport mode turned everything to 11, which for a 1.5-litre engine and an 80kW electric motor is not a lot, but it still gave the 225e a funky burst of life and put a cheeky grin on my face.

The noise inside the cabin is very low, so low in fact that at times I was not sure if the engine was on or if the electric motor was running. It’s very quiet and would be even quieter on higher-quality roads. 

The ride was good, very comfy, not too firm and the feel for the passengers and driver was of a very well-planted and stable vehicle. This will be partly due to the battery’s weight low down at the rear of the car. As I mentioned steering was light and easy and this made the handling easy too. If you want to push it you could and I felt in control all of the time. 

The driver assistance tech is great for what I would consider to be a small model on the ladder of BMW’s product lineup. As I predicted, the same driver safety systems are working their way down from the flagship models. The BMW 225e has the same Smart Following Assist, where if it thinks you’re too close to the car in front of you it will ease off the power and allow the distance to grow again. I love how it happens as it feels so natural, unlike an overpowering emergency system stepping in and taking over. And for the hidden space, BMW driver safety systems have you covered with blind spot monitoring.

To summarise, behind the wheel and everyday driving, what’s it like? Overall it’s a bit uneventful, which may sound odd, but that is a good thing. I enjoyed driving the BMW 225e xDrive, as it was easy, effortless and comfortable. We as a society tend to remember only the negative things about something and rarely give praise when something just does what it’s supposed to. The BMW did just that and did it well. 

2024 BMW 225e xDrive – Specifications

Vehicle TypeHybrid
Starting Price$78,500
Price as Tested$78,500
Engine1.5-litre 3 cylinder petrol turbo changed + electric motor
Power, Torque
100 / 230
TransmissionSeven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Spare Wheeln/a
Kerb Weight, Kg1,920
Length x Width x Height
4354 x 1562 x 1555
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
470 / 1,455
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 1.4
Real-World Test – Combined – 5.0
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5 years or 100,000 kilometres
Safety informationANCAP Rating – not yet tested – 5 Stars – QCY175

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John Galvin (JSG)
It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.
2024-bmw-225e-xdrive-active-tourer-plug-in-hybrid-car-reviewThe BWM 2 Series Active Tourer is a nice car. It's simple to look at, lacking strong design aesthetics - apart from the massive BMW kidney grille. However this car is more than what it looks like, its strengths are in its practicality and its everyday user-friendly interior design. It's a mid-sized but very useable 4-seater cross-over, giving you ease of use in the city and at home. <br><br> The plug-in hybrid market segment is going to be where the focus is over the next few years. Full EVs and regular combustion engines have their pros and cons, so why not have the best of both worlds with the option to choose how and when you use the different powertrain? But do be aware of the new RUC’s for PHEV and EV cars that have started in April 2024. <br><br> If you are in the market for a practical mid-sized car, then you should check out the new BMW 225e xDrive and take it for a spin.,


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