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New BMW 2 Series Active Tourer gains two plug-in hybrid powertrains

Tags: #electric-vehicles

BMW is busy refreshing much of its range with new versions of the company’s models getting the brand’s latest design language and more technology. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is the latest to get a going over and as well as the design and technology, it will get a pair of plug-in hybrid options. 

The update of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer sees it gain a new platform which has been designed to accommodate electrified powertrains. Whilst there are 48V mild hybrid options, it’s the two PHEVs we’re interested in. These will be joining the range from summer next year and will benefit from BMW’s fifth generation eDrive technology.

Exterior design

It’s the most obvious change to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and as with the rest of BMW’s most recent releases it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow for many. BMW talks a lot about “sporting elegance” and “increased presence”, but dominating proceedings is that reshaped grille. If you can get over the front end of the car, the rest is far more conventional.

Alongside the grille, LED headlights are standard and have been redesigned with a three-pattern light cluster for the 2022 model. Adaptive lighting is optional. Down the side, the Active Tourer looks fairly similar to the last version whilst the rear’s most notable change is new LED lamps. The car is bigger by 32mm in length, 24mm in width and 21mm in height, though the wheelbase is the same at 2670mm.

Wheels of up to 19 inches can be specified, whilst Sport, Luxury and M Sport trim levels add exterior trim details such as high-gloss shadowlines. Eleven paint colours are available.

Powertrains

Two plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will be available from summer 2022. The BMW 230e xDrive and 225e xDrive will bring two power levels to the party, both of which have far more poke than the standard petrol or diesel models. They also add some dynamism to the 2 Series through xDrive all-wheel drive, with the petrol engine powering the front wheels and the electric motor the rear. Despite the different power levels, they are effectively the same powertrain in a different state of tune.

The 225e variant will have 245hp in total, with 136hp coming from its three-cylinder petrol engine and 109hp from the fifth-generation motor, located within the (seven speed) transmission alongside its power electronics. The 230e ups things to 326hp – real hot hatch territory – with 150hp going to the front wheels via the petrol engine and 177hp to the rear thanks to the electric motor.

Storing electricity is a 14.9kWh battery which can be charged in 2.5 hours using a 7.4kW AC supply. WLTP range on electric power is up to 49 miles – a significant increase on previous versions.

Interior styling and tech

BMW has comprehensively updated the 2 Series Active Tourer inside, taking cues from the all-electric iX with the driver-orientated BMW Curved Display the central feature. A new control panel with a redesigned gear selector, start/stop button and various other settings controls has been created whilst the front of the centre console is now given over to wireless phone charging (where specified). Five trim levels with new materials help owners to customise their car.

One of the Active Tourer’s big selling points has always been its spacious interior and it’s no different here. Headroom, shoulder and elbow room have all been increased for both rows of seats, whilst rear seat passengers gain more kneeroom. The rear seats can be split 40:20:40 and have 13cm of forward/backward travel. Whilst the PHEV variant has lost around 30 litres overall compared to the pure ICE cars, a maximum of 1370 litres of cargo room is still significant.

BMW’s Operating System 8 software gets its debut in a compact car with the 2 Series Active Tourer along with the latest iteration of the iDrive. This powers the curved display which features a 10.25 inch information display and a 10.7 inch control display. Voice control can be used along with the touchscreen interface or multifunction steering wheel. The central touchscreen itself can be configured to an owner’s preferences with mobile phone-style apps. Over-the-air updates keep the OS up to date whilst owners can integrate their phones and user profiles with the car and control various functions remotely.

Cruise control with brake function is standard, as is a manual speed limit assist function. Front collision and lane departure warning similarly come as standard. At lower speeds the standard active park distance control and a reversing assist camera come into their own.

Upgrade to the Driving Assistant Professional package and active cruise control with steering and lane control is included. You also get active navigation, emergency lane assist, lane keeping assist, road priority warning, wrong way warning, front crossing traffic warning and exit warning – in other words, lots of assists and warnings.

Price and availability

There’s no word on the price of the PHEV variants just yet, but the regular BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will start at a fairly stout £30,265. You’re not going to see much change from £35k for a plug-in version, essentially. They’ll be available from the middle of next year.

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