(Actually this should probably be called ‘unclip and climb in’ but it doesn’t have the same ring to it).
School holidays are a time of great joy. Whether it’s half term or end of term, whatever the season, time away from the education system is always a great respite and the chance to spend quality time with family and friends, perfect – for the child.
For the parents it’s a time of great stress. What was seemingly a structured and organised life (that included several hours of childlessness during the working day) becomes a constant juggle of time and people management. There’s the Boss to consider (and the workload that goes with any work absence). Partner consideration (if they do the bulk of the child management rest assured you’ll be dumped on from ALL angles when you get home). And there is no consideration of time, as it’s not yours anymore. You see during the holidays Children demand constant attention and stimulation, which is easier in the summer, parks and time outdoors but not so much in the winter.
Should you choose to take the ‘easy’ route and book a vacation away; be prepared to open your wallet WIDE, however should you opt to stay close to home in the cold and rainy season; you’d better plan your indoor activities more thoroughly than a general would plan a military strike!
Like I said, School holidays are a time of great joy.
We have a son, just the one so it should be quite simple to keep him occupied right? Wrong. He has more energy than than a nuclear power plant and is endlessly on the move – we need to keep him active both mentally and physically if we are to stand any chance of normality – thankfully this holiday BMW came to the rescue with their 2 Series 225xe Active Tourer iPerformance. The 225xe is a stylish and efficient mover of energetic young people.
In the extensive BMW range, the Active Tourer slots in as a sort of 2 series estate/X2. There is plenty of room for a small family to go off and explore (especially if they need space for active gear) but doesn’t take up the roadspace that comes with any of the likes of the 3 series. It has a long wheelbase allowing for a roomy inside but a short overhang making it easy to maneuver around the city. The kidney grille up front makes it unmistakably BMW and the heavy silver ‘mascara’ over the headlights gives it a strange city chicness. Although it doesn’t have a large ground clearance, the Active Tourer has a small SUV profile and the large auto tailgate completes the effect.
I really like the xe’s interior, it’s a move away from the layout that is seen in most of the current (and previous) BMW line up. There seems to be more space and freedom around the driver and yet it still has all the Equipment, Technology and Information needed close to hand. Piano black and chrome accents, leather seats, all the quality materials you’d expect to see in a prestigious vehicle but it’s less cluttered and feels more durable – more family friendly.
From a drivetrain point of view the 225xe iPerformance has two very capable motors, one electric and one 3 cylinder twin turbo petrol. They work together automatically to bring you both power and fuel efficiency from the get go. 165kW/385Nm stats are very respectable and it has a zero to 100kph time of 6.7 seconds, throw in a combined fuel economy of 2.1L/100km and you have one very versatile vehicle.
On the road, the 225xe feels well balanced (with motors at either end of the car I guess it should) but it feels quite heavy too. For the review I tried to use EV power as much as I could and on the whole you can get away with spending a lot of time with the rev needle on ‘ready’. But if you’re looking for any of the publicised ‘performance’ you’re going to have to duck into the petrol fuel tank. Like I said, the 225xe let’s you mix and match so it’s not really an issue. Filling up the electric tank overnight is a simple enough process and quite the novelty for the week (I wonder if the novelty factor will wear off or habit will easily take over). Full charge gave me a reported 30k EV range per day but by the time I got to work it was down to 9k which meant (in the absence of recharging during the day) a dip into the petrol tank on the way home.
I like the fact that the 225xe has virtually the same look as the regular Active Tourer (that is once you take off the promotional decals). Aside from the plug in flap at the front, you wouldn’t know that it was a hybrid. It discreetly goes about its business planet and wallet saving without drawing much attention – something I can’t say about my son.
Hybrids aren’t a new thing now and many people believe that they (and EV vehicles in general) are the future – I have to admit, (regardless of what I prefer) it’s hard to think that they won’t. The BMW 225xe iPerformance Active Tourer eases the transition pain a little I guess, The twin turbo engine gives a boost of power and performance when needed and the combined fuel economy and range makes it great for the wallet – ideal for ‘holiday’ transportation.
Thanks for the timely loan BMW it was one less thing to worry about over the break.
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