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2022 BMW 230e Active Tourer Review: 2 Plug 2 Futurist

Derryn Wong
23/02/2022
2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - front 3/4 static shot

BMW’s powerful 230e Active Tourer PHEV isn’t coming to Singapore – but here’s why it’s significant to us anyway


We walk you through the new, second-gen BMW 2 Series Active Tourer MPV

Malaga, Spain –

BMW’s popular 2 Series Active Tourer (2AT) MPV is definitely coming to Singapore with a gasoline-only version, namely the 218i. It is definitely not coming to Singapore in its most powerful form, that is, the 230e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

So why are we driving the 230e? In many ways, the 230e is an exciting harbinger. 

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - rear 3/4 static shot

Firstly, BMW wants to prove to us that its electric drive technology works no matter where it puts it, and second, just because the 230e isn’t coming here doesn’t mean small, electrified BMWs as a whole aren’t either. And thirdly, the 230e has 326hp and is rear-wheel drive capable – so it’s (rather perversely) the antithesis of a 2AT which, if you’ll remember, was BMW’s first MPV, and first front-wheel drive car.



2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - technology platform battery
New FAAR platform migrates batteries to the floor, unlike the first 225xe PHEV

The 230e is the range-topper for the 2AT overseas and it marks a split from the usual PHEVs we’ve seen. 

The old way: Chuck a battery in the boot, integrate a motor into the transmission, have around 20km of range, boom, PHEV.

Not so the 230e: With the 2AT running on BMW’s newer FAAR platform, its 14.2kWh battery is in the floor of the car, with the motor/power electronics in the boot – this means reducing boot space slightly, but it’s the same as the 223i. Naturally with this sort of setup, you have all-wheel drive with the electric motor driving the rear axle – like the first 225xe the motor also drove the rear wheels, but the battery was in the boot.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - interior screen

But that’s not all – since the PHEV is capable of a considerable 90km of electric range, in many instances you’d be driving the 230e as a rear-wheel drive car. And that does seem to make a difference, in our sampling of the three models – 220i, 223i, 230e – it was the latter that was the most fun to drive, despite being the heaviest.



2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - on the road


In the tight confines of the seaside town of Fuengirola, that essential RWD feeling and pointability was enjoyable, but as we rolled onto the highway, the combined output of the engine and motor meant for plentiful thrust – the car does 0-100km/h in only 5.5 seconds. But get this: the 176hp motor is more powerful than the engine, which makes 150hp.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - widescreen display
A little bit of peril, but not TOO MUCH peril, because these were prototypes

Ascending yet again into the hills outside Malaga, that plentiful grunt was very welcome, though we couldn’t test it to the full extent since our 230e was driven in convoy, the result of being a semi-final prototype.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - on mountain roads

The more interesting thing Is this: It seems an exceptionally efficient PHEV. BMW claims ‘up to 90km’ on a charge, and we left the start point with 76km, covered 49 km on the road, and returned with 48km left on the battery. Granted, we left the car in its default hybrid mode supplemented by the engine, but this is also BMW’s fifth-gen electric drive tech at work.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - interior cockpit
The 2 Series Active Tourer has grown up considerably – read our review of the 220i to find out just how

More important is what this means for future, small electric BMWs which we know will certainly come to Singapore. BMW quotes an average energy efficiency of around 18kWh/100km for the 230e. If we extrapolate this to an expected BMW iX1, with say, a battery size of 60kWh, that would equate to a range of 330km. And as we know from the iX and iX3, BMW’s Gen5 EV cars are able to better their quoted figures with relative ease.

At the very least, it shows BMW’s premise of a scalable electric drive architecture really does seem to work, wherever the application, and more importantly, its first fully-electric small cars – say an iX1 – will be extremely range efficient.

2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer - 230e plug in hybrid PHEV - review - badge name

BMW 230e Active Tourer M Sport 

DrivetrainPetrol-electric plug-in hybrid 
Engine 1,499cc, inline 3, turbocharged
Power150hp at unknown rpm
Torque 230Nm at unknown rpm 
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch 
Electric Motor176hp / 247Nm
Battery (net)Lithium ion / 14.2kWh
System Power / Torque 326hp / 477Nm
Top Speed TBC
0-100km/h5.5 seconds 
Fuel Efficiency 1.3L/100km 
Charging Time / Type TBC
Electric Range 90km 
VESTBC
Agent Performance Motors Limited 
Price TBC
Availability Not for Singapore 

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2 series active tourer 230e Active tourer bmw electric Hybrid MPV PHEV small

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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