The Joy of Specs

In BMW on March 13, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Brand Spanking NEW

Just over a week ago I picked up a remarkable vehicle.

Okay, so you might say “It’s remarkably ugly”and you’d be right, but wait a minute.

Underneath the ugly duckling there’s a swan!

Thanks to the naughty boys at VW the tide has turned against smelly diesels, and the company has kindly let me buy a petrol engined car.

That tiny engine would normal nestle under the nose of a Mini, and pump out 136 bhp. ¬†Surely that’s enough for someone clocking up 36,000 miles a year?

Mini Engine

No it isn’t! What I really wanted was a car with a spacious boot, and a bit of get up and go.

This particular BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has a raft of batteries under the back seat. Once charged these power the rear wheels leaving the diminutive engine to power the front axle.FRONT Ambient

If you like fiddling with switches the BMW 225xe Luxury Active Tourer will serve up 4WD, sprint faster than Linford Christie, or sparingly sip fuel from the 6 gallon tank.

Yes, this is our first Hybrid, and only the second long-term 4WD machine on the Biggs fleet.

You’d imagine I’ve ended up with a leaden people carrier more suited to a busty Mum than a busy executive.

Actually despite only the briefest of test drives several months back I’m delighted with what’s perhaps the most “niche” car within the BMW range.

Why are less than 300 of these are registered onto the UK roads in a typical year? Presumably because the 3 Series Hybrid looks the bees knees.

My particular example is a “mid-range” model, but has a raft of extras, as I specced it up with a host of extras.

Namely, Mineral Grey Metallic paint, Oyster Leather interior, Comfort Access, LED Headlights, Heated Steering Wheel, panoramic glass sunroof, upgraded Stereo, Sports Seats, and a few other things I can’t remember.

And a few aftermarket bits which have yet to arrive.

After 10 full days and over 1000 miles I’m loving it.

Good Bits.

Excellent Ride

Good Turning Circle

Silent Running for at least 20 miles each day

Comfy Seats

Fresh Air option

Weather on my Sat Nav maps!

Incredibly efficient re-routing when the “LIVE” Sat Nav spots hold ups

Plenty of oddments cubby holes

Restful Ambient Lighting

Transition between power sources is smooth and virtually undetectable

I’ll soon see my company car/fuel tax liability is about to drop by two thirds

Extraordinary how quickly a full charge can be re-generated on “SAVE” mode

It’s a joy to “manage” the harvesting of kinetic energy

Using the electric motor to power the machine beyond the predicted range.

Disappointing Stuff

“Wavy Foot” opening/closing tailgate feature (it tried to decapitate me occasionally)

Hazard warning device is not a patch on the equivalent Volvo systems – Missing real hazards whilst beeping if I’m stuck behind a bus in rush hour traffic

Battery weight makes the car ponderous on tight bends

Standard home charge cable is barely long enough

Total range on a full tank/charge half that of a 320D

Numb steering feel








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