BMW’s expertise in plug-in hybrid drivetrains goes to a new level with the introduction of the 2022 BMW 230e Active Tourer. When it debuts this Spring, the 2022 BMW 230e Active Tourer won’t only be the fastest minivan ever built by BMW, but also the first PHEV to use the latest BMW eDrive Technology. Alongside the 225e, the top PHEV minivan uses the fifth-generation eDrive architecture with components imported from the i4 and iX fully electric vehicles.

Most Powerful BMW Minivan

The 230e Active Tourer PHEV delivers 240 kW/326 hp and 480 Nm of torque, thanks to a combination of the combustion engine with 110 kW/150 hp and an electric motor – 130 kW/177 hp. The official performance figures put the 230e Active Tourer at 5.5 seconds for the standard sprint. The electric range is 90 km (56 miles) on the WLTP cycle, coming from a battery pack of 14.2 kWh (16.3 kWh gross). The electric motor is positioned at the rear axle, so thanks to its higher power output, the power distribution is often sent to the rear wheels. Who knew you can almost get a rear-wheel driven 2 Series Active Tourer?

The high voltage battery is placed in the underfloor structure of the 230e Active Tourer, therefore, the new minivan has a fairly low center of gravity which translates into a more dynamic and fun driving experience. The standard 2 Series Active Tourer has 470 liters of cargo space, but fold the rear seats and its cargo space expands for 1,455 liters. Hybrid models lose a bit of space, dropping to 406/1,370 liters. CO2 emissions are impressively low – between 22 and 30 g/km. Same goes for the fuel consumption  – 1.4-1.1 L/100 km, enough for an estimated range of 600 km/h.

Driving Experience

To sample the first-ever BMW 23oe Active Tourer PHEV, we went for a spirited drive around Malaga, Spain. A lead car takes us through city center first where we get to experience the all-electric drivetrain and its regenerative braking. The intelligent system can automatically detect a car in front and will adjust the amount of braking accordingly. But if you put the car into Sport Mode, then the one-pedal feel takes over.

This is the most aggressive mode of the regen braking, yet the integration between the electric motor and the braking system is extremely smooth and almost unnoticeable. According to the BMW engineers on site, the braking system only takes over when the level of deceleration is 0.15 g. The Boost mode is another lovely feature in the new BMW 230e Active Tourer. A paddle shifter behind the steering wheel will activate the “fun mode” offering additional acceleration power for up to 10 seconds.

The 230e Active Tourer certainly feels faster than the quoted 5.5 seconds sprint, despite being about 200 kilograms heavier than the 223i. The steering is on the light side, but that’s expected from this platform, while the suspension’s firmness can greatly vary from Comfort to Sport Mode. The driving experience is certainly more enjoyable than the pure ICE models and it often feels more like an EV than hybrid.

The test sample was quite short, around 45 minutes of city and mountain roads driving, so there isn’t enough data to assess the electric range. But the onboard computer showed a real life range of 80 kilometers. Of course, that will vastly vary from driver to driver.

The Rockstar

BMW’s 230e Active Tourer is not only the rockstar of the minivan family, but of the entire PHEV lineup at the moment. It’s likely that future BMWs will adopt this drivetrain, but until then, the 230e Active Tourer offers a unique proposition to customers and we can see why it could become a huge volume car for the brand. It’s practical and eco-friendly, and will make for a fun minivan picking up your kids from school.