The BMW X2 The xDrive25e feels instantly outdated in an age of advanced electric SUVs – but not because of its powertrain. It’s too impractical, too annoying, and ultimately too expensive. Its cabin and technology also can’t match offerings from rival German brands; the Mercedes GLA The 250 e is a premium plug-in family SUV.
For those who are not ready to switch full electric, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) makes great company cars. Not only can you save a pack of fuel costs, but switching away from a diesel can cut it Benefit in a kind way (BiK) tax invoice.
Follow BMW X2, For example. The xDrive25e The plug-in hybrid we’re testing here emits just 40g/km of CO2 according to official tests, compared to 149g/km for the xDrive20d diesel. The difference can be up to £3,600 per year in BiK alone.
Plug it in and BMW car claims you will travel 32 miles before needing to use the gasoline engine. In practice, we saw about 23-25 miles more – but that’s still enough for most people to carry out their daily tasks or commute to and from work. This kind of distance is about equal for the classroom, though Mercedes claims nearly 40 miles for GLA 250 e – although the battery is similar in size.
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The thing is, Mercedes GLA is a much newer car, and feel it as soon as you get inside. The X2, with its narrow display protruding from the dashboard, half-engineered digital instrument cluster, and bulky, old-fashioned gearshift lever, is not a patch on a sleek Mercedes. Overall quality is very good in both cars, but the GLA rates high on looks and desirability.
Things have not improved in the rear of the BMW either. Sure, the X2 is designed as X1Sleeker, sportier brother, but space in the back is compromised. Headroom is particularly poor – although admittedly this is not a PHEV-specific problem.
The trunk is an acceptable size at 410 liters – 25 liters more than the GLA – and there is storage under the BMW boot floor for the charging cable. However, the Merc has the edge with the sit-down seats, largely due to its more boxy shape.
Powered by electricity, the X2 xDrive25e is as quiet as you’d expect in a plug-in hybrid. That said, the faster you go, the more noticeable the road noise – although we’d expect this to be better on smaller wheels; The 19-inch rims and runflat tires on our car don’t offer the smoothest ride.
Also not the most comfortable. There is a pretty obvious tendency to jump on rougher roads and the ride is never really steady. What’s more, the steering is lighter than what you might expect in a BMW, and while it’s precise enough, it doesn’t have much of a feel. Body control is a strong point – the X2 is consistently among the most responsive cars in its class to drive.
It’s also fast; BMW claims 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, and despite the relatively small three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the electric motor and standard-fit all-wheel drive allow the X2 to have a pretty good speed. The transmission is six-speed rather than the newer eight-speed found in some modern BMWs, but it shifts smoothly and smoothly enough when you want it to.
Of course, to get the most out of the cost savings, you’ll need to plug in the X2 as often as possible. Doing so via a 7kW home charger takes about three hours – meaning it can easily be achieved overnight on a three-pin plug. Depending on your electricity tariff, refilling a 10kWh battery could cost less than £2.
But beware, the recently increased list price means that even the entry-level X2 xDrive25e Sport costs more than £40,000, so private buyers will have to pay a road tax premium for the first five years. . M Sport cars like ours are just £3,000 more expensive, but have bigger wheels and their own trim with the standard model’s climate control system, sport seats, power tailgate and sat- nav. Apple CarPlay is standard, but the X2 still doesn’t come with Android Auto.
|Model:||BMW X2 xDrive25e M Sport|
|Engine:||1.5 liter 4-round gasoline + electronic engine|
|Power / Torque:||217bhp / 385Nm|
|Transmission process:||Six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive|
|Economy / CO2:||156.9mpg, 40g/km|