The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer now has a competitor in the person of the Mercedes B 250 after the entire Mercedes compact range(with the exception of GLB) received Plug-In Hybrid propulsion. Although they are in the shadow of the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA SUVs, both models offer a lot of space and variability in the electrified versions, good performance and low consumption. Which is the best? BMW 225xe Active Tourer or Mercedes B 250 e? German magazine auto motor und sport gives the answer.
Photo: auto motor und sport
After electrifying the range of rear-wheel drive models for which it offers numerous versions of both mild hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid, Mercedes also took care of electrifying the compact range. All compact models(starting with A 250 e hatch and sedan) except the GLB received a Plug-In Hybrid propulsion system. It combines the 1.33-liter turbo engine with 160 HP with a 102 HP electric motor, for a total of 218 HP transmitted to the front axle through an 8-speed double clutch automatic transmission.
The BMW 225xe Active Tourer has been on the market for 4 years and recently received a larger battery, the same propulsion system being introduced in the X1 to compete with the Mercedes GLA 250 e.
Mercedes B 250 e was presented last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show together with the Mercedes A 250 e hatch and sedan but is only recently available on the market.
With their relatively short front section and stately height of just under 1.60 meters, both offer significantly more space on the footprint of a compact model, and attract with a raised seating position, good all-round visibility, three-part rear seat backrests and foldable front passenger seat backrests, said auto motor un sport magazine.
At B-Class you can optionally order for 418 euros a sliding rear bench that can be moved forward 14 cm. Although the conventional version of the 225xe has the same feature, the Plug-In version has only a fixed rear bench. In exchange, the backrest angle can also be adjusted in several stages.
The measurements made inside bu auto motor und sport reveal almost the same dimensions with differences of only a few millimeters.
And the trunk volumes are comparable: 400 liters and 441 kg payload at BMW and 395 liters and 457 kg for Mercedes. Only with the rear bench folded, Mercedes has a slight advantage: 1455 liters compared to 1350 liters.
Mercedes is the only one that can tow a trailer of up to 1.6 tons. BMW does not offer this feature because the plug-in hybrid version has the electric motor in the rear and drives the rear axle.
And we come to the technical concept of the two models. At mercedes the powertrain operates the front axle while the BMW 225xe Active Tourer can have, depending on the driving mode, all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and even rear-wheel drive in electric mode when the 88 hp and 165 Nm electric motor is running.
The engine under the hood of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer is a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder with 136 HP that transmits power to the front axle through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The B-Class is faster
Mercedes is better powered by the 1.33-liter 4-cylinder thermal engine developing 160 HP and the 102 HP electric motor produces 300 Nm from the start. Thus, Mercedes accelerates in electric mode from 0 to 50 km/h in only 4.4 seconds compared to 7.1 seconds for BMW. Clear advantage for Mercedes.
At maximum load when both engines work, performance equals. From 0 to 100 km/ h Mercedes accelerates in 6.5 seconds and BMW in 6.6 seconds, while Mercedes reaches a top speed of 235 km/h. Surprisingly, at high speeds, although it has 4 cylinders, the Mercedes engine becomes noisy and vibrates while the BMW three-cylinder engine is quieter and does not sound so shrill.
Both cars offer several driving modes – electric, hybrid, sport, and a predictive drive control – adapted to the desired state of battery charge, recovery, type of road and route guidance. But only the B-Class has multiple levels of energy recovery from the paddles on the steering wheel. Instead, the Active Tourer pampers you with a more harmonious interplay between the recovery brake and mechanical stoppers. He can also charge his batteries on command while driving, although this is known to be not very environmentally friendly because the consumption increase a lot.
In order to enjoy the advantages of the two Plug-In hybrid models, it is mandatory to constantly charge them at home or in the office.
And because we have reached the efficiency chapter, let’s talk about consumption. On the highway the two models consume between 8 and 10 l/100 km. On the economic mode of the motor and sports car test route, the consumption was 6.3 l/100 km.
And if we use the test method of auto motor und sport for Plug-In Hybrid models, from 15000 km per year 10000 km are electrically covered over distances shorter than 40 km. This results in a consumption of 2.1 l/100 km and 18 kWh/100 km for Mercedes and 2.3 l/100 km and 17.9 kWh/100 km for BMW.
More electric range in the B 250
Mercedes has a larger battery of 15.6 kWh compared to 10 kWh at BMW and thus, Mercedes has an electric range of 51 km compared to 42 km at BMW.
Mercedes also has a clear advantage in terms of battery charging, being among the few PHEV models whose battery can be charged at DC stations. For 928 euros, the Mercedes battery can be charged at 80% at DC stations with up to 24 kW in just 25 minutes. BMW instead can only be charged to AC stations with a maximum of 3.7 kW.
The first place nevertheless goes to the Mercedes. Its drive and charging technology is currently hard to beat, and with its base price of 39,637 euros, the B 250 e is also cheaper than the 225xe Active Tourer configured as M Sport for 43,768 euros.
|Model||A 250 e||225xe Active Tourer MSport|
|Engine||L4, turbo+ electric||L3, turbo+ electric|
|Max. output/revs (HP/rpm)||160/5500||136/4400|
|Max. torque/revs (Nm/rpm)||250/1620-4000||220/1300|
|Max. output (HP)||102||88|
|Max. torque (Nm)||300||165|
|Total output (HP)||218||224|
|Total torque (Nm)||450||385|
|Gearbox||8 gears, automatic||6 gears, automatic|
|L x w x h (mm)||4419 x 1796 x 1452||4354 x 1800 x 1555|
|Boot volume (l)||395-1455||400-1350|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)||6,5||6,6|
|Top speed (km/h)||235||202|
|Mixt consumption (l/100 km)||1,4||1,9|
|Electric range (km)||74||57|
|MEASUREMENTS AUTO MOTOR UND SPORT|
|0-60 km/h (s)||3,3||2,9|
|0-100 km/h (s)||6,5||6,6|
|0-120 km/h (s)||9,0||9,3|
|0-130 km/h (s)||10,6||11,3|
|0-160 km/h (s)||16,7||22,9|
|Braking from 100 km/h|
|Cold, unload (m)||36,4||37,8|
|Consumption in test (l/100 km)||7,9||8,1|
|Electric range (km)||51||42|
|Weight in test (kg)||1743||1739|
|Weight distribution (%)||56,9/43,1||52,3/47,7|
|at 80 km/h (dBA)||68||68|
|at 130 km/h (dBA)||72||71|
|Price (euro with VAT)||39.637||43.768|