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Question Any BMW 225XE or Countryman Cooper S E Owners

Jimx26

Well-known Member
HI All,

It's time to change my Wife's car and as we have been impressed with my Leaf we are looking at getting a hybrid for her. She does a lot of long journeys so an EV is currently of the agenda. Current car is a 4 series Gran Coupe which has been great but with another rug rat on the way we could do with a little more space.

We looked at both the Countryman and the 225 at the weekend and I must say I was impressed with the BMW in M Sport Guise. I really like the Countryman but Mrs S isn't so keen.

Are the any owners amongst the AVF community that can offer any real world feedback of either car?
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Just bought a 225xe luxury version, took delivery this morning so still getting used to it. I had test driven it before of course, but still getting to know my way around it. Obviously, I liked it well enough to buy it. It replaces a 2012 Evoque, nice car but now too large for my needs and being the early 2012 2.2 diesel version, inclined to guzzle fuel, I doubt it often bettered 30mpg, which for a diesel is poor.

I wanted something practical, but with a touch of class, 4 doors, and I wanted to try out electric driving. PHEV Countryman is in short supply, couldn’t even find a live demonstrator, and now the grant has gone absurdly expensive once you cost in a decent extras spec.

I was offered the 225xe 6 months old with 8k on the clock for nearly £8k less than a new Mini with a similar spec. It’s pretty much the same platform and mechanicals, with a different body style.

First impressions: I was surprised how peppy the car is even on electric only mode, will whip up the local dual carriage at 65 mph, without firing up the ic engine, albeit for limited range. Pop it into sport mode with petrol and electric running together and it rockets along. The ride is quite taut, the car doesn’t feel heavy or unstable, but the suspension quite hard. I think I might run it on a couple of pounds less in the tyres, and top them up only if loaded up. Personally I don’t like run flats, or low profile tyres. I think if I was buying an M Sport version I’d despec the wheels to 17in. Ymmv of course!

The dash is typical BMW, with just a couple of extra switches for changing the hybrid options. I don’t think the layout is brilliant, but it all works. The countryman is more innovative, but I find it a bit overchromed for my taste.

Fair amount of room in the back and a decent boot, although it’s not a problem I have personally, I can see from friends of mine that rug rats especially on long trips do seem to need an awful lot of luggage space, this would be ok around town but tight on a holiday trip.

I’m having a charging station fitted next week as the grant is still available.

Feel free to ask any questions.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Just spent a couple of hours setting up the BMW connected app for the 225xe. that was fun (not)! After three or four goes creating an account and getting all sorts of weird responses, I finally gave up and rang the help line. Very kind lady managed to unscramble the system and create me an account. Hint, don’t even think of trying to use an IPad. Set up on a desktop machine if possible, and the app will run on an iPhone ok, but not an iPad, at least not mine, which is a new ipad pro, and is up to date.
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
Thanks guys!

We ordered the 225XE M Sport Premium in the end. Mrs S wasn't a fan of the interior on the Countryman. They seem to be pretty popular at the moment though as have been quoted 28 weeks for delivery :(

Thanks for the heads up re the BMW connected, however it sounds like a walk in the park compared to Nissan Connect on my leaf!
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Thanks guys!

We ordered the 225XE M Sport Premium in the end. Mrs S wasn't a fan of the interior on the Countryman. They seem to be pretty popular at the moment though as have been quoted 28 weeks for delivery :(

Thanks for the heads up re the BMW connected, however it sounds like a walk in the park compared to Nissan Connect on my leaf!
Congratulations, I’m still pleased with my 225xe, the luxury version in my case. According to the vehicle stats I’ve managed nearly 500 electric only miles in the month or so I’ve had it, and I’ve used less than £25 worth of petrol.

I agree about the countryman interior, I like the dial layout (reminded me of my old mini, back in the day) but didn’t like all the chrome switch gear and black interior, bit chavvy to my mind. Each to their own taste of course.

BMW Connected now seems to work pretty well on the iPhone, I’ve even got it connected to my Amazon Alexa now, the link is occasional a bit flaky but it does usually work. I don’t bother to set timers etc, but I do usually use the precondition command on the app about 10 or 15 mins before leaving as that will warm the cabin up and defrost the windows whilst the vehicle is still plugged in to the mains.

Much easier life after having a home charger fitted. No faffing with the plug in granny charger and cable, with a wall mounted tethered charger it’s a 30 second job to open the flap and plug straight in as soon as you get home. The grant is still available, so I’d get it whilst you can.

Some good info on BMW evs and the 225xe particularly here
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
Congratulations, I’m still pleased with my 225xe, the luxury version in my case. According to the vehicle stats I’ve managed nearly 500 electric only miles in the month or so I’ve had it, and I’ve used less than £25 worth of petrol.

I agree about the countryman interior, I like the dial layout (reminded me of my old mini, back in the day) but didn’t like all the chrome switch gear and black interior, bit chavvy to my mind. Each to their own taste of course.

BMW Connected now seems to work pretty well on the iPhone, I’ve even got it connected to my Amazon Alexa now, the link is occasional a bit flaky but it does usually work. I don’t bother to set timers etc, but I do usually use the precondition command on the app about 10 or 15 mins before leaving as that will warm the cabin up and defrost the windows whilst the vehicle is still plugged in to the mains.

Much easier life after having a home charger fitted. No faffing with the plug in granny charger and cable, with a wall mounted tethered charger it’s a 30 second job to open the flap and plug straight in as soon as you get home. The grant is still available, so I’d get it whilst you can.

Some good info on BMW evs and the 225xe particularly here
Thanks for the link, I'll have a read later.

We already have a 7kw Pod Point fitted we use for our leaf. I did hope we could get a second one installed as cars are parked at opposite ends of the drive but the grant only covers one property :(

One think I haven't checked, could you tell me what side the charge flap is on?
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Thanks for the link, I'll have a read later.

We already have a 7kw Pod Point fitted we use for our leaf. I did hope we could get a second one installed as cars are parked at opposite ends of the drive but the grant only covers one property :(

One think I haven't checked, could you tell me what side the charge flap is on?
Hi yes left hand (passenger side) front wing.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Thanks for the link, I'll have a read later.

We already have a 7kw Pod Point fitted we use for our leaf. I did hope we could get a second one installed as cars are parked at opposite ends of the drive but the grant only covers one property :(

One think I haven't checked, could you tell me what side the charge flap is on?
Ps are you sure you can’t claim for a second charge point? I do find the wording a bit difficult to follow, but the implication seems to be you can apply for a second chargepoint f you have two vehicles concurrently.

This from the QA on the gov website

Q5 Is there a limit on the number of chargepoints I can claim for?
Yes. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme grant is limited to one installation at a domestic residence per eligible vehicle, up to a maximum of two chargepoints at a single residence. In order to claim for two chargepoint units at the same address, the customer must have use of two eligible electric vehicles concurrently, which have not been used to claim previously under the EVHS or DRS by that customer. In addition, upon claiming your second chargepoint, you will need to provide the VRN of your first vehicle, or – where it is on order or is being leased privately or through your employer – valid evidence of ownership, as outlined in Section 2.
If you are applying for your second chargepoint at a single residence, it is vitally important that when your installer informs the Distribution Network Operator, they must clearly state that this is a second chargepoint, and give the combined current of the two chargepoints in amps, e.g. 2 x 16A charge points installed at a total of 32A. No more than 2 chargepoints can be funded at one property irrespective of how many vehicles are registered there.
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
Ps are you sure you can’t claim for a second charge point? I do find the wording a bit difficult to follow, but the implication seems to be you can apply for a second chargepoint f you have two vehicles concurrently.

This from the QA on the gov website

Q5 Is there a limit on the number of chargepoints I can claim for?
Yes. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme grant is limited to one installation at a domestic residence per eligible vehicle, up to a maximum of two chargepoints at a single residence. In order to claim for two chargepoint units at the same address, the customer must have use of two eligible electric vehicles concurrently, which have not been used to claim previously under the EVHS or DRS by that customer. In addition, upon claiming your second chargepoint, you will need to provide the VRN of your first vehicle, or – where it is on order or is being leased privately or through your employer – valid evidence of ownership, as outlined in Section 2.
If you are applying for your second chargepoint at a single residence, it is vitally important that when your installer informs the Distribution Network Operator, they must clearly state that this is a second chargepoint, and give the combined current of the two chargepoints in amps, e.g. 2 x 16A charge points installed at a total of 32A. No more than 2 chargepoints can be funded at one property irrespective of how many vehicles are registered there.
Thanks for that. I must admit I hadn't looked to much into it as BMW flatly said we wouldnt be eligible as we had already received a grant for the pod point.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Thanks for that. I must admit I hadn't looked to much into it as BMW flatly said we wouldnt be eligible as we had already received a grant for the pod point.
You could check with one of the independent installers, they seem better clued up. I got the standard Rolec 7kw tethered charger fitted, the basic cost was less than £200, plus the cost of an extra RCBO to go into my consumer unit. If you don’t have a spare way on the consumer unit, you might have to fork out for a small additional fuse box.

If the DNO query the loading, you could opt for a type 2 3.7kW (16 amp) wall charger. That is still fine for charging the BMW at full rate and is even cheaper, the only drawback is if when you next change vehicles you need the higher output.
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
Thanks, it certainly would be handy to have another charger and I could install it on the side of the garage. It also has electric so may help there. Currently we will need at least a 10m cable from the charger to reach the new car.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Providing you own two EVs and intend keeping them for the minimum time stated in the application then you can indeed apply for a 2nd chargepoint (as I have recently done when I got an Outlander PHEV tongo with my Kia Soul EV).

What you do need to determine is what size incoming supply/main fuse you have and it might require DNO approval if you are close to the max supply rating to your property.

In my case I could potentially exceed the max supply capacity (I already have a 7Kw Rolec charger and an all-electric house), so I’ve had to apply for DNO permission to use a Zappi charger with active load management to ensure it can only operate when my max import power is low enough. In my case it is not a problem as we already manage this and plan to charge overnight when demand on the house is low. However I have to protect the installation against someone in future trying to use everything at once and taking out the main fuse.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Providing you own two EVs and intend keeping them for the minimum time stated in the application then you can indeed apply for a 2nd chargepoint (as I have recently done when I got an Outlander PHEV tongo with my Kia Soul EV).

What you do need to determine is what size incoming supply/main fuse you have and it might require DNO approval if you are close to the max supply rating to your property.

In my case I could potentially exceed the max supply capacity (I already have a 7Kw Rolec charger and an all-electric house), so I’ve had to apply for DNO permission to use a Zappi charger with active load management to ensure it can only operate when my max import power is low enough. In my case it is not a problem as we already manage this and plan to charge overnight when demand on the house is low. However I have to protect the installation against someone in future trying to use everything at once and taking out the main fuse.
Yes, two 7kw chargers could *potentially* be pulling a continuous 60 amps if both used at full capacity simultaneously. That would certainly make your meter spin:D and in my case as I think my main fuse is only 60amps anyway, probably blow it out of the wall!
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Yes, two 7kw chargers could *potentially* be pulling a continuous 60 amps if both used at full capacity simultaneously. That would certainly make your meter spin:D and in my case as I think my main fuse is only 60amps anyway, probably blow it out of the wall!
That’s where more intelligent chargers like Zappi come in to their own - at times of light load it can run at full 7kW output, but if demand in the home increases it can step down to a minimum charge of 6A (the lowest most EVs will charge at) and automatically step back up as the home load drops again, thereby protecting the incoming supply from overload.

The latest update for Zappi allows for multiple units to communicate and dynamically load share, which could be very useful for workplace installs with a limited supply availability.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
That's quite impressive. We have an 8kW shower, a 10kW cooker and a 7kW charger , clearly if they were all running together our 60A fuse would blow it's top.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
My place has oil fired heating (ironic, I know, but as we have no gas supply and no chance of solar since it’s a grade 2 listed thatched cottage, my electric usage is really only cooking washing and lighting) so I have no problem with the extra charging demand, but I can see the Zappi could be very useful in the circs you mention.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
That's quite impressive. We have an 8kW shower, a 10kW cooker and a 7kW charger , clearly if they were all running together our 60A fuse would blow it's top.
You’d better not arrive home, put car on charge, the Christmas Turkey in the oven, and go and have a shower on Christmas Day, otherwise it will be a cold lunch and no lights on the Christmas tree:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
Had a call to say the car is in the country and being registered as we speak and will be delivered next week :)

Came as a bit of a shock as we were quoted 28 weeks and expected it early April.
 

HampshireLad

Standard Member
Had a call to say the car is in the country and being registered as we speak and will be delivered next week :)

Came as a bit of a shock as we were quoted 28 weeks and expected it early April.
Well at least it’s not delayed. Something nice for the new year:clap:. Better get that second charger sorted then:D.

You’ll find the battery range a bit limited, the cold weather does make quite a bit of difference to charge capacity. I’m still pleased with the 225 which is virtually the same car under the skin. Pays to read the manual, though it’s occasionally a bit infuriating.

The charging rate will probably be set to minimum rate. That’s a safety thing, I think. You can put it up to max straightaway even if you are using the granny charger to start with, as long as you’ve got a decent 13 amp socket available, the cable automatically controls the current anyway, so it should charge in about 3 hours on the granny charger and 2 hours on a wall charger.

Using the cabin preheating for about 10 minutes either scheduled or from the app is almost a must.

Always happy to try to help if any questions.
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
Well at least it’s not delayed. Something nice for the new year:clap:. Better get that second charger sorted then:D.

You’ll find the battery range a bit limited, the cold weather does make quite a bit of difference to charge capacity. I’m still pleased with the 225 which is virtually the same car under the skin. Pays to read the manual, though it’s occasionally a bit infuriating.

The charging rate will probably be set to minimum rate. That’s a safety thing, I think. You can put it up to max straightaway even if you are using the granny charger to start with, as long as you’ve got a decent 13 amp socket available, the cable automatically controls the current anyway, so it should charge in about 3 hours on the granny charger and 2 hours on a wall charger.

Using the cabin preheating for about 10 minutes either scheduled or from the app is almost a must.

Always happy to try to help if any questions.
Thanks, yes a nice surprise! Although Mrs S is disappointed it won’t be a 19 plate.

Decided against the second charger for now as it would mean digging up some block paving so we are getting a long type 2 cable instead.
 

Jimx26

Well-known Member
2DA9E667-E123-4F41-8384-4BF6B1FD6307.jpeg
Arrived late afternoon, so apologies for the dark pic! Can’t wait to take it out for a spin tomorrow!
It’s a bit of a comedown from the 435 but the interior feels a lot plusher.
 

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