Most electric vehicles shout loudly about their green credentials, overshadowing the car’s other features and comfort level. BMW hybrids don’t fall into that category. They are energy-efficient, while still providing the same level of comfort and sheer driving pleasure as other BMWs.
BMW plug-in hybrids (BMW PHEV), come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Each BMW Series offers at least one hybrid, so let’s take a look at the best-seller – the BMW 3 Series.
BMW 330e 2021
BMW 330e is a plug-in hybrid BMW that looks just like a regular BMW 3 Series, their best selling model. Moreover, it also drives like one. It is a 5-passengers, 4-door luxury sedan, that you can barely tell apart from the BMW 330 standard version.
The hybrid sedan is EPA-rated and can travel on electricity for about 22 miles. It gives you an impressive 75 MPGe. The electric hybrid provides a dynamic suspension and doesn’t make any compromises regarding the trunk space, despite the large battery it carries.
On the other hand, the range is a bit low and it is slightly more expensive than a standard BMW 3 Series, especially when you add the options for advanced comfort features. Another downside is the gas tank shrinkage, due to the battery. Smaller gas tanks mean a smaller overall range.
The BMW 330e 2021 is powered by a 2.0 L turbocharged engine paired with an electric motor, equipped with a lithium-ion battery of 12.0 Kwh. In combination, it totals 288 horsepower under the hood.
The 8-speed automatic gearbox feels elegant and agile if you press the pedal hard enough.
This hybrid drives like a BMW. The electric motor doesn’t discredit its powerful almost 300 horsepower engine combination.
The BMW 330e can reach a top speed of 230 kilometers per hour or 143 mph. It reaches from 0 to 60 miles in 5.9 seconds, which compared to the BMW 330 is a bit slower. The standard BMW 330i does it in 5.3 seconds.
The hybrid plug-in sedan generates a 310 lb-ft torque.
In previous years, you had to purchase a BMW 5 or 7 Series to enjoy the comfort of a true luxury sedan. However, the latest BMW 3 Series feels more comfortable and luxurious than even a 5 Series from previous years.
The low sitting position remains the same as on previous BMW 3 Series models. With a generous interior space for both your head, legs and arms, you feel free in the driving position.
The infotainment and head-up display are quite intuitive, but require a few adjustments for you to fit it to your needs. The great news is that both are completely customizable.
The infotainment system, compared to a 330d or a 330i from the same year, is a bit better. There are driving modes that allow you to be silent and very efficient in terms of fuel economy. There is also a sport driving mode that allows you to do the opposite.
- Total Vehicle Length: 4717 mm
- Total Vehicle Curb Weight: 1868 kg
- Total Vehicle width: 1826 mm
- Total Vehicle Height: 1442 mm
- Wheelbase: 2851 mm
BMW 330e 2021 Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage of the electric plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 330 is the fuel economy, and the green responsibility that it comes along with it. The hybrid powertrain is slick and works well in most conditions.
The BMW 330e feels like a real BMW, despite running on electricity, unlike its other power-hungry cousins. Compared to any other BMW 3 Series from the same caliber, it isn’t quite as fast and doesn’t provide the best handling either, but it still handles like a powerful rear-driven sports car, despite being a sedan. After all, it is still a BMW, whether it’s electric or not.
- Very precise handling and amazing suspension
- Enviable interior
- Good Hybrid performance
- Available with an xDrive (All-wheel-drive)
- Great MPGe (Very fuel efficient)
- The driving range on electricity alone is just 22 miles.
- It offers more limited cargo space, compared to the standard BMW 330
If you are simply deciding between the BMW 330 and the BMW 330e, then the BMW 330e would be a better choice, simply because the better fuel economy would eventually pay for itself if you are an active driver.
The car feels complicated, so if you are into simple cars that you can repair yourself at your garage, this isn’t the thing for you. On the other hand, if you’re into advanced tech, the BMW 330e is the right fit for you. If you are looking for a bigger electric vehicle, BMW offers models like the plug-in hybrid BMW 5 Series, 7 Series, or even X3, X5 or X7 hybrid SUVs.
FAQ about BMW hybrids
What is a BMW PHEV?
A BMW PHEV is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. These types of electric vehicles have a combination of an electric motor and a standard combustion engine. The electric motor can be easily recharged using a cable and an outlet, whereas the combustion engine requires fuel. Both work in unison, in order to greatly reduce the fuel usage and optimize mpg.
You can identify a hybrid BMW by the “e” in its title, like the BMW 330e.
How do BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles work?
The BMW hybrid vehicle usually runs on electricity alone, if you are driving the car with a speed of 30 miles per hour or slower. If you increase that speed, the internal combustion engine will also activate and take part in the process. These kinds of vehicles are designed to increase efficiency and decrease fuel consumption.
What is the average electric range of BMW hybrids?
The average electric range of BMW plug-in hybrids varies between 26 and 54 miles, according to the type of battery they are equipped with. The larger the lithium-ion battery your vehicle has, the larger range it will be able to cover on electricity alone. The total range of these vehicles is a lot higher, if you also include the gas tank capacity.