Auto review by Veeno Dewan
For 2021, the BMW’s Plug in Hybrid (PHEV) 330e sedan is redesigned with updated styling and extended electric driving range. Like all BMW’s sedans It is a handsome and restrained looking car with its Hofmeister kink in the rear profile and the unmistakable twin kidney grille. Unlike most PHEVs that look like jelly moulds – the BMW is expensive looking and refined. More serious for one. No real exterior changes evident to separate the,330e PHEV from the gas engine 330i, just a plug-in portal on the driver’s side for the electric charging.
The BMW 330e powertrain comprises of a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor. The gas engine develops 181 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque, while the electric motor develops 107 Hp and 77 lb.-ft of torque. Combined power output is 288 horses and 310 lb.-ft of torque which is roughly 30 hp and 25 lb-ft greater than the normally aspirated gas engine 330i. The transmission is an eight-speed unit and buyers can select from rear- or xDrive all-wheel drive. The 12-kWh gross (9.09 kWh net) lithium-ion battery is located under the rear seats. This 330e can travel up to 35 kilometres on battery power alone and to speeds up to 140km/ using the Electric mode; The official fuel economy figure for the 330e is: 10.7 L/100 km in the city, 7.9 on the highway, and 9.4 combined. However, as usual this is dependent on driving habits.
The 330E comes very well equipped, with full electric features. The base MSRP for our 330e is a very tempting $44,950. Our smart looking Tanzanite Blue Metallic xDrive tester base priced at $54,000 had the following optional Equipment: Premium Enhanced Package ($4,900) Also added was the M Sport Package. ($2,000) with: Sport Auto Trans w/Paddles, M Leather Steering Wheel, M Aerodynamics Package, High-Gloss Black Window Surround , 19”-inch Double-Spoke wheels, and Variable Sport Steering. Stand-Alone Options included: Adaptive M Suspension, BMW Laserlight Headlights, and High-Gloss Black Exterior trim. Final price as tested:
Our tester had the Black Vernasca Leather trim on the well bolstered front seats that looked very. The cabin is neat blend of leather, metal, and premium plastics with a good design ethos. Everything is ergonomically correct in terms of controls and driver dynamic Build quality, is high as usual when it comes to all things BMW. Its a more of a sporty interior than sumptuous. smart with and decent head- and legroom
When it comes to functionality, BMWs excellent iDrive infotainment systems is one of the best. A 10.25-inch wide-set screen is sharp and the built-in navigation system feeds turn-by-turn directions to the optional Head Up Display. At the rear, there is ample room in all directions and as plus the rear seats fold flat for extra trunk space
On the road, the 330E has the instant shove in the back that you get with electric cars on acceleration. It can motivate along solely under electric power at speeds as fast as 140 km/h. The rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system sends all the power to the rear axle most of the time and apportions it to the front only as needed. The transition between the gasoline engine and the hybrid motor is for the most part seamless , just a tiny nick when travelling at higher speeds. The driver activated BMW eBoost adds an extra 40 hp oomph for as long as ten seconds with the accelerator floored for overtaking slower traffic quicker. Drive modes include EV mode, sport, and hybrid drive
The optional Adaptive M suspension can be switched between sport and hybrid modes and offers a compliant, communicative ride. The handling is also up to BMW standards with quick reflexes and a good weight and heft through the steering. The 330e like all hybrids also features regenerative braking to help charge the hybrid batteries.
Down sides are few. Fuel tank capacity is less due to space needed for the hybrid battery, and the PHEV’s battery pack and electric motor adds an additional 166 kg (366 lb) in weigh penalty for a half-second slower 0-60 km dash than the fully gas- engine 330i. And, as usual with BMW the cost climbs quickly when the desirable options as fitted to our tester are chosen.
The 2021 BMW 330e is a very attractive choice for those buyers who are loyal to the BMW brand or those looking for a hybrid premium luxury sedan with all the attributes BMW is known for: performance, build quality and styling. If you have a short commute or just drive around town mostly then the BMW PHEV 3330e will offer decent fuel cost savings. Highly recommended.
2021 BMW 330e xDrive PHEV- priced from: $54,000. Price as tested with all options: $66,200.