BMW 3 Series 330e Sport Pro 5dr Step Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid
  • 5 door touring

Ten Second Review

With BMW's plug-in hybrid petrol/electric 330e model, the conventional 320i variant's 184hp 2.0-litre petrol engine has been matched with an electric motor and a larger battery to create quite a package. Now you can have it with the estate body style and xDrive AWD too.

Background

Not everyone wanting futuristic engine technology wants their car to also look futuristic. To look like BMW's i3 for instance. If you're buying from this Bavarian brand and want a petrol/electric powerplant, the 330e Plug-in hybrid offers a more subtle way to go. You get 37.3 miles of all-electric driving range when the car's charged up, which enables the creation of some impressive overall stats - up to 217.3mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and as little as 30g/km of WLTP-rated CO2. Those figures fall only fractionally with this Touring estate body style. Take some time to understand BMW's thinking here and it's hard not to be impressed.

Driving Experience

This current 330e Plug-in hybrid took a big step forward over its predecessor, the main difference between the two cars found when it comes to measurement of all-electric driving range. This was rated at only 21 miles in the previous generation 3 Series plug-in but in this current 330e design, BMW clams up to 37 miles of zero emissions motoring from a fully-charged set of batteries. In other words, if you've a pretty typical daily commute, you might never have to fuel up this car to complete it. As you might expect, this kind of cleverness comes courtesy of a very advanced powerplant indeed, in this case a combination of the 184bhp 2.0-litre petrol unit from the 320i mated to an electric motor incorporating an 'XtraBoost' function. This can increase power to as much as 293hp, reducing the 62mph sprint time to six seconds exactly. The hybrid system's extra weight drops maximum speed slightly over that of the ordinary 320i, but it's still rated at 143mph. The brand's xDrive 4WD system is now available on this variant.

Design and Build

This isn't the kind of Plug-in hybrid model you'll buy if you want to make an eco-statement. Unless you really know your BMWs, there's almost nothing to visually differentiate a 330e from any other 3 Series saloon unless you happen to spot the side panel charging flap. The 3 Series styling theme by now should be familiar to almost every business buyer. Classic cues like the kidney grille at the front, the sharp lines of the flanks and the powerful rear end are all present and correct. The cabin looks predictably smart, with chrome finishing and high-gloss surfaces. This 'M Sport'-trimmed models get the full 'Live Cockpit Professional' package which gives you a 12.3-inch virtual instrument binnacle screen and a 10.25-inch centre-dash iDrive monitor. There's some clever stuff incorporated into this pricier set-up, including gesture control and what BMW calls an 'Intelligent Personal Assistant', which works a bit like the 'Siri' or 'Google Assistant' systems you might use on your 'phone and is there to answer questions you can voice to the car as you drive it. And out back? Well the 330e saloon's luggage bay measures 375-litres - that's 105-litres down on a conventional four-door 3 Series model. This Touring estate 330e derivative has a 410-litre boot, extendable to 1,420-litres - which is 90-litres down on a conventionally-engined 3 Series Touring model.

Market and Model

The 330e now comes in both saloon and Touring estate guises, plus there's a choice of either rear-driven or 4x4 xDrive formats. You get four trim levels to choose from - 'SE', 'Sport', 'M Sport' and 'M Sport Pro Edition'. Prices start at around £40,000 and rise to around £50,000. As with all Plug-in hybrids, you have to have automatic transmission. The xDrive set-up commands an extra premium of around £1,500. There's a premium of £1,500 for this Touring estate body style. Key rivals include include two models from Mercedes (the C300e and the CLA 250e), the Volvo S60 T8 Plug-in Hybrid and, if you're prepared to compromise on a premium badge in return for a bit of extra space, the Volkswagen Passat GTE and the Skoda Superb iV. Even base 'SE' trim gets you plenty of kit that previously you'd have had to pay extra for on a 3 Series - things like Adaptive full-LED headlamps, a Parking Assistant that automatically steers you into spaces, a reversing camera, acoustic side glass and 3-Zone air conditioning that allows rear passengers to set their own climate. BMW has even standardised its lovely 'Welcome Light Carpet' that illuminates the ground around the front doors when you get into the car or step out of it at night.

Cost of Ownership

Despite the fact that these days there's no longer the government contribution towards the purchase price that helped to boost sales of earlier versions of the old 'F30'-series 330e, BMW still reckons this plug-in derivative will be a strong seller. The installation of a more capable 12.0kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery has nearly doubled its potential electric driving range - to as much as 37.3 miles. And increased the all-electric top speed potential to 68mph. Charging time for the 12.0kWh battery is around two and a half hours from a conventional 7kW garage wallbox or plug-in public charge point. Hook up to a domestic 3-pin socket and the charging time will be just under five and a half hours. As usual with Plug-in hybrids, the official WLTP combined cycle fuel figures - up to 217.3mpg for the saloon and up to 201.8g/km for this Touring version - need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but the important thing is that the government believes the quoted CO2 return - which can be as little as 30g/km in the saloon or up to 32g/km in the Touring. Either way, this means a super-low Benefit-in-Kind taxation rating of 10%. Of course it's unlikely that you'd ever achieve the quoted mpg and CO2 figures in the real world, but the important thing is that the government believes them, hence the attractive tax breaks that'll come as part and parcel of 330e model ownership.

Summary

Here, BMW has brought us a hybrid 3 Series model that makes real world sense. The previous generation 330e struggled a little in this regard with its relatively restricted all-electric driving range. Fortunately, technology has moved on and this current 'G20'-series 330e model demonstrates just how far. If you were thinking of a high-spec diesel-engined version of this Bavarian contender, we think you really have to look at a 330e as a realistic alternative. The waiting lists for this variant suggest that many potential customers already are.

  • Auto start-stop
  • Body colour roof mouldings
  • Body colour door handles
  • High gloss black rear bumper with specific design elements
  • High gloss black front bumper with specific design elements
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Exhaust tailpipe - split left and right
  • Brushed aluminium inserts in the front door sill finishers with BMW designation
  • Body colour fuel filler flap
  • T-shaped design element right and left in black high gloss
  • Active airstream chrome frame kidney grille with 8 high gloss black vertical slats
  • Model designation on right side of tailgate
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Front and rear bumper system with replaceable deformation elements
  • High gloss black exterior B pillar
  • Fading support
  • Lightweight engineering
  • Rear centre armrest with 2 cupholders
  • Toolkit located in luggage compartment
  • Front and rear door pockets
  • Vernasca leather upholstery
  • 12V power socket in front storage compartment
  • 2 front cupholder in centre console with clamping elements and matt black inlay
  • Height adjustable mechanically and infinitely variable steering column
  • Rear centre console with storage compartment and ventilation grille
  • Three spoke multifunction sport leather steering wheel
  • Four grab handles integrated in roof lining
  • 4 pieces lashing eyelets in luggage compartment
  • Armrest integrated in front and rear door trim + front centre console armrest
  • Illuminated glove compartment with separate small compartment
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Front passenger manual airbag deactivation
  • Three 3 point seat belts on all seats including front belt stopper, pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters
  • Driver and front passenger side airbags, integrated in the door side seat backrest bolsters for all seat variants
  • Crash sensor activating of airbags,Unlocking doors,hazard warning lights,fuel cut off,interior lighting+activation of safety battery terminal clamp
  • Child proof locking system in rear door
  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment rear outer seats
  • Seat belt security check for driver and front passenger
  • Tyre pressure monitoring with three level warning strategy
  • Side impact protection
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • 2 tone horn
  • Airbags activation controlled with intensity and scope
  • 3 rear seats with non folding headrests
  • Deactivation of fuel pump in the event of a crash
  • Head airbags for all 4 outer seats
  • Electronic service booklet
  • DAB tuner
  • Connected pack professional - 3 Series Saloon/Touring
  • Live cockpit professional pack - 3 series
  • Central locking switch for all doors, fuel filler cap and luggage compartment
  • Remote control with integrated key one button open/close vehicle and windows, sole opening of the luggage compartment lid and panic mode
  • Alarm system (Thatcham 1) with remote control and electronic engine immobiliser
  • Start/stop button with Comfort Go keyless engine start and auto Start/stop deactivation button
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Order: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • Coin Description: e
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 34E
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Badge Power: 292
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Based On ID: N
  • Generation Mark: 7
  • Special Edition: False
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Coin Series: Sport Pro
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • CC: 1998
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Engine Code: B48B20M1
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Wheel Style: V SPOKE STYLE 780
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/40 R18
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R18
  • Alloys: True
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High: 39.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 176.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low: 9.7
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 1.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium - Min: 42.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High - Min: 45.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 1.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 7.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Dep (l/100km) - Comb: 0.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High - Max: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low - Min: 9.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium: 42.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High - Min: 39.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 201.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High - Max: 44.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium - Max: 40.9
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb - Max: 38.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 201.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High - Max: 37.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb - Min: 39.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High: 45.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Dep (mpg) - Comb: 941.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low - Max: 10.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High - Min: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 1.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low - Max: 28
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low - Min: 29.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low: 29.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 39.8
  • Battery Charge Type 3 Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Type 2 kW: 2.3
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 34.8
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 56
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 37.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Extra High: 2.4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 60
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - High: 19.4
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Min: 3.8
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 2.9
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 37.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - High: 3.2
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb: 16.5
  • Battery Charge Type 4 Time (Minutes): 156
  • Battery Charge Type 1 Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Type 3 kW: 3.7
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Max: 3.6
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.8
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Max: 17.3
  • Battery Charge Type 4 Percentage: 0-80
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - City : 40.4
  • Battery Charge Type 2 Time (Minutes): 258
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 12
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Low: 38.5
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - High: 66
  • Battery Charge Type 1 Time (Minutes): 360
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Low: 3
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Low: 20.7
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Extra High: 48
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 21.4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - City: 66
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Low: 62
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Medium: 18.8
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - High: 41
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb: 56
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Extra High: 29.8
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Medium: 42.3
  • Battery Leased: False
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Extra High: 25.9
  • WLTP - EC AC Ch Dep (kWh/100km) - Comb: 21.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City: 3.2
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb : 34.8
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City: 19.4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 60
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Min: 16.5
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Medium: 68
  • Battery Charge Type 1 kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Type 3 Time (Minutes): 216
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Medium: 3.3
  • Battery Charge Type 2 Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Type 4 kW: 3.7
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - City: 41
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • WLTP - EC AC Ch Dep (miles/kWh) - Comb: 2.9
  • WLTP - AER (km) - City: 65
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb - Min: 161
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Low - Max: 230
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Low: 222
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 169
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 37
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Extra High: 163
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb - Max: 168
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Medium - Min: 149
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 163
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - High - Min: 140
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - High - Max: 146
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 33
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - High: 140
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Low - Min: 221
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Medium: 149
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Medium - Max: 157
  • WLTP - CO2 Charge Depleting (g/km) - Comb: 8
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb: 161
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 32
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4
  • Max. Loading Weight: 525
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 40
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 410
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1830
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2355
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1420
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Engine Power - KW: 215
  • Engine Power - BHP: 292
  • Engine Torque - NM: 420
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Top Speed: 143
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1350
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.9
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 42.8
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 310
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Length: 4709
  • Wheelbase: 2851
  • Height: 1442
  • Width: 1827
  • Width (including mirrors): 2068
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • Particles: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False