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BMW 330e (2023) review: hybrid with a focus on the combustion engine

BMW 330e featured image
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2023 TechnikNews)

The 330e from BMW is a plug-in hybrid, which is intended to keep fuel consumption low rather than replace it. The purely electric driving option is too short. You can find out in our test whether the BMW is still worthwhile and how much fun it was for us.

The 3 Series from BMW is certainly new to no one. Hybrid versions have also been around since 2015. So where do we stand 8 years later? The BMW conveys driving pleasure today as it did then, but the narrow purely electric option to drive is not really up-to-date, as we know more efficient models from Bavaria.

tl; dr

As mentioned at the beginning, the BMW is fun and not too scarce. However, the driving distance without emissions is too short for a hybrid model in 2023. It all depends on the users here. If it is possible to charge at work in the next town, the kilometers will probably be enough. Loading discipline is the keyword. Nevertheless, the 330e is perfect in the curve and radiates sportiness with its optional M-Parts. The autopilot is outstanding if you're not going too fast. The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of room in the front and back. Only the trunk is already served with a few water tanks.

Long story short: In the BMW hybrid, the heart of a combustion engine simply beats faster. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether, taking this into account, they should decide to pay the surcharge. You probably enjoy driving in both.

Design: Clear 3-sedan

Well, the wheel wasn't reinvented, of course, but it doesn't need to be. Now we just have an electric motor under the hood and a few blue details that indicate the electrification of the BMW. But these are not penetrating at all. From the silver kidney to the eye-catching diffuser, the BMW is quite successful. The adaptive LED headlights have replaced the so-called laser light. The matrix light, which illuminates the edges more intensely in the city and makes the light cone appear narrower and wider on the freeway, still does a great job. The inverted L as daytime running lights and a beautiful light animation when locking and unlocking the vehicle offer a strong recognition value.

Interior: Less piano finish, more style

Distributed in the dashboard is now a kind of aluminum fabric with a high-gloss look instead of piano lacquer. Definitely a good and stylish solution without the risk of fingerprints. On the optional Live Cockpit ProThe BMW Operating System 8 professionally runs on a curved display with 14,9 inches. As a result, however, we also have fewer real buttons on the dashboard. How to find that, everyone has to decide for themselves, ultimately you still have the well-functioning language assistant.

As is typical for BMW, there is storage space in the center console and on the lower dashboard. In the latter, BMW offers an optional wireless charging option. A hi-fi speaker system is also available as an option, although it does not bear Harman Kardon as an inscription. This is reserved for the M340 models. But they still sound good and the bass in particular is nicely tuned. Apropos sound, with the acoustic glazing, outside noise penetrates the interior only tolerably, even at 190 km/h.

What I think needs to be mentioned is the contactless opening and closing of the tailgate with your foot. Rarely have I seen an automatic that recognizes so well that you just want to try to open it with your foot. Incidentally, the trunk can be divided so that there is no loading sill. But then you only have just under a water tank high space.

Driving Impression: Clean on the road

With its 292 hp system performance, the BMW accelerates to 5,8 km/h in 100 seconds. Quite neat, even if it's over at 230 km/h. If you want it quiet, you still have 109 hp from the electric motor. In terms of cornering, the xDrive is of course full of juice. It takes a bit of willpower to start skidding on dry roads. The 8-speed automatic ensures a consistently low engine speed and, accordingly, a quiet engine.

Lane Keeping Assist does a good job together with Speed ​​Limit Assist. Especially in the city, the BMW drives itself quite well, adapting to the speed at all times and maintaining it exactly to the km/h. If there are no ground markings here, the 330e orientates itself to the vehicle ahead. The autopilot is only a bit overwhelmed at higher speeds, where the i4, for example, has done a good job. It has to be said, however, that he will let you know at an early stage if necessary and that you can easily intervene yourself. Here you come to the test report of the i4.

Driving modes: from electric to petrol at the push of a button

Let's start with the XtraBoost mode. In addition to activating the sporty cooperation of the combustion engine and electric motor, this also ensures that the only iconic sound is activated. Here, instead of another whirring of the future from Hans Zimmermann, we hear the good-sounding acoustic amplification of the sound from the engine inwards. In contrast to this is the Hybrid Eco Pro Mode. Here is driven particularly on the back burner. When the route guidance is activated, we are even shown when we can take our foot off the accelerator, since a lower speed is permitted in a few meters, for example. In my opinion, the foot on the accelerator is pushed out of its place too early.

The 330e also automatically recognizes environmental zones in hybrid mode. These are circled in blue in the navigation system and automatically activate the purely electric drive when recognizing a “low-emissions zone” sign. Of course we didn't miss the opportunity to drive to the next town to find outprobeer Like switching on the electric drive when entering such a zone, the return to the hybrid when leaving worked perfectly.

Range and charging: It will be better in 2023

With a battery size of 10,5 kWh, it is clear that the electric range is very limited. We ended up with a range of 38 kilometers on a sunny day. Of course, the air conditioning had something to do and the speed was constantly adjusted to what was allowed. But you should still ask yourself whether the hybrid drive still makes sense here. 5 kilometers more or less is certainly also possible, but then the way to work really shouldn’t be further than 43 kilometers away and the possibility of charging should be given. By the way, you can charge with a maximum of 3,7 kW AC. When the battery is empty, the combustion engine consumes around 7-10 liters, depending on driving style. So that's fine.

BMW 330e tailgate

Picture: TechnikNews

Thanks to BMW Germany for the loan of the 330e xDrive.

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Benedict Behring

Benedikt is 21 years old and writes for TechnikNews more test reports in the field of e-mobility. It doesn't matter whether you have two or four wheels. But even if it is technical Proproducts of everyday life, Benedikt likes to deal with the matter, no matter what area it is exactly.

Benedikt has already written 19 article and left 1 comments.

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The battery in this model has 19,5 and not just 10,5 kWh and you should get significantly further if you drive accordingly