BMW 330e: The Electric BMW For The Poor Man

The Cheapest Electrified BMW which is not so cheap at all.

Electrification in on the agenda of every manufacturer even if the real returns and real mass production are still years away.

With the Tesla factor, a rising star from California aiming to manufacture 500K pure EV’s in 2018, all big players take EV’s more seriously now and want to be well-prepared for a sudden turnaround.

And BMW is not an exception. Apart from i-cars, the Bavarians are working to develop plug-in hybrid versions of existing models as a transitional technology.
As the least expensive plug-in hybrid in the BMW portfolio, we lived with the 330e Sedan. This is the member of the 3 Series Family, the world’s number one luxury lineup which is also due for replacement next year.

Engine and Powertrain

The 330e has the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder from the shelf, which produces 180 hp and 215 lb-ft. With an electric motor placed under the trunk floor and in front of the 8-speed transmission, a total output of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque is available to the driver. As the technological interpretation of BMW, the transmission ratios to be used in all-electric mode, and a torque converter isn’t required.

Driving Impressions

With rear-wheel drive only, the 330e sprints from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, and is quicker than its two xDrive sibling, 320i xDrive (7.6 s), and almost as fast as the 330i xDrive (5.8 s). BMW data tells us that even though the 330e doesn’t have AWD, added batteries and cabling bring an additional 88 kg compared to the all-wheel drive 330i. And as in many other makes and models that have not been developed as a hybrid or EV from the design studio,a sacrifice is the trunk space is almost inevitable. The batteries reduce the volume from 480 L to 370 L. But, it is still good enough for an ordinary life with the car.

BMW has engineered the car to provide 50/50 balance over the front and rear axles.

The products of Bavarian luxury brand are known for providing a dynamic driving pleasure and a sporty feeling no matter what engine is under the hood. The 330e is no exception.
Electric-only acceleration is immediate, and for a second or two, you may have the illusion of driving a Tesla or Chevy Volt. But this doesn’t last long and the powerful turbo-four “intervenes, as you want to drive in a dynamic mode and hit the gas pedal further. Finally, this is not a Prius. The transition between electrons and carbons is seamless and you notice that the advanced and sophisticated engineering school at BMW has not left anything to chance.

BMW’s press release says the 330e can go 40 kilometers on a full charge. During our one-week test in late April when the temperature was swinging between one and 20 degrees in Ontario and in a mixed driving mode, we could achieve pure electric distances of up to 30 plus.
Obviously, this BMW does not aim at competing with cars like Tesla and the Chevrolet Volt with a range extender. However, this Bimmer gives you the option of three driving modes: To utilize both gas and electric to optimize range and performance (AUTO eDrive), to use electric-only (MAX eDrive), or save the electricity and use gasoline-only (SaveBattery).

With the powerful turbo-engine, you do not only not have any range anxiety, but a typical BMW drive like in conventional gas-engine models.

All other features inside and out do not differ much from a traditional BMW 3 Series, different models of which we tested earlier.

And with the green license plate, you can drive in the HOV/Carpool lanes without any passengers in your vehicle. This helped us a lot while commuting between Burlington and North York using HOV lanes in QEW and the 403 in the morning and evening rush hours.


A mature and reliable model family on the one hand, the 3 Series is coming to ages. And with the new models from Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 as the main competitor, a brand new model is on its way for 2018 model year that could be launched at the IAA in Frankfurt in September.


Model: 2017 BMW 330e Sedan

Paint Type: Alpine White
Base /as tested MSRP: $52,550 /61,250

Optional Equipment:

Premium Package Enhanced ($5,550) includes:

  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Alarm System
  • Universal Remote Control
  • Comfort Access
  • Rear View Camera
  • Auto Dimming Exterior Mirrors
  • Through Loading System
  • Park distance Control, front and rear
  • Head-Up Display
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner
  • Harman/Kardon Sound System
  • BMW ConnectedDrive Services Package

Driver Assistance Package ($2400) includes:

  • Electric Rear Sunshade
  • Manual Side Sunshades
  • High-Beam Assistant
  • Active Blind Spot Detection
  • Driving Asisstant
  • Surround View
  • Heated Rear Seats
  • Speed Limit Info

Smartphone Connectivity Package ($750)

  • Apple CarPlay Preparation
  • Wireless Charging w/Extended Bluetooth and USB
  • WiFi Hotspot

Wheelbase (mm): 2810
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4671 / 1881 / 1624

Curb weight (kg): 1873
Engine: 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six
Horsepower: 241 hp @ 5000-6500 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1450-4800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic with paddle shifters
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD (xDrive)
Suspension-Front: MacPherson struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension-Rear: Multi-link, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Brakes-Front: Ventilated discs
Brakes-Rear: Ventilated discs

Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 11.8 / 8.4 / 10.3
Tires: Goodyear Eagle LS – 245/45R19

Article: Varol McKars

Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Burak McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Dan Gunay

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada

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