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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2021 BMW 330e xDrive

This week we are reviewing the BMW 330e xDrive. Our vehicle was assembled at the Munich, plant in Germany and has an MSRP of 62045.00 CAD before incentives.

BMW 330e xDrive
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Fun Factor: 9

The BMW 3 series has always been an enthusiast vehicle. And yet, BMW has achieved something other manufacturers have not. They made the plug-in hybrid more attractive than its pure gasoline counterpart. Under the hood of the 330e, you will find an efficient 2.0L inline-four that makes 181hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. An electric engine complement producing 107hp and 77 lb-ft of torque. The combined output is 288hp and 310 lb-ft of torque when both systems work in synergy; BMW calls this XtraBoost. We achieved real-life acceleration in 5.95 seconds, beating the announced six seconds by one-twentieth of a second. The transition from the battery drivetrain to the gasoline engine is seamless and quiet. BMW has mastered the dual powertrain better than other manufactures. If handling and power management is anything to show what BMW will be capable of when it comes out with its fully electric vehicles, some brands may want to take notes of the driving enjoyment that these provide. Handling and suspension react as expected from a BMW; we would even say that it's slightly better due to the lower center of gravity that the weight of the battery provides.

BMW 330e xDrive
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Can it Family: 7

Like in the 330i we reviewed previously, the interior space will fit 4 adults without any issues. You'll still find a transmission tunnel in the middle and hence will impair the legroom available to rear passengers. Seating for the driver and co-pilot is comfortable on long journeys. You'll find enjoyment for many miles in them. The main drawback and maybe the only one of this vehicle is even though BMW has changed the placement of the battery pack compared to the previous generation of the 330e, the trunk space is smaller than in its gasoline counterpart, making it harder to fit bulkier items. On a positive note, our model was equipped with the "Premium Package Enhanced," which includes an electronically operated trunk. You can both open and close it electronically, making it easier to operate while being with kids.

BMW 330e xDrive interior
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Fuel Friendly: 9

During our 1100km test, we could drive the vehicle in its electric mode over 710km, hence averaging 2.1L/100km during our trip. The average 40km range we observed was more than enough for our daily commutes; if we needed more, we were often able to charge at our destination. Once the 12 kWh battery is depleted, BMW announces the following fuel economy; 10.7L/100km in the city, 7.9L/100km on the Hwy and 9.4L/100km combined for the xDrive variant. The average electric consumption we experienced was 21.7kWh/100km.

BMW 330e interior
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

HWY warrior: 8

The 330e can now speed up to 140km/h using its electric motor only; this used to be limited to 120km/h. We were able to achieve a range of up to 40km of range driving smoothly. Realistically you can expect a range of 35-38km on the Hwy. BMW also increased the hybrid maximum speed from 80km/h to 110km/h. The gas engine takes over past 110km/h, and it doesn't feel as fuel-efficient.

Engine BMW 330e
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Karaoke-Friendly: 8

While we didn't have the Harman Kardon in our vehicle, the sound system satisfied our ears. It's one thing we enjoy about BMW's press vehicles; they are not fully equipped. We can get the feel of how actual clients will spec their vehicles. Now to the infotainment, similar to the X5 45e we tested, the system allows for Android Auto, and Apple Car Play wirelessly. It's easy to use, even if we think some submenus have gotten bloated with information.

ISOFIX ports BMW 330e
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Baby-Friendly: 7

Similar to our BMW M340i xDrive and BMW 330i xDrive, the vehicle offers 2 lower ISOFIX ports and 3 top anchors. If you want to get, more details click on one of the links above. The ease of installation is one of the strong points of BMW. Seating for 3 children is possible; your kids will enjoy the quiet cabin, as you can see in the photo below. Children getting in and out is also simplified by the height of the vehicle. Kids do not require help getting in and out of the car. The belt buckles are also easy to operate.

BMW 330e rolling shoot
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

City cruising: 9

For someone living in an urban environment, the 44-45km we have experienced on a charge is more than enough for regular commutes going shopping or to work. And if you do use up all of its range, the 330e continues to be efficient as a Hybrid. The biggest difference from a non-hybrid is that you can drive more efficiently without the need to burn fuel when inching forward, even in stop-and-go traffic. The BMW app has been updated and is now called My BMW. Some of the app features are to cool your vehicle remotely, see your electric usage, find your vehicle, and if you are in a crowded place, you can take a 360-degree photo of the surroundings. This way, you don't remember where you parked it.

BMW 330e gear shifer
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Why would we buy the 2021 BMW 330e xDrive, or what we liked about it? The all-electric range will suffice for daily commuting. Anyone with range anxiety and want to see how an electric BMW would drive. Better overall fuel economy than the 330i with similar performances. You are getting a Made in Germany BMW.

Kids enjoying the quite ride

Why would we not buy the 2021 BMW 330e xDrive, or what did we not like about it? Not yet fully electric, you will need to wait for the BMW i4; the trunk space is reduced due to the battery. Charging is still limited to 3.7 kWh on a level 2. many plug-in hybrids already can charge at 7.2 kWh.

BMW has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with BMW Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.

Additional photos of the 330e xDrive and of the picnic we enjoyed in the company of this vehicle at the Cabane d'à Côté

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