2020 BMW 330e Plug-In Hybrid: Pros And Cons

This is a big claim, but it’s probably the best PHEV available right now.

BMW launched the second incarnation of its 3 Series plug-in hybrid, the 330e, not so long ago, and it builds on what made the first such model good. It retains the scintillating straight line performance and impressive cornering ability while giving the interior a much needed upgrade and the battery pack a welcome increase in capacity.

There really is a lot to like about the 330e, starting with the way it looks. I wasn’t an especially big fan of the previous F30 3 Series, which I think only looks good when specced right, yet the latest G20 is far more attractive, even without lowered suspension and M bits sprucing up its look.

Inside, the G20 feels a world away from the F30. It is a much bigger leap in terms of design than the what BMW when it replaced the E90 with the F30 and it turns the 3 Series into a much nicer place to travel. It’s also more spacious, since the entire car is noticeably longer, so much so that it’s actually better at carrying passengers in the back compared to its arch rival, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.

BMW says that with the new 12.4 kWh battery pack, the 330e should nudge 60 km (38 miles) in pure-electric mode. However, drive it in slightly colder weather without any special consideration for preserving range, and you’ll get around half that in the real world – it’s still a decent number, and if you keep the battery topped up, you will actually come close to the car’s claimed efficiency numbers.

It definitely makes a case for itself, even in Europe where the supreme efficiency of diesel models is still hard to ignore. The new 330e might even be the pick of the range.