BMW 330e Test Drive: Tesla Model 3 Reservists Should Check It Out – MPGomatic (video)

AUG 11 2016 BY MARK KANE 67

BMW’s plug-in hybrid 330e nets high praise during a test drive by MPGomatic.

BMW 330e Charge Port (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

BMW 330e Charge Port (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

The driving experience was noted at above par, as well as the interior.

“Driving the 330e is a very cool experience. Put aside your preconceptions you might have about hybrids.

The 330 moves when you stomp on it. It’s pure electric – super smooth and quiet – when it needs to be, and delivers plenty of turbo punch when you put your foot in it.”

MPGomatic finds that the 72 MPGe rating (which includes the all-electric miles into the equation) is a distracting metric, and prefers to think about the actual mileage splits: MPG in hybrid mode, and the cars all-electric abilities – which is listed at 14 miles/22.5 km by the EPA, but at 18 miles/29 km according to the review.

And there is a message for those interested in Tesla Model 3:

“The BMW 330e puts it all together. If you’re considering a Tesla Model 3, you owe it to yourself to go to your local BMW dealer and take a 330e out for a test drive, ASAP. Plug-in hybrid cars are a bridge to the all-electric future and the 330e is a stunning example.”

So probably MPGomatic thinks BMW hit the ball on the nose when targeting future Tesla Model 3 owners in a recent series of “attack ads” with the 330e.  (watch those here)

BMW 330e

BMW 330e

Quick 330e Specs:

  • 184 hp four-cylinder petrol engine and 65 kW, 88 hp, 250 Nm electric motor integrated into the housing of the eight-speed automatic
  • total system output of 185 kW/252 hp (on par with 330i and 330d)
  • 0–60 mph in 5.9 seconds with a top speed of 140 mph.
  • all-electric range of up to 40 km (25 miles) NEDC and 14 miles (22.5 km) US EPA
  • 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery beneath the boot floor
  • charging in 3 hours and 15 minutes from a household outlet
  • average fuel consumption (combined) of 2.1–1.9 litres/100 km (134.5–148.7 mpg imp)
  • at least 370 liters of luggage compartment volume; the rear seat offer a 40:20 40 split
  • EU-empty weight of 1735 kg (3,825 lbs)

source: MPGomatic

Categories: BMW, Test Drives, Videos

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67 Comments on "BMW 330e Test Drive: Tesla Model 3 Reservists Should Check It Out – MPGomatic (video)"

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No thanks, BMW..
Ill rather wait.

Me too.

Funny thing is the 330e has been on BMW dealer lots since March! Largely unnoticed til now they are a small batch of 2016’s built in January and shipped to the USA. The blue one pictured at the top of the page is equipped with nice looking 18″ turbine design wheels which are available on the 2017’s not yet shipped.

California Dealer Lots?

Less than 1/10th the electric range
$42k for just under 6sec 0-60
Extra complexity & repair costs/service appts of ICE
Extra noise of ICE
Extra pollution of ICE
No OTA updating
No Autopilot
No AWD option
etc, etc, etc.

Consider dropping my model 3 res for this? Absurd.

Also the just under 6 sec. 0-60 is in hybrid mode where the ICE is being used.

The all electric performance with 88 hp will be hard to use day to day without the engine kicking in.

If the range was 20-30 mile AER…I would consider one. The car has positive reviews. When there is more inventory, salespecially will be substantial. Local dealership hasn’t even received one of these. With the Olympic commercials, they said i3 BMWs have has huge interest. The Thousand Oaks dealership said they sold 11 BMW i3s in one day. I have a feeling of the 330e would have been avaiable, August will be a record plug in sales month for BMW. Another 2400+ month I will bet.

There are 50-60 of these on the ground at BMW dealers currently. There were a couple hundred earlier in the year. shows the listings and dealers. Not a surprise these cars are getting stale on the lots and the 17’s are due in soon.

Why would you suggest Model 3 buyers/reservists to even look at one with only 14 miles range?!?!?

1) You’re driving a gas only car right now, and that bothers you.
2) You’re a green HERO and want to lease one of these for 2 years, to get it onto the used car market. Making society better, incrementally better, but still better.

Or Lease a Volt.

And the write-up says it best:
“Plug-in hybrid cars are a bridge to the all-electric future.”

That’s a really short bridge. 12-18 months?
BMW, you already built the i3. What the heck are you doing going backwards here?

This is really the only car with the specs to match the Tesla Model 3, in performance.

The i3 is the efficiency leader, but not a highway performance leader. If you’re going to enjoy your Model 3 mostly in cities and country roads, the i3 is best. But, if you’re a highway hypermiler, then this car is best, until the Model 3.

Or a Volt.




How can you suggest a 14 miles range “hybrid car” when people are waiting for a more than 200 miles range electric car? You should change the title, it’s not very serious.

C’mon Mark, that title is ridiculous. Have you sold out? 😉

Just as FYI: That “dashie” part in the title means the opinion comes from someone other than InsideEVs…we don’t offer suggestions to buy one EV at the expense of another, (=

“Tesla Model 3 Reservists Should Check It Out – MPGomatic”

Thanks Jay, parsing error!

/all good, (=

better yet, get the benz c350e, that way you won’t be driving around in your bm 330e and thinking to yourself: “i should have gotten a benz”.

Don’t think anyone driving any BMW ever thinks that. The other way, sure.

> Don’t think anyone driving any BMW ever thinks that. The other way, sure.

We have been a BMW/Mercedes family for 10 years. I really don’t think there is any envy between BMW and Mercedes owners. They are very, very equivalent. Both superb, both well worth the price of admission. I have never leased one, maybe people who lease are different.

Only you think this.

WAHAHAHAAAAaaa whahahaha! Oh pleasepleasepleaee! Make ’em stop! I’m physicaly hurting!

To claim the 330e could do anything at all for me, is, frankly, just a bit silly,…

I have an i3, and I have to say, It’s a lovely car to drive. So, dear BMW, just call me back when you’ve managed to eek out a full BEV that has the handling, interior, comfort and quality of the i3, grips and accellerates like a BMW M3, costs like a Model3, has a totaly reliable, 150Kw, omni present charge infrastructure, second-to-none customer service and looks like an i8…
THEN, we’re talking… i.e. : call me back in 2021…

Are you listening too, Tesla? There are some things BMW still does better than you… Interior, handling, quality,…

Kiss my arse BMW, I’m waiting for model 3

“It’s pure electric – super smooth and quiet – when it needs to be”

Which is all the time, but it’s not.


Yup. The power from such a small battery pack is going to be limited, so this car will have to kick in the gas engine every time you “press the pedal to the metal”.

3 series sales must be hurting badly…

We tested this car as well.
Forget it.
You can not even go fast from 0 – 62 mph (kickdown) without the noisy 4-Zylinder motor switching on.

“Plug-in hybrid cars are a bridge to the all-electric future and the 330e is a stunning example.”

No, the Volt is a stunning example where the car is propelled by electric motors that are more powerful than the onboard engine, not the other way around, and that has a battery capacity large enough to never have that engine turn on (other than to lube itself, and burn stale fuel).

The 330e is a mockery of electric driving.

Excellent response. Thank you 🙂

BMW managed to have less range than a Prius Prime and they want us to stop waiting for a Model 3.

That is as close to wishful thinking as one can get.

Since Tesla started with the luxury Model S, certain brands like BMW assume people are attracted by the luxury side of ev while they are actually attracted by the 90 KWh side of it and the 135 KW superchargers.

“MP Gomatic” is has clearly not lived with a daily driver BEV or they wouldn’t suggest such an apples and oranges comparison.

Those German plug-in hybrids are only designed to be in compliance with European CO2 rules and incentives (which are based on these rules) and they only do it artificially; in the European test cycle the few kilometers they can drive electrically bring down the CO2 drastically. But only on paper.

Cars that have such a silly e-range should be measured without being plugged in and in a real test cycle and not the way-too-friendly European cycle.

Also we should realize that most such plug-ins in Europe are bought by companies for employers and come with a fuel card, so fuel is paid for anyway and there is no incentive to plug-in. However the money incentive to buy and drive such cars is real for the company, so they sell well but don’t bring down pollution.

Incentives should only be given for BEVs.

True. Those of here five years ago remember NHTSA saying, “80% of drivers drive less than 40 miles per day”. That set the bar for the Volt’s electric range, WAY BACK THEN. Some makers either don’t care, or can’t let go of the maintenance revenues.

There is text in the VW settlement cornering them to accept buybacks of cars registered during the time window of when they were caught, and when the settlement was proposed (9/18/15-6/28/16). They can no longer extort a customers ability to legally drive their cars, by forcing the purchase of a $2,900 catalytic converter that passes inspection but is actually programmed to do nothing.

“Maintenance revenue”. You can’t make this stuff up. VW actually did.

After driving a Leaf for 5 years, why would I want to go backwards???

After having Obama as POTUS for 8 years why go backwards with Trump?

MPGomatic has written an adver-ticle. Sponsored by …

I don’t see how a 14 mile ev is a competitor to a 215 mile ev. People who are waiting for the 3 are waiting for an ev not a hybrid. If they wanted a hybrid they could just as well get an i8.

It might be a perfectly good car, I don’t know. Never driven it.

But the reviewer cut deeply into their own credibility when the reviewer parroted the current attack ad that BMW is running.

It makes one wonder how valid the rest of the test was.

So, what kind of MPG does it get when the battery is depleted? 14 miles isn’t that far… Unless they expect us to stop every 14 miles to spend 2 hours to top off the battery…

I suggest watching the video.

I couldn’t get through more than the first minute with how that guy was talking…

The video states 31 mpg combined after it is done driving in EV only mode…

So 31mpg combined premium (didn’t see city vs highway), and it uses 47 kWh/100 miles (the Tesla Model X P90D uses 38 kWh/100 miles), yet it’s zero to 60 is only 5.9 seconds? As a Model 3 reservation holder (although likely to get a CPO Model S instead), there is nothing enticing about the BMW 330e. It’s target audience should be people buying a BMW 320i/328i, not people interested in the Tesla Model 3.

I’m spoiled by my old Volt and even longer range ELR. Admittedly, my cars get driven in total around 80 miles per day combined, and its often that NO GASOLINE is used in either car, although its extremely rare in the ELR specifically.

18 mile AER may work for some people, but since the Federal Tax Credit doesn’t max out until the range is much better, few Americans would buy this thing.

Some people though, are absolutely enthralled by anything BMW. If that’s the case with someone, then this is a better choice than any non-plug-in.

first of all, gm has superior phev technology; the voltec powertrain is second to none. so of course any other automaker’s phev technology is going to seem inadequate by comparison. as much as i like the idea of a phev benz-o, that’s only because i’m obsessed with the mercedes benz s-class, the reality is that the cadillac ct6 phev appears to be a far superior implementation of phev technology.

I don’t think it’s so shocking that, I don’t know, maybe a few people with reservations for the Model 3 might decide they’d rather have the 330e instead. There seems to be an increasingly pro-Tesla, anti-everything-else attitude here at InsideEVs that’s rather counterproductive, IMO. Plug-ins of any kind are such a small part of the market at this point.

I can agree with that…
Many people will not buy a pure EV so plug ins are a good step in the right direction…
I think BMW has decided to make their entire line available in plug in hybrids at the short term expense of more pure EVs….

Breezy said:

“I don’t think it’s so shocking that, I don’t know, maybe a few people with reservations for the Model 3 might decide they’d rather have the 330e instead.”

Well, sure. But you could equally say that some will wind up buying a motorcycle or a pickup, too. Does that mean InsideEVs should run articles comparing the M≡ to motorcycles?

The point is that comparing the M≡ to the 330e is an apples-to-oranges comparison, and therefore an article suggesting Model ≡ reservation holders should “look at” the 330e, amounts to nothing more than advertising for BMW.

If I wanted a PHEV, I’d get a Volt. That way I can drive around town without using ANY gas, and be able to go on road trips. 14 miles is a joke.

Not to mention those 14 miles are in a heavier car that has only 88 hp in all-electric mode vs. the Volt that has peak 160 hp in all-electric mode and is 300 lbs. lighter.

Uh, seriously???

I didn’t put down $1k on several big “if”s and a 16+ month wait for a genuine EV just to be suckered into a hybrid!!!

Idiots. I want my Tesla…if I don’t like the 3 when I get to test drive it, then I’ll take the refund and look for a used S75D.



I’m surprised at all of the hate towards this car. 14 miles of EV range is still better than 99% of vehicles on the road today. Admittedly, I wouldn’t consider this vehicle because I’m very well educated about the plug-in market. I have also said before that 20 miles AER should be the minimum on any PHEV. Nevertheless, if they manage to sell a bunch of these, I’ll still applaud them. Maybe when they put the next-gen battery packs in, it will bump it to 20 miles?

David Murray said:

“14 miles of EV range is still better than 99% of vehicles on the road today.”

Yes, it’s better than nothing… better than a pure gasmobile. But why recommend anyone look at this one, when there are several PHEVs with at least a mediocre EV range of 24-25 miles?

And anyway, I challenge the assertion that it’s a true 14 miles of all-electric range. Anytime you strongly accelerate in a micro-ranged PHEV like this one, it’s going to kick in the gas motor. So forget about accelerating rapidly up to highway speed on an on-ramp, or maintaining speed going up a hill, or passing another car on a two-lane road, if you want to be able to honestly say your car can go 14 miles without burning any gasoline.

Well, there are only 2 with 24-25 miles: Sonata PHEV and Volt (BMW REX doesn’t count cause it only goes 150 mi). Would you really say either compares to this BMW? They’re in a different class (especially Volt, which is small).
I have a Model 3 res. and am not swayed in the slightest by the 330e, so I agree EV drivers don’t have much to get out of the Bimmer. But…I drove a Fusion Energi for a week, mostly on highway, and got over 50 mpg. (It’s not all about pure EV range) So if every BMW driver got 50, do the math…huge green benefits there. I disagree “we don’t need 330e.” What we do’t need is a 99% fossil fuel auto market. 330e is one of the good guys.

In Norway the 330e starts at 405 700 NOK, which is currently $49,222. Hence a scraped 330e costs the same as a loaded Model 3 with dual-motors and superior performance will cost.

And since we have high taxes on fossil fuels the beemer would be at least twice as expensive to energize.

And since we have loads of EV incentives, but only BEVs are considered EVs over here (as it should be!), the beemer loses out on

– free parking
– free use of toll roads
– free ferries
– use of bus lanes
– 75% rebated road tax

I think it’s pretty clear the recommendation to Model 3 reservists to check out the 330e can be safely withdrawn for Norway.

for 60k buy a used model s or get a chevy volt for better price. 330e is pointless.

Honestly, why not buy a Model S? CPOs are available for low $50k, would much rather have one of them than this.

Didn’t we beat this to death not even a week ago. This lame tactic by BMW isn’t going to work the second time.
If they had a 3 series with 250 miles EPA rated AER (All Electric Range), then maybe it would be worth talking about. But at 14 miles electric range, this is just a green washed gas guzzler with Zero chance of winning over my model 3 reservation.

Those who have put down $1000 “earnest money” on a Tesla Model ≡, a nominally 200+ mile BEV with an approx. 55 kWh battery pack, “should check out” a micro-PHEV with only 14 miles of EPA rated electric range?

Ummmm… no. Just no.

The car market needs more PHEVs with a good range, like the Volt. There are already far too many PHEVs with mediocre range around 24-25 miles.

And we certainly do not need another micro-ranged PHEV like the BMW 330e.

It is probably a great car. If BMW runs an 18 month lease deal, this Model 3 reservation holder would bite.

Okay I have a 330e while I wait for the Tesla, I live in LA,and it is a beautiful car and great to drive. I am averaging about 530 miles a tank which is 10 gallon capacity, hell of a lot better then my Range Rover Evoque.
Test drive it, don’t poo poo while you wait for probably the same time as a lease. I know there are other cars that do better, but it is a bmw all the way in handling!!!