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BMW 330e verdict

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 54.2

Written by Keith Adams Published: 8 September 2021 Updated: 22 May 2023

Should you buy one?

Yes. If you want a medium-sized plug-in hybrid family car, and it’s in budget, then this is the best you can buy right now. And as such, we can heartily recommend the 330e in either Saloon or Touring form – with the latter’s additional practicality being a major selling point for us.

Plug-in rivals include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class PHEV (in petrol and diesel forms), the Peugeot 508, Volkswagen Passat GTE and Skoda Superb iV, although the latter two are due to be replaced at the end of the 2023. But right now, as an overall package, the 330e beats them all.

But while the 330e does the whole PHEV thing exceptionally well, it still isn’t the kind of car that works as well as it should for car enthusiasts – a criticism you’d level at pretty much all plug-in hybrids. This is a well thought-out and even enjoyable tool, though, with tenacious handling and incisive steering. But it does rather lack the genuinely emotional experience a really outstanding BMW can deliver.

What we like

Everything we like about the standard 3 Series holds true here. Its sharp handling, roll-free cornering and incisive steering, are a cut above all of its rivals, while the interior and controls are an absolute joy to use.

BMW’s plug-in hybrid is blessed with plentiful performance, a decent real-world electric range of around 35 miles and some other very clever tricks. Its popularity is no accident – you might buy it to save on tax, but you can enjoy yourself at the same time, as it’s a BMW through-and-through and outdrives all of its rivals.

What we don’t like

It’s all relative, but do bear in mind that if you’re opting out of a 330d or 330i, it’ll feel marginally less agile in your hands – but we’re talking fractions. However, it does also sound rather dull and bland, and and the ride quality is on the lumpy side in M Sport guise, even in Comfort mode.

Newer PHEV rivals such as the C-Class and Octavia also have longer EV ranges and therefore attract lower company car tax costs.

BMW 330e review (2023)
The BMW 330e is a highly-polished PHEV – and our favourite choice in its class.

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