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BMW 330e: plug-in power for 2019's new 3 Series

  • Latest 3 Series gets next-generation plug-in tech
  • CO2 emissions and electric range make for low BIK
  • On sale July 2019, with pricing still to be confirmed

BMW has announced an all-new 330e plug-in hybrid saloon will join its lineup in July 2019. In its previous iteration, this version of the 3 Series proved incredibly popular with business drivers for its blend of low benefit-in-kind taxation and great drive.

We've already had a prototype drive of the 2019 3 Series, and we're driving the finished article in December 2018, but the 330e will join the range after the core models and is going to be

BMW 330e: longer range, more power

This time around we’re promised an electric range of 37 miles, representing a 50% increase, and CO2 emissions of 39g/km. That means BIK tax will be 13% in this tax year, rising to 16% for 2019/20 but then dropping to 12% in 2020/21.

As well as relatively stable tax bills over the coming years, the 330e is 30% faster than its predecessor too, cover 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds with a top speed of 143mph. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 184hp coupled with an electric motor delivering a consistent 68hp. However, in the Sport drive mode, a system called XtraBoost increases the electric power available to 113hp, for a peak maximum output of 293hp and a corresponding 420Nm of torque.

BMW 330e badge

Its 12kWh battery is located under the rear seats, and the fuel tank is above the rear axle, so boot space is 375 litres – down from 480 litres in the regular 3 Series. The back seats fold down in a 40:20:40 configuration to load longer items.

Three trims, lots of helpful tech

You’ll have the choice of SE, Sport Line and M Sport specifications, with a vast suite of optional extras on offer including driver-assistance technology, adaptive suspension and uprated brakes. An automatic parking system will be standard, while all 330es can also use their battery to heat the cabin before you set off.

Another helpful feature is the sat-nav, which will guide the driver to a public chargepoint and let them know whether it’s currently in use. It’ll also suggest nearby amenities to keep you amused while you’re plugged in, such as cafes, restaurants, tourist attractions and such like.

The BMW 330e goes on sale in July 2019, and Parkers will be among the first to drive it. Stay tuned for the review.