Are BMW Hybrids Any Good?

The 2021 BMW 330e remained stable, but the braking performance wasn’t quite as outstanding; the tires didn’t have adequate traction. Our …

How will you park?

Where do you park at night, to be more precise? If so, is it in a designated garage or driveway where you can plug the 330e in? Even a 110-volt wall outlet may fully recharge the battery in about 12 hours; a 240-volt charger is not required.

(Another inconsequential inquiry to consider is how much trunk room you require. The 330e’s 12-kWh battery is located right underneath the boot, reducing the capacity there from 17.2 cubic feet in the gas-powered 3 Series to just 13.2 cubic feet.)

Everyone’s use case is different, of course, but use this as a quick guide to which 3 Series to pick:

  • The 330e is a better option if you primarily make short trips and/or you reside in a city or suburb with a designated parking area where you may charge at night.
  • The 330i is a better option if you frequently take long journeys or don’t have access to a convenient charging location every day. Longer trips go smoothly thanks to its exceptional highway fuel economy (Car and Driver’s testing recorded an astounding 42 mpg at 75 mph), larger gas tank, and additional trunk room.

Now, granted, you could be thinking, but wait, that also implies I could absolutely have an EV, right, if you read the first of those two blurbs and thought, Hey, that describes me. Yes, the 330e does have a surprising drawback in the form of its price. With a starting price of about $45,000, it is more affordable than any of the most recent generation of excellent, nearly affordable EVs, including the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Volkswagen ID.4. A famous BMW sport sedan is available for the same price as a nicely equipped EV6 Wind RWD, and it also happens to make the first 20 miles of every day’s journey emissions-free.

The 3er continues to be among the greatest vehicles in its class, both in gas-powered and hybrid versions, even though it may not be nearly the sport sedan icon it once was. The 330e becomes just as enjoyable to drive as the 330i when you switch to Sport mode and turn the turbocharged inline-four on constantly. Additionally, Sport mode charges the battery pretty quickly, so if you get your fin, you’ll definitely end up with a few extra miles of emission-free propulsion. Even while it’s not as environmentally friendly as plugging in, it’s still a nice little perk for something you’re already doing.

clinically acceptable

Look, the BMW 330e is a perfectly capable car in principle. It’s built to a high standard, quite fuel-efficient due to the plug-in hybrid technology, quite fast, well-behaved in the corners, practical, and unoffensive to look at (not a given with BMW these days). However, when it comes down to it, it feels a little too clinical. Driving it or riding in it gives you the impression that individuals in charge of making it happen are, without a doubt, excellent at what they do. However, it also seems as though they weren’t all that concerned with making the 330e fun to drive.

The BMW 330e appears to be the end result of the automaker’s efforts to meet the EPA’s CAFE rules, a 67-mpg checkbox that must be checked before the automaker can proceed to install twin-turbo V8 engines in 5,400-pound, high-performance SUVs. I’d like to kindly remind you that plug-in luxury vehicles of this general class may be good and have character before you launch into the comments section and ask, “It’s a gray German plug-in hybrid car for aspiring dentists and new MBA graduates, what did you expect?” Ask Volvo, please.

Despite being inoffensive in and of itself, I just couldn’t get into the 330e. I may have had unrealistic expectations for a non-M BMW, but considering the history of this company, I needed more from the 330e’s driving performance. I desired a lower driving position for it. Even in driving circumstances and modes that are not performance-oriented, I wanted the steering to feel more accurate and pure. Its brake pedal needed to feel more natural to use and be more responsive to little adjustments. A Kia Stinger was what I had in mind.

BMW provided its customers with the gas-saving, plug-in life and one of the greatest infotainment systems in the industry with the 330e. But the alleged “sheer driving enjoyment” it brags about so loudly was conspicuously missing. It has been replaced by an automobile that is adequate in manners and will carry out your requests—but not one that will make you happy. It’s difficult to help but wonder if that thrill was saved solely for the more potent and gas-guzzling M cars.

If that’s the case, it begs the question of why anyone would want to purchase the 330e in the first place.


The plug-in hybrid BMW 330e promises to be a car that lets you “have your cake and eat it, too.” You get the 3 Series’ engaging handling and potent performance, as well as its four-door usability and extremely cheap running costs – especially if you’re using one as a corporate car.

A 2.0-liter gasoline turbocharged engine combined with an electric motor and battery is used to accomplish this. If you maintain a fully charged battery and utilize the 330e’s about 35 miles of electric range, you may see average fuel efficiency north of 200 mpg, while the vehicle’s extremely low official CO2 emissions keep it in the lowest bands of the company-car tax table.

In addition to all of that, there is 288 horsepower available for those occasions when having fun comes before taking care of your bank account, as well as the choice of a useful five-door Touring estate model if you require a little bit more adaptability and baggage capacity. What is there to dislike?

The 330e is just as interesting and pleasurable to drive as the rest of the BMW 3 Series, especially considering that it also offers quiet and smooth freeway movement in addition to an entertaining driving experience on curvy roads. In comparison to, say, an Audi Q5, it is far more fun. It also has a little more oomph than the plug-in hybrid versions of its main rivals, the Volvo S60 and Mercedes C-Class.

The 330e typically only transmits 249 horsepower to the rear wheels. However, if you put the car in Sport mode, you can activate the “XtraBoost” function, which temporarily boosts the car’s power to 288 horsepower and is useful for quick overtaking.

On the other hand, you can let the automobile prioritize quiet, smooth electric operation. In real-world driving, according to our experience, you can expect about 30 miles of electric running. This is better than many alternatives in the executive saloon and SUV classes, and it might mean almost fuel-free driving for individuals who can plug in frequently and don’t take many lengthy trips. In any case, the 330e will have a fuel efficiency at least as good as (if not better than) that of its 320d diesel sibling.

When choosing the 330e, there are some practical trade-offs to be considered in terms of boot capacity. The boot is relatively shallow, and its 375-liter capacity for luggage is 105 liters less than that of the standard 3 Series sedan. However, as we already noted, BMW does provide the 330e Touring estate if you want the plug-in hybrid benefits with a larger trunk.

In all other respects, the 330e benefits from the same attributes that have made the 3 Series the long-standing leader in the compact executive car segment, including a sophisticated interior with top-notch materials and cutting-edge technology, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Check out our twin test, in which we pit the BMW 330e against the Volvo S60 Recharge, for a more in-depth analysis, or continue reading for the rest of our comprehensive evaluation.

Are BMW hybrids dependable?

In the 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction poll, the BMW 5 Series placed a respectable 49th out of the top 75 vehicles. Even though a higher-than-average percentage of owners (20.8%) reported a problem in the first year of ownership, reliability received a good rating. While the engines offered to 5 Series buyers received some criticism for their high running costs, owners praised them.

Is the hybrid BMW 3 Series dependable?

330e BMW’s dependability The assessment found that overall reliability and build quality for the 3 Series were barely above average. Owners also reported dissatisfaction with the outward design, practicality of the inside, and safety features of their vehicles.

Are there greater issues with hybrid cars?

According to the yearly J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), which was issued on Wednesday, battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids have more issues than the typical car.

According to the survey from 2022, EV owners reported 39% more issues with their new cars than owners of combustion-engine vehicles. The number of issues per 100 vehicles across the industry increased this year by 11%, totaling 180 issues per 100 vehicles on average.

However, 240 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) were recorded by EV and PHEV owners, compared to 175 PP100 for gas-engine versions. With 226 issues per 100 vehicles, Tesla led the electric segment in the first J.D. Power survey.

Analysts attribute two factors to the decline in vehicle quality this year.

Since the COVID-19 epidemic caused supply chain problems, record-high car pricing, and staffing shortages, quality has fallen across the board in the industry. According to the research, car faults are at their highest level since J.D. Power started monitoring quality 36 years ago. There are also few indications of a quick turnaround: Only nine out of the 33 brands of cars surveyed this year saw quality improvements.

Based on responses from 84,165 buyers and lessees of new 2022 model-year vehicles between February and May 2022, the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study was conducted. Information, features, controls, and displays; appearance, driving assistance, interior, powertrain, seats, driving experience, and climate were among the 223 questions they responded to.

Even so, EV brands did better than Buick, which this year won the award for overall initial quality, and other brands. According to David Amodeo, global director of automotive at J.D. Power, the additional issues that electric vehicle owners cited were more related to connectivity and infotainment than driving performance.

Informational problems do arise with PHEV and EVs, according to Amodeo. The extra information that OEMs are adding has a lot to do with the fact that many of them see EVs as the “vehicle” that will usher in the era of smart automobiles.

Touch displays, Bluetooth, Voice Recognition, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay “continue to be problematic for owners,” he stated.

The use of manufacturer-designed applications to control features of the car, such as remote door locking and unlocking and battery charge monitoring, is more prevalent with EVs, which is another factor contributing to the quality gap. It’s possible that first-time EV customers, in particular, are still learning how to read their vehicle’s range and connect it to a charging station.

The OEM app is used more frequently in EVs and plug-in hybrids, according to Amodeo, who said that there is still more opportunity for development.

What hybrid vehicle is the most dependable?

You’re probably sitting back in “surprised” mode right about now after learning that the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is featured here with a four-star dependability rating given the high-strung character of most high-end German equipment. We may have our cake and eat it too because the Porsche plug-in hybrid is also by far the most effective model on this list of the most dependable hybrids. A supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor combine to provide a system output of 416 horsepower in the powertrain. The engine output is routed through the all-wheel drive system using Porsche’s eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The starting price is $77,200.

Are hybrid cars still worth anything?

Two cars would be anticipated to depreciate at the same rate if everything else was the same. In other words, their resale value would remain unchanged. A hybrid vehicle is not the same as a conventional vehicle, though. Greater gas mileage is achieved. As a result, the seller of a hybrid vehicle should anticipate receiving a premium when the vehicle is sold. It is more valuable to the car’s purchaser.

An automobile with a normal engine should have a lower resale value than a hybrid because of the greater beginning price and approximately comparable rate of depreciation. When determining whether or not it makes sense to purchase a hybrid, this is a crucial issue that is frequently missed.

For instance, a used 2016 Toyota Camry LE Hybrid would cost $13,900, while a vehicle with a normal engine would cost $12,800, according to Kelley Blue Book. There is a $1,100 premium there.

Fortunately, we have a hybrid automobile calculator online that takes depreciation into account. In reality, you can assess if purchasing a hybrid car is a wise investment using the data above and our calculator.