BMW 330e Sport

Saloon

BMW 330e Sport Saloon, front
BMW 330e Sport Saloon, front, static
BMW 330e Sport Saloon, side
BMW 330e Sport Saloon, interior
BMW 330e Sport Saloon, rear, static
BMW 330e Sport Saloon, dashboard
BMW 330e Sport Saloon, rear

THE BMW 3 Series has long been a firm favourite with business drivers who clock up the hours of motorway miles, but now the car has even more appeal thanks to a hybrid version that can deliver a whopping 148mpg.

It's called the 330e and looks like all other 3 Series models apart from a few subtle design tweaks such as the eDrive badges on the rear of the car and door sill, plus the additional plug-in charging port on the front wing.

It's a guaranteed attention-grabber with its aggressive sporty styling, complemented by 17-inch alloys, LED headlights with high beam assist, LED fog lights, sun protection glass, black mirror caps and BMW's distinctive grille.

Iinside there is a wealth of technology, including the likes of a heated steering wheel, heated front sports seats, a pitch perfect sound system that is compatible with all modern devices, sat nav with real-time traffic updates, internet connectivity, Bluetooth and plenty more.

The car oozes premium build quality with the finest leathers and materials combined to give the vehicle a truly sophisticated feel.

This car was priced at £35,395 (£41,570 with options fitted) and can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 6.1 seconds and onto a top speed of 140mph.

The official fuel economy figure is 148.7mpg and carbon emissions are set at 45g/km.

The 330e features a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 181bhp which is assisted by an electric motor which delivers an added 87bhp.

There is a lithium-ion battery mounted in the floor of the boot and the car can be charged via a flap in the front wing, and according to BMW the 330e can be boosted to 80 per cent recharge in a little more than two hours using a wallbox charger or three hours using the regular mains.

The 330e can run for 25 miles in electric-only mode, and provided there is enough charge, it starts up in complete silence, which does take a little getting used to - after all this is a 3 Series!

It glides along through congested city traffic without a murmur and that petrol powertrain is waiting in the wings to kick in whenever necessary.

As with most hybrid vehicles there are numerous driving modes to choose from to maximise the power from the battery.

The Auto eDrive works mainly on battery power but brings in the petrol engine when necessary, yet the Max eDrive uses only the power from the electric motor. Finally, the Save Battery mode preserves the batteries for later use when emission-free driving is beneficial.

But, like standard BMW 3 Series models this car can produce the goods when faced with the open road.

You can choose from EcoPro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ to find the suitable driving mode with Sport certainly sharpening up reaction times and delivering a far edgier ride.

Out on the faster lanes and motorways, the 330e lives up to its 3 Series reputation - it's grounded, responsive, refined and offers instant power to accelerate and overtake at short notice. And the steering wheel-mounted paddles offer the option of taking control of the eight-speed automatic gearbox which also adds to the enjoyment.

The boot on the hybrid model is slightly smaller than on standard models because of the batteries under the floor, but it can still accommodate 370 litres of luggage and the split-folding rear seats open up further space when needed.

Passenger space is unaffected, so all back seat occupants are treated to ample leg, head and shoulder space.

FAST FACTS

BMW 330e Sport Saloon

Price:£35,395

Mechanical:252bhp, 1,998cc, 4-cylinder, petrol engine with electric motor and 8-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed:140mph

0-62mph:6.1 seconds

Combined MPG:148.7

Insurance Group: 30

C02 emissions:45g/km

Bik rating:7%

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