BMW 330e XDrive M

Sport

BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, front
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, nose
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, side
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, rear
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, interior
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, rear seats
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport, 2024, boot

THE BMW 3 Series represents the core of the BMW brand, with more than 16million units been sold since it was launched 1975, and well over one million customers since 2019 alone.

In 2019, it was updated with revised styling and better efficiency, especially with the introduction of the 330e hybrid model.

Would this dent the marque and model's superb reputation for drive and handling?

The 330e has a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine teamed with an electric motor for a combined peak output of 288bhp and 420Nm of torque and an all-electric range of over 35 miles - plenty for most commutes.

The official mpg for the plug-in hybrid is 188mpg but you're unlikely to get anywhere near that unless you have ready access to a charger.

Let the electric juice run down and you're looking at a more reasonable figure. I managed a decent enough 38.6mpg. It's worth noting the model I was driving was fitted with the optional XDrive all-wheel drive system.

The bhp and torque numbers are solid for a car the size of the 3 Series, and though there's a little extra weight because of the system's 10.5kWh battery, the executive saloon can still sprint from 0-62mph in less than six seconds.

It's fair to say the hybrid XDrive is not going to be the sweet spot in the 3 Series range when it comes to dynamics. But most day-to-day drivers will barely notice the difference.

Obviously, there's plenty of pace and solid grip, direct steering and exemplary body control you would expect. The eight-speed auto does a good job of harnessing the different power sources and it's refined on a motorway cruise. When looking to build speed, you might even prefer it to the 330d, which is high praise indeed.

So, performance is exhilarating, and you can still whack it into Sport mode and tackle some twistys with aplomb but a little of the old drama is missing. It's fun but not with a capital F.

After a comprehensive update, the interior of the latest 3 Series is dominated by the large BMW Curved Display, which features a 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel and a 14.9-inch control display which merge into a single fully digital unit.

The already impressive infotainment systems and digital displays were updated in the facelift, and the enlarged displays are a piece of cake to use - thanks to simple controls and a crisp and clear display.

The 330e's dials gain hybrid-related display options, but aside from rearranging a few of the buttons on the centre console, this is the only difference in the passenger compartment.

The rest of the layout is the same as other facelifted 3 Series models - so you get the option of using either the iDrive controller or the touchscreen when you need to interact with the infotainment system.

The cabin also exudes quality with an excellent fit and finish. The M Sport trim also includes interior touches such as an anthracite-coloured headliner, M leather steering wheel, M-specific upholstery and interior trim finishers in the new Aluminium Rhombicle Anthracite finish.

In the plug-in hybrid models, the BMW Live Cockpit Plus system fitted as standard also works out a charge-optimised route and provides information on public charging stations both during the journey and at the destination.

Using the My BMW App plug-in hybrid owners can also charge the battery of their cars remotely via the app, allowing the user to set their desired charging window and the charge level they wish to achieve.

Chrome accents highlight the double bars on the BMW kidney grille on M Sport models, with a large central air intake that features hexagonal contours and a honeycomb pattern.

Deeply recessed air curtains at the outer edges of the front end accentuate its width. On the M-specific rear apron, vertical reflectors at the outer edges and a large diffuser signal the car's sportier instincts.

The standard full-LED headlights are now much slimmer, with clear contours and daytime driving lights arranged in an inverted L shape. The outer daytime driving lights serve as turn indicators.

The PHEV set-up doesn't affect the 330e's cabin space, which is fine for four adults. However, while it retains the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats of the regular 3 Series saloon, the hybrid powertrain does cut the boot capacity from 480 litres to 375 litres.

The 330e also comes with the full five-star Euro NCAP rating. Safety features include Park Distance Control sensors at both ends of the car, Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, which detects the presence of cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians, plus Lane Departure Warning with lane return.

Parking Assistant which helps the driver to select and park in spaces either parallel or perpendicular to the road, is also standard.

Also included are the Reversing Assist Camera, Lateral Parking Aid, Active PDC function which uses brake inputs to reduce the risk of collisions, and Reversing Assistant, which reverses the car for distances of up to 50 metres along the same line it took when moving forward.

3yrs/Unlimited mileage

4.5

FAST FACTS

BMW 330e XDrive M Sport

Price: £49,785

Mechanical: 288bhp, 1,998cc, four-cylinder petrol-electric engine driving all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed:143mph

0-62mph: 5.8 seconds

Combined MPG:176.6

Insurance Group:34

C02 emissions: 36g/km

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