Advertisement
Best cars & vans

BMW 330e - best low emissions green cars

While also being one of the greenest cars on sale, the BMW 330e also generates 248bhp

BMW 330e 2016 - front tracking

If you want a bit of zing with your green car, then BMW offers the great handling BMW 330e. This plug-in hybrid saloon delivers the kind of involving handling that BMW is famous for, but some of the low emissions magic of the i3 and i8 sports car have rubbed off on it. It's not a dedicated green machine, though, as BMW markets it as part of its iPerformance brand, which mixes low running costs with sporty driving dynamics. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Power for the 330e comes from the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine from the BMW 320i, plus an electric motor. The 330e has a claimed combined economy figure of 148.7mpg, while emissions are 44g/km for the base SE model - higher spec cars on larger wheels have slightly higher emissions. 

Even better, the hybrid system makes 248bhp, which is significantly more than the rival VW Passat GTE. The instant torque from the electric motor boosts the 330e's responses at low revs, and it accelerates strongly through the rev range, although the car does run out of puff the faster you go.

Still, there's plenty of power available for everyday driving, while the 330e handles like a BMW should. There's some extra body roll in corners and the weight of the batteries in the back does dull the car's responses when compared to a conventional 3 Series, but it's still a lot of fun to drive.

The petrol engine cuts in readily, and there's no facility to run in pure EV mode, although you can store the battery charge for use at a later date. Of course, like all plug-in hybrids, the 330e's real-world economy will depend entirely on how you use it and how often you charge it. But with the petrol engine cutting in on a regular basis, the 330e is likely to be less efficient than a VW Passat GTE being driven in a similar way.

Best green cars 

  1. 1. BMW i3
  2. 2. Toyota Prius
  3. 3. Tesla Model S
  4. 4. VW Passat GTE
  5. 5. Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi ecoFLEX
  6. 6. Nissan Leaf
  7. 7. Volvo XC90 T8
  8. 8. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  9. 9. VW Polo BlueMotion 1.0 TSI
  10. 10. BMW 330e
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bmw/3-series
BMW 3 Series - front
BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series review

The BMW 3 Series offers the perfect blend of performance, driving dynamics, low running costs, technology and improved refinement
13 Mar 2020
Visit/bmw/3-series/109156/new-bmw-330e-touring-plug-in-hybrid-launched
BMW 330e Touring - front
BMW 3 Series

New BMW 330e Touring plug-in hybrid launched

Plug-in hybrid estate version of the new BMW 3 Series is available in the UK with rear and four-wheel-drive options
18 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/3-series/102111/new-2020-bmw-m3-prices-and-specs-and-exclusive-images
BMW M3 - front (exclusive image)
BMW 3 Series

New 2020 BMW M3: prices and specs and exclusive images

BMW will launch the sixth-generation M3 saloon towards the end of next year, with a 510bhp straight-six engine and all-wheel-drive
2 Dec 2019
Visit/bmw/3-series/108422/bmw-330e-vs-volvo-s60-t8
BMW 3 Series vs Volvo S60
BMW 3 Series

BMW 330e vs Volvo S60 T8

As the automotive world becomes increasingly electrified, we find out which does it better out of the BMW 330e and Volvo S60 T8
16 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/modern-classics/351953/most-wanted-cars-2020-poll
News

Most Wanted Cars 2020: poll

Decide which classic car you would most want to see brought back from the dead by an all new model
27 Mar 2020
Visit/features/351947/30-brilliant-boredom-beaters-car-fans
Features

30 brilliant boredom beaters for car fans

Stay at home, stay safe and enjoy some pure automotive escapism in the form of the very best content from Dennis Publishing’s leading car brands.
27 Mar 2020
Visit/news/351950/global-temporary-shutdown-car-factories-could-actually-benefit-manufacturers-and
News

'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020