2017 BMW 330e iPerformance review: still sporty sedan?

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance review
2017 BMW 330e iPerformance review

BMW sedans were always famous for their sportiness. It is possible that the addition of hybrid drive takes away a part of the sportiness? Read our review of 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance 3-Series plug-in hybrid and find out.

Is BMW 3-Series plug-in hybrid sporty or economical? Or maybe both?

BMW 3-Series plug-in hybrid

New BMW 3-Series plug-in hybrid remains sporty and adds ECO feature.

When the sixth generation BMW 3-Series (F30) came into the market back in 2011, it did not take long for BMW to present its hybrid version, called Active Hybrid 3. They added a small electric motor to the big and powerful 6-cylinder petrol engine. The result came out as a hybrid vehicle, that was more of an athlete than an economical car. To be exact, the athlete part was easy and the economy part non-existent.

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance wants to be different. The petrol in-line six cylinder engine said goodbye. Instead, there is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Designed with efficiency in mind from the very beginning. Eight-speed automatic transmission in the BMW is already a fact. And an electric motor is mounted in a place otherwise occupied by the torque converter.

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance can do 23 kilometers/14 miles on electricity

2017 BMW 330e electric range

2017 BMW 330e pure electric range is 23 kilometers or 14 miles.

BMW engineers managed to squeeze the hybrid system into the smallest place possible in order to maintain the daily usability of the car. Even when it comes to the luggage compartment volume. The trunk size has 370 liters and a flat bottom together with the possibility of folding the rear seats.

BMW 330e plug-in hybrid luggage compartment

BMW 330e plug-in hybrid luggage compartment has 370 liters, flat bottom and the option to fold rear seats.

The battery is slightly smaller than in technically related BMW X5. It has 5.7 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity (gross capacity is namely 7.6-kilowatt hours), which is sufficient for the 23 kilometers/14 miles of purely electric drive.

2017 BMW 330e edrive driving mode

2017 BMW 330e edrive driving modes

Three eDrive specific programs

The BMW 330e iPerformance is capable of speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph) in pure electric mode (MAX eDrive) or up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) in hybrid mode (AUTO eDrive) where petrol and electric motor work hand in hand. The third option is Save battery mode, where eDrive mode pauses to preserve the battery power.It is conventional socket can be recharged in just over two hours, is located under the boot floor.

The battery can be recharged in just over two hours and is located under the boot floor.

BMW 330e iPerformance retains the 50:50 weight distribution

BMW’s engineers, despite fairly heavy hybrid components, managed to maintain an ideal 50: 50 weight ratio between the front and rear axles. And yes, the total system power and additional torque of the electric motor provide a plug-in hybrid BMW 330e iPerformance enough sports features.

Correct, the BMW 330e iPerformance owners are not at a disadvantage compared to other BMW 3-Series owners. Quite the opposite.

The electric motor with its 88 horsepower and especially with 250 Nm of torque is completely capable of moving the car around. And when this power is joined by the petrol engine, we get a total system power of 252 hp. The BMW 330e iPerformance can then achieve 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in only 6.1 seconds.

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance does not want to differ from other 3-Series models

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance dashboard

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance dashboard: analog gauges. The competition already switched to digital.

Except for the eDrive labeled button to change the driving mode and slightly different gauges (which are still analog and obsolete), BMW 330e iPerformance does not expose its “ECO” nature. And nothing wrong with that. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids, including at BMW, are more and more common. And therefore there is no need to stand out from the crowd.

BMW 330e iPerformance competition and rivals

More and more competitors are entering this segment lately. Plug-in hybrid sales are rising and car manufacturers are aware of that.

  • Chevrolet VOLT (video comparison below)
  • Lexus ES 300H
  • Mercedes-Benz C350e

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance vs. 2017 Chevrolet VOLT video comparison

BMW 330e iPerformance technical specification

Exterior dimensions

  • Length: 4,633 mm / 182.8 in.
  • Width: 1,811 mm / 71.3 in.
  • Height: 1,429 mm / 56.3 in.
  • Wheelbase: 2,810 mm / 110.6 in
  • Ground clearance: 140 mm / 5.5 in.
  • Curb weight: 1,660 kg / 3,660 lbs.
  • Max. load: 460 kg / 1,014 lbs.

Interior dimensions

  • Front
    • headroom: 1,023 mm / 40.3 in.
    • leg room: 1,067 mm / 42.0 in.
    • shoulder room: 1,400 mm / 55.1 in.
  • Rear
    • headroom: 957 mm / 37.7 in.
    • leg room: 892 mm / 35.1 in.
    • shoulder room: 1,400 mm / 55.1 in.

Cargo volume / luggage compartment

  • Basic volume/seats up: 370 liters

Petrol engine

  • Displacement: 1,993 ccm
  • Maximum power: 184 hp / 135 kW
  • Maximum torque: 290 Nm / 214 lb.ft

Electric motor

  • Maximum power: 88 hp / 65 kW
  • Maximum torque: 250 Nm / 184 lb.ft
  • Battery capacity: 7.6 kWh (gross)

Total system power

  • Maximum power: 252 hp / 185 kW
  • Maximum torque: 420 Nm / 310 lb.ft


  • Top speed: 225 km/h / 140 mph
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h / 0-62 mph): 6.1 seconds
  • Drive type: front wheel drive

Fuel economy and range

  • Electric: 71 MPGe / 3.3 l/100 km equivalent
  • Petrol: 30 MPGe / 7.8 l/100 km
  • Electric range (EPA): 23 kilometers / 14 miles
  • Total range: 563 kilometers / 350 miles
  • Calculated fuel economy*:
    • 16 km / 10 mi: 71 MPG / 3.3 l/100 km
    • 40 km / 25 mi: 44 MPG / 5.3 l/100 km
    • 80 km / 50 mi: 36 MPG / 6.6 l/100 km
    • 160 km / 100 mi: 33 MPG / 7.2 l/100 km

Base model price

  • USA: 44,100 USD
  • Germany: 43,600 EUR
  • Great Britain (UK): 34,475 GBP
  • Canada: 52,100 CAD

Image credit: BMW

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