2018 BMW 330e new car reviews

The Kia Optima PHEV plug-in hybrid can go up to 29 miles on all-electric power. The latest Chevy Volt will travel up to 53 miles without using any internal combustion.

And the BMW 330e? Fourteen miles. Yeah, just 14 assuming the planets and stuff line up.

Some other numbers. The gas engine is BMW’s TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder that makes 180 horsepower along with 215 lb.-ft. of torque. The electric motor delivers 87 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Total output with both systems online is 248 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. All of that output is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic. Zero to 60 takes 5.9 seconds.

The batteries, by the way, are stored underneath the trunk floor. Trunk space goes from 17 cubic feet to 13.

Let’s talk some more numbers. The 330e starts at $45,600, and ours wore Sunset Orange Metallic paint, a $550 option. After packages and options, including $1350 for the Shadow Sport Edition, ours topped out at $52,245.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Kinda cool to see the e badge come back, a nod to the eta-powered cars of days gone by. My math shows that I got 31.5 mpg and, I admit, that wasn’t while taking advantage of the all-electric mode. I might have also been, um, flogging it a bit. Hey, that eight-speed automatic feels crisp and clean. It’s like a mountain stream. And maybe with a hint of lime.

Also, call me a fan of that orange. It’s not HEY, LOOK AT ME, I’M ORANGE AND ZANNY! Rather, it’s cool about it. Yeah, I know I’m wearing orange.

I wish it went further than 14 miles on a charge, though. In today’s world, that’s not so impressive.

On the other hand, guess you can call this the BMW 3 Series of plug-in hybrids. The cockpit is nearly perfect. The gauges are traditional and right where they belong. The car is just the right size. The 330e is quick enough to be entertaining.

Compared to other plug-in hybrids, it’s a bit a of letdown. But if you want a plug-in hybrid that’s the size of a 3 Series and wears a BMW Roundel, then this is your car–and I have a feeling that many people will buy based on just those last two criteria.

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