BMW has been making 3 Series wagons for decades, with the introduction of the E30 3 Series Touring back in the ’80s. However, the new BMW 330e Touring is the brand’s first-ever hybrid wagon, which allows European customers to combine family car practicality with hybrid efficiency. But can it compete with BMW’s already fantastic lineup of 3 Series wagons? We find out in this new video from Joe Achilles.
Achilles isn’t the biggest fan of hybrid or electric vehicles, preferring more long-distance diesel variants instead. The BMW 330e Touring seems like it could be a nice middle-ground, though. Not only can it drive under pure electric power alone, it also has a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Combined, the two make 292 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque (420 Nm), allowing it to get from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. But because it has a gas engine, it can also drive normal gas-car distances and refuel as easily as any other piston-engine car.
However, once the battery runs flat, the under-tuned four-cylinder engine can struggle to manage the extra weight of the hybrid powertrain. Because of that, it can feel slow and it actually gets pretty poor fuel economy. The upside of that, though, is that BMW’s clever hybrid modes can keep the car switching between full electric and hybrid as needed to ensure the battery never goes flat and you’re always getting the most power/efficiency.
As Achilles notes, if you’re looking to get the most efficient 3 Series, the BMW 330e Touring probably isn’t it. Diesel-powered variants will get better real-world fuel economy. However, if you live in a small town or city, in which your daily journeys are less than 20 miles, especially if you also have a charging station at home, the 330e makes a ton of sense. You can use it purely as an EV on most daily trips and then use the gas engine to get you anywhere outside of that. Plus, it still drives like a 3 Series and has the practicality of a normal wagon.
The verdict seems to be that the BMW 330e Touring is a great daily driver for a specific clientele base but not the best choice for anyone outside of that.