As the world slowly turns towards electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles remain an essential link in the transition from carbon-spewing to carbon neutrality, and the 2022 BMW 3 Series Hybrid is the German marque's attempt at an environmentally-friendly compact luxury sedan. The 3 Series Hybrid range, comprised of the BMW 330e and 330e xDrive, is based on the seventh-generation G20 3 Series platform and mirrors the excellent build quality, modern tech features, and impressive driving dynamics of its gas-only brethren, but returns good gas mileage, and gets up to 23 miles of all-electric range as a bonus. Under the hood, the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine is backed up by an electric traction motor for total outputs of 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, placing the hybrid model between the gas 330i and the M340i power-wise. An 8-speed automatic gearbox is standard. And, with only one plug-in competitor to truly weigh it up against in the segment, the 330e may have quite a fight on its hands with the 400-hp Volvo S60 Recharge. Still, the world is going one way, and the 3 Series Hybrid is a great bridge to the future.
The 330e and 330e xDrive models were new for 2021 and undergo relatively minor changes for the 2022 model year. Options are shuffled around and some are now available as standalone extras, such as Icon adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight technology and the Shadowline exterior package. Others are removed as standalone extras or incorporated in new, streamlined packages. Interior and exterior color options have been tweaked as well and on the hybrid models featured here, ambient interior lighting is now standard, as are LED headlights with a cornering function and improved Bluetooth connectivity. A power-operated trunk lid is now available as an option too.
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BMW reintroduced the 3 Series Hybrid sedan for the 2021 model year and it is a more capable and refined offering than its predecessor. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it's a different animal altogether when it comes to the sheer amount of tech on offer. From the outside, the 3 Series Hybrid isn't as attention-grabbing as a proper M car, but it looks good nonetheless. The interior is a stylish and refined place to be and oozes German build quality and drips in modern tech. The Live Cockpit Professional might take some getting used to, but we can see where BMW is going with this system, and once you get used to it, it becomes a handy companion. The powertrain in the 3 Series Hybrid won't send shivers down your spine, but it is powerful and efficient in a clinical way. The same can be said for the handling and driving experience: the 3 Series Hybrid offers a balanced driving experience that is sporty yet comfortable, but ultimately forgettable. With the only other premium hybrid sedan, the Volvo S60 Hybrid, boasting a price tag starting at $47,650, the 3 Series looks like an attractive option, though it's worth noting that the Volvo has more impressive specs and a top-notch safety review from the IIHS over the Bimmer.
The 2022 BMW 330e has a cost of $42,950 in the USA, excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $995. That makes the base model hybrid only $1,500 more expensive than the gas-only 330i Sedan. The all-wheel-drive 330e xDrive sedan will set you back $44,950. These prices represent a $1,600 saving over the 2021 models. Fully loaded, the price of the BMW 3 Series plug-in Hybrid can get close to $60,000.