by Aiden Eksteen
The 2021 BMW 3 Series Hybrid is a compact 4-door sedan and is part of the seventh 3 Series generation that debuted in 2019. As a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the 3 Series Hybrid sedan is the famous marque's transitional effort toward a more eco-friendly and emissions-free future. As with any BMW, the 3 Series Hybrid carries a sporty and authoritative aesthetic and delivers the fun and proficient performance the brand is renowned for, albeit to a slightly hushed degree in the name of efficiency. That slight compromise is compensated for by the benefit of a 22-mile electric-only driving range - a perk accorded by the 3 Series Hybrid sedan's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that's been augmented with an electric motor for outputs of 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Though more and more EVs and hybrids are entering the fray, the 2021 BMW 3 Series Hybrid competes most comparably with the Volvo S60 Hybrid - a highly appealing and worthy competitor. Nonetheless, the BMW carries its own alluring strengths and unique appeal.
The BMW 330e and 330e xDrive are new for 2021 and bring with them a few notable improvements over the previous generation PHEV, including an improved all-electric range of 22 miles (20 for the xDrive), an all-electric top speed of 87 mph (up from 75 mph previously), and a larger 12 kWh battery. A new XtraBoost feature provides an immediate 40-hp boost for as long as 10 seconds when the throttle is depressed. The RWD BMW 330e plug-in hybrid manages the 0-60 mph sprint in 5.6 seconds, while the AWD model takes a tenth longer. The EPA claims 67 MPGe for the xDrive, while the rear-wheel-drive 330e manages 75 MPGe.
See trim levels and configurations:
BMW has appointed the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 gas engine to both the 330e and 330e xDrive compact sedans. In both cars, the engine is dialed to deliver 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, all of which is forwarded through an 8-speed automatic transmission to either the rear-wheel-drive system in the 330e or the all-wheel-drive system in the 330e xDrive. Put the pedal to the metal and the 3 Series' new XtraBoost system boosts off-the-line power by 40 hp for up to a full ten seconds. Power is otherwise always ample and the engine and transmission work together in refined harmony. Charging the PHEV system will take around five hours on a typical 110-volt household outlet.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
BMW redesigned the 3 Series Hybrid sedan for the 2021 model year, and it is now the best it has ever been. Its suave and contemporary design is complemented by an exquisite and well-built interior that presents occupants with luxurious space and oodles of creature comforts, conveniences, and technology. The Live Cockpit Professional infotainment interface is a little complex, but it becomes a nifty tool once you get used to it. In terms of performance, the 3 Series compact sedan won't excite as much as an M car, whether you're dicing from traffic light to traffic light or blitzing around corners, but it offers an experience focused around comfort and efficiency, and it does this immaculately. In its most fuel-efficient guise, the 3 Series Hybrid returns 75 MPGe and offers 22 miles of range on electrons alone. The IIHS's review of the 2021 BMW 3 Series Hybrid resulted in a confidence-inspiring safety rating, and consumer reliability expectations were equally encouraging. In the USA, the 2021 BMW 3 Series Hybrid sedan carries a price of $44,550, making it a highly appealing pick within the segment.
The 2021 3 Series Hybrid is presented as a standalone model but the lineup comprises two versions of the 330e - a RWD and AWD version. The RWD will offer you more of a traditional sports sedan handling feel while the AWD has traction benefits, particularly in all-weather conditions. Whichever version you go for, we'd suggest you also review the options list and consider the Driving Assistance Package for the good selection of advanced driver-assist features it contains, including active drive assist, blind-spot detection, and park distance control.
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