2016 BMW 330e iPerformance Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Plug-in hybrid version of 3 Series sedan
  • Total power output is 248 horsepower
  • Accelerates to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds
  • 14 miles of electric driving range
  • Recharges in 7 hours using wall outlet
  • EPA-rated to get 72 MPGe
  • Priced at $44,695
  • On sale in summer of 2016

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Introduction

2016 BMW 330e iPerformance front quarter photo BMW’s long-awaited 3 Series plug-in hybrid has arrived, and it is called the 330e iPerformance. Available as a late-introduction 2016 model, this electrified version of the 3 Series arrives in the summer at a price of $44,695, including a destination charge of $995.

Exterior Features

The 2016 BMW 330e iPerformance model looks identical to the 328i, with two exceptions. A charging port is located forward of the driver’s door and an “eDrive” badge is affixed to each rear roof pillar. Luxury and M Sport option packages add equipment that changes the car’s appearance, and buyers can upgrade the look with metallic paint.

Interior Features

BMW’s Sensatec leatherette upholstery is standard for the 330e iPerformance, with leather available as an upgrade. Owners can also choose between multiple styles of metallic and wood trims with which to decorate the cabin.

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2016 BMW 330e iPerformance interior photo To make room for the 330e iPerformance’s battery, it is housed under the trunk floor, shrinking cargo space by 23.5% to 13 cu. ft. A 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat expands utility when necessary.

Using a smartphone app, the 330e iPerformance’s owner can pre-heat or pre-cool the car’s interior while it is still plugged in, drawing power from the source of electricity.

Optional Features

BMW plans to offer Premium, Cold Weather, Lighting, Technology, and Driver Assistance option packages for the new 330e iPerformance. More aggressive 18-in. aluminum wheels are also available, as well as a premium sound system, navigation system, sunroof, adaptive cruise control system, and more.

Under the Hood

For the 330e iPerformance, BMW’s plug-in hybrid powertrain matches a turbocharged, 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor, Lithium-ion battery pack, and an 8-speed Sports automatic transmission with shift paddles. Total system output measures 248 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, and BMW preserves the car’s even front-to-rear weight distribution.

The driver can choose between three driving modes: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive, and Save Battery. In Auto eDrive mode, the 330e operates as a gas-electric hybrid with the ability to travel as fast as 50 mph purely on electricity, BMW says.

In Max eDrive mode the car operates solely on the electricity from the battery pack, traveling as far as 14 miles on a single charge and up to a top speed of 75 mph, the automaker states. If the driver pushes the accelerator pedal beyond the kick down position, the gas engine will fire up in order to supply added power.

A Save Battery mode is also available, allowing the driver to reserve at least half of maximum battery charge for electric operation in specific driving situations. This is particularly important for travel within low-emission driving zones in Europe.

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2016 BMW 330e iPerformance rear quarter photo Rated by the EPA to return 31 mpg when driven in Auto eDrive mode, the 330e iPerformance achieves a combined rating of 72 MPGe according to official testing. At the same time, BMW claims the car will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and achieve a maximum velocity of 140 mph. Driving Dynamics Control carries over from other 3 Series models, giving the driver a choice between Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ modes.

Recharging takes 2.5 hours using a 240-volt home or office charging station. Use a standard household outlet and recharging takes up to 7 hours, BMW says. The 330e iPerformance also has a smaller gas tank, measuring 10.8 gallons compared with 15.8 gallons.

Safety

Most of the available safety technologies available for the 330e iPerformance are contained in one of two option packages. The first is called the Driver Assistance package and it includes a reversing camera and park-assist sensors.

Buyers can upgrade to the Driver Assistance Plus package for a forward-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking system, lane-departure warning system, active blind-spot warning system, and a 360-degree camera system with a top-down view.

Technology

BMW’s Proactive Driving Assistant technology works with the navigation system, and when the driver is following a programmed route it uses information about the road and conditions ahead in order to most efficiently manage the powertrain and to maximize mileage and driving range.

Equipped with features specific to this car, BMW ConnectedDrive provides smartphone access to data related to the powertrain including remaining battery charge, listings of the nearest ChargeNow charging stations, and more.