BMW 330e review: boot space, seating & towing capacity
A smaller boot than the petrol and diesel 3 Series counts against the otherwise-impressive BMW 330e plug-in hybrid here
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As a compact executive saloon, the BMW 3 Series has never really been about outright passenger or luggage-carrying ability, but comfortable seating for four and a decent boot are still important to buyers in this sector. The 330e does reasonably well on both counts, although its boot is smaller than a purely petrol or diesel-engined 3 Series'
BMW 330e interior space, storage & comfort
Previous BMW 3 Series generations were known for being a bit tight in the back, especially compared to key rivals like the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. The company has improved things with this latest generation, extending the wheelbase by 41mm in order to boost rear legroom.
You can now sit a couple of six-footers fairly comfortably even behind a tall driver, and BMW states you'll fit three child seats side-by-side in the back (although only the outer two have ISOFIX mounting points).
This is one area where the 330e has to give best to its 330i petrol and 320d diesel stablemates. Its boot capacity is 375 litres – 105 down on the other versions in range – due to the need to accommodate the hybrid system's battery.
The remaining boot space is good enough to easily cope with the fairly light duties expected of an executive saloon, but it's quite shallow, so if you do need to occasionally squeeze luggage in for a family of four, you might struggle. Note that the entry-level SE Pro specification has a one-piece folding rear bench; you need to step up to at least Sport Pro to get a more versatile split-folding arrangement.
There's no cable storage, either, although the cable bag is fairly small and fits into a side cubby built into the boot, provided you're patient enough to pack the cables carefully. For those who need more boot space, BMW has put the 330e hybrid drivetrain into the Touring estate.
The 330e has a relatively low towing limit of 750kg, compared to 1,600-1,800kg for the rest of the 3 Series range. Find out more about towing with a hybrid or electric car here.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe latest BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid is a very accomplished all-rounder, combining driving enjoyment with ultra-low running costs for an appealing package
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe 330e's electric range isn't quite the best in class, but the plug-in BMW should still offer low running costs
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe BMW 330e plug-in hybrid will work out very cheap to run in most cases, especially for company-car users
- 4Performance, engine & driveKeen drivers will be right at home in the BMW 330e, especially when they put it into Sport mode for extra power
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortA recent facelift has further modernised the 330e's classy and well-built cabin
- 6Boot space, seating & practicality - currently readingA smaller boot than the petrol and diesel 3 Series counts against the otherwise-impressive BMW 330e plug-in hybrid here
- 7Reliability & safety ratingBMW as a brand isn't rated amazingly, but there's plenty of the latest safety kit available for the 330e plug-in hybrid