Twin test: BMW 330e M Sport vs Volvo S60 T8 R-Design Plus

As company-car tax for plug-in hybrids drops, we put two of the sector's main contenders head to head

 

There are few cars with a default status as deeply ingrained as the BMW 3 Series, and few more worthy of it. It’s been the benchmark for modest-sized premium saloons since such a thing existed, but does it deserve that same high regard when it comes to the plug-in hybrid 330e variant?

On paper it certainly seems so, given an official electric range of up to 37 miles, CO2 emissions of 37g/km and – with even this M Sport model sneaking under the £40,000 barrier – a fairly extraordinary saving over the more potent Volvo S60 T8.

The Volvo plays its own numbers game, though, and it starts with a power output of 381bhp – or 395bhp with the Polestar software upgrade of our test car. Efficient the BMW might be, but the Volvo also offers 36 miles of electric running and sneaks under 50g/km of CO2 despite its serious, sports-car-slaying 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds. That performance comes at a very high cost, though, so can the Volvo justify a premium of £10,000 over the BMW? Let’s find out..

BMW 330e M Sport

Pros

  • Efficient,
  • Great to drive
  • Superb infotainment

Cons

  • Missing some key kit
  • Not as fast as the Volvo
  • Comparably short battery warranty

Volvo S60 T8 R-Design

Pros

  • Strong performance
  • Spacious interior
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • No cable storage
  • Pretty expensive
  • Middling infotainment system

Read on for our in-depth comparison and full verdict on these two cars...