Wearing BMW’s newly introduced ‘iPerformance’ moniker for plug-in hybrid cars, the 248hp 330e will go on sale in the States this summer starting at $44,695 including destination and handling.
Before we go over the 330e, here’s some food for thought; the asking price for the PHEV is $3,850 more than the 180hp 2.0L four-cylinder diesel 328d ($40,845), and $5,350 more than the, comparable in regards to performance, 240hp 2.0L four-cylinder gasoline 328i ($39,345). All cars come with a standard 8sp automatic.
Given that the 330e iPerformance is marketed as a high-efficiency model, buyers should take into consideration the fact that, the price difference over the 328d, will let owners of the latter cover 66,000 miles – with the average price of diesel in the States currently hovering around $2.1 a gallon, and the EPA rating the diesel at 36mpg combined, before breaking even.
In the case of the 328i, with the average price of 1 gallon of premium gasoline fuel on March 21 standing at $2.46, according to the US Energy Information Administration, and the EPA giving the car a combined economy rating of 27mpg, you’ll cover nearly 59,000 miles before making up the difference in pricing with the 330e.
The EPA has given the 330e iPerformance a gasoline engine only combined rating of 31mpg and an electric and gas engine rating of 72MPGe.
According to the government agency, whereas the 330e will save you $750 in fuel costs over 5 years compared to the average new vehicle, or the same as the $39,345, 240HP and 27mpg combined 328i, the 328d will double that at $1,500.
The 330e draws its power from a 2.0-liter turbo’d four-cylinder gasoline mill delivering 180 hp and peak torque of 215 lb-ft, which works in tandem with an electric motor, developing 87 hp with maximum peak torque of 184 lb-ft, for a system output of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft. This allows for a sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96km/h) in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph (225km/h). Pure-electric driving is possible at speeds of up to 75 mph (120km/h) and with a range of around 14 miles (22 kilometers).
The 328i reaches the 60mph mark in 0.1 seconds faster at 5.8 seconds and has an available de-limited top speed of 150mph (otherwise regulated at 130mph), while the 328d diesel is notably slower at 7.4 seconds, but can reach a de-limited top speed of 143mph (otherwise restricted at 130mph).
Without taking into consideration any differences in equipment and how the three cars drive on the road, after a first glance at the numbers, both the 328d and the 328i seem like better financial choices than the 330e.
*Note: European-spec 330e iPerformance pictured