Auto123 test the BMW 330e 2022, Tour version! Today is the first of two parts of our European journey.
With the price of gasoline making yoyo, the idea of an electrified vehicle is becoming more and more interesting. Gone are the days of asking questions about the future of the electrical format. The future is electric and all manufacturers have gotten into it, now offering one or more electric versions in their line.
If the arrival of electrified cars allows motorists to save considerably on the price of gasoline, a new need is essential: access to an electric terminal. You need to have one at home, and if you travel a long way, you should plan for frequent refills along the way.
This is exactly the question we asked ourselves when planning our family trip to Europe. We know that there are more electric vehicles as well as fast charging stations. But it is also true that these terminals are used far beyond us.
Knowing this, we played the hybridization card for our trip. We have arranged with BMW Canada to book a BMW 330e with pick-up in Germany. BMW immediately accepted the project and even entrusted us, the icing on the cake, a magnificent 330e Touring. As we know, Europe is a welcoming place for the Touring versions, considering the wagons the quintessential family transport cars. It is true that SUVs are gaining ground, but luckily (personal taste), they are not yet the majority in the old continent.
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A little reminder of the BMW 330e, which is a plug-in hybrid car (PHEV). It has both a battery-powered electric motor and an internal gasoline combustion engine. Its estimated pure electric range is 32 km for the all-wheel drive xDrive model. A PHEV like the 330e offers you the best of both worlds with electric range for local travel and a gas engine that starts when needed.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder unit that offers 181 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor delivers 107 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque. The two combined machines reach the milestone of 288 horsepower and a maximum torque of 310 lb-ft, considering the XtraBoost feature that increases power by 40 horsepower for 10 seconds when you need a little more during acceleration.
These figures are interesting, but specifically on the road, how do you look?
So we took possession of our “family” vehicle in Frankfurt when we got off the plane. We are all delighted to discover or rediscover this 330th. We had already taken it in a sedan version to Canada in the summer of 2021. Except there, we have to fit two adults and two teenagers plus the four suitcases that come with us. Well, the Touring version has 410 liters of cargo space compared to the 375 liters of the sedan version. A small game of Tetris and all the suitcases are finally put in the bottom of the chest.
Little thing to know with this rechargeable hybrid version, the battery occupies the bottom of the trunk that consumes part of the charging space. The capacity of the trunk in a Series 3 sedan without electrification is still 480 liters. But in all versions, the rear seats can be lowered, which penalizes a little less the actual load capacity.
We set off on the road, once our world is well established in the leather seats of our “Béhème”. We activate the GPS of the car in the direction of France and, more specifically, Strasbourg. A short distance of 216 km to cover. The GPS indicates 2h40 of road … it is without counting that we are in Germany and that there are many sections without speed limit in our route. In short, we are delighted to be guided by our GPS which has the advantage of indicating the route also in upward vision.
SEE ALSO: Review of the BMW 330e xDrive 2021: Imperfect Plug-in Hybrid 3 Series Option
We arrive safely on the highway, the gas tank is full and our battery. We drive with caution in Normal mode, which means that only the on-board computer manages the distribution between the electrical part and the petrol part. We let it go without worrying too much, because we are busier knitting in the middle of the morning traffic. We drive a few tens of kilometers to escape the flood of travelers who come to work in the city.
Once stabilized at cruising speed, thanks to the cruise control that helped us a lot throughout our trip, you notice the smooth flow of traffic. The limit goes from 90 to 110 and then to 130 km / h. All is well, a small tap on the cruise control speed selector makes us increase every 10 km / h. The small family begins to sink. The car is hot, the morning sun almost blinds us and the road, as always in Germany, is as smooth as a pool table!
The signal arrives on the front screen of the approaching unlimited speed panel. All the better, we are now driving in three lanes and there are almost no cars around us.
The long-awaited panel arrives, we press the Sport + mode and crush the right pedal. Until then, the vehicle was very quiet and the car was literally floating on the road. In Sport +, the engine, more present in the passenger compartment, suddenly makes a hoarse sound. Suspension and steering are instantly confirmed. The acceleration is lively and frank, the speedometer needle goes up quickly, very fast even to stabilize at 230 km / h. All is well, I respect the instructions of BMW asking us not to exceed 240 km / h!
We continue like this for several tens of kilometers without the slightest effort. A little further on, the freeway narrows slightly and becomes two lanes. No big deal, we are still at a cruising speed of between 160 and 180 km / h. This car is a tarmac, the miles that separate us from our destination were swallowed in one gulp without ever feeling in danger. Acceleration and braking were straightforward and the 216km was covered in just over two hours.
It is important to mention that yes, there are unlimited speed sections of the motorway, but there are many with areas of 110 or 130 km / h. In these areas, it is zero tolerance; they slap our hands at 3 km / h above the speed limit. Again, cruise control and especially the speed limiter come to soothe our passion.
The rest of the way goes smoothly and we enjoy the landscape of the jungle to our destination in France. Upon arrival, the on-board computer indicates an average fuel consumption of 8.2 L / 100 km. Not bad, considering our top speeds and cruising speed. Once there, we tied our car to the first power outlet we found in the garden.
The next few days, we plug in at home when we think about it and otherwise drive in hybrid mode around town. We still use the automatic management system of our 300e Touring and the transition between electric and thermal mode is very smooth and discreet.
Next week, conclusion of our brief trip to Europe aboard the BMW 330e Touring 2022.
Pictures of the BMW 330e Touring 2022