Review of the BMW 330e M Sport courtesy of Soper of Lincoln

 In BMW, Electric Vehicle Reviews, News, Technology News

A review of the BMW 330e M Sport, with Soper of Lincoln, by EV Camel’s Managing Director Richard Jones.

Our friends at Soper of Lincoln kindly invited me to review the new BMW 330e M Sport, which was a great opportunity as we have installed a number of charge points for customers with BMW hybrids over the last year or so.

The car is very impressive at first look; it’s initially easy to get carried away by the sophistication of the controls, which were quickly set up for me, however once you set off you immediately realise the overall quality of engineering that you are driving.

So, what to do with the car from Thursday morning until the following Monday?

First on the agenda were site visits in Skellingthorpe, so a trip around the ring road presented a good opportunity for a first test of the performance and handling.

The battery had been fully charged, so it was straight into full electric mode. The car is certainly a firm drive; it sits low to the road and feels grippy and responsive. It has all the features and styling you’d expect of the marque.

Parking up at my destination was easy with intuitive rear parking camera controls and sensors, all very clear and straightforward.

Overall at the end of the first day, I was pleased to end up just about scraping home on full electric mode, ready to charge from my EV charger and found it easy to plug in and start the charging process.

I could have timed the charging of the battery, but I knew it would easily charge at 32Amps using my solar-generated electricity before I got in the car again the following morning.

I found the practical electric range to be a bit over 30 miles which is obviously not the biggest, but it has been certified by BMW/HMRC as 41 miles. So, when it comes to BIK calculations for 2020/21 it will fall into the 8 per cent tax bracket as it also has a CO2 emissions rating of 37g/km.

The predicted range to go on battery is also very accurate – more so than I have seen with other manufacturers – and this feels very reassuring and encouraging for the pure EV models of the future.BMW 330e M Sport Saloon test drive with EV Camel

The car is eligible for the EV Home Charge Scheme (EVHS), so you can apply for a subsidised charge point through EV Camel.

My only slight criticism of the charging capability is purely personal, in that I would have liked to have seen a DC charging connection facility. Not all will agree with me on this as it’s a PHEV, but I do feel that if we charge up as much as we can whenever and wherever possible then we are maximising the benefit to the environment.

Next day, with the car fully charged, it was time to drop the kids to school and get their reaction.

Of course, being teenagers, it’s all about street cred and the car has this in droves! After that it’s about acceleration and the gadgets and my teens liked the ability for the car to be warm before they get in it – presumably to help prevent them from actually waking up until they arrive at school!

They wanted me to test the sport mode too and were impressed with the colour changing controls. The handling in this mode is also very responsive, but the acceleration in full electric mode still seems to feel better – perhaps because it’s less expected than when in sports mode which is 0-60 in 5.9 seconds.

So what do the experts think?

‘It is a high quality plug-in hybrid that could easily match a 320d for rock-bottom running costs’ Auto Express

‘Quick and sophisticated, it makes a serious case for plug-in hybrids, and maintains the model’s reputation for class-leading excellence’ Autocar

So, what are my own final impressions and views?

Overall, it’s a fantastic car that has really impressed me and given me an insight into where BMW is going with its future EV range.

I had been encouraged by a test drive in an i3 a few years ago, but that one wasn’t for me owing to its size and EV quirkiness.

However, this car is a normal car with all that you would expect – and more – from the engineers at BMW. It’s a car that provides an insight into how it will develop into a full EV version.

It’s a pleasure to drive in full EV mode, which is the key thing I wanted to explore as this is a factor that will influence the buying decisions of the BMW faithful and others that go for test drives.

Review by Richard Jones
Managing Director, EV Camel
30th September 2019
Video courtesy of WhatCar!