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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2024 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2023 BMW 330e Sedan

Vehicle Type: Small Plug-In Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $43,300
Price as Tested: $53,440

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity/midgrade
Fuel Capacity (gal): 10.6
120V Charge Time: 2.9 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 7.3 miles per hour
EPA City mpg24
EPA Highway mpg32
EPA Combined mpg: 27
EPA Combined MPGe: 73
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 22

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

BMW's iconic 3 Series compact sports sedan became electrified with the introduction of the 330e plug-in hybrid in 2020. Fully redesigned in 2019, the 3 got updated sheet metal and a new digital dash for 2023. The 330e is stylish and sporty-looking inside and out, with high-quality materials, impeccable fit and finish, and decent interior storage. The plug-in version is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor (288 hp) that provide quick acceleration and a responsive throttle. Exterior LED lighting is very good overall. Our test car's adaptive M suspension delivered sporty handling and a firm ride, which turned a bit rough over uneven pavement. Braking is responsive, if a bit sensitive. The drivetrain delivers decent fuel economy (27 mpg combined) but a relatively low all—electric and overall range (22 and 310 miles, respectively). Negatives for the 330e include restricted back-seat headroom, trunk space limited by the hybrid battery, restricted rear visibility (roof pillars, small rear window), and difficult back-seat entry and exit. Also, interior features are managed mostly by the touch screen; even climate controls lack knobs or hard keys. Finally, BMW is really stingy with the 330's standard advanced safety features. Only forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and automatic emergency braking are standard—all others are extra-cost options.

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Pros and Cons


  • Stylish, sporty exterior and interior
  • Good power, sporty handling
  • High-quality materials, excellent fit and finish
  • Decent fuel efficiency


  • Low EV-only range
  • Ride may be too firm for some
  • Too many features are controlled by the touch screen
  • Hybrid battery restricts trunk space

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2023
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4083.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 185.9 / 71.9 / 56.9
Wheelbase (in): 112.2
Number of air bags: 9
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Turanza
Front and rear tire size: 225/40 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Rear wheel
Engine/motor: 2.0l I4 turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 6,500
Electric motor horsepower: 107
Combined system horsepower: 288

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 7.19
Quality and Drivability: 7.88

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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