Good morning! We’re here in Desa ParkCity for BMW Innovation Days 2016, where BMW Malaysia has launched its second plug-in hybrid, the BMW 330e iPerformance. As with the X5 xDrive40e, the locally-assembled (CKD) eco-friendly compact executive sedan has been accorded Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status, and receives duty exemptions and a significantly more affordable price as a result.
Available in a single Sport Line trim, the 330e is priced at RM248,800 on-the-road without insurance, putting it in the clear air between the RM202,800 318i Luxury and the RM297,800 330i M Sport, and sits just above the RM231,800 320i Sport.
Before the government-approved EEV incentive, the 330e would have otherwise been priced at RM368,800. Included in the price is a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, a five-year free maintenance package and a two-year BMW Tyre Warranty.
Power comes from a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine serving up 184 hp from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 290 Nm of torque between 1,350 and 4,250 rpm – the same output as on the 320i. An 87 hp/250 Nm electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, boosting outputs to 252 hp and 420 Nm. A 5.7 kWh (nett capacity, 7.6 kWh gross) lithium-ion battery powers the motor.
Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 6.1 seconds, while the top speed is quoted at 225 km/h. At the other end of the spectrum, the 330e is capable of achieving a combined fuel consumption figure of just 2.1 litres per 100 km, produces carbon dioxide emissions of just 49 grammes per kilometre and has an all-electric range of 37 km, with a maximum speed of 120 km/h in this mode.
As with the X5 xDrive40e, the 330e features three hybrid driving modes – Max eDrive prioritises pure electric driving, while the default Auto eDrive mode optimises the use of both the internal combustion engine and the electric motor. Lastly, Save Battery restricts operation to the ICE only, saving the remaining battery charge or topping it up (to approximately 50%) for later use.
The 330e is very similar in look to a standard 3 Series, differentiated only through the charging port door on the left front fender, an i badge just below it and an eDrive badge on the C-pillar. Step inside and you’ll find unique door sill finishers with the eDrive script, an eDrive driving mode switch on the base of the gearlever, and dedicated hybrid system displays in the instrument cluster and iDrive system. The boot floor is flat (unlike the Mercedes-Benz C 350 e‘s stepped floor), but space itself has been reduced from 480 litres to 370 litres.
Despite not coming with the 330i’s M Sport package, the 330e gets a higher level of equipment than its more expensive sibling. On the outside, there are full-LED headlights, LED fog lights, 18-inch V-spoke light-alloy wheels and Comfort Access keyless entry. Inside, the cabin receives Dakota leather upholstery, power-adjustable sports seats with driver’s memory function and an electric sun blind for the rear windscreen.
Elsewhere, there’s the BMW Navigation System Professional with an 8.8-inch high-resolution display, the BMW ConnectedDrive suite of emergency and concierge features, a nine-speaker 205 W HiFi loudspeaker system and a colour head-up display. New features to the range include a sliding glass sunroof, Park Assist (with automatic parallel and perpendicular parking) and – finally! – a standard factory-fitted rear-view camera.
For our market, a normal socket charger is bundled with the vehicle, although a BMW i Wallbox is available for around RM6,000, quickening the charging time to 3 hours 30 minutes (from 5 hours with a standard three-pin household plug). There are installation costs, however, and these will depend on the complexity of the install. These could range from a few hundred to around RM5,000, with the average being about RM3,000.