Is the 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid a Good Car?

The 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance hybrid is an ideal option if you’re looking for a luxury sedan that’s eco-friendly and affordable.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Buying a gently used luxury vehicle is an excellent way to save money and live the high life. With the 2017
BMW 330e
iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid, accomplishing both is a given. 
If you’re looking for a luxury sedan that’s both affordable and environmentally friendly, look no further than the 330e. You’ll enjoy big savings at the gas pump—and look good doing it. 
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2017 BMW 330e iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid

BMW’s popular four-door sedan, the 3 Series, received an upgrade with the environmentally friendly 2017 330e iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). First released in 2016, the 2017 330e PHEV was a solid option for luxury-loving eco-warriors everywhere. 


When it first dropped, the 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance had a starting price of $44,695, but as a used model, you can find one somewhere in the range of $21,500 to $25,000. When compared to the average range of its gas-powered counterpart, the
BMW 330i xDrive
, this PHEV costs around the same on the used market. 

Performance and fuel economy

Propelling the 330e iPerformance is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 180 horsepower alone. Paired with the 87-horsepower electric motor system, the total power comes to 248 horses. The 330e iPerformance also boasts 310 pound-feet of torque and has an eight-speed automatic transmission. 
Don’t let the electric motor fool you, though—this Bimmer still maintains the brand’s signature performance. The only difference between the driving experience of the PHEV and a gas-powered BMW is the fuel economy, but the difference is admittedly negligible. While the 2017 330e iPerformance earns a combined 31 mpg using only gas, it earns 72 MPGe when gas and electricity are working in tandem. 
PHEVs are still hybrids, but they come with the bonus of being able to drive using solelyelectricity for short distances. And with the 2017 330e iPerformance, we do mean short. Its battery-only range is just 14 miles, so you can get across town without using gas—but we can’t say the same for your return trip. 
When you’re ready to charge up your 330e iPerformance, the battery can be juiced up to 100% in about two hours using a 220-volt charger. However, if you’ve only got access to a 110-volt outlet, you’ll have to wait six toseven hours for your Bimmer to recharge.

Exterior styling

From the outside, the 330e iPerformance is nearly indistinguishable from the gas-powered 3 Series other than a signature blue-colored grille. The 2017 330e iPerformance came in a whopping 12 different colors: nine metallic shades—including Melbourne Red Metallic and Sahara Gold—and three non-metallic options like Jet Black, Alpine White, and Estoril Blue. 

Interior and comfort

BMW is no stranger to luxurious interiors, and they didn’t leave out the 2017 330e iPerformance. It’s so comfortable, you’ll be looking for any excuse to drive around. No matter where you’re sitting, you should have plenty of headroom and legroom, as well—especially in the front seats. 
True to BMW fashion, the interior is covered in a variety of impressive and quality materials, including standard leatherette upholstery in eight different color options. 
The only downfall is that you’ll only have 13 cubic feet of cargo space to work with thanks to the amount of room taken up by the lithium-ion battery. That being said, the rear seats fold down for more storage when you’re in short supply. 
MORE: How to choose an eco-friendly car
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The 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance keeps it modern in every area, especially when it comes to tech. For infotainment, you can expect HD radio, Bluetooth, and an auxiliary input, as well as optional satellite radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot
The safety features aren’t too shabby either, but you’ll have to upgrade to get the features that are considered standard on more modern vehicles, like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors, and collision mitigation

Trim levels and options

The 2017 BMW 330e iPerformance comes in just one trim option, but there were plenty of add-on packages available when purchasing it brand new. 
  • The Premium Package came with keyless entry, LED headlights, a sunroof, power lumbar adjustments, and satellite radio. 
  • The Lightning Package added automatic high-beam control and adaptive steering synchronization to the Premium Package’s LED headlights. 
  • The Driver Assistance Package came equipped with a rearview camera and parking sensors, while Driver Assistance Plus adds on all the modern safety features we outlined in the section above. 
  • The Technology Package adds a navigation system, a larger display screen, and a head-up display.
  • The Cold Weather Package brings with it a heated steering wheel and heated seats. 
  • The M SportPackage includes bigger wheels, performance tires, a tiger sport suspension, dynamically adjustable dampers, a sport steering wheel, and M Sport trim details. 
Some of these features—like navigation or heated seats—could be added on without the full package, too. 

The bottom line

If you’re dying to drive a luxury PHEV but need to stick to a used-car budget, the 2017BMW 330e iPerformance is a solid choice. It may not hold a candle to modern PHEVs, but as far as 2017 PHEV models go, the BMW 330e is one of your best options for value-to-price ratio. 

2017 BMW 330e iPerformance PHEV vs. the competition

PHEVs weren’t as popular back in 2017, so the genre wasn’t as competitive as it is now. That being said, there were still a few worthy rivals to give the 330e iPerformance a fair fight. Let’s look at a few. 
For luxury four-door PHEV sedans, the 330e is one of the most affordable options, and it comes in second place for fuel economy. However, the 2017
Audi A3
Sportback e-tron takes the cake for the best mileage out of the crew. 
The 2017
CT6 may be the priciest of the bunch, but it provides more than twice the electric-only range of the BMW 330e and almost double the Audi’s range, too. The only area the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C 350e wins out is in its 1.5-hour charge time. 
Check out the table below for the official numbers. 
Average price range
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
2017 BMW 330e iPerformance
$21,500 to $25,000
31 mpg
72 MPGe
14 miles
2–2.5 hours
2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
$21,000 to $25,300
34 mpg
83 MPGe
16 miles
2.5 hours
2017 Mercedes-Benz C 350e
$22,000 to $26,500
30 mpg
51 MPGe
9 miles
1.5 hours
2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid
$29,600 to $32,700
26 mpg
62 MPGe
31 miles
4.5 hours

How to save money on car insurance

With top-notch fuel economy, used plug-in hybrids are an excellent way to cut back on
car-related expenses
—but there’s one way to cut costs that’s much simpler than buying a whole new car. 
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