After using our long run 2022 BMW 330e xDrive for some long drives, with the onset of spring I returned to my busy driving routine, with a busy routine with children’s school and curricular activities. Kids have to go to a lot of places this spring, it seems. As such, I was able to enjoy our 3 series smaller but more frequent jante.
It’s a quiet car around town, even with the engine running. The Turbo-Four runs smoothly and quietly, with a sound that is not harsh or particularly inspiring. However, when the windows are turned downwards, one hears the turbocharger at work, which provides a satisfying whisper that is consistent with the accelerating power of the vehicle. The two work perfectly to ensure a steady flow of torque because the electrical energy covers any turbo lag that might otherwise identify itself.
Lately, I’ve been able to do most of my local driving – mostly traveling to my kids’ schools and grocery stores – entirely on electric power. Unlike other PHEVs I’ve driven – such as our former long-lived Volvo S60 – electric motors have enough power to keep the combustion engine from running almost all the time. Only a few times have I had to push the paddle over the obvious trappings that set it on fire, and it was time to merge into a particularly busy highway. Most of the time, though, I can speed up the highway, assemble, and just continue cruising under electric power. I’ve only been using the 330e EV for the past few weeks, and it’s nice to wake up knowing that I can avoid the gas station again during my daily driving.
One thing that struck me as interesting – and road test editor Jack Palmer mentioned in his 330e electric range test – is that the electrical power also runs through the car’s eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s subtle, and you won’t notice it if you’re not used to driving an EV, but you can feel the slight change when the car is in electric mode. Coming out of EV after EV after EV recently, where the acceleration is very linear without any shift, it is amazing. I’ve noticed more here than the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT drives, which are EVs with two-speed transmissions. It’s not bad, here, just different enough to notice a geek.