BMW 330e iPerformance hybrid (2016-2018) - Interior & comfort
The 330e simply embellishes the regular car’s comfortable, classy interior
The interior of the BMW 330e iPerformance shares the same positive attributes of other models in the the BMW 3 Series range, with a clear, ordered look that some might think austere. However, despite its sombre design, you soon grow to appreciate its simple layout and high quality and realise that the overall effect is none the worse for its lack of ornamentation.
BMW 330e dashboard
The dashboard has a subtle wraparound effect, placing you at the centre of the driving action. The centre console, including the drive selector, is a little higher than in rivals, and this gives you a hunkered-down feel which enthusiastic drivers will appreciate, although some may find it feels a little claustrophobic.
There are no concerns about the clarity of the 330e’s dashboard layout. All functions you frequently use are easy to reach and the controls on the steering wheel and its stalks are simple to use. The instrument panel uses BMW’s ‘black panel’ technology and adds extra plug-in hybrid functionality. In fact, the presence of that and an eDrive selector are among the few things that remind you you’re in anything other than a normal 3 Series.
To help define its specialist nature, the 330e does have a few special touches, including a ‘PHEV blue’ welcome light and matching extended lighting, while the eDrive logo appears on the door sill finishers, unless you opt for the 330e M Sport.
This, like any other M Sport BMW, wears a distinctive bodykit and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as adding lowered and stiffened sports suspension for improved body control in corners. Standard interior features on all models include dual-zone climate-control, cruise control, DAB and an infotainment system that we found easy to use, with sat nav.
BMW now also includes 'remote services' as standard, allowing you to check on your car's fuel level, flash its headlights and lock or unlock it via an app on your smartphone.
A common trait of every BMW is a rather long options list, although 3 Series standard equipment is more generous today than in the past. Notable options include an active suspension system on M Sport models, which can provide firm or soft springing according to driver preference. Remember, though, that even on the softest setting, M Sport models are still prone to crashing over potholes – their low-profile tyres are less able to absorb impacts than those of SE models.
Two media packages are available; both add upgraded sat nav and online entertainment, but the more expensive of the two also brings BMW’s concierge service and a head-up display. There are also alloy-wheel upgrades, wireless charging systems, speaker upgrades, memory seats, reversing cameras and LED headlamps – all available at extra cost.