Can a BMW 330e tow a caravan?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a BMW 330e tow a caravan? We will proceed with a complete review of the new BMW 330e plug-in hybrid.

Can a BMW 330e tow a caravan?

A BMW 330e can tow a small caravan, pop-up camper or lightweight trailer. The new BMW 330e has a towing capacity of 1,500 kg (3306 lbs), according to the manufacturer.

In terms of driving feel and overall dynamic performance, this plug-in hybrid is clearly preferable to both the 330i and 330d diesel versions. The contribution of the electric motor in moments of sudden acceleration is admirable, and the general response of the car in alert style is commendable.

BMW Series 3 Towing Capacity

BMW SpecsTowing capacity
320d2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320d2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320d Luxury Line2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320d Luxury Line2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320d M-Sport2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320d M-Sport2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320i2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320i Luxury Line2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320i Luxury Line2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320i M Sport2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
320i M-Sport2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330e (hybrid)2.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
330e Luxury Line (hybrid)2.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
330e Luxury Line Phev2.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
330e M Sport (hybrid)2.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
330e M Sport Phev2.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
330e M-Sport (hybrid)2.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
330i2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i2.0L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i Luxury Line2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i Luxury Line2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i Luxury Line2.0L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i M Sport2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i M-Sport2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
330i M-Sport2.0L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO1600kg
M340I Xdrive3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
M340I Xdrive3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
M340I Xdrive Pure3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg
M340I Xdrive Pure3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO0kg

The new BMW 330e – A complete review

The whole world knows about the BMW brand: it is a premium German brand, which emphasizes dynamism. And the 3 Series range, the most popular in the Bavarian family, is considered a benchmark in the category of sports sedans. What can we say about the new version with unconventional propulsion, BMW 330e?

First of all, the 330e looks very normal (unlike the i3 or i8 UFOs), as if there was a conventional engine under the hood. The first impression is that we are talking about a top engine, with many hundreds of horsepower – so without any connection with any eco character.

However, there are three details that make the difference: 

  • the “eDrive” logo on the rear pillars (which can’t escape the fans of the 3 Series);
  • the cover on the left-front wing, next to the driver’s door;
  • and the “e” on the trunk, 330e. 

Obviously, “e” from “electric”, i.e. totally different from “d” from “diesel” or “i” from “petrol injection”.

The interior of the 330e is similar to any other Series 3 model. Depending on the options, the cockpit looks more or less sporty and only the “eDrive” button next to the gearbox joystick suggests it’s a less conventional car.

And all the cooler features, from the head-up display or the parking assist system with panoramic cameras to the adaptive LED headlights or the BMW ConnectedDrive Advanced connectivity system, can also be found in conventional engine versions.

The only difference is the display of battery power/charge flow, specific only to this plug-in hybrid variant. In other words, the first impression that this 330e gives is not of an eco-car, but a sports sedan. So the phrase “330e can travel tens of kilometres in strictly electric mode” will sound extremely surprising!

BMW 330e: pulling with a hybrid

There will be no issues with towing a caravan with this hybrid, as the BMW 330e’s propulsion system involves the combination of a petrol engine and an electric one

The gas station is conventional: we are talking about a 2.0-litre engine, in four cylinders, with a double-turbo system, the maximum power being 184 hp. The electric motor has 100 hp less and is a bit more interesting because it is placed in the automatic transmission and replaces the torque converter.

The maximum combined power of this hybrid system is 252 hp, a value equal to the petrol version 330i and significantly lower than the diesel version 330d. Given that the theoretical average consumption of the 330i is over 5 litres/100 km (with automatic transmission), and that of the 330d about 4.9-5.0 litres / 100 km, how is it possible that the 330e will display a consumption of only 1.9 litres / 100 km ?!

There is a small “catch” in the middle: it is the FIRST 100 km travelled with a charged battery. Because the 330 also has a lithium-ion battery, placed in the trunk (which “steals” 110 litres of trunk capacity, but not such a big disadvantage), a battery that gives the car a maximum theoretical autonomy in strictly electric mode of 40 km.

So the theoretical average consumption in the hybrid mode would, in fact, be about 3.1 litres / 100 km. That is much better than the diesel, even than the most economical version 316d (which displays a theoretical average consumption of only 3.9 litres / 100 km). However, the theory is one, and the reality another, as we see below.

BMW 330e: Autonomy 

Because the electric motor has only 88 hp, from the beginning it becomes quite clear that the 330e does not make sense to be driven like an electric sports car. In fact, the full-electric mode is designed to travel in urban areas, where top performance does not make much sense.

According to BMW studies, a regular user travels a maximum of 20-30 km on a tour of the urban environment – for example from home to work. There the car can be connected to a normal socket, which in a maximum of 4 hours can fully charge the battery from scratch. After that, you can go all the way back to full-electric mode

However, I believe that these studies do not take into account the convenience of users…

But there is also good news. First of all, the 330e shows no signs of being underpowered – 88 hp is a small value for the car’s over 1,700 kg. But the electric motor has a great advantage: the maximum torque is available from the start, and the overall efficiency is 3-4 times better than that of a heat engine equivalent in performance.

In this case, we are talking about a maximum torque of 250 Nm, with only 40 Nm than that offered by the gasoline engine. And the better efficiency of the electric motor leads to the feeling that you are behind the wheel of a car of at least 100 hp, but lighter. So in the urban environment, even at medium speeds to the roads, the 330e can be driven in an absolutely normal electric way, without giving the impression that it is underpowered.

Budget and conclusions

As we mentioned above, in terms of driving feel and overall dynamic performance, this plug-in hybrid propulsion is clearly preferable to both the 330i and 330d diesel versions. The contribution of the electric motor in moments of sudden acceleration is admirable, and the general response of the car in alert style is commendable.

The hybrid system also manages to be relaxing enough, but at low speeds, it feels a bit unpleasant to start the heat engine. Overall, the BMW 330e leaves the feeling of a “driving machine”, while the title of “eco machine” is valid only in electric mode, but not at a convincing distance.

T price of the car is a sensitive topic: the BMW 330e starts at $45,345, which is multi-purpose even for the premium range of middle-class sedans

. On the other hand, the positioning in the range is very interesting – 330e is 2,640 dollars more expensive than 330i (which, however, is offered only with a manual gearbox, and consumption is higher), while compared to the 330d diesel version it is 3,600 dollars cheaper. 

The advantage of the top diesel in terms of consumption is not so great, and the sporty character and the sensations behind the wheel tip the balance towards the plug-in hybrid version. In addition, even if the autonomy in a strictly electric regime is small, it still has an extraordinary potential to reduce consumption and pollution in the urban regime. So, surprise, the 330e is worth more than the 330i or 330d.

Do you agree with us? Please let us know what you think or if you have a comment about the content. 

FAQ on Can a BMW 330e tow a caravan?

Does the BMW 330e charge while driving?

Yes, the BMW 330e will charge while driving. The car will charge its batteries when you are pressing the brake as most hybrids do. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to plug in the car long-term!

Can a BMW tow a caravan?

A BMW has a strong towing capacity between 745 and 3500 kg, depending on the car model. To be sure how much your model can tow, check the owner’s manual. 

Can a BMW 3 series tow a caravan?

A BMW 3 Series can tow a caravan simply and effortlessly, pulling the caravan from 40 km/h to 80 km/h in just 7.3 seconds.

References

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