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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Best plug-in hybrid to drive

The best plug-in hybrid cars offer a long all-electric range, reducing fuel consumption, emissions and tax bills. Yet they must still drive well and not compromise on practicality...

The 3 Series has always been a great executive car. But the plug-in hybrid 330e M Sport’s specific magic is in being all things to all drivers.

It’s great at shrugging off long motorway trips and has loads of space and class-leading infotainment. And while the M Sport isn’t the smoothest-riding version in the range, it makes up for that by displaying an agility and sense of fun in corners that few executive rivals – and certainly no other plug-in – can match.

BMW 3 Series 12-19 interior

The 3 Series appeals just as strongly to the pocket. Keep its battery fully charged and it’ll officially manage up to 36 miles on electric power alone; that’s enough for most commuter trips, and farther than its Volvo S60 T8 and Mercedes C300de rivals will take you.

When its battery is flat, you can expect around 37mpg on the 2.0-litre petrol engine alone in real-world use. So, company car drivers will save on tax and private owners will appreciate potential fuel savings, but the way the 330e drives will make anyone grin.

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Read about more Car of the Year 2021 winners >>