New BMW 330e vs new Volvo S60: space

By paying extra to get yourself a plug-in hybrid executive saloon, you stand to receive incredible fuel economy and cheaper BIK tax. Surely there’s a catch?...

BMW 3 Series rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

If you’re wondering how the engineers have managed to squeeze a big battery into these cars’ already fairly compact dimensions, here’s your answer: by stealing space from the boot. Yep, both cars have significantly less space for your luggage than their regular petrol and diesel counterparts.

Volvo S60 rear seats

It’s more of an issue in the 330e, because although it had a slightly larger boot to begin with, a lot more space has been robbed. The space that’s left is really shallow, managing to accept just five carry-on suitcases (compared with seven in the regular 3 Series). At least you can always fold down the 40/20/40-split rear seats if you need to carry more – just like you can in the S60 (for £300). The S60 can swallow eight cases.

The S60 is the roomier choice for rear passengers, too – particularly when it comes to knee room. A six-footer will still fit in the back of the 330e with relative ease, but he or she won’t have the same space to spread out during a longer drive.

BMW 3 Series boot

The 3 Series can usually take seven suitcases to the S60’s eight, but hybridisation has seriously compromised space. You’ll still be able to slot in a set of golf clubs, though, and 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats are standard.

Boot 375 litres Suitcases 5

Volvo S60

Volvo S60 boot

The S60’s boot is much taller than its German rival’s, although it’s a bit rich that you have to pay £300 for split-folding rear seats. More positively, it gets an electric bootlid as standard, whereas this costs extra on the 330e.

Boot 390 litres Suitcases 8

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