New BMW 330e vs new Volvo S60: verdict

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?...

New BMW 330e vs new Volvo S60

Our verdict

If they’re charged up regularly, plug-in hybrids can help reduce our dependance on fossil fuels and, in the process, cut the amount of CO2 and other pollutants that are pumped into the atmosphere. But let’s face it: one of the main reasons for buying one is the potential for big savings on running costs.

That’s why the 330e makes a lot more sense here. It’s dramatically cheaper for private cash buyers, those using PCP finance and even company car drivers. And although its advantages on electric-only range and overall fuel economy are relatively small, they still count in its favour.

Yes, the S60 may be faster, but aside from its blistering acceleration, it isn’t a particularly rewarding car to drive. And it’s not as though the 330e is at all sluggish. Indeed, the S60’s most relevant advantage is its bigger boot, but that still isn’t enough to steal it the win.

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1st – BMW 3 Series - 5 stars

BMW 3 Series driving

For More agile and heaps more fun to drive; excellent infotainment system; much cheaper on all fronts; better visibility

Against You won’t fit much in the boot; road noise; firmer ride won’t be to all tastes

Recommended options Type 2 charging cable (£165), lumbar adjustment (£265)

Read our full BMW 3 Series review >

Find a great BMW 3 Series deal >

2nd - Volvo S60 - 4 stars

Volvo S60 driving

For Rapid acceleration; more rear leg room; bigger boot; calmer motorway ride; great driving position; quality interior

Against Very expensive; not much fun to drive; heavier depreciation

Recommended options Metallic paint (£675), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (£300), Type 2 charging cable (£50)

Read our full Volvo S60 review >

Find a great Volvo S60 deal >

Specifications: BMW 3 Series 330e M Sport (M Sport Plus Pack) 

  • Engine 4cyl, 1998cc, petrol + electric motor 
  • List price £42,190
  • Target price £39,714
  • Power 288bhp (combined)
  • Torque 310lb ft (combined)
  • Gearbox 8-spd dual-clutch automatic
  • 0-60mph 6.2sec
  • Top speed 142mph
  • Official fuel economy 176.6mpg (WLTP)
  • Test MPG 37.2mpg (tested with empty battery)
  • Test electric range 26.5 miles 
  • CO2 emissions 38%/km

Specifications: Volvo S60 T8 Twin Engine AWD R-Design Plus

  • Engine 4cyl, 1969cc, petrol + electric motor
  • List price £49,805
  • Target price £44,409
  • Power 386bhp (combined)
  • Torque 472lb ft (combined)
  • Gearbox 8-spd dual-clutch automatic
  • 0-60mph 5.3sec
  • Top speed 155mph
  • Official fuel economy 156.6mpg (WLTP)
  • Test MPG 36.0mpg (tested with empty battery)
  • Test electric range 24.8 miles
  • CO2 emissions 47g/km

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