New Hyundai Ioniq vs used BMW 3 Series: which is best?

The five-year warranty of a new Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid is a big draw, but can it beat the appeal of a cheaper used BMW 330e?...

New Hyundai Ioniq vs used BMW 3 Series: which is best?

New Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid Premium

List Price £27,855 Target price £24,199 Official fuel economy 256.8mpg CO2 emissions 26g/km Power 141bhp 0-62mph: 10.6sec Top speed: 110mph

Used BMW 330e Sport

Price new £36,995 Price today £23,500* Official fuel economy 148.7mpg CO2 Emissions 45g/km Power 252bhp 0-62mph: 6.1sec Top speed: 140mph

*Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and a full service history

A recent survey revealed that most plug-in hybrid drivers don’t even bother to unwrap the charge cable; they just take advantage of the tax breaks. But the Government has now removed the grant incentive for plug-in hybrids, making them less attractive than they were.

That doesn’t stop the used buyer cashing in, though. You see, plug-in hybrids tend to be costlier than regular hybrids since they have larger battery packs, but because there was significant funding from the Government to reduce the price consumers paid, values plummeted. Even prestige models such as the BMW 330e haven’t escaped this depreciation and can be just as affordable as a traditional diesel executive car when you buy second-hand.

Mind you, we're still talking about complicated technology and the downside of buying used is that you don’t usually get much warranty left. Plus, if you bought the car outside of the dealer network, you might potentially have less help if things go wrong. So, the excellent Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in (and its equally exceptional five years of cover) still hold plenty of appeal.

Is that enough for a new Ioniq to mount a charge on a used 330e, given that the BMW is slightly cheaper? Read on to find out.

New Hyundai Ioniq vs used BMW 3 Series – interior & equipment

Used BMW 330e vs new Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai interiors have always been well screwed together but they’ve often been bland and constructed from cheap plastics. With the Ioniq, things have been improved immensely. Not only does the Ioniq use plenty of soft-touch plastics, but it comes with a responsive touchscreen infotainment system that is logical to use. Equipment levels are high on our preferred Premium version that comes with keyless go, a 7.0in digital driver instrument cluster, sat-nav and full smartphone mirroring. This is all on top of the standard roster of safety technology such as autonomous emergency braking, seven airbags and lane keeping assistance.

But BMW didn’t get its desirable brand image by offering cheap-feeling interiors and the 330e is even nicer inside. It also looks more interesting because all the controls are angled towards the driver. The infotainment system is streets ahead, too, because you can control it using a rotary dial on the centre console and utilise some conveniently placed shortcut buttons. Equipment levels are good with every 330e getting sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth and dual-zone climate control.

New Hyundai Ioniq vs used BMW 3 Series – space & practicality

New Hyundai Ioniq vs used BMW 330e

Both cars are compromised in terms of boot space. This is because both mount the additional batteries under the boot floor, thus reducing the height of the luggage compartment. It is the Ioniq that comes off worse, though, having the least amount of room below the parcel shelf compared with the 330e. It is easier to load taller items into the Ioniq because the rear hatch affords a large opening, whereas the post-box slot in the BMW requires you to play packing Tetris to get your entire holiday luggage in.

Taller rear seat passengers will prefer the BMW since its traditional design yields greater head room than the lower roofline of the more slippery-shaped Ioniq. Leg room is fine for adults in both, but the Ioniq has a much less intrusive central tunnel so three people across the rear bench should be less of a struggle.

There will be absolutely no complaints from those in the front of either of these two because there’s lots of adjustment and enough room to stretch out. The pedals in the 330e are offset slightly, but the Ioniq isn’t without its own odd quirk: a foot-operated parking brake that is both awkward to use and can occasionally get in the way.  

Next: What are they like to drive? >

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