2018 BMW 330e vs. 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 330e offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Avalon Hybrid only offers a rear monitor.

Compared to metal, the 330e’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid has a metal gas tank.

Both the 330e and the Avalon Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 330e comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Avalon Hybrid’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 330e’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Avalon Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 330e for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Avalon Hybrid (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.

Engine

The 330e’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 48 more horsepower (248 vs. 200) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 199) than the Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW 330e is faster than the Toyota Avalon Hybrid:

 

330e

Avalon

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.5 sec

12.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.8 sec

19.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.6 sec

7.4 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 330e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon Hybrid (66 city/78 hwy MPGe vs. 40 city/39 hwy).

The 330e’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 13 miles, about 8 times as far as the Avalon Hybrid’s 1.6 mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 330e’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Avalon Hybrid:

 

330e

Avalon

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.1 inches

The 330e’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Avalon Hybrid are solid, not vented.

The 330e stops shorter than the Avalon Hybrid:

 

330e

Avalon

 

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 330e has larger standard tires than the Avalon Hybrid (225/50R17 vs. 215/55R17). The 330e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Avalon Hybrid (F:225/45R18 & R:255/40R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The 330e’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Avalon Hybrid’s standard 55 series tires. The 330e’s optional 225/45R18 front and 255/40R18 rear tires have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile than the Avalon Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 330e offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Avalon Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 330e can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 330e has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Avalon Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 330e offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Avalon Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 330e’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.8% to 51.2%) than the Avalon Hybrid’s (59.2% to 40.8%). This gives the 330e more stable handling and braking.

The 330e handles at .86 G’s, while the Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 330e’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Avalon Hybrid’s (37.1 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The 330e is 1 foot shorter than the Avalon Hybrid, making the 330e easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The 330e’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the 330e’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 330e is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Avalon Hybrid. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The 330e offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the 330e w/Comfort Access the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Avalon Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 330e’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Avalon Hybrid XLE’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 330e to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 330e offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 330e offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 330e also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 330e’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 330e’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 23 years. The Avalon Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 21 years. The Avalon Hybrid has never been an “All Star.”

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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