2019 Volkswagen e-Golf vs. 2018 BMW 330e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen e-Golf are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 330e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The e-Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 330e doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 330e doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the e-Golf’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 330e doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the e-Golf and the 330e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Volkswagen’s powertrain warranty covers the e-Golf 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 330e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 330e ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 89 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the e-Golf’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-Golf gets better fuel mileage than the 330e running on electricity (126 city/111 hwy vs. 66 city/78 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the e-Golf gets better fuel mileage than the 330e running its gasoline engine (126 city/111 hwy MPGe vs. 28 city/34 hwy).

The e-Golf’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 125 miles on a full charge. The 330e can only travel about 13 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen e-Golf higher (10 out of 10) than the BMW 330e (3). This means the e-Golf produces up to 36.3 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 330e every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

The e-Golf has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 330e; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the e-Golf’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the 330e’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen e-Golf may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 pounds less than the BMW 330e.

The e-Golf is 1 foot, 2.7 inches shorter than the 330e, making the e-Golf easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Volkswagen e-Golf amounts to more than styling. The e-Golf has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the 330e (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the e-Golf get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The e-Golf has .8 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the 330e.

Cargo Capacity

The e-Golf has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the 330e (22.8 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The e-Golf has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 330e doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the e-Golf has a standard rear wiper. The 330e doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Recommendations

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The 3 Series hasn’t been picked since 2014.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The 3 Series has never been chosen.

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

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