2021 BMW 330e vs. 2020 Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

The 330e’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 330e has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 330e has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 330e offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The 330e offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 330e offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the 330e and the Fusion Plug-In 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 330e the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

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 Fusion Plug-In 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 330e for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 330e has a standard 720-amp battery. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 330e is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 330e’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The 330e’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 93 more horsepower (288 vs. 195) than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Transmission

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The 330e’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 330e’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid:

330e

330e opt.

Fusion

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

12.4 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The 330e’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s standard 50 series tires. The 330e’s optional 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 330e has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid. The 330e offers optional 19-inch wheels.

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 330e’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.3% to 50.7%) than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s (54.2% to 45.8%). This gives the 330e more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The 330e is 6.1 inches shorter than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid, making the 330e easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The 330e has a much larger trunk than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (13.2 vs. 8.2 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 330e offers cargo security. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the 330e offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The 330e uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

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

Ergonomics

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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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 330e’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The 330e’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 330e offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Fusion Plug-In 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.

When the 330e is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the 330e and the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The 330e also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 330e offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The 330e’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 330e owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 330e with a number “3” insurance rate while the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 330e is less expensive to operate than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid because typical repairs cost less on the 330e than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid, including $27 less for a fuel pump and $109 less for a power steering pump.

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