2021 BMW 330e vs. 2020 Lincoln MKZ

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 2020/08/11

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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

Both the 330e and the MKZ 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 all wheel drive, 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 MKZ last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The 330e’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the MKZ’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. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the MKZ.

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 MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 330e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ:

MPGe

330e

RWD

Electric Motor

72 city/80 hwy

AWD

Electric Motor

64 city/71 hwy

MKZ

MPG

FWD

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

42 city/39 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/31 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

The 330e can drive on battery power alone for up to 23 miles. The MKZ must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 330e, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKZ.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ:

330e

330e opt.

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

11.9 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 MKZ are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The 330e’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MKZ’s optional 40 series tires.

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 MKZ doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better maneuverability, the 330e’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37.2 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The 330e is 8.2 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the 330e easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The 330e has .8 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more rear headroom than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 330e easier. The 330e’s trunk lift-over height is 26.7 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

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

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

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 330e is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the MKZ. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the MKZ, the 330e has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ’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 MKZ’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 MKZ’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ Reserve’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the 330e than the MKZ, including $173 less for a muffler, $205 less for a fuel pump and $514 less for a power steering pump.

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