2021 Toyota Prius vs. 2021 BMW 330e

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 2020/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Prius 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.

Both the Prius and the 330e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Prius 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 almost 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius’ warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2020/10/21

The 330e’s redline is at 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Prius has a 4000 RPM redline.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Prius’ reliability 72 points higher than the 330e.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Prius higher (7 out of 10) than the BMW 330e (5 to 7). This means the Prius produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 330e every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Prius has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 330e doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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The Prius LE FWD has a standard space-saver spare (not available on L Eco/XLE/Limited/e-AWD) 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

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For better maneuverability, the Prius’ turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the 330e’s (33.5 feet vs. 37.2 feet). The Prius Limited/XLE FWD’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the 330e xDrive’s (35.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2020/10/21

The Toyota Prius may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1050 pounds less than the BMW 330e.

The Prius is 5.7 inches shorter than the 330e, making the Prius easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Toyota Prius amounts to more than styling. The Prius has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is lower than the 330e (.26) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Prius get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Prius uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 330e doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Prius a Mid-size car, while the 330e is rated a Compact.

The Prius has .7 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the 330e.

The front step up height for the Prius is 2.4 inches lower than the 330e (14.1” vs. 16.5”). The Prius’ rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the 330e’s (15” vs. 16.3”).

Ergonomics

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

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Prius is less expensive to operate than the 330e because it costs $390 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Prius than the 330e, including $411 less for a water pump, $445 less for a muffler, $74 less for front brake pads, $424 less for front struts and $1 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/10/21

The Toyota Prius has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Prius

330e

Consumer Reports® Recommends

Top Pick

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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