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Compare the2023 BMW 330eVS 2023 Toyota Prius

2023 BMW 330e
2023 Toyota Prius

Safety

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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 Prius doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The BMW 330e has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Prius doesn’t offer knee airbags.

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 Prius doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 330e and the Prius 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, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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.

The BMW 330e weighs 743 to 1083 pounds more than the Toyota Prius. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 330e the rating of “Top Safety Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 235 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Prius has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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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 Prius’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year or 14,000 miles sooner.

The 330e’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Prius’ (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 Prius (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 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 above average in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is rated lower.

Engine

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The 330e’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (288 vs. 194) than the Prius’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The 330e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 92 more horsepower (288 vs. 196) than the Prius’ optional 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPGe

330e

RWD

Electric Motor

72 city/80 hwy

AWD

Electric Motor

64 city/71 hwy

Prius

MPG

FWD

LE 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

57 city/56 hwy

XLE/Limited 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

52 city/52 hwy

AWD

LE 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

53 city/54 hwy

XLE/Limited 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

49 city/50 hwy

The 330e can travel with zero emissions for 20 to 23 miles (dependent on model). The Prius can’t move without running its internal combustion engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 330e’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. The Prius doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Prius 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 Prius:

330e

330e

Prius

Prius AWD-e

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

11.1 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

11 inches

11 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 Prius are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 330e has larger standard tires than the Prius (225/45R18 vs. 195/60R17). The 330e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius (F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19 vs. 195/60R17).

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 Prius LE’s standard 60 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 Prius XLE/Limited’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 330e has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Prius LE.

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 Prius 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 Prius’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 330e’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Prius (112.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

Passenger Space

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The 330e has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (94 vs. 91.2).

The 330e has .7 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Cargo Capacity

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Pulling a handle automatically lowers the 330e’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Prius doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 330e. The Prius doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Prius doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 330e uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Prius 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 Prius. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 18% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Prius Limited, 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, warning and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Prius doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Prius LE’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The 330e has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 330e has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Prius 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 Prius’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 330e’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Prius offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 330e’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the 330e and the Prius offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 330e has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Prius doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 330e, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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