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Compare the2023 BMW 330eVS 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

2023 BMW 330e
2023 Toyota Prius Prime

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 Prime 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 Prime 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 Prime doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

Both the 330e and the Prius Prime 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 blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The BMW 330e weighs 512 to 719 pounds more than the Toyota Prius Prime. 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 Prime 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 Prime’s 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 Prime’s (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 Prime (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 68 more horsepower (288 vs. 220) than the Prius Prime’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 Prime 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 Prime 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 Prime:

330e

330e

Prius Prime

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 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 Prime are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 330e has larger standard tires than the Prius Prime (225/45R18 vs. 195/60R17). The 330e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius Prime (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 Prime SE’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 Prime XSE’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 Prime SE.

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 Prime 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 Prime’s 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 Prime (112.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

Chassis

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The design of the BMW 330e amounts to more than styling. The 330e has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the Prius Prime (.27 to .29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 330e get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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

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

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 Prime 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 Prime’s 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 Prime 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 Prime 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 Prime 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 Prime. 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 Prime XSE Premium, 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 Prime doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Prime has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XSE.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 330e has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Prius Prime 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 Prime’s 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 Prime 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 Prime doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the 330e and the Prius Prime 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 Prime 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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