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Looking to replace my Golf GTE. A boss at work has a mk1 330e, and had borrowed my GTE a few times so we often have compared those.

The mk2 is a very different animal and exceeds the VW product, including the Passat mk2 GTE in several areas I think.

The BMW drives off in Hybrid mode as default. In the VW the hybrid mode has a much more sensitive trigger point to waking the ICE up, (better than a Prius but still there).
But the BMW stayed in EV propulsion 95% of my total commuting trip, only a steep long hill caused the trigger point to be reached. Quite impressed.
Yes I could have forced the 330 into Electric mode and not had it start up at all. The VW default is electric mode so opposite.
But not having to button press is always nice.
It also easily got up to, and sat at 60mph on a busy motorway with the still ICE off, in the BMW Hybrid mode. In electric it'll trundle at speeds higher.

The Passat mk2 and 330e mk2 have similar batteries. Coming from my 4yr old Golf GTE, where 16-19 miles is the norm this time of year, it was good to get 26 real last night from the 330e mk2 which included some spirited checking of the trigger point.
This of course is leaps+bounds from the mk1 330e. Summer I think knocking on the door of 30 real is very possible.

Other major difference, and this is a real vote winner to me, the temp pre conditioner in the BMW caused the real window and door mirrors to be sorted as well as the windscreen/general interior temp. VW owners will cry here. I did. I presume the BMW will run the pre conditioner even if not plugged in, the VW ones let you which is nice if you go to a winter evening dinner+cinema, coming out to an early frost on [ other people's] cars.
Ok the VW allows you to choose an actual temperature via a slider, but, the BMW was right toasty and I reckon it had kicked the seat heaters on too for a minute.

Car has a battery-level-hold mode, but not a recharge back up mode, least not I could find.
I also didn't find out what the system does when the HV has got down to zero and you're still driving.
The VW will then recharge (slowly) back to about 3 miles range on the GuessMeter, to aid town centre/light pressure driving.

Couldn't find a trip computer that showed average electrical "consumption". Found 2 graphs on Nm and Wattage which seemed to be a bit irrelevant as they were shown right next to the power-meter(think rev counter) which moved in direct alignment with them.

Tried the sports button, basically same as the GTE button in the VW ( the VW will self charge back to 11miles of EV during long mode usage, I didn't drive the mk2 330e long enough in sports mode to see what it did. )
But in terms of stonking off down a motorway slip road or decent safety on A road overtakes, "most acceptable" as the VW performance, BMW maybe a tad faster.

Overall impressed. a 7kw drinking ability would have been nice, but VW doesn't have either ( Golf mk8 GTE will have to be seen, but the new Merc PHEVs will have it apparently.)

52 Posts
There are different charging modes associated with the different driving modes.
Eco-Pro gives very little recovery but uses coasting a lot to maximize battery range, it only charges when you brake. In comfort mode you get some recovery when you lift off the throttle but not much in steady driving. If you select sport mode the car will maintain a 50% charge in the battery, at the expense of petrol consumption. So if you are at 2% battery and switch to sports mode it will immediately increase the charging rate while driving and will aggressively charge until it gets to 50% at which point it will switch charging rate to that of comfort.

With the e-drive button then you can switch between max e-drive, auto and save battery. Max e-drive will use all your battery up front, auto will try and get you to your destination with all your battery used up, save battery allows you to reserve a portion of your charge for later.

Coming from Toyota hybrids I love the level of control I now have to get the car to do what I want. I wish they had left the flappy paddles on the Xe and configured them for the e-drive and driving mode switching. I use switching between Eco-Pro and comfort like you would dropping a gear on a manual transmission.
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