With a plug-in hybrid you show that you have the best intentions. You park at the charging stations, between the best boys in the class who drive fully electric. Your car’s battery is much smaller, but still big enough to drive 35 kilometers on electricity.
That way you can significantly reduce fuel consumption without compromising on practicality. Because thanks to the internal combustion engine, plugging in is not a matter of necessity, but of will.
Which plug-in hybrid is best for the business driver, the 204 hp BMW 320e or the Peugeot 508 Hybrid 225 whose type name already reveals the power?
In the 320e, a 163 hp two-litre turbo engine and a 113 hp electric motor deliver a combined output of 204 hp. In the 508 Hybrid 225 drum a blown 1.6 with 181 hp and an electric motor of 110 hp together 225 hp. Although the BMW is less powerful and weighs more (+60 kilos), it sprints faster from 0 to 100 km/h. But then the Peugeot pulls out all the stops. Rather, it hits 150 km/h and continues to a whopping 240 km/h (BMW: 225 km/h).
In the BMW, the combustion engine is switched on most smoothly and the eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF also does its job almost imperceptibly.
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Both plug-in hybrids have a usable battery capacity of over 11 kWh. That is common in this part of the market. With a full battery, the 320e runs fully on electricity for 37 kilometers, through wet and cold autumn weather. The electric motor in the 508 Hybrid 225 passes the baton to the combustion engine after 31 kilometers. In slow city traffic, the electric range can be extended to 51 and 46 kilometers respectively.
Now you can determine for yourself whether the electrical endurance of both plug-in sedans is large enough to drive to and from work emission-free.
Unlike the latest plug-in hybrids from Mercedes, these from BMW and Peugeot cannot charge with a fast charger. When you leave the highway for a cup of coffee, you have to plug in at a regular charging station or wallbox. The BMW has a charging capacity of 3.7 kW. The Peugeot is also standard, but for an extra 400 euros, the on-board charger is upgraded to 7.4 kW. This shortens the charging time from three and a half hours to two and a half hours. That’s still a long time. Ideally, you have a charging point at home and at work.
If you don’t have a charging station or wallbox within reach, the fuel consumption will increase considerably. To get an idea of this, we drive our consumption route twice. Once with a full battery and once with an empty one. Then we arrive at an average consumption of 6.3 liters of petrol and 11.2 kWh per 100 kilometers for the 320e. In addition to a full battery charge, the 508 Hybrid 225 also uses 6.7 liters of petrol and is therefore slightly less economical. How economically you drive, of course, depends entirely on your enthusiasm for charging. The high petrol prices are a good motivator to plug in.
In this article we look purely at the qualities of the plug-in hybrid powertrain and consumption. Then the BMW 320e is the winner of the test, because it is the most economical and has the largest electric range. In addition, the automatic transmission shifts almost imperceptibly, which gives the powertrain advantages.
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