After a few days with the X3 xDrive 30e, this whole plug-in hybrid trend starts making sense.
Purity is not a term that’s of much concern to the modern car buyer, or for the manufacturer for that matter. By purity I mean the simplicity behind the engineering – the less going on under the hood and the car’s body, the more pure it is.
This means that a simple, gas-burning or pure-electric vehicle with a single driven axle is about as pure as they get. In fact, since EVs don’t even have a complicated gearbox and the motor feeds its power to the wheels through a simple reduction gear system, an EV is even more pure than a conventional gas car.
So what do you get when you meld a conventional ICE vehicle with an EV? You get a plug-in hybrid, of course, and such vehicles are the lest pure ever produced (i.e. the most complex). You not only get a gasoline engine, but also an electric motor working at the same time so there’s a lot going on.
Make that PHEV all-wheel drive and there’s even more going on. In my mind, all that hidden complexity should make its presence felt and make the vehicle awkward to drive and not fun.
Gallery: 2020 BMW X3 30e xDrive PHEV