BMW has revamped its 3 Series lineup in recent years. Gone are the 320i, 328i, and 335i entry-luxury sedans. The diesel-powered 328d xDrive? Also a thing of the past.
Its seventh-generation 3 Series sedan, which is built on the G20 platform, streamlines the choices for corporate drivers to two gasoline options — the 330i powered by an inline-four cylinder and 340i xDrive powered by an inline-six cylinder.
The 2019 330i arrived this spring with noticeable improvements in handling, technology, and styling over the previous-generation F30 car.
Driving Dynamics: A Sporty Return
From the jump, the 330i introduces itself with an appealing look, and it's a large vehicle. It measures 185.4 inches long, which is 3.5 inches longer that the v vehicle it's replacing. At 71.9 inches wide and 56.8 inches tall, it's also 0.6 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller.
The 2019 330i is a much sportier driver than its immediate predecessor, and improvements to the steering and handling are noticeable. Drivers hoping to have a little more fun can add the M Sport package that includes a sportier suspension, 19-inch wheels, and Variable Sport Steering. Those of us who drove the 3 Series in its heydey of the 1990s to early 2000s still may miss the hydraulic steering, yet this model's electric power steering is definately improved.
Three driving modes include Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro. EPA-rated fuel economy comes in at 36 mpg on the highway, 26 mpg in the city, and 30 mpg for combined driving.
Interior and Technology Updates
The 330i's interior brings an air of familiarity with its stylish minimalism, and the vehicle adds some advanced technology featured in the Drivers Assistance Pro bundle with semiautonomous features such as Extended Traffic Jam Assistant and Active Driving Assistant Pro. The sedan also adds parallel and perpindicular parking assist, as well as back-up assistance with a 360-degree birdseye view.
The 3 Series remains BMW's entry luxury sedan, and buyers seeking a smaller car would likely opt for the 2 Series or 4 Series coupes. The 330i starts at $41,245, and can be optioned to a nearly $60,000 model. Front-wheel drive is standard, which we tested, and xDrive all-wheel drive remains an upgrade.
2019 BMW 330i Specs:
- Engine: 2.0L turbo I-4 (255 hp, 295 lb.-ft.)
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic with manual mode and paddle shifters
- All-wheel drive: Optional xDrive
- Cargo space: 17 cu.-ft.
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