– Article/photos by Rod Fuller –
A road less travelled is often the one we enjoy the most. And the new seventh generation G20 3 series BMW certainly sets the benchmark again in the premium medium sedan segment. Sitting lower and wider than before, it’s low sleek look and ultra slim headlights make the 330i an absolute stunner in the style stakes.
Hiding under the bonnet is a 2.0 litre TwinPower Turbo four cylinder engine (190kW/400Nm) coupled with an eight speed Steptronic Sport transmission, giving you a fantastic drive that’ll put a smile on your face. Its scintillating performance (claimed 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds), responsive, well balanced handling and ride comfort on most road surfaces, had me smiling. 330i’s Adaptive M Suspension has five modes Adaptive, Eco-pro, Comfort, Sport-Plus and Individual, suiting each driving situation by altering the car’s engine/transmission response and suspension settings accordingly.
To be honest though, I set in Sport-Plus most times just to hear the raspy exhaust note. Mmm, sweet!
BMW’s combined cycle economy figure is 6.4lt/100km, which I never quite achieved in my week with the 330i. I did see an average of 7.4lt/100km and managed a trip from Sydney to Canberra and return with local trips at each end on a single tank of fuel.
The 330i I drove came fitted with the Visibility, Comfort and M Sport packages included, which added extras such as sunroof, metallic paint, adaptive and steering responsive laser headlights, ambient cabin lighting, heated front seats with power lumbar adjustment, M Sport brakes, 19” alloys and staggered fitment Bridgestone RFT tyres (225/40R19 front, 255/35R19 rear).
Leather and other ‘luxury’ materials adorn the interior of 330i, making it a very nice place to be for driver and passengers alike. Rear seat passengers benefit from the G20 330i’s slightly longer wheelbase (41mm) providing good head and leg room, and Tri zone climate control with their own controls. Boot space is good at 480 litres and there’s a powered boot lid.
330i exudes tech features, with driver aids including:-
- Active Cruise Control with Stop and go function
- Front and rear cross traffic alerts
- Steering and Lane control assist
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Head Up display
- Parking and reversing assist
- BMW Connected Drive and assist
A 10.25” screen is the centrepiece of the new BMW OS7.0 Infotainment system. Which is easily operated via the touchscreen or the rotary controller on the console. All the features are there, Sat Nav, DAB radio, camera displays, Bluetooth and multiple media connections supporting the 10 speaker stereo.
Wireless charging is provided for your smartphone, and while I did connect my iPhone via Bluetooth and could use the voice control features of the infotainment system; I couldn’t (despite numerous attempts) get it to connect with the wireless Apple Car Play. Power outlets inside the car, include 3 x 12V outlets (one in the front, rear seat and boot) and 3 x USB (one in front and two in the rear seat).
BMW offers a three year unlimited km warranty and roadside assist, which is a bit lacking when other manufacturers offer five years and more. Servicing though is very reasonable with ‘Pre-paid’ packages starting at $1565 for five years/80,000km service costs.
The new 330i is very keenly priced for a premium medium-sized sedan, from $78,852 driveaway and makes it ultra-competitive against the likes of Mercedes C300 and the new Genesis G70.
BMW with the 2019 330i M Sport, have reset the benchmark again and deservedly should sit a-top your list of cars to consider in this segment when your next novated lease is due. I’m happy to say this 330i made me smile and I’m sure you will too.
Simply it’s Brilliance Made Wonderful.