BMW 330i Review – The Right Car at the Wrong Price

A premium sedan that combines driving talents, tech and premium features.

The BMW 330i has been one of the best-known sport sedans on the market for years, and this G20-generation facelift keeps it on its toes with subtle styling tweaks, an impressive dual-screen unit and plenty of standard equipment. It’s not a cheap car, but at $42,300 (MSRP before on-road costs) it offers pretty strong value for money considering all the performance it provides.

It is also among the most fuel-efficient in its class. With a 255-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and an eight-speed automatic transmission, it can return 26 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway. That’s better than a Mercedes-Benz C-Class and much better than the Lexus IS 300.

You can get an extra 20 per cent of fuel economy if you opt for the 330e plug-in hybrid model. This adds another electric motor to the mix, which boosts power to 288 hp and 310 lb-ft, while also adding to acceleration.

As with the 320i, you can choose either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The 330e’s optional xDrive system is a bit heavier and adds around $2,000 to the cost, but the added traction typically improves acceleration by a few mph.

The 330i isn’t the most luxurious car in its class, but it does have an attractive cabin and a good level of refinement. Its low stance and driving position make it easy to park, while the braking is firm and accurate. Its steering is communicative, too.