BMW is back in the groove with the latest 330i xDrive compact sedan with improved looks, tech and a more driver friendly attitude.
For years, the BMW 3 Series sedan had been a fun-to-drive, small luxury car that was as happy doing the commute as it was shredding back roads on the weekend. Then, over the last few years, the 3 Series seemed to have lost its way as other cars in its class outshined the once-sporty ride. BMW took notice and has turned its 3 Series back into what made it a popular: a sporty, luxury ride.
This sedan is fun to drive again with a more button-down feel. It’s a joy in the twists and the brakes are very strong. BMW has found that right recipe and the 330i xDrive means that this is a solid all-season car. The 2023 BMW 330i comes packing a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine that will satisfy most buyers. It’s punchy when needed and quiet — and economical — during the normal commute.
For 2023, the 330i gets an updated look that gives this sedan a sportier, fresh face. New LED lighting clusters are slender, and it works nicely with revised kidney grills that are, thankfully, not as large as the 4 Series models. If you opt for the M Sport package, the BMW 330i will come with 19-inch wheels, blue brake calipers and an aerodynamic body kit that ups style. The Shadowline package adds a darker trim color that plays well with the gray paint on the little BMW.
No matter which BMW 3 Series you choose, a well-appointed and modern interior greets you when you step inside. The latest Live Cockpit Pro awaits. It replaces the normal gauges with a virtual gauge and even a NAV screen in front of the driver in addition to the larger central touch screen, which is, dare I say, easier to use than I remember from BMW.
This BMW 330i allows the driver to be in a good seating position and the seats are supportive, providing decent comfort. The back seat provides a good place for more riders than some other compact luxury sedans. While taller riders might find legroom at a premium, it’s an improvement from before. Even the trunk space is impressive for a small sedan.
Cost: $44,300; as tested $54,240
MPG: 24 MPG city, 33 MPG highway. I managed 29.1 mpg in 334 miles of mixed driving.
Safety: Active cruise control with braking function; dynamic stability control; active driving assistant pro with active blind spot detection; active park distance control and parking assistant plus; head-up display; adaptive full LED lighting and auto high beams; surround view with 3D view; extended traffic jam assistant; drive recorder; front and rear head protection system.
Options: $650 Brooklyn gray metallic; $1,200 dynamic handling package; $1,450 Cognac Vernasca leather; $3,100 M Sport package; $850 shadowline package; $300 remote engine start; $1,350 premium package; $875 Harmon Kardon surround sound; $700 driving assistance package $995 destination charge.
Things to know: The BMW 330i xDrive sports an updated look outside and improved technology inside to top off this driver-oriented small sedan that has made the 3 Series a hit for decades.
- Drivers’ sedan with higher handling limits than most of the competition
- Comfortable interior with large touch screen and virtual instruments
- Punchy power from turbo four cylinder
- Some might find this ride a bit firmer than the competition
- Tiny transmission shifter might take a bit to get used to
- Not the most back seat leg room for taller riders