BMW 3 Series 330e xDrive M Sport 4dr Step Auto Tech Pack

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid
  • 4 door saloon
  • 292 bhp Engine power
  • 5.8 secs 0 to 62 mph

Ten Second Review

The BMW 3 Series has ruled the compact part of the mid-sized executive segment for more than forty years and the company's hopes are high for this improved version of the 'G20' seventh generation design. It's smarter and gets a much more sophisticated cabin. Plus the diesels now feature 48V mild hybrid tech and there's a big step forward in media connectivity. All the things you'd expect from a facelift really. Something else you'd expect from this model is rear wheel drive handling purity. It doesn't disappoint in that regard either.

Background

The BMW 3 Series has had an unparalleled reputation both for its quality and supreme handling in the premium mid-size segment for more than 40 years. When this the seventh generation 'G20'-series model arrived back in 2018, it raised the bar even higher. But since then, we've had an all-new version of this car's arch-rival, the Mercedes C-Class, so BMW has had to further improve its '3': it has. This contender is regarded as the heartbeat of the brand and always has been since the first generation design was launched way back in 1975. Today, this model line accounts for 14% of BMW's global sales, so it could hardly be more important. These updates must sustain the car until it's replaced by an EV next-generation model in 2025 with the brand's forthcoming 'Neue Klasse' architecture.

Driving Experience

BMW has refined its engine selection as part of this facelift: the previous entry-level 318i (petrol) and 318d (diesel) units are no longer listed. So the range begins with the 184hp 320i petrol model or the 190hp 320d diesel, the latter gaining 48V mild hybrid tech. Eight-speed Steptronic auto transmission is now standard on all versions. If you can spend more, then the four cylinder 330e Plug-in variant with 292hp offers a tempting combination of speed and frugality. A more classic 3 Series combo though, lies with the petrol six cylinder 330i, with 258hp. Across the line-up, rear wheel drive is still this 3 Series model's calling card of course, though xDrive 4WD is an increasing popular option - on the 320i, the 320d and the 330e. You have to have it on top M340i (374hp petrol) and M340d (340hp 48V diesel) variants. The road-burning M3 saloon still tops the range of course, with its 503hp 3.0-litre twin turbo six cylinder engine and optional xDrive system. Otherwise, much is familiar here; a front engine, rear wheel drive formula with near perfect 50:50 weight distribution has defined the 3 Series to date and this seventh generation model doesn't deviate too far from that script. Still notable are the standard 'lift-related' dampers. These clever shock absorbers incorporate structures that provide extra damping at the extremes of wheel travel, allowing quite a firm sporting set-up to be adopted, but also one able to deliver a fluent ride over tarmac imperfections. Thanks to that, this car's able to combine a set-up for Silverstone with something that works equally well on the North Circular.

Design and Build

This seventh generation 3 Series model has had a useful visual update here for both Saloon and Touring estate body styles. If you know this 'G20'-series seventh generation design, you'll notice the updated front end, which offers slimmer LED headlights, a resculpted grille and gloss black brake cooling vents. M Sport variants get a distinctive hexagonal lower air intake too. There are reshaped bumpers at the rear and colour-coded trim elements, plus M Sport models feature a chunky diffuser. The major changes though, have taken place inside, where this 3 Series gets the new-look curved instrument panel that we first saw on the iX luxury EV. this incorporates a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen with the brand's latest eighth generation iDrive interface. This all allows for a big step forward in media functionality, with things like real-time mapping, a parking space locator and wireless smartphone-mirroring. Other cabin updates include slimmer air vents, a redesigned gear shifter, standardised gear shift paddles and new touch-sensitive buttons for the centre console. Otherwise, things are much as before. There's reasonably comfortable space for a couple of adults on the rear bench - it'd be a bit of a squash for three. Out back, there's a 480-litre boot in the Saloon, which you can extend by folding the seat backs forward. If you're going to be doing that very regularly though, then you're really a candidate for the alternative Touring estate version, which offers a 500-litre boot, extendable with seat folding to 1,500-litres.

Market and Model

When you pause to consider that one product line - the 3 Series saloon - accounts for fully a quarter of BMW's global sales, you begin to appreciate quite how much there is riding on this car. Pricing now starts at just under £37,000 for the 320i petrol; or around £40,500 for the 320d diesel - with a premium of around £1,500 more for the xDrive system. You'll need a budget of nearly £43,000 for the 330e PHEV petrol model. There are now just two trim levels, 'Sport' and 'M Sport' and all models now include the 'BMW Live Cockpit Plus' screen set-up, which includes cloud-based BMW Maps, over-the-air updates and an improved version of the brand's 'Intelligent Personal Assistant' voice control system. The company's 'Parking assistant' is now standard, steering you automatically into spaces. And you can upgrade it with Park View, Panorama View and 3D View functions. M Sport customers are being offered a choice of exterior upgrades, including a carbonfibre rear diffuser, a large rear spoiler for the saloon and individual wheel designs of up to 20-inches in size. As for safety, well as before, optional across the range is the brand's 'Driving Assistant Professional' pack, which includes Active Cruise Control with a Stop&Go function. There's also a 'Steering and Lane Control Assistant', which helps the driver maintain their position on motorways where the lane narrows. The 'Active Navigation' function detects when a lane change for a motorway exit is required and prepares to steer the car into that lane. The system also comprises a 'Lane Keeping Assistant' with active side collision protection and an 'Evasion Assistant'.

Cost of Ownership

The addition of mild hybrid 48V tech for the diesels has usefully improved efficiency. the 320d diesel many will want now manages up to 58.9mpg on the combined cycle and up to 127g/km of CO2, readings which are difficult to better in this class. The M340d, which also gets the 48V technology, manages up to 48.7mpg and up to 153g/km. Otherwise, things are much as before. The 320i petrol variant manages up to 44.1mpg and up to 145g/km of CO2. For the 330i petrol model, the combined cycle figure is up to 43.5mpg and the CO2 reading is up to 148g/km. If you want to do better, you can ask about the 330e petrol/electric Plug-in hybrid which can deliver up to 217mpg on the combined cycle and a CO2 return of as little as 30g/km.. What else? Well the Steptronic automatic transmission features a coasting mode so that when the driver lifts off the throttle at higher speeds, for example on a gentle downhill grade on the motorway, the engine is automatically decoupled from the powertrain. It then simply ticks over in neutral, which saves fuel and ensures there is no unwanted engine braking at high speed. An additional fuel-saving feature, which also improves driving comfort, is the Proactive Driving Assistant, which uses information from the navigation system to "anticipate" upcoming roundabouts, corners and junctions and select exactly the right time to change gear.

Summary

With this enhanced version of the seventh generation 3 Series, we've got the kind of car that BMW is best at making. We understand why the company has to make SUVs, People Carriers and Electric Vehicles, but it'll lose its soul if it ever stops making models like this one. Prior to the original launch of this 'G20'-series design back in 2018, previous 3 Series generations had dabbled with conformity, but MK7 version has reasserted this Bavarian maker's dynamic dominance in the mid-sized sports saloon segment. No other rival serves up as deliciously rich a driving experience as this. This improved model has become quite expensive, but thanks to the updated hi-tech cabin, at least you now feel you're getting a very complete benchmark-standard product for that not-inconsiderable outlay. You might rarely use the added dynamic dimension it has over its rivals, but it'll always be good to know you have it. Within its segment, it really is the 'Ultimate driving machine'. Over the years, the 3 Series has changed a lot about the way we buy cars in this class, continually forcing its rivals to play catch up. This one's no different. As you were, people.

  • Automatic Start/stop button
  • Driving experience switch
  • DAB tuner
  • Harman/Kardon surround sound system
  • Wireless charging tray
  • "Electrified by i" exterior badging on charging flap
  • BMW emblem, engine compartment lid and tailgate
  • Body colour roof fin
  • Door sill strips
  • Front and rear bumper system with replaceable deformation elements
  • Front apron plastic in body colour
  • Fuel filler flap - right rear in body colour
  • Illuminated bow type door handles in body colour drivers side with door lock
  • Licence plate panel integrated into front bumper and tailgate
  • Matt black B-pillar finsher
  • Matt black window recess cover
  • Model designation on right side of tailgate
  • One piece front bumper cover including towing eye cover in body colour
  • Rear boot
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Side frame decorative moulding black matt
  • Visible exhaust tailpipe finisher
  • 12V power socket in front storage compartment
  • 2 front cupholder in centre console with clamping elements and matt black inlay
  • Anthracite headlining
  • Armrest integrated in front and rear door trim + front centre console armrest
  • Battery in luggage compartment
  • BMW ID
  • Folding rear centre armrest with 2 cupholders
  • Height adjustable mechanically and infinitely variable steering column
  • Illuminated glove compartment
  • Lashing eyelets in luggage compartment
  • M Sport multifunction leather steering wheel
  • Toolkit located in luggage compartment
  • Connected pack professional - 3 Series Saloon/Touring
  • Interior and exterior mirror pack - 3 Series Touring/Saloon
  • M Aerodynamics package - 3 Series Saloon/Touring
  • M sport exterior styling pack - 3 Series Saloon/Touring
  • Parking assistant pack - 3 Series
  • Storage compartment pack - 3 Series Saloon/Touring
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • BMW emergency call
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Crash sensor activating of airbags,Unlocking doors,hazard warning lights,fuel cut off,interior lighting+activation of safety battery terminal clamp
  • Driver and front passenger with seat occupancy detection for driver's and passenger side
  • Driver and passenger side airbags, body protection at side and airbags deploy from seat backrests
  • Head airbags in 1st and 2nd row, head protection at side, curtain airbags open from headliner above 1st and 2nd row
  • Side impact protection
  • Tyre pressure monitoring with three level warning strategy
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Alarm system
  • Centre lock switch
  • Closing system with central locking
  • Electronic vehicle immobiliser
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 12
  • Battery Charge Type 1 kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Type 1 Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Type 1 Time (Minutes): 360
  • Battery Charge Type 2 kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Type 2 Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Type 2 Time (Minutes): 258
  • Battery Charge Type 3 kW: 3.7
  • Battery Charge Type 3 Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Type 3 Time (Minutes): 216
  • Battery Charge Type 4 kW: 3.7
  • Battery Charge Type 4 Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Type 4 Time (Minutes): 156
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Right Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 11.15
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 17.8
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 16.8
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 3.5
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 3.7
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 58
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEH: 55
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEL: 59
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 36
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEH: 34.2
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEL: 36.7
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 176
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 166
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 34
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 40
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 34
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1998
  • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • Engine Code: B48B20M1
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 7.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb - TEH: 36.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb - TEL: 38.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 1.8
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 1.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - TEH: 156.9
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - TEL: 188.3
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 292
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: e xDrive
  • Coin Series: M Sport [Tech Pack]
  • Generation Mark: 7
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 34E
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.8
  • Engine Power - BHP: 292
  • Engine Power - KW: 215
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 310
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 42.8
  • Engine Torque - NM: 420
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1350
  • Top Speed: 143
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/40 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: DOUBLE SPOKE STYLE 848M
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Height: 1444
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4713
  • Wheelbase: 2851
  • Width: 1827
  • Width (including mirrors): 2068
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 40
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2345
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 375
  • Max. Loading Weight: 520
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1825
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12