Under its hood, the new 330i gets an updated 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine making 248 horsepower with 258 pound-feet of torque (versus 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet on the 328i). A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but an eight-speed automatic may be substituted at no extra charge.
Fuel economy is estimated at 21 mpg city/32 mpg city with manual shift, rising to 23/34 mpg (city/highway) with automatic. An all-wheel-drive 330i, offered only with automatic, is estimated at 23/32 mpg (city/highway), while the xDrive-only sports wagon also earns a 23/32 mpg (city/highway) estimate. Automatic stop/start operation is standard.
SensaTec leatherette sport seats are standard, although Dakota leather can be added for a substantial extra cost ($1,450). Non-sport seats are also available with the optional Luxury Package. Standard equipment includes run-flat tires on 17-inch light alloy wheels, power front seats, automatic-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth, HD radio, automatic climate control, and LED foglamps. Wagons get a panoramic moonroof.
Notable options include wireless charging and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. A $3,000 M Sport Package with 18-inch star-spoke wheels, M Sport suspension, aerodynamic body kit, Shadowline exterior trim, choice of aluminum or wood interior trim, and such M-themed elements as a unique steering wheel and a footrest. An adaptive suspension can be added for $700. The $2,450 Premium Package adds a moonroof, lumbar support, LED headlights, satellite radio subscription, and keyless access that includes a hands-free trunklid.
Enthusiasts can specify a Track Handling Package with 18-inch V-spoke wheels, M Sport brakes, an adaptive suspension, and variable sport steering. BMW also offers a Technology Package (including navigation), as well as Lighting and Cold Weather groups.
To get some of the latest active-safety features, an option group must be specified. The basic $900 Driver Assistance Package includes parking sensors and a rear view camera, but the most worthy technology is available within the $1,700 Driver Assistance Plus option. That upgrade adds blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, city collision mitigation, plus side- and top-view cameras.
Pricing starts at $39,745 (including destination charge) for the sedan, and $43,945 for the wagon.
BMW’s 3 Series comes in quite a variety of configurations, but the 330i—like its 328i predecessor—just might be the most likable version. Balancing performance, maneuverability, and efficiency, it’s a well-rounded example of compact luxury. Most options are a matter of personal taste, but we strongly recommend the two Driver Assistance packages.
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