i 4dr Rear-wheel Drive Sedan
2019 BMW 330

2019 330 Photos
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. – You might think someone checked the “Include Caveats” box on this 2019 BMW 330i’s configuration, because there are so many positive aspects to this new 3 Series, but virtually every one comes with an asterisk. Just take one glance at the exterior of my Portimao Blue Metallic tester – it’s the best-looking 3 in a couple generations, with gorgeous proportions, and the blue is stunning. But as critic after critic have pointed out, those taillights are near clones of the competing (but not nearly as handsome overall) Lexus IS. And in a sea of both vehicles in Los Angeles, the 330i missed out on a chance to stand out. Which is a theme of sorts. Don’t get me wrong – the new 3 Series is great. We drove a nearly identical car at launch, so this time around we’re giving our first impressions a stress test. And yet, if you read Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski’s take on the styling – crisp lines, tastefully shaped headlights, bulging fenders, all delicious – he zeroes in on the same issue: “the rear looks too derivative of the Lexus IS”. A shame. Luckily, headlights and taillights are the stuff midcycle refreshes are made of. Expect drastically redesigned rear units in a few years – we hope. Then again, scope the 330i in a good color (like this one) from a front three-quarters view to appreciate its masterful styling – obviously a 3 Series, but new and fresh – and the taillight gripes fade away. Even better, look at it in direct profile, and the long hood and short rear decklid with a prominent upward turn, and it seems like the 3 has its mojo back. The powertrain is going to be a little harder to fix. Here again, there’s good and bad. Like Jeremy, I found the 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, which makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, to be plenty in everyday driving. What it lacks is specialness. Roll down a window, and it’s a hoarse, clattery thing – obviously a work-a-day, direct-injection, forced-induction unit. BMW joins a long list of automakers that are reliably making decent power and respectable economy from these similar 2.0 turbo engines, and that’s admirable. But to accomplish all that, it seems like you need to sacrifice the less tangible things. It’s potent, but I challenge anybody to love this engine. As the volume model, the one that serial BMW lessees in places like LA are going to gravitate towards, that extra special sauce isn’t going to matter. That said, all BMWs once had that special sauce, just by virtue of being a BMW. The upcoming 2020 M340i might scratch that itch. Jeremy had a too-brief experience in it, and we’ll have to get more seat time to evaluate that.  One thing that wasn’t missed? The manual. I personally don’t miss it in urban traffic. The eight-speed automatic is damn good. But here comes another caveat – whether it’s a throttle tip-in calibration …
Full Review
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. – You might think someone checked the “Include Caveats” box on this 2019 BMW 330i’s configuration, because there are so many positive aspects to this new 3 Series, but virtually every one comes with an asterisk. Just take one glance at the exterior of my Portimao Blue Metallic tester – it’s the best-looking 3 in a couple generations, with gorgeous proportions, and the blue is stunning. But as critic after critic have pointed out, those taillights are near clones of the competing (but not nearly as handsome overall) Lexus IS. And in a sea of both vehicles in Los Angeles, the 330i missed out on a chance to stand out. Which is a theme of sorts. Don’t get me wrong – the new 3 Series is great. We drove a nearly identical car at launch, so this time around we’re giving our first impressions a stress test. And yet, if you read Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski’s take on the styling – crisp lines, tastefully shaped headlights, bulging fenders, all delicious – he zeroes in on the same issue: “the rear looks too derivative of the Lexus IS”. A shame. Luckily, headlights and taillights are the stuff midcycle refreshes are made of. Expect drastically redesigned rear units in a few years – we hope. Then again, scope the 330i in a good color (like this one) from a front three-quarters view to appreciate its masterful styling – obviously a 3 Series, but new and fresh – and the taillight gripes fade away. Even better, look at it in direct profile, and the long hood and short rear decklid with a prominent upward turn, and it seems like the 3 has its mojo back. The powertrain is going to be a little harder to fix. Here again, there’s good and bad. Like Jeremy, I found the 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, which makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, to be plenty in everyday driving. What it lacks is specialness. Roll down a window, and it’s a hoarse, clattery thing – obviously a work-a-day, direct-injection, forced-induction unit. BMW joins a long list of automakers that are reliably making decent power and respectable economy from these similar 2.0 turbo engines, and that’s admirable. But to accomplish all that, it seems like you need to sacrifice the less tangible things. It’s potent, but I challenge anybody to love this engine. As the volume model, the one that serial BMW lessees in places like LA are going to gravitate towards, that extra special sauce isn’t going to matter. That said, all BMWs once had that special sauce, just by virtue of being a BMW. The upcoming 2020 M340i might scratch that itch. Jeremy had a too-brief experience in it, and we’ll have to get more seat time to evaluate that.  One thing that wasn’t missed? The manual. I personally don’t miss it in urban traffic. The eight-speed automatic is damn good. But here comes another caveat – whether it’s a throttle tip-in calibration …
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Retail Price

$40,250 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

$3,017 Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
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Engine 2.0LI-4
MPG 26 City / 36 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 8-spd w/OD
Power 255 @ 5000 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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