When I was growing up in Mexico City & Texas, the BMW 3 Series wasn"t just known for its great driving abilities. It was also known for giving the driver status. I vividly remember how highly I saw one of my dad"s friends just because he drove a 3 Series—the sport sedan not only raised the bar in terms of driving dynamics, but it also raised the rank of those who drove it (at least in my mind). But as I grew up & understood how the world functioned, that distinction didn"t follow.

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Although the 3 Series was the halo thể thao sedan for decades, it lost some of its magic in its most recent generation. It didn"t bring the emotion & the punchiness it was known for. And new competition took away part of the prestige of owning it. With the seventh-generation 3 Series, BMW has a chance lớn get back on track, but with new players in the game—both electric và gasoline-powered—the Bavarian has more rivals than ever.

The 2019 BMW 330i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four that sends 255 hp & 295 lb-ft of torque to lớn the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic. That"s good enough khổng lồ shoot the 3 Series from 0 lớn 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, a 0.1-second improvement over the last 3 Series we tested, a 2017 330i. The 3 Series we tested recently was equipped with the M Sport, Premium, Track Handling, Executive, và Driving Assistance Pro packages, which elevated its $41,245 base price lớn $59,920—a difference of almost $20,000. Although it was nicely equipped, our 3 Series was a bit too sporty; it was a fun oto to take on a canyon road, but the suspension was too stiff for daily driving.

Road kiểm tra editor Chris Walton liked being able to lớn configure the suspension and steering in different ways with the thể thao Individual mode, but even when he drove in Comfort mode, the ride was too stiff. "I know this is probably due lớn the Track Handling package, but wow, the ride never settles, even in Comfort," he said. "Sure, it was very confidence-inspiring in the canyon, but unless you live in a canyon, pass." With a punchy engine that works very well with the eight-speed transmission, the 2019 330i was fun lớn drive on Malibu canyon roads & Angeles Crest Highway. Its low body toàn thân roll & good grip make you want khổng lồ go back khổng lồ the twisty roads for more, but unless your daily commute involves some kind of spirited driving, the suspension might be too rigid. Even testing director Kim Reynolds thought the ride was "odd," adding that "it finds annoying bumps without the commensurate handling composure payoff." We"d lượt thích to demo a 330i without the M thể thao and Track Handling packages to lớn see how the oto feels without the added sportiness.

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But whether you"re driving on a canyon road or just down the street, the new 3 Series will feel like a bigger car—because it is. The wheelbase has increased by 1.6 inches, and the overall length grew by 2.9 inches. Second-row passengers will notice the increase in legroom. There"s enough headroom to lớn accommodate the average tall passenger, but the powertrain hump sacrifices space for a third person in the back.

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Whether you"re driving with one or four passengers, the 2.0-liter engine feels powerful for a car of this type. If there"s anything to criticize, it"s the turbo lag, which we noticed when driving on both đô thị roads & the highway. But the transmission always seems khổng lồ be in the right gear, và shifts happen smoothly & at the correct rpm. "This engine has plenty of punch and a surprising amount of character, but it also suffers from telltale lag," guest judge Derek Powell said. "The transmission is excellent—crisp and intuitive shifts."

Step inside, and the first thing you"ll notice is the 8.8-inch screen located in the center console. Integrated with the latest iDrive system, the system generally works well, though we did find a couple of hiccups during our testing, the most frustrating of which was using táo bị cắn dở CarPlay. As you may know, CarPlay can be used wirelessly in BMWs when you connect khổng lồ the car"s Wi-Fi; during our testing, though, there were more than a few times when CarPlay wouldn"t connect or it did connect but then played the audio through my iPhone"s speakers instead of the crisp Harman Kardon system. Every time it didn"t work correctly, I had khổng lồ unpair và reconnect my iPhone—and of course it always happened when I was in a hurry.

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The digital instrument panel feels superior và is easy to lớn see, but I wish there was a better nav system. Audi"s Virtual Cockpit is way ahead of what BMW offers. The rest of the interior is busy: Under the air vents are the buttons for the HVAC controls, and below that you"ll find the controls for the radio, including eight buttons for presets. But the plastic around the air vents and center console has a nice thiết kế that looks polished for a modern BMW. At night, you"ll enjoy playing with the ambient lighting & choosing between a handful of colors.

If you"re into technology, the 3 Series has some serious stuff going on, but it doesn"t come cheap. The Drivers Assistance Pro package includes Extended Traffic Jam Assistant và Active Driving Assistant Pro, both of which help you find your way through traffic. The jam assist"s stop-and-go function lets you follow the oto in front without having to lớn step on the gas when the car in front has gone. The semi-autonomous driving works well on the highway during the day, with the oto staying centered in its lane, but it had a bit of trouble reading the lane markers at night. The Executive package includes Parking Assistant Plus, which parks the car in a parallel or perpendicular spot. All of these technologies have been designed to keep owners relaxed behind the wheel.

With the 2019 330i, BMW tried hard to lớn bring the oto back to the vị trí cao nhất of the sport sedan list. But perhaps it tried too hard. Keeping the 3 Series in line with the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Genesis G70, and Tesla model 3—all of which didn"t exist just four years ago—isn"t as easy as it might seem. The new 3 Series is dynamic, sporty, and—yes—fun. But with new competition in the segment, it"s difficult for the Bavarian to lớn stand out like it did for decades.

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2019 BMW 330i
BASE PRICE $41,245
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 2.0L/255-hp/295-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,646 lb (51/49%)
WHEELBASE 112.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 185.7 x 71.9 x 56.4 in
0-60 MPH 5.4 sec

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