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2019+ BMW 3 AND 4-SERIES FORUMS (G2x Generation) General G20 Sedan / G22 Coupe / G26 Gran Coupe Discussions My 330i review

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      06-24-2019, 08:50 AM   #1
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My 330i review

Had the F30 340i in for service at BMW Calabasas this week and got some first hand time with the car, a G20 330i. Really put the car through the paces and put together some comments and comparisons.

- Driving dynamics are very thought out, I would describe the handling as more of an evolution from the E90 than the F30. In regard to "overall feel" I would describe the handling as a refined evolution of the E90. The car feels poised and anchored, almost Benz-Like, smooth while still providing feedback, in going over bumps, cruising, combined with classic BMW sportiness you would expect. Excellent modern driving dynamics that illustrates BMW's capability.

- Steering feel is improved from the F30 by a significant margin. Again, more like E90. Presume should be even better on the M340i, as was the case in F30, but do not have that info. For people who really disliked F30 steering and miss the classics, the new platform will be welcome. That said, getting back into my F30 after, made me realize that platform really has its own nice character too.

- Lane departure feedback was very interesting and didn't mind it much, like an augmented reality experience, overall liked that as a plus to keeping drivers sharper and encouraging signaling especially here in LA. Basically, once it senses you are in a lane, if you begin to cross the line without signaling it will actively steer you back into your lane, unless you force the matter. Done very well. Doesn't seem to activate under certain speeds.

- Overall look of the car is nice even in this relatively base 330i trim. It is definitely a car that doesn't photograph particularly well, looking much better in person and as you are out driving. Much like previous generation, the trim matters a lot. A sharp M340i in M sport will turn heads, and the entry is just ok. This has been the case all the way back to E36 so nothing new here.

- Power delivery is great, more linear than my F30, quick car. Hard to compare as my current is the turbo I-6. Usually more anti-4cyl while the 6's are still available, but will say on the new platform it is less noticeable than ever before, where on the F30 I viewed it as a dealbreaker. I am sure the M340i kills it.

- Quieter and more solid feeling than any previous generation.

- Electronics and iDrive are all very polished and well put together, didn't think I would like the screen Tachometer, but in the end didn't really mind it at all, a non-factor. Definitely feels like they took some pages out of Tesla's playbook in the way the car technology is put together which is a positive.

Overall, my take away was that it is a refreshing direction that BMW is going. Definitely not enough to make me want to jump ship from my 340i, but reassuring direction that BMW is going. Likely, once I rack up some proper miles if and when the time comes, will opt for a facelift G20 M340i as they usually bolster and improve the car a lot at that time. I would presume the facelift of the car will be a home run as out the gate, the G20 is already doing more than ok, probably not something I would say about F30, or E90. Actually, the G20 is up there with maybe even the E46 on how well done it is at square one, I would say.
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      06-24-2019, 07:36 PM   #2
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Great review, truly appreciated especially coming from someone with an F30 340i. My last BMW was an E46, didn't like the F30 so i went elsewhere. Now I am looking to get this G20 in the 330i M sport trim in a month or two to coincide with my current lease termination. The E46 may have been low on power but they were great cars. I owned two as well as an E36, if only we could have manual again. Never thought, I would be back in a BMW after the F30 debuted.
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      06-25-2019, 02:04 AM   #3
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Very nice review thank you !
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      06-25-2019, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EXE46 View Post
Great review, truly appreciated especially coming from someone with an F30 340i. My last BMW was an E46, didn't like the F30 so i went elsewhere. Now I am looking to get this G20 in the 330i M sport trim in a month or two to coincide with my current lease termination. The E46 may have been low on power but they were great cars. I owned two as well as an E36, if only we could have manual again. Never thought, I would be back in a BMW after the F30 debuted.
I don't think you will be let down. Especially in M Sport, can't go wrong. If you liked the classics, the new platform will work well for you. Not an exact clone of the E36, E46 handling, but a modernized, more evolved version of it, more dynamic, still fun as can be.

While the F30 gets some heat in handling, driving dynamics, and some of it is warranted, I will say in the facelift later years, I think they really made some adjustments. This was really illustrated whenever I would get an early model F30 loaner, which were just appliance-like. All said and done, to its credit, after owning every generation, F30 is my favorite car I have owned, so there is that. That being said, it is spec'd really preferably to me.


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Originally Posted by Macboy View Post
Very nice review thank you !
Fun times with that car.!
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      06-26-2019, 09:56 PM   #5
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^
I heard that too, but I stop following BMW after the F30 debut so I weren't aware of the updates the face-lifted models had received.
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      06-29-2019, 01:35 AM   #6
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Thanks for the review and the pictures show why you should not use the idrive screen as a touch screen!
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      06-29-2019, 06:09 AM   #7
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I just test drove 330i msport and was very dissapointed comparing to my 328i f30. I felt the new one too smooth/soft including steering which was too numb. I thought i was driving a mb c series!! I really missed that sportivity I have w 328i that feel more aggressive and always being throwed back giving also more safety and fun while reving! Is there anything wrong?

Will the m340i have the same behaviour? Should I move to m3?

Look forward to ur comments which direction should I go!!!
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      06-29-2019, 10:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pabrognara View Post
I just test drove 330i msport and was very dissapointed comparing to my 328i f30. I felt the new one too smooth/soft including steering which was too numb. I thought i was driving a mb c series!! I really missed that sportivity I have w 328i that feel more aggressive and always being throwed back giving also more safety and fun while reving! Is there anything wrong?

Will the m340i have the same behaviour? Should I move to m3?

Look forward to ur comments which direction should I go!!!
Steering too numb? Its way better than crappy F30 Steering. I think you need more time to adapt, its more versitile. In comfort its smoother than F30 but its still much more enjoyable on a backroad IMO.
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      06-29-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pabrognara View Post
I just test drove 330i msport and was very dissapointed comparing to my 328i f30. I felt the new one too smooth/soft including steering which was too numb. I thought i was driving a mb c series!! I really missed that sportivity I have w 328i that feel more aggressive and always being throwed back giving also more safety and fun while reving! Is there anything wrong?

Will the m340i have the same behaviour? Should I move to m3?

Look forward to ur comments which direction should I go!!!
Test drive the m340i first before you make a decision. If that's still too soft for your liking, you could wait for the g80 m3, or else look into a lightly used f80 m3. You can get a nice, used 2015-17 f80 for around 40-50k depending on the trim. The '15s are probably selling for mid to high 30s now.
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      06-29-2019, 10:57 AM   #10
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I had the opportunity to drive my previous F30 after driving my G20 and what a difference!
In every area the G20 is superior the most outstanding being itís quietness and confidence in doing the job: driving!
Itís not a boy racer for sure, thatíll be the M340i!
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      06-29-2019, 01:47 PM   #11
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Great to read those user reviews of true BMW owners.

I own a F30 330e Luxury Line and test drove a 320i M Sport today. I was mainly interested in the assistant features to determine whether they increase my safety while....paying attention to scenery and other distractions.

I learned that the combination of assistant features keeps you very good in your lane, brakes on time and smoothly, and accelerates to the speed limit again when possible. At times it sort of 'searches for the middle of the lane' as if a junior driver is behind the wheel. When it encounters a situation it can't handle, the LEDs on the wheel flash yellow and something similar happens on the assist indicator in the dash and HUD.
I was surprised to learn that it does not predict such a situation, it simply encounters it. This becomes dangerous when you trust the system and come across a turn that is to sharp for the system, which happened a few times on connections between freeways. The LEDs start flashing once it runs of the road. Much too late if your were not paying much attention. Of course, the system is not intended to take over the entire driving, just to assist, but still, why can't it predict what will happen based on the map etc? I did not expect that from a premium brand.

I really love the new seats and seating position. The seat is more comfortable and also keeping you very well in it. The position appears to be lower (or the dash and doors are higher). It feels great to be in your cockpit.
The Live Cockpit looks great. Aside from the speed and fuel gage, the rest is just a bonus. Who needs a rev counter with an automatic?
I thought the simplified map would disappoint, but in fact it is sublime. Everything you really need to know is there, very functional.
The HUD is also very bright and in the perfect position. But completely invisible when using polarized shades. Not a bug, just a combination that can't work.

The A/C seems quieter. And so is the entire ride. Again a big improved aiding to luxury feel and a relaxing drive.

The handling is fantastic. I am not sure that the sports suspension has more grip than the non-sport of the 330e, but it definitely has less body roll, turns in sharper and feels very controllable.

The new iDrive is a bit complex with all the pages. But thanks to the lane assist and ACC, you have plenty of time to figure it out. In the end none of the menu's provide any value while driving, except for the map. I tend to use voice control and it seems the best option in this version too. Don't try natural speech, it is still not intelligent enough for that.

The sound of the doors and trunk closing has improved. Even more solid.

The Control Panel has a silver colored striping just in front of it. It is perfectly angled to direct the sunlight into your face. Annoying design issue.

Start/stop is much smoother, and so it the overall everything about the ride.

One of the best things is the new software for the gearbox. In sport mode, it shifts down when you lift of the break, so you enter a corner with sufficient revs to pull out of it. The 330e doesn't do that and i hate it. With the new software, there is hardly any need for manual shifting.

Overall this is a fantastic car. A lot of improvements over the outgoing version.
Am i going to trade it in? Well, a new 330e would cost me more given the changes in taxes (and the raised purchase price). So it's tax versus Assistance and more electrical range (and that nice cockpit, seating position, sound level and sports suspension).

I am going to test drive the Tesla Model 3 too. I expect the driving fun to be equal, and the looks and luxury-feel-level to be less appealing.

I keep dreaming about the i4 for now.
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      06-29-2019, 03:44 PM   #12
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How do you / did you disable the auto start / stop? I have to switch it off every-time I start up the car.
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      06-29-2019, 05:12 PM   #13
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How do you / did you disable the auto start / stop? I have to switch it off every-time I start up the car.
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      06-29-2019, 06:13 PM   #14
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my recent fuel economy experience with the M340i from SC to MI. Not too shabby straight from the factory.
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      06-29-2019, 07:38 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing. Nice one!
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      06-30-2019, 07:03 AM   #16
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OP great review. I skipped the F30 because even with 175,000 miles on my E90 I still like mine better. I will probably run it to 200,000 miles and by then the G20 will have an extra year or two of refinement. My wife wants an X5 so we will be trading her current 2014 CX5 (seats are very uncomfortable causing back pain for both of us) once the 2020’s are available.
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      06-30-2019, 11:00 AM   #17
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I don't want to detract from the g20 driving impressions, so please pardon the rant, but I find myself wishing many of the driving assist type technology wasn't available for mass consumption at this time. When the tech is powerful and developed enough to safely partake in full autonomous driving, it's good, until then it's merely a half measure, and that can be very dangerous. The cabin of your car is also not meant to be an extension of your living room, even if modern tech and refinement makes it seem that way. Driving is first, entertainment is not the priority, or shouldn't be the priority.

I lose count of how many times, daily, a fellow motorist creates a dangerous situation because they're obviously not paying 100% attention to driving. Sure everyone glances at the scenery, or changes tracks on their song list etc, but many people take it to an extreme. That's not just with infotainment distractions either, recently I was very nearly t-boned by a woman in a big suv, who thought it was perfectly fine to be applying her make up while driving through a busy intersection during rush hour. Fortunately I've learned to simply expect the stupidest, most irresponsible decisions from my fellow motorists in just about every situation, and this has saved me from collision more times than I can count. Unfortunately, this seems to be the rule, not the exception.

Sadly I've also witnessed multiple occurrences where pedestrians and bicyclists weren't as lucky. The positive here being that only one such accident involved a fatality (didn't see it occur, but drove by the aftermath).

Please pay attention to the road. Driving assistance technology, isn't meant to replace common sense and vigilance. In my experience it's often more of a distraction than a real safety net. In many ways I'd be happy to see a return to simplified infotainment systems, with limited function, and a return to manual transmissions. I'm not advocating for manual shifting for the purposes of fun either, but because it would force drivers to focus more on driving.
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      07-01-2019, 08:29 AM   #18
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Having owned a 2019 330i xdrive for a couple of months now, I agree with your review 100%. Yes, it’s quick for a turbo 4 and pulls nicely. Considering the performance, the car gets terrific MPG as well. The more I drive it the more I like it.

Bob
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      07-01-2019, 06:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuller View Post
I don't want to detract from the g20 driving impressions, so please pardon the rant, but I find myself wishing many of the driving assist type technology wasn't available for mass consumption at this time. When the tech is powerful and developed enough to safely partake in full autonomous driving, it's good, until then it's merely a half measure, and that can be very dangerous. The cabin of your car is also not meant to be an extension of your living room, even if modern tech and refinement makes it seem that way. Driving is first, entertainment is not the priority, or shouldn't be the priority.

I lose count of how many times, daily, a fellow motorist creates a dangerous situation because they're obviously not paying 100% attention to driving. Sure everyone glances at the scenery, or changes tracks on their song list etc, but many people take it to an extreme. That's not just with infotainment distractions either, recently I was very nearly t-boned by a woman in a big suv, who thought it was perfectly fine to be applying her make up while driving through a busy intersection during rush hour. Fortunately I've learned to simply expect the stupidest, most irresponsible decisions from my fellow motorists in just about every situation, and this has saved me from collision more times than I can count. Unfortunately, this seems to be the rule, not the exception.

Sadly I've also witnessed multiple occurrences where pedestrians and bicyclists weren't as lucky. The positive here being that only one such accident involved a fatality (didn't see it occur, but drove by the aftermath).

Please pay attention to the road. Driving assistance technology, isn't meant to replace common sense and vigilance. In my experience it's often more of a distraction than a real safety net. In many ways I'd be happy to see a return to simplified infotainment systems, with limited function, and a return to manual transmissions. I'm not advocating for manual shifting for the purposes of fun either, but because it would force drivers to focus more on driving.

While I am with you 100% on that and the blatant irresponsibility that is out there, (Especially here in LA), I have to say that the driving assistance technology on the G20, I viewed overall as a positive. While in theory it seems that something like that may produce bad habits, in practice I found it was making me much more alert when I was straying from proper form. Literally does not let you leave a lane without signaling, unless you blatantly force the matter ... a positive, red alert when following too close... again a positive. Much more feedback, all designed around "proper" form and road rules. So In practice, I found it actually to be more fostering of proper habits than nothing at all, by a longshot. I felt that having the car looking out with sensors, blind spot, and everything, reaffirmed proper form. In fact some of my first notes when having the car were, wow, I am generally kind of bad with signaling with my F30, this is an eye opener. And dang well makes you notice if you are not centered in your lane.
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      07-01-2019, 06:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carjack View Post
I had the opportunity to drive my previous F30 after driving my G20 and what a difference!
In every area the G20 is superior the most outstanding being itís quietness and confidence in doing the job: driving!
Itís not a boy racer for sure, thatíll be the M340i!
This, the comments on the F30 being stiffer are asinine, that person had to have had the mode wrong, or some other factor. They really dialed the driving dynamics, even on the 330i's with the current model.
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      07-01-2019, 06:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golf_234 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuller View Post
I don't want to detract from the g20 driving impressions, so please pardon the rant, but I find myself wishing many of the driving assist type technology wasn't available for mass consumption at this time. When the tech is powerful and developed enough to safely partake in full autonomous driving, it's good, until then it's merely a half measure, and that can be very dangerous. The cabin of your car is also not meant to be an extension of your living room, even if modern tech and refinement makes it seem that way. Driving is first, entertainment is not the priority, or shouldn't be the priority.

I lose count of how many times, daily, a fellow motorist creates a dangerous situation because they're obviously not paying 100% attention to driving. Sure everyone glances at the scenery, or changes tracks on their song list etc, but many people take it to an extreme. That's not just with infotainment distractions either, recently I was very nearly t-boned by a woman in a big suv, who thought it was perfectly fine to be applying her make up while driving through a busy intersection during rush hour. Fortunately I've learned to simply expect the stupidest, most irresponsible decisions from my fellow motorists in just about every situation, and this has saved me from collision more times than I can count. Unfortunately, this seems to be the rule, not the exception.

Sadly I've also witnessed multiple occurrences where pedestrians and bicyclists weren't as lucky. The positive here being that only one such accident involved a fatality (didn't see it occur, but drove by the aftermath).

Please pay attention to the road. Driving assistance technology, isn't meant to replace common sense and vigilance. In my experience it's often more of a distraction than a real safety net. In many ways I'd be happy to see a return to simplified infotainment systems, with limited function, and a return to manual transmissions. I'm not advocating for manual shifting for the purposes of fun either, but because it would force drivers to focus more on driving.

While I am with you 100% on that and the blatant irresponsibility that is out there, (Especially here in LA), I have to say that the driving assistance technology on the G20, I viewed overall as a positive. While in theory it seems that something like that may produce bad habits, in practice I found it was making me much more alert when I was straying from proper form. Literally does not let you leave a lane without signaling, unless you blatantly force the matter ... a positive, red alert when following too close... again a positive. Much more feedback, all designed around "proper" form and road rules. So In practice, I found it actually to be more fostering of proper habits than nothing at all, by a longshot. I felt that having the car looking out with sensors, blind spot, and everything, reaffirmed proper form. In fact some of my first notes when having the car were, wow, I am generally kind of bad with signaling with my F30, this is an eye opener. And dang well makes you notice if you are not centered in your lane.
That's good to know. Thanks for elaborating on those points. The more I hear about the g20, and the more I see them around, the more I like them.
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      07-02-2019, 03:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pabrognara View Post
I just test drove 330i msport and was very dissapointed comparing to my 328i f30. I felt the new one too smooth/soft including steering which was too numb. I thought i was driving a mb c series!! I really missed that sportivity I have w 328i that feel more aggressive and always being throwed back giving also more safety and fun while reving! Is there anything wrong?
Sarcasm is not always funny....
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