Home / Home / BMW 330i Road Test Review – Instant fun! Just add petrol

 

BMW 330i M Sport web 1

The new BMW 330i M Sport sedan has a lot of new hardware and feels very different from its predecessor. Good different? That’s what we have to establish.

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

What is it about an expensive car painted white that somehow gets people to move out of the way? I usually keep a couple of car-lengths’ distance when I sight one of two things on the road: either a certain white large SUV or a two-wheeler rider with no mirrors on the handlebars. Other elements of traffic seem to flow in a sort of predictive chaos, but not them. Anyway. Most large cars in India are usually white. I still don’t get it. Some cite reasons of purity, or resale. The latter I can understand. But I digress. The 330i is the third ’30i’ that’s being sold in India and the third I’ve gotten my hands on as well; in white. It’s a good thing, because I now have a good dose of perspective. The 330i GT, in comparison, feels bulky. The 530i feels larger. The point of the 330i, especially in this M Sport Edition avatar, is to give drivers something to savour.

There’s something about a subtle ‘M’ badge alongside traditional colours that raises enthusiast heart-rates as much as their interest. It means something. As BMW themselves say, ‘M is the most powerful letter of the alphabet.’ Except, this isn’t the M3. But it is something that can give you more than a hint of what the letter is all about. After all, 252 horses in a car weighing less than 1.5 tonnes is stick-your-tongue-out fun, and resuscitates your inner nine-year-old.

BMW 330i M Sport web 6 2

Externally, the M Sport Edition 330i doesn’t look any different from the 330i Sport Line, save for those ‘M’ badges on the front quarters and the 18-inch alloy wheels with mixed rubber: 225/45s up front and 255/35s at the rear. The sporty grille and sweeping LED headlamps look sharp and are among the standout elements, going well with the pronounced creases of the shoulder-line.

BMW 330i M Sport web 2

M Sport Editions get a choice of Dakota Leather upholstery in black, beige, and oyster or, as in our case, Saddle Brown, which adds admirably to its sport-luxury quotient. The interior is well-equipped and nicely finished, with a silver hexagon trim accent adding some contrast to the darker themed insides. The M Sport leather steering wheel is a work of art. Not only does it bear the all-important ‘M’ badge, but it has a soft-touch feel with a cushion depth that makes for pleasurable hours at the wheel. The seats, too, are lovely. The balance of ergonomic contours, side bolsters, adjustment possibilities as well as improved cushioning over its predecessors all make for a personalised setup, with added memory settings for the driver, too. Get everything set up right and there’s only one thing left to do.

Give it some boot and the 330i takes a deep breath and lunges forward, dismissing 0-100 km/h in 6.78 seconds and the quarter-mile in 14.76 seconds. It will get up to 250 km/h. The acceleration is quick and it sounds fantastic; however, there isn’t any drama or edge-of-the-seat feeling because, while you do get pushed into the back of your seat, it feels natural and controlled in the way it goes about picking up speed.

BMW 330i M Sport web 6

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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