The BMW 3-Series is considered, along with Merc’s C-Class, the default choice in the premium compact sedan segment. That’s because it’s proven time and time again that it’s a great all-rounder, and the all-new, seventh-gen, is better than ever.
From the updated exterior styling, which is more of an evolution of its predecessor, to the well-equipped interior, the latest 3-Series is more mature. In terms of space, it’s average for a premium compact sedan, with 480 liters (17 cu-ft) of boot capacity and the ability to sit two people in comfort on the rear bench; three would be a crowd due to the tall transmission tunnel. Then again, interior space has never been the 3er’s strong suit…
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The front seats are very comfortable and leather and soft-touch plastics cover just about every visible surface, so it retains that premium feel. The equipment level is not bad either, with the iDrive infotainment system being offered as standard on all grades along with ambient lighting, a reversing camera and parking sensors all around. However, getting the fully digital gauges means upgrading to the 330i M Sport range-topper, which is powered by a 258 PS (254 hp / 190 kW), 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
In terms of performance, the 330i M Sport, which was reviewed by CarsIreland, offers sufficient punch. The 8-speed automatic transmission is very smooth, and the adaptive suspension, which is part of the M Sport package, provides a perfect balance between comfort and sportiness.
Not everything about the 3-Series G20 is rosy, though. Apart from space, pricing is perhaps its biggest drawback, as it carries a €54,000 (~$61,000) sticker price in Ireland, which gets close to €60,000 (~$67,700) after adding some options.
The 330i won’t remain the range-topping model for long, as next month, that role will be taken by the 340i xDrive, with a straight-six that pushes out 387 PS (382 hp / 285 kW), which in turn will be topped by the new M3 in mid-2020.