A couple of months back, our market was graced with the launch of the all-new G20 BMW 3 Series – available in a singular 330i M Sport variant. Fast forward to now and the locally assembled model has finally been rolled out, going for a highly competitive RM 288,800.
Now in case your memory is a little hazy, we’ve boiled the 330i M Sport down to what we think are its five strongest points.
Striking a balance between agility and comfort
Over the last few generations, BMW has worked hard to develop their 3 Series as a sports sedan – and that’s no mean feat. A sports sedan needs to be sharp and precise when you want it, while being appreciably comfortable in day-to-day living. Each generation sees them widening the breadth of ability of their 3 Series, and this latest generation G20 is a culmination of over 40 years of work.
It’s something that’s better experienced than explained. The supple ride quality when cruising gives way to taut handling and agility when you want it, blending two qualities almost imperceptibly and allowing for two very different characteristics without compromising either end of the spectrum.
Robust turbocharged performance
Turbochargers popped up in BMW’s line-up of petrol engines for but a brief moment in the 1970s, and all but disappeared for the next three decades. When they returned, they came back with a bang – first with the turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six found in the E90 335i, and eventually being applied to everything from 1.5-litre three cylinders, up to 4.4-litre V8s.
These powertrains have provided performance comparable to far larger engines, with the benefit of better driveability, more low end torque, and better fuel economy. What’s not to love? Put the pedal to the metal in the 330i M Sport and you’ll have access to 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque – all from a BMW TwinPower Turbo 2.0-litre engine. More than that, it sips fuel at a rate of just 6.4 litres per 100 km, thanks in part to its quick shifting 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic gearbox. Key metrics are a zero to hundred time of just 5.8 seconds, and a top speed limited to 250 km/h.
Digitally Connected Throughout
Over time, many manufacturers have incorporated various small screens in their instrument clusters for a little more flexibility in displaying information. For this generation of 3 Series, BMW decided to just replace the entire cluster with a big screen that allows drivers to configure what information they see, and how they see it. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional - a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver, while a 10.25-inch touch screen is the centrepiece of the dashboard.
But the technology goes beyond the surface. Through the use of BMW Operating System 7.0, owners are afforded a range of features such as the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant that allows for natural language voice control. If you happen to own certain Samsung smart devices, you can use NFC functionality to unlock the car door and even start the car through the use of the BMW Digital Key.
The Nod To BMW M
When you think of the pinnacle of BMW’s achievements, you think of M Division. The highly adept motorsport arm of BMW has had decades of experience making cars go fast, and their experience trickles down to mass market models in the form of M Sport packages. Here, the M Sport suffix denotes 18-inch M Sport alloy wheels, M Sport brakes, and M Sport suspension.
Not only do these changes provide the 330i M Sport with a touch of aggressive styling, they also make the car feel like a proper sports sedan. Sheer driving pleasure has always been a strong goal for the Bavarian brand, and this car delivers it in spades.
Drop dead gorgeous, night or day
The subtle evolution of the 3 Series body style has seen it grow from something more compact and minimalist, to a car with maturity and presence through fluid body lines and distinctive styling elements. The adaptive LED headlights are instantly noticeable from afar, while those slim L-shaped 3D LED tail lights emphasise the width and stance of the G20.
There’s even a range of alluring colours to choose from. Alpine White, Black Sapphire, and Mineral Grey make up the range of monochrome options, while the firey Sunset Orange and stunning Portimao Blue are also made available if you’re looking for something a little more outspoken. The interior material choices come in either modern chic with Black Vernasca leather, or classic luxury with the Cognac Vernasca leather upholstery.
But best of all is the fact that the car is now available with finance rates as low as 0.88% through BMW Group Financial Services’ Balloon Financing Plan, meaning for just 20% downpayment a 5-year loan will run you around RM 3,298 a month. Additional perks include the BMW 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty with Free Scheduled Service Programme, the BMW 2-Year Tyre Warranty Programme, BMW Roadside Assistance and Accident Hotline, the BMW Group Loyalty+ Mobile App with the BMW White Card, and BMW Service online.