Many attribute a long wheelbase vehicle to being something that you’re driven in, not driving yourself. Plonk your derriere in the opulent rear seat and be massaged while the tranquil cabin isolates you from the hustle and bustle of the world on your commute to a meeting.
In simpler terms... a limousine.
Something more up the luxurious alley of the 7 Series, never would’ve those that bleed the Ultimate Driving Machine imagined that BMW would extend the wheelbase on its very model that’s the epitome of that quote; the 3 Series.
However, in the hopes of extending its wallet, BMW has indeed gone and extended the wheelbase of the 3er to create the 330Li that is actually one of those few cars that can do both; meaning it can be driven or be driven in to equal aplomb.
Dimensionally, the 330Li is obviously larger in every direction over the regular 330i.
Length - 4,819mm (+110mm)
Wheelbase - 2,961mm (+110mm)
Height - 1,441mm (+6mm)
So all the extra metal went between the wheels as the main purpose of the 330Li is for more legroom in the rear for when the owner decides to toss the keys to his driver after work and enjoy the spacious cabin.
Rear legroom was never something the 3er excelled in so the additional 42mm of legroom will surely be appreciated by the taukes in the rear. Even headroom has grown marginally by 4mm. Boot space remains unchanged at 480-litres but BMW has added more configurations for rear storage.
Interior finishing for the 330Li comprises Aluminium Tetragon with highlight trim finishers in Pearl Chrome. Being an M-Sport trim, the 330Li gets a M leather steering wheel and M-specific pedals as well as electric seat adjustment with memory function for the driver.
Equipment consists of the usual luxury offerings such as triple-zone climate control, ambient lights with 11 predefined lighting designs and a HiFi loudspeaker system for the infotainment system.
As the aforementioned M-Sport trim, the 330Li will also pack the obligatory M Aerodynamics and M Sport Packages, 18-inch M light-alloy 848 M alloys in run flats and a panoramic glass roof.
Bearing the 330 designation means you’ll find the familiar B48 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol under the hood. Power comes in at 258hp and peak torque at 400Nm. It drives the rear wheels via the equally familiar eight-speed automatic that we’ve said time and again is one of the best auto transmissions on the planet.
Of course, safety hasn’t been overlooked with the following all being standard:
- adaptive cruise control
- Parking Assistant and the BMW Active Pedestrian Safety system
- lane departure warning
- lane change warning
- front collision warning
- cross traffic warning and rear collision prevention
Together with the launch of the 330Li, BMW Malaysia also took the opportunity to introduce the new My BMW app that replaces the previous BMW Connected app. The new app introduces a host of new connectivity functionalities for improved digital interaction with the 330Li.
My BMW will replaced BMW Connected in July 2021 and can now be downloaded for Android and iOS-enabled smartphones.
Assembled locally, the 330Li is priced at an estimated RM300,800 (OTR w/o insurance inclusive of SST). That’s a bump up of about RM14,000 over the peasant-spec 330i and RM28,000 short of a larger 520i. Variety is the spice of life.