Now in its seventh edition, the G20 3 Series is more grown up, projecting a look that is stylish and sporty at the same time.
To maintain its push towards electrification without diluting the brand’s well-known driving dynamics, BMW Malaysia has introduced the G20 330e M Sport plug-in hybrid to continue the march of the previous generation F30 330e M Sport made appealing by its overall offering and attractive hybrid tax breaks.
Exuding a beefy appearance, the G20 330e gets the M Aerodynamics package with plenty of “M” designation badges included, automatic adaptive LED headlights, high-gloss Shadow Line trimming, high-gloss chrome exhaust tailpipe finishers, front ornamental grille in high-gloss chrome and 18-inch wheels with runflat tyres.
Inside, the G20 330e is plush, spacious and gets a dashboard that is angled towards the driver for a sporty feel.
Other features include the 12.3-inch BMW Live Cockpit instrument display, 10.25-inch touch sensitive centre display, M fixtures and fittings, powered front sports seats with driver memory function, front door sill finishers, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, M-specific metal pedals and Leather Vernasca upholstery.
The locally-assembled G20 330e also gets the BMW ConnectedDrive system and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant that is voice-activated by the prompt sentence “Hey BMW” and helpful in setting certain functions like navigation setting or infotainment selection.
While getting a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine similar to the F30 330e’s, the unit in the G20 330e delivers 10Nm more torque at 300Nm while power output remains the same at 184hp.
The enhancement in the electric drive system is more pronounced in the G20, now featuring an electric motor the churns out with 113hp and 265Nm of torque compared to the F30 330e’s that delivers 88hp and 250Nm of torque.
The G20 330e’s larger lithium-ion battery pack also allows a longer electric drive range of 56km and top electric speed of 140kph that far exceeds the F30 330e’s 35km and 120kph respectively.
With the XtraBoost feature that that temporarily adds 40hp when activated, the total system output of the G20 330e deals a healthier punch of 292hp and 420Nm of torque to deliver a 0-100kph sprint of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 230kph.
In comparison, the F30 330e’s total system output of 252hp and 420Nm of torque still delivers a respectable 0-100kph dash in 6.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 225kph.
Even with a heavier and bigger mass to push, the fuel consumption of the G20 330e fuel efficiency is still a lowly 2.2 litres of petrol per 100km or 0.1 litre more than the F30 330e’s.
Real world fuel consumption is definitely higher than claimed due to driving style, drive mode settings and traffic conditions, among others.
The G20 330e’s boot capacity of 375 litres is still very useable, though it’s 105 litres less than that of the non-hybrid G20 3 Series to provide space for the high voltage battery.
Another item is that the G20 330e gets a smaller fuel tank at 40 litres compared with non-hybrid G20 variants.
Although the fuel tank size is akin those in 1.5-litre B-segment family cars, the G20 330e should be able to get around 500km of driving distance before the refueling warning sign lights up.
Compared with non-hybrid G20 variants, the G20 330e looks very much alike except for the “e” designation on the boot lid, the electric charging port door flap on the left front wing of the car and brake calipers painted in blue.
Driving the G20 330e is similar to regular BMW except the car takes of in electric vehicle mode which is eerily quiet.
The engine does not fire up until you reach higher speeds or when you slam on the accelerator for the want of more power.
The engine start up is smooth and so is the eight-speed Steptronic Sport Transmission that up shifts seamlessly even during hurried driving.
Drive mode selections of Sport, Hybrid and Electric are conveniently located on the centre console near the gearshifter for easy reach.
Meanwhile, the adaptive suspension ensured a ride that is firm enough to handle high-speed runs and fast cornering with much confidence while still being comfortable enough while going over rough roads and potholes.
Even at speeds above the legal limit, the cabin remains quiet with good aerodynamics of 0.25cd and ample sound insulation to keep wind noises from intruding inside.
Despite tilting the scales around 1.8 tonnes of which the high voltage battery takes up more than 200kg, the G20 330e doesn’t feel too heavy and is still agile.
The steering feel is the typical BMW signature fashion - precise with plenty of feedback.
Being a hybrid, the G20 330e seems to lull you into adopting a more conscientious driving style unlike a M-specification or other high-performance BMW variants that usually yell go faster.
But when the need for speed arises, the G20 330e delivers with satisfying results.
The G20 330e credibly builds upon the foundation of electrified fun and frugal driving pioneered by the F30 330e for the 3 Series line-up.
It also get the latest safety features such as Driving Assistant with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, front collision warning with brake intervention, cross traffic warning with rear collision prevention and reverse assistant.
Available body colours are Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Portimao Blue, Mineral Grey and Sunset Orange with interior Leather Vernasca upholstery of Black or Cognac.
Its on-the-road without insurance and without SST price of RM264,613 is very tempting, considering the amount of presence, technology and performance included.
BMW 330e M Sport
Engine: 1,998cc, BMW TwinPower, twin scroll turbo, high-precision direct injection, double Vanos, variable camshaft control
Maximum power: 184hp from 5,000-6,500rpm
Maximum torque: 300Nm from 1,350-4,000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed Steptronic Sport with paddle shifters, rear-wheel drive
Electric motor output: 113hp at 3,170rpm
Electric motor torque: 265Nm from 0-3,170rpm
Combined output: 292hp/450Nm of torque
Hybrid battery capacity: 12kWh
Fuel consumption: 2.2 litres per 100km
Acceleration (0–100kph): 5.9 seconds
Top speed: 230kph
Top speed (fully electric): 140kph
Electric power range: 56km
Charging time to 100%: 3.4 hours using BMW i Wallbox at 3.7kW/16A
Tyres: Front 225/45R18, rear 255/40R18
Fuel tank: 40 litres
Features: Airbags, Adaptive LED headlights, Dynamic Stability Control including Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, anti-lock braking system with Brake Assist, Start/Stop button, eBoost function, Adaptive LED headlights, M Aerodynamics package, Adaptive M suspension, leather Vernasca upholstery, M-specific pedals, variable sport steering, multi-function steering wheel, parking assistant with reverse assist, comfort access with contactless opening of boot, ambient light with 11 predefined lighting designs, rain sensor, automatic air-conditioning with three-zone, heat and sun protection glazing, power front seats with memory function for driver, Driving Assistant with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, front collision warning with brake intervention, cross traffic warning and rear collision prevention, BMW ConnectedDrive Services including Intelligent Emergency Call, Teleservices, BMW Digital Key and Intelligent Personal Assistant, BMW Live Cockpit Professional with full digital 12.3-inch instrument display, BMW Navigation System Professional with 10.25-inch touch sensitive display, Bluetooth/USB connectivity, wireless charging, ISOFIX child seat points, HiFi loudspeaker with 205W and 10 speakers, 18-inch M light alloy wheels double-spoke style 790 M Bicolour with mixed runflat tyres
Price: RM264,613 on-the-road without insurance and without SST