Ride Report : 2023 BMW 330i

Old May 24, 2023, 5:24 pm
  #1  
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Ride Report : 2023 BMW 330i

Intro: This is a GXAR; however, I got it from ES/EA (it was parked in EA)

I previously wrote a detailed report on the 2022 BMW 330i and the driving feels the same. Please see the report here (Ride Report: 2022 BMW 330i).

I will focus just on the changes in 2023

Exterior: It could be that for the 2022 model year EHI bought the 3 Series with the Sport Appearance Package. The 2023 model from the front looks "weird" like it looks like it is missing something. It doesn't have that sporty aggressive look that the 2022 version had (see the photos on my other ride report).

Interior: This is the big change in 2023. The 2023 model now comes with the new large center display screen. At first I thought I wasn't going to like my instrument cluster just being a large screen on the dashboard. However, I came to really like it and it did not look weird while driving as I thought I wouldn't like it. I also had no glare issues, albeit I drove it on a rainy cloudy day. After driving this car for one day, I now think all the cars without such large displays are "old fashioned".

It also didn't feel weird that your instrument cluster was just a large tablet screen in front of you and not the more traditional design where the cluster is integrated into the dashboard.

BMW has also changed the transmission design and got rid of the "joystick". I prefer the "joy stick" as now you have to use paddle shifters and I preferred the "joystick" to shift gears.

The seats no longer come with adjustable side bolsters.

The seats are not the most well-padded seats, and that is not helped by the relatively stiff suspension on this car. In fact, I would argue the Chrysler 300 is a more comfortable highway cruiser than the 3 Series.

Tech:
The big tech change is the new iDrive software. I think the new iDrive software is a lot harder to use than the older one and a lot of useful trip data information is now buried somewhere or no longer displayed. I don't think it is because I am not used to the new OS because it only took me a few mins to learn how to use the old iDrive system. On the new iDrive after an entire day on the car I still wasn't used to it.

It's also annoying that the climate control is mainly controlled through the screen on the 2023 version.

Driving Impressions
The BMW 3 Series is in my opinion the best car in the EHI fleet and one of the best cars world wide. It drives so well and confidently. Even though this car was AWD, you really felt like the car was screaming at you to just push the accelerator around bends. The cornering for this car is first-rate.

The 2.0 Twin Turbo is extremely powerful. However, it can feel sluggish particularly when you are accelerating from a highway cruising speed.

Fuel Economy: Mix City/Highway in Eco Pro mode for most of the time was 9.1L per 100km or 26 MPG. However, a lot of the driving was going up the mountain and I did not make a conscious effort to conserve gas since the car is already pretty fuel efficient. It's possible to get closer to 8L per 100KM or 29-30MPG if you tried a bit more.



Front Profile

Side Profile

Rear Profile

New headlight design

Frontal view in a more "Everyday" setting

Front bumper -- just doesn't seem to look as good as the 2022 model

Night view

Night view

Night view

New headlight design


Trunk

Interior cabin


Legroom

Undercarriage


Instrument cluster


Driver view


Cabin view

New transmission

Interior View

Back up camera quality


Rear seat legroom



See the 2022 model below. I took the photo at the same spot. The 2023 model just seems to look better

2022 Model - it just looks a lot better compared to the above 2023 version. This was taken in the same location


My favorite car in the EHI Fleet
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huskyflyer is offline  
Old May 25, 2023, 9:55 am
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That new shifter setup is really bizarre. Seems like everyone wants to reinvent the wheel on how we select gears.
TXJeepGuy is offline  
Old May 25, 2023, 12:46 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by TXJeepGuy
That new shifter setup is really bizarre. Seems like everyone wants to reinvent the wheel on how we select gears.
I kinda wonder, does the paddle actually move to different spots for what you're in, or is it just kinda an up/down click? If the latter, makes me wonder if it'll be just as much of a disaster as the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee shifter was, where it was impossible to tell whether you had it in gear or park easily, and could miss it when trying to change.

The other thing I haven't figure out about modern car design - it seems like they all spend all this money trying to make the interior of a car look "good" (by some subjective measurement), then hand the interior off to a completely different team that then just randomly bolts tablets that look completely out of place in the vehicle to serve as display. There's like 0 effort to try to integrate it into the design of the dash, and in this particular case, it looks even worse than a lot of other designs I've seen, where's it literally looks like someone put it in as a complete afterthought - "Car looks great, check out that nice smooth new dashboard we have. Oops, we forgot to put any sort of display in, let's just bolt this ultrawide tablet in place with a couple of feet propping it into position."

The european manufacturers seem to start off as the worst offenders, but it's been catching in the US manufacturers too lately.
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Old May 26, 2023, 1:25 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by TXJeepGuy
That new shifter setup is really bizarre. Seems like everyone wants to reinvent the wheel on how we select gears.
I feel like the newer gear selector is cheaper to make than the older joy stick style one found on the 2022 model. Could be subtle cost cutting. I can't imagine otherwise what the point of this new selector is as it doesn't look any better and feels kinda cheap.

Originally Posted by cardsqc
I kinda wonder, does the paddle actually move to different spots for what you're in, or is it just kinda an up/down click? If the latter, makes me wonder if it'll be just as much of a disaster as the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee shifter was, where it was impossible to tell whether you had it in gear or park easily, and could miss it when trying to change.

The other thing I haven't figure out about modern car design - it seems like they all spend all this money trying to make the interior of a car look "good" (by some subjective measurement), then hand the interior off to a completely different team that then just randomly bolts tablets that look completely out of place in the vehicle to serve as display. There's like 0 effort to try to integrate it into the design of the dash, and in this particular case, it looks even worse than a lot of other designs I've seen, where's it literally looks like someone put it in as a complete afterthought - "Car looks great, check out that nice smooth new dashboard we have. Oops, we forgot to put any sort of display in, let's just bolt this ultrawide tablet in place with a couple of feet propping it into position."

The european manufacturers seem to start off as the worst offenders, but it's been catching in the US manufacturers too lately.
The new gear selector doesn't stay in place -- > you just push it down to D and push it up to R. I feel like it's cost cutting because I am pretty sure the older joy stick cost more to make. The selector doesn't feel expensive either. That being said, it's still better than Mercedes that is like a wiper/turn signal (can't recall what that thing is called)

Yeah I agree, increasingly these new large display design just look poorly designed and poorly integrated. Toyota is a big offender to because not only are their screens relatively cheap looking and small, they literally make like no effort to integrate it into the dash - it's just a screen inserted awkwardly on top of the dash.

That being said I think BMW did a good job because when driving I wasn't actually bothered by the large screens in the way I thought I would be. In terms of looks, I prefer the older 2022 design before they made it all into a large screen. However, when I was actually driving, I prefer the large screens. I think Mercedes and Audis are worse as for BMWs at least the screen is located up high that you can see while driving without bending down.

I feel like this screen design language is driven by 1) Tesla and 2) Cost cutting. I think auto makers now try to jam everything into the screens so they can save on physical buttons. Also, I feel like it is far easier to design and build a car with less buttons because less buttons = less wirings. In addition, a screen allows auto makers to start charging for features because they can use software to easily lock features. For example, if they removed the heated seats button and made it accessible by screen only, they can now easily charge you a subscription for it.
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