2021 BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21

A car that ticks more boxes than almost any other

Ruben Mellaerts Written by Thursday, 07 May 2020 11:40
2021 BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21 - road test 2021 BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21 - road test 2022 Ruben Mellaerts and Drive-My EN/UK
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Additional Info

  • Year: 2021
  • Body: Wagon
  • Cd/Cx: 0.27
  • Type: Petrol
  • Battery: 48 volt
  • Engine: 2.0-litre L4
  • Fuelling: Injection
  • Aspirate: Turbo
  • Power: 255bhp @ 6500rpm
  • Torque: 400Nm @ 4400rpm
  • Drive: RWD
  • Trnsms: Automatic 8-spd
  • Weight: 1575kg
  • Economy: 39mpg
  • Speed: 155mph
  • 0-60mph: 5.9sec
  • Price: £46,000

Once upon a time, BMW was like your favourite pizza place. It may have only made one thing in various sizes – in this case, rear-wheel drive sedans, coupes, etc – but boy did it do it well. Since then it has successfully diversified its offerings, but in doing so took its eye off the ball a little in terms of its core offering.

2021 BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21
2021 BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21

Following the universally accepted excellence of the E46 3 Series, the E90’s runflats ruined the ride and the F30’s standard suspension was all over the shop. BMW’s latest attempt at a small premium sedan, the G20, is much more like it, a real return to form, and adding a bit of extra sheetmetal in the form of a wagon body does it no harm at all.

It adds a fairly substantial 105kg to the kerb weight, though BMW claims that increases the 0-62mph (0-100km/h) sprint by just 0.1sec to a still brisk 5.9sec. The upside of this extra heft is an additional 30 litres of boot space (510L) and an expansion to a useful 1510L with the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats stowed.

As an everyday car, the 330i Touring couldn’t be more appropriate. The 255bhp (190kW/400Nm) 2.0-litre turbo four is frugal, with enough zing to plug gaps in traffic, the eight-speed ZF auto (ZF 8HP) is completely unobtrusive, and the steering thankfully lacks the syrupy weight of some of BMW’s other recent efforts.

BMW 330i Touring M Sport [UK-spec] (G21)
BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21

Even with adaptive suspension being standard, the ride is quite firm. It pays dividends once the pace is upped and the corners arrive thick and fast, but will any buyer subject this family wagon to a weekend thrap? Possibly not, but they should. The car I kept thinking of while driving the G21 330i Touring was the M135i hatch sampled recently. Don’t judge a book by its marketing; the non-performance model steers far more sweetly, displays better balance and is much more responsive to throttle and brake inputs. Gentle understeer is the prevailing characteristic at the limit but it’s easily adjusted to.

However, so capable is the chassis that it’s crying out for more power and the B48 in its ultimate guise has more to offer, producing 225kW/450Nm in the M135i. That would separate the 330i Touring from its competitors while still leaving plenty of space up to BMW’s six-cylinder ‘40i’ models.

It would also help justify a price tag that’s a little on the steep side. The 330i is well equipped, but is a tough sell for family duties when the similarly powered X3 30i offers (slightly) more space and all-wheel drive for a couple of grand less. Of course, the wagon is quicker, more fuel-efficient and better to drive, which makes choosing from the traditional menu a no-brainer.

BMW 330i Touring M Sport [UK-spec] (G21)
BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21 - engine - A fine example of BMW’s traditional core offering, but could use more power – 330is Touring, anyone?

BELOW Only a firm ride detracts from interior comfort, but it pays off in the twisties

BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21
2021 BMW 330i Touring M Sport G21 - interior

 LIKE + : Quick; frugal; the practicality of a wagon; enjoyable to drive

 DISLIKE - : Could use a bit more grunt; a little pricey; slightly firm ride


ENGINE 1998cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo

MAX POWER 190kW @ 5000-6500rpm

MAX TORQUE 400Nm @ 1550-4400rpm

0-62MPH (0-100KM/H) 5.9sec (claimed)

WEIGHT 1575kg

PRICE $75,900 4.0

Rating 5/5


Ruben Mellaerts

Test drive editor

581 Points


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Comments (3)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

So a basic 2021 G20/G21 BMW 3-series (with lots of extras but no M3 - just a 4 cylinder) now costs about 70k $. Meanwhile the criminal thieves at central banks are lying to us telling "there is no inflation" and manipulating the CPI index to not include car prices (or house prices).

Alastair TEST Clements
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

My smile 330i just 4-cylinder engine - when 1982 320i E30 was a 6-cyl inline and engine displasement was correct to model ined[ 320i - 2.0-litre, 323i 2.3... even E46 index correct

Maxus Noavakov
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

2002 BMW 330i E46 (manual) (intercooler, forced induction,cool air intake,twin turbo, headers, race cat(illegal btw but whatevs), race cluch and tranny, pirelli pzeros, and of course no suspension upgrades needed!) mine will even kill a new m5 and almost smoked a Ferrari F430 last week

Shelby Glenn
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