Much of that credit goes to the Nokian snow tires that grip the road like galoshes, but fortified with all-wheel drive, our 3 Series is a well-sorted snowmobile. I confidently drove through slick conditions on Christmas Eve as darkness fell and the well-documented storm that snarled holiday travel for most of the country picked up. Bomb Cyclone? Not a problem for this Bimmer.
I had to try to put a wheel wrong, usually engaging in purposeful understeer on snow-covered side streets. But when the chips were down and I was dialed in with the family onboard, this 3 Series delivered, tackling those sort-of-plowed but still messy and maybe/probably icy surface streets where the speed limit is 45 mph and some people do 55 and some do 30. Our 330e never lost its composure.
Conversely, I had more slippage when testing the 2022 Acura Integra A-Spec with front-wheel drive, all-season tires and a six-speed manual transmission in better conditions a couple days later. The Integra was fine, actually, and using the brilliant manual transmission was enjoyable in winter. It’s less a commentary on the cars than on the capabilities of snow tires and all-wheel drive. It’s all about how much snow you get and how much confidence you require in the winter. Living in Michigan, if I were to buy a sport sedan, I would get snow tires and lean toward all-wheel drive. BMW’s xDrive system is excellent.
While I have been irritated at the 330e’s short electric range and small fuel tank, it’s a respectable highway car. After yet another fill-up, I set out for a holiday gathering on the other side of town. I estimate I achieved something close to the EPA’s 25-mpg combined rating on gasoline, with the range indicator dropping even less than the amount of miles traveled. This 3 Series is more usable as a highway car than for around-town chores when the electric batteries are drained. Keep it charged up, and the opposite is true.
Additionally, the highways were clear and the storm had passed, so I could enjoy driving the sedan in sport mode, taking note of the communicative steering feel and taut chassis. From a functionality standpoint, the trunk is small, but I was still able to get a collapsible wagon, gifts, treats and other holiday wares in the trunk.
And like I’ve said before, the 3 Series is among the best sport sedans you can buy. As mentioned, it also shared space with the Integra in my driveway for a few days, and the 3 Series is more comfortable for daily driving, even when accounting for the Acura’s A-Spec gear.
With more time behind the wheel of the 330e xDrive, I’m liking it more, though its small bladder and short electric range remain a source of frustration. That said, it is a strong winter sled that pulled through during one of the nastier storms we’ve seen in the past decade.
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