South Africa: BMW 330i M-Sport Steptronic - From the Inside Out

analysis

The all-new BMW 3-Series is bigger and wider, but lighter. It's more streamlined, smarter and more connected, too. But, like a good Easter egg, it's what's inside that fancy wrapper that really matters.

Another year, another BMW 3-Series. That's not quite true, but this most ubiquitous of BMWs has come a long way, starting with the segment-defining E30 generation, and continuing with the E36, E46, E90, F30 - and now, the G20.

The shape and size has evolved substantially along the way. Those early E30 3-Series models were boxy and chunky in a cheeky, challenging kind of way.

But over the time, the shape has softened and become more aerodynamic, while the car has grown in all dimensions - as successive generations tend to do. This latest version is 76mm longer and 16mm wider than its predecessor, but at just 1mm taller, it looks more low-slung than before.

Aesthetically, it's unmistakably BMW and irrevocably 3-Series. The design is brand new but cautiously evolutionary - not only in the interests of maintaining a consistent identity, but also to protect owners of previous models.

Side by side though, the differences between old and new are as obvious as they are significant. The...

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