After nearly a full year of driving, it's hard to level criticism at this Bimmer. It does everything so well, and every aspect is so solid, it's scary. You might complain about a lack of knee-room in the back, but you'd say the same about every other car in this segment. One guy complained about the dashboard's look and layout, how everything is black, blas, and somewhat cold. Maybe the controls aren't as invitingly tactile as, say, an Audi's, but I'd also argue that this is signature BMW, where form unwaveringly follows basic function. The buttons and controls do the job with minimal fanfare.
One reality, and I've said it before, is the car's cost. BMWs are not cheap. The base MSRPs are not cheap. Options are not cheap. And servicing or fixing these cars outside warranty is definitely not cheap. Then again, there's the old adage: you get what you pay for. Cars will, inevitably, break down, but in the time we've had it, the 330i has been solid-absolutely no problems.
More illustrative of the 330i's quiet magnificence is the driving. Because of the rear-drive layout and three-stage traction control, it has the potential to be much edgier than any all-wheel-drive competition. If you so desire, you've got the option of driving tail-out everywhere you go. Not that it would necessarily make you much faster, but it can be a heck of a lot of fun. -Karl Funke