The BMW 330ci was a model in BMW's 3 Series line available from 2001 to 2006. BMW classes the 330ci a "compact executive car". During its production, the 330ci was offered as a coupe and convertible and represented the top of the line of 3 Series coupes.
The BMW 330ci was powered by a 3.0-litre inline 6-cylinder engine in a front engine/rear-wheel drive configuration. BMW gave this engine the code M54B30. This engine offering was an upgrade over the previous 2.8-litre engine in the BMW 328. The 3.0-litre engine was rated at 235 horsepower and 222 feet-per-pound of torque. It allowed the 330ci to achieve 1 to 100km/h times of around six seconds.
The 330ci was built on BMW's E46 platform. The car has a 107.3 inch wheelbase and is 176.7 inches long, 69.2 inches wide and 54 inches tall. BMW equipped the 330ci with a 16.6-gallon gas tank.
When BMW initially offered the 330ci in 2001, it came with a long list of premium features. These included 17-inch alloy rims, silver headlight trim, oversized brakes and a steering system with more power assist than in previous 3 Series models. BMW also used titanium front spoiler trim on all 330ci coupes to distinguish them from other 3 Series models.
In mid-2001, BMW engineers made a series of changes to the steering and drivetrain of the 330ci. Negative customer feedback figured prominently in this change, and BMW offered to retrofit existing 2001 330ci cars with this new system free of charge. BMW offered 18-inch wheels on the 2002 330ci. That model year saw the introduction of a tire pressure monitoring system. For the 2003 model year, BMW made the moon-roof option mandatory for all 330ci cars and the "ZZP" premium package mandatory for all 330ci convertibles. These mandatory "options" helped the 330ci retain its status as a premium offering and the flagship model of the 3 Series line. BMW offered the 330ci with a six-speed manual transmission in 2004, but made few additional changes before the 330ci was discontinued in 2006.
The 330ci sold well throughout its time of production. Critics saw the car as a good combination of performance, luxury, affordability and prestige. As the top of the 3 Series line, BMW included many of its newest features in the 330ci, including a Harman Kardon audio system with 12 speakers. The 330ci also met and exceeded high safety standards, helping BMW's overall safety numbers. Initially priced near £26,000, the 330ci has, like most BMWs, held its value well. In 2005, BMW revealed its fifth generation of 3 Series cars based on the new E90 platform. The 335i and M3 took over as top-of-the-line models.
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