i was openly conflicted in my last dispatch on our long-term 2022 bmw
330e xdrive regarding its pros and cons, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a champion in the snow. much of that credit goes to the nokia
n 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.