2019 BMW 330i long-term update: Not for the birds

The more we drive our 330i the more we love it. Sadly, one fowl fiend isn't so fond.

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens
3 min read

I'll be honest, it's not a good time to be a car. That is, at least, if you're a car that likes to be driven. Regardless of what part of the world you're in right now, people are getting out and about a lot less than usual and finding fewer excuses to go for a drive. Our long-term BMW 330i has certainly not be exempt from that trend.

Working from home, shopping only when necessary and basically doing all the things you're supposed to do during the quarantine means I haven't been putting a lot of miles on our Alpine White sport sedan. That doesn't mean it hasn't continued to win me over, though. In my last update I put the xDrive system to the test on a series of runs to Vermont to make the most of this year's abbreviated snowboarding season. Since then, our 330i has been put to regular use hauling my dogs to the vet for their (increasingly frequent) checkups and hauling me to the grocery store to fill the trunk with another couple weeks' worth of provisions.

On those outings I continue to take the twisty route when possible and I continue to be impressed at just how solid an all-rounder this thing is. I think a lot of us in the industry give BMW's current sports sedan a hard time for being a little less raw and engaging than it used to be. The more time I spend in this car the more unfair I realize that is. The sooner you let the past be the past the sooner you start to appreciate that today's 330i is really damned good -- just like it always was.

Fun and engaging when you want it to be, relaxed and comfortable when you want to cruise. I am an unabashed fan -- a sentiment that I sadly can't apply to everyone. In fact, someone around here seems to absolutely hate this BMW.

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You see, during the most locked down portion of New York State's quarantine, a certain, overly territorial cardinal took to attacking every reflective surface on or around my house. Apparently this is relatively common behavior for nesting cardinals, where they get aggressive, swooping in and attacking their own reflections. But although I've lived here for nearly a decade, this was the first time I'd ever seen such a thing. 

Over the past few months I've been lucky to have dozens of cars roll through my driveway, various loaners for review or other evaluation. Of all those cars, only one has attracted the attention of that deranged cardinal: the 330i.

Thankfully she's not done any permanent damage to the car but boy howdy did she did make a heck of a mess on the windshield. And the side glass. And the mirrors. You have to expect a bit of bird excrement, living in the woods as I do, but she's gone well past that. My sense of decorum means I'll spare you the details, but if anyone out there has suggestions on how to discourage this kind of behavior outside of a full car cover, I'm all ears. Please let me know down in the comments. Otherwise, until then, I'll endeavor to keep the 330i it in the garage. With all the pollen still flying around that's probably for the best, anyway.

For the next update I'll be diving deeper on the car's available tech features, including how BMW Connected lets me keep an eye on the 330i regardless of where it's parked.