Test Drive: BMW 330d

3-Series | September 23rd, 2008 by 13
3er-black-m-pack

I would like to welcome Mauro Corti as an official contributor for our blog. Since Mauro lives in Europe, he will share his passion for …

I would like to welcome Mauro Corti as an official contributor for our blog. Since Mauro lives in Europe, he will share his passion for BMWs from an european perspective and teach us more about the european bimmers as well.

Hello good fellows of bmwblog.com, my name is Mauro and I’m here to tell you more about the new BMW 330d.
Some days ago a friend of mine called me saying he had been invited to a private test drive of the new BMW 320xd on the 21st of September and asking me to share the experience; how could i refuse it ?

Test Drive: BMW 330d

When we arrived at the dealer we had a beautiful surprise, the 320xd was out for another test drive, so we had to drive a 330d… that was unfair right?

Well first of all let me tell you this: the car looks great, it is really nicer than in the photos, especially the hood and the taillights with the new LEDs; the front bumper, combined with the new frontlights with LED turn signals. All these little improvements have given the car a really aggressive look. The M-pack is simply amazing, I’ve had the pleasure to see a black sedan 3 Series equipped with it and trust me, it is really worth the money you pay for it.

So, let me share with you my opionion on the car I tested. It was a BMW 330d Titanium Silver metallic, equipped with 18″ rims, black Dakota leather, steptronic transmission, 10.3″ widescreen navigation system with the new iDrive, sport leather steering wheel, electric and sport seats.

The driver’s seat is a bit narrow, or at least it is narrow for me, but I’m 6″3 tall, so I’m definitely not the average height guy. After the initial adjustments trying to look for the perfect driving position, we’ve started to drive off slowly; the 3 liter diesel engine is amazing, every time you accelerate you feel a really consistent force pushing the car from the minimum to the red line without any turbo lag.

Test Drive: BMW 330d

The torque is really amazing (520Nm /384lb-ft from 1750 to 3200 rpm and 245bhp at 4000rpm), it doesn’t matter what gear you’re in, you can just accelerate and in a moment you will feel a really good force pushing back in your seat.

Test Drive: BMW 330d
I must say I’m not a fan of the automatic transmission, but BMW’s automatic gearbox is just THE automatic gearbox; you can start the car and accelerate to 80mph without feeling any gear change or lack of power, and this is really good because you truly ask yourself “Am I still in first gear?”.

Another really good thing about this transmission is the Sport mode; to enter in the Sport mode, you just have to push the gear lever to the left and before you can blink your eyes, the game starts, you have to reach 4100 rpm before the gear is automatically shifted and this, combined with that stunning engine, gives you a good feeling.

The car moves fast on the road, direction changes are not a problem for the 3 series, like for every other BMW as you might know by now; the grip on the road is impressive, the sport suspensions and the 18″ rims give you a good feeling of controlling the car. You can put the 330d to every turn as you like and the car will simply follow it.

Of course this will result in a bit of rigidity of the car, and you will feel it on the road bumps, but remember, the 300d was running on run flat 18″ tires, which are not the quietest or most comfortable ones, but in the end, the compromise between sport and comfort is really good.

I will not talk about the iDrive because it had already been reviewed on BMWBlog, but let me just tell you this, I think it has really been improved, it is faster and more user-friendly than the old one, which in my opinion was already old when it was introduced some years ago.

Well, that’s it dear fellows of bmwblog.com, the BMW 330d is truly a great car, so great that I’m gonna buy one soon :)

Photos source: NextAutos

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  • Clara

    If it has 245bhp, it must be the direct-injected version not available in the US (currently). 288lb-ft at 1700rpm would seem to make it somewhat similar to the 335i’s performance.

    A bunch of questions for you, Mauro:

    - Are 0-60 times available on this car for comparison (eg versus 335i, 335d and the direct-injected 330i)
    - Do they offer it with a manual?
    - Will it be available in the US?
    - What mileage does it get versus the other similar models?
    - What does it sound like? Most diesels don’t have a very pleasing noise, including the 335d

    • Dan

      Well, we have a 330d and it is truly amazing. Let’s start with the sound. It sounds like a petrol. I mean, it really does. When we first picked the car up, we thought this is the 330i !!!. From 900 – 4900 RPM (Touching Red Line) it sounds like a petrol but with a much better growl. Up to 3400 RPM on any power apart from full, it sounds like a smooth, refined petrol. Beyond there is still petrol but with more of a Lion’s and Bear’s growl, it sounds epic!!! The 0-60 time is 5.9 Seconds, with a 6 Speed Manual. (I know the BMW site says 6.1 but it is actually 5.9) It pushes you back into the seat, very firmly. 245hp, 520NM of torque which is the same torque as the new Audi R8 V10!! It pulls in any gear. Its unbelievable how well it pulls in 6th, its like its still in 4th! 120 MPH in 4th Gear and onto a Electronically Limited 155MPH. We feel this car could be capable of speeds up to and over, 170MPH. People’s dated views on diesel as tractor juice will be destroyed, given a ride in this machine. Cruising at 95 – 110 MPH on the motorway, it still returns 47MPG!! Cruise at 70-80, you will be getting almost 55 MPG!! Even when you are going like merry hell, it will not drop below 42 MPG. Diesel Economy, Petrol Performance. Well, should I compare it too a Petrol? Nah, Diesel is the new Petrol. The 30d has been praised the best diesel engine in the world. Drive one. You will see why. The Ultimate Driving machine, gets better with diesel. So far, we have done 28,000 miles in almost 12 months. It’s never missed a beat. Perfect, Perfect, Perfect. Recently, the 330d has been praised the most reliable car in the UK. There isn’t a single flaw about it. It is flawless, perfect, wonderful, amazing. If your looking to spend around £35,000 on your next car, well, I don’t need to say anything…. Personally, I dislike the M Sport Pack on it, below the headlamps, the bumper if you will, sticks out far too much, making it look swollen, like it’s just been in a fight. Side and back look great though. Do not opt for the M Sport Suspension though. Thankfully now, you can have the M Pack, but get the M Suspension removed. The SE 330d and M Sport 330d both went round the Nurburghring and the SE was almost 20 seconds faster, consistently, each lap. Looks very good in the colour Bluewater, that’s the colour of ours! In the Autocar Magazine, it came ahead of a Ferrari F430 Spider, the new Noble M600, the Lotus Evora and the Porsche Cayman S in the Road Testers choice! A Diesel!! New 3 Series has been announced for 2012, a bit bigger than the current model, and I have to say, it looks amazing! Mate that with the 40d, recently introduced in the 7 Series and X5 (xDrive40d) and M3′S, WATCH OUT!!! 306HP, 600NM of torque!!! And this is now, by then, it will be even better and more powerful. BMW all the way!

  • Mauro

    Wow finally someone interested :) I’m sorry I didn’t write about mileage, sound, performance, you’re right, I had to. Sorry, first post :)

    Well the sound is great, all bmw diesel engine have great sound, from the outside you feel it is a diesel car, it has that particular sound of course, but from the inside you get a very good feeling, BMW has made a very good job with it. Anyway you can feel it here http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=qSrUpqQApUE&feature=related

    As for the performance, 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, the 335i does it in 5.6 seconds (5.8 with automatic gearbox), the 330i in 6.1 (6.3 with AT), the 335d in 6.0 seconds.

    Here in Italy, well all over Europe to be right, it is offered also with MT, like every BMW. MT also costs less of course, and you get lower time in 0-60 without it.

    I made a TERRIBLE mistake in my review… the 330d DOES NOT HAVE 228lb-ft OF TORQUE, INSTEAD IT HAS 384lb-ft, I made the wrong conversion. I’m truly sorry about that, I’ll tell Horatiu to change the post immediately, so sorry.

    Yes, the car will come to US market, I just can’t tell you when. About the mileage, the 330d does 17.1/11.3/13.4 mpg in urban/extra-urban/combined or, for EU people, 7.3/4.8/5.7 l/100km in urban/extra-urban/combined.

    I hope I’ve been helpful, for any other question feel free to ask.

  • Mauro

    *You get lower time on 0-60 WITHOUT AT of course…

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Mauro: Mauro, changes were made and the article is in your name now :) I forgot. Great review and I really hope we will get to see a small engine diesel here in the States as well.

  • Mauro

    Thank you again, the next post will be better, as always :)

  • Clara

    @Mauro:

    Wow, thanks for doing the legwork on that.

    I am baffled though, by some of the figures. Elsewhere (in media) the 335i is tested to sub-5 second 0-60mph, but the listed times are as high as 5.6. It’s not clear if this is due to different tunings/configurations for different regions. It might also be interesting to know the weight difference, considering the diesel uses steel.

    The mileage figures are also much lower than I expected, but probably US folks are used to cars tested using the EPA standards.

    Representing figures to an international audience is apparently a complicated ordeal !!

  • Clara

    @Mauro: PS. the noise — I donno… do you really prefer it to the gas engine?

    Here’s a good one: 335d noise versus 335i. After the 335d opening, skip to 1:40 for the 335i revving. It seems to rev not only higher but faster as well.
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=E97w5rn0H0Y

  • Mauro Corti

    You’re welcome Clara, thanks to you for your interest.

    Well I have to say that I was confused like you in the period of time while my brother was thinking to buy his new car (120d), because the official 0-60 time on that car is 7.7 seconds, but many media tests said 7.36-7.4.

    I have figured out one reason for this; BMW makes a lot of car, think for a second you buy a 330d. You try it on a 0-60 shoot and get a 5.9 seconds time, while the car specifications say 5.7-5.8. If I were in you, I’d be pissed off :) How can I pay a lot of money for a car that should do 5.7 and I get “just” 5.9?

    Well, think now the opposite, you buy an official 6.1 car, you test it and get a 5.8 time… WOW!! You’re happy right? Well I guess BMW official times are a bit higher than the real ones, that’s to avoid some annoying argument with unsatisfied customer, or at least that’s what i guess.

    Anyway the 6.1 time refers to a 0-100 km/h, wich is not 0-60 mph, but 0-62, but I don’t think 2mph value more than some cent of a second.

    about hte mileage, yeah the car is tested with EU standars, I don’t know what’s the difference between EU and EPA standards, it is possibille there is a little difference. Anyway bmw diesel are really incredibly efficient, trust me, I see this with my brothers 120d.

    Well, the sound tastes are personal :) Anyway of course I prefer petrol engine sound, it’s just a simphony, nothing can match that sound, but I think BMW diesel engines have an impressive sporty sound compared to other diesel engine.

  • Mauro Corti

    Oh the weight right, well the 335d wheighs 1665kg, the 335i 1610, of course we’re talking about sedan version. This weight is referred to a base version car, no optional included, with 90% filled fuel tank, 68Kg for the driver and 7Kg in the trunk. Official BMW Italy technical data.

    Bye!

  • Mauro Corti

    Anyway if you have any other question you can also contact me at mau.corti@gmail.com, feel free to ask :)

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