The new BMW 330d Touring goes head-to-head with its Mercedes and Audi rivals, the C350i CDI and A4 3.0 TDI Avant. UK magazine AutoExpress takes on the task to compare the top three sport wagons in the premium segment.
BMW’s 330d Touring is powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six diesel turbo that delivers 255 horsepower. With slightly less torque than the C350 CDI, the BMW runs 0-60mph in just 5.8 seconds. Thanks to a series of fuel efficiency features, the 330d Touring has an UK MPG of 40.4.
So how does it compare against its peers?
On paper, these three desirable estates are evenly matched. It doesn’t take long with a tape measure and calculator to realise that each has been carefully benchmarked against the other. Yet in the final reckoning, the BMW takes a surprisingly comfortable victory.
While it’s barely any bigger than the Mercedes or Audi, the 3 Series is faster and sharper to drive, plus it uses much less fuel, is cheaper to tax and costs less to service.
Factor in desirable details such as the separate-opening glass tailgate, and the Touring takes a well deserved win.
Separating the Audi and Mercedes is tougher. The A4 is more engaging and boasts a brilliant four-wheel-drive system, but it also has a smaller boot and is hobbled by a firm ride – and when it comes to family friendly estates, hardcore driving dynamics should take a back seat to comfort. As a result, the refined and roomy Mercedes edges into second place.
Yet both have to give best to the BMW, which in 330d form is all the compact estate you’ll need.
|BMW 330d Luxury Touring||Audi A4 Avant 3.0 TDI quattro||Merc C350 CDI Sport Plus Estate|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£37,200/£48,505||£38,545/£42,050||£37,575/£46,080|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£17,633||£15,302||£18,224|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£1,555/£3,110||£1,832/£3,664||£1,942/£3,884|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,939/£3,232||£2,511/£4,185||£2,318/£3,863|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||38/£588/E/£120||34/£523/G/£170||41/£650/G/£170|
|Servicing costs||£350 (5yrs/60k)||£21pcm (3yrs)||£27pcm (3yrs)|
|Peak power||255/4,000 bhp/rpm||242/4,000 bhp/rpm||261/3,800 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||560/1,500 Nm/rpm||500/1,400 Nm/rpm||620/1,600 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd auto/rwd||7-spd auto/4wd||7-spd auto/rwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||57 litres/run-flats||61 litres/space saver||59 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||495/1,500 litres||490/1,430 litres||485/1,500 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.3 metres/0.31Cd||11.4 metres/N/A||10.8 metres/N/A|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs||3yrs (60k)/3yrs RAC||3yrs (unlimited)/4yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable miles (1yr)/153||Variable miles (1yr)/121||Variable miles/136|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||14th/16th||15th/18th||8th/10th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||95/84/78/5 stars^||93/84/39/5 stars^||82/70/30/5 stars^|
|0-60/30-70mph||5.8/5.3 secs||5.9/5.5 secs||6.3/6.0 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.3/2.7 secs||2.7/3.8 secs||2.4/3.7 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th||3.7/4.7/5.7/8.4 secs||5.0/6.7/10.7 secs/N/A||4.5/6.1 secs/N/A/N/A|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||155mph/1,600rpm||155mph/1,600rpm||155mph/1,600rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||64/43/61/67dB||66/44/58/68dB||69/46/60/68dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||40.4/8.9/507 miles||31.2/6.9/419 miles||33.8/7.4/439 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||187/135g/km/21%||224/162g/km/26%|
|Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensors||Six/yes/yes||Six/yes/yes||Seven/yes/yes|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/£300||Yes/yes*/£300||Yes/no/£330|
|Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go||Yes/£495/£470||£615/yes/£470||£645/yes/£930|