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Comparison: BMW 330d Touring vs. Mercedes C350 CDI vs. Audi A4 3.0 TDI Avant

3-Series, Featured Posts | November 7th, 2012 by 11
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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 …

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?

Verdict

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.

Full review can be found here

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
Depreciation 47.4%/£19,567 39.7%/£23,243 48.5%/£19,351
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)
Length/wheelbase 4,624/2,810mm 4,699/2,808mm 4,606/2,760mm
Height/width 1,429/1,811mm 1,436/1,826mm 1,459/1,770mm
Engine 6cyl in-line/2,995cc V6/2,967cc V6/2,987cc
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
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,680/550/1,800kg 1,725/570/1,900kg 1,760/530/1,800kg
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
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 48.1/35.0/8.8m 45.9/33.7/8.6m 46.7/34.6/9.2m
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
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 44.8/62.8/55.4mpg 40.4/54.3/47.9mpg 38.7/52.3/47.1mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 9.9/13.8/12.2mpl 243/154g/km/24% 8.5/11.5/10.4mpl
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
Sat-nav/DAB/USB/Bluetooth £1,550/£305/yes/yes £1,695/£305/£255/yes £495/£335/yes/yes
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  • Manchester Man

    Obviously the 3er wins, it is the bread and butter of BMW.

    • auaq

      With ice cream and some potato crisps on top of it, and a horse. Lovely recipe!

  • Manchester Man

    I really don’t understand why bimmerpost.com get way more comments on there when this site is more interesting.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      Cause it’s a forum and lots of +1, LOL, :)), you suck, Hell Yah! etc..take those out, and you see how many left. We’re not the TMZ of the automotive world, rather have fewer comments, but higher quality and also if possible with User Profiles and Facebook photos so we know who the users are.

      Different approach, they are a forum, we’re a somewhat professional BMW magazine. They wanna be us, we don’t wanna be them.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      Oh, and we were really the first BMW-focused site to relate news the way we are. They even stole our design a few years back from the previous one we had. And I can keep on going, but not worth it, we have a great team, we produce great content and will continue to do so.

    • Horatiu

      Wanna see how pathetic they are? They just ran the story on this and used THE SAME leading photo we did, which wasn’t even part of the article, but rather a photo by a German magazine when they did their own review. They didn’t even bother change that.

      • ManniMan

        Haha yep I just seen it. Honestly I have realised over the months that this site has a lot more exclusive news and photos than bimmerpost. They have many trolls on there making daft comments, like you said. Theres not even a rating system for their comments, this site separates the men from the boys.

  • -hh

    Of the three, the BMW is the only one that has a chance of being available in the USA with a manual transmission. Of course, that also means that it comes with the burden of run-flats too. The rest of the question comes down to how does each actually feel behind the wheel. Given that the new 3er’s console is excessively “busy” with lots of buttons by comparison, one might be inclined to add the Acura into such a comparison.

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  • 2fast4u2

    Which result and comments do you expect on a BMW blog? Senseless comparison! ;>

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