If you’re longing for the good ol’ days of naturally aspirated engines, here’s a blast from the past. The E90 was the final BMW 3 Series to offer powertrains without forced induction. Such was the case with the N52B30 fitted to this 330i xDrive pushed to the maximum on the Autobahn. Being a pre-2007 car, its straight-six mill was rated back in the day at 255 horsepower and 300 Newton-meters (220 pound-feet) of torque.
The 2006 330xi featured here was built a year before BMW changed the engine. It upgraded the sports sedan to a more potent N53B30 with 276 hp and 320 Nm (240 lb-ft). Even though it’s a 16-year-old car with the lesser engine, this E90 can still hold its own on the German highway. In fact, the 3 Series had no issues in reaching 260 km/h (162 mph) on an unrestricted section of the Autobahn.
The 330i is in great shape, albeit we’d revert to the stock exhaust as the quad setup is too flashy for a non-M car. The matching interior door cards and upholstery still look good, and we can say the same about the wood trim. Then there’s the sound delivered by the six-cylinder engine, which is hard to match in today’s world of turbocharged engines.
The 330i E90 Is Still A Performer, Although A Bit Of A Gas-Guzzler
However, it’s worth pointing out the N52B30 is quite thirsty if you slam on the accelerator pedal. A closer look at the fuel gauge shows the needle dropped by a quarter during the high-speed run. With gas prices reaching unprecedented levels in most parts of the world, a NA engine isn’t the wisest choice for a budget-conscious buyer.
Nevertheless, the 330i is still a compelling choice since it has a punchy engine, all-wheel drive, and a decent amount of kit. You can have one without having to break the bank, but upkeep is another story. As the saying goes, there’s nothing more expensive than buying a cheap used car.
Source: TopSpeedGermany / YouTube