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      11-23-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
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First time BMW owner - F31 330d M-Sport review

So for years I have driven used, mostly higher powered Japanese cars - they are crazily reliable and between 95-2005 I would say they outdid European cars in most areas, other than style/luxury of course. My first car, a 91 CRX vtec had an all ally engine about a decade before Ford started advertising '16v' as a technical marvel on its 4 pots!

However challenged with finding the fastest, sporty, car that would be both practical, and realistic as a company car proposition, I was somewhat surprised to see that the 330d wasn't just a good choice, but no matter how I worked the maths it was basically the only choice. The only way of not becoming a BMW driver was to order something that used less fuel, and moved more slowly.

I will say that I never had any predjudice against BMW myself, but here in the UK at least it is a fact that many people do. But you know what? That's their problem! I'm very happy with this car.

Spec:

Black
M-sport
HKs
Adaptive Suspension
Pro-Nav etc
Internet
BMW Apps
Tinted Windows
Reversing Camera

Looks
Certainly a better looker in the flesh than in photos. Odd how some cars just don't look as exciting in photos. Mine is black, so of course it only looks good if very frequently washed... But I have to say that I prefer the tourer to the sedan. Somehow the sedan is a bit stubby looking, the tourer looks more powerful somehow. Either way, I agree with most people that in the flesh the F30/F31 is better than many feared, a lot better. Lastly, the square bonnet shut lines really don't show up as they do in photos, it was something I thought would bother me, I don't even think about it.

Interior
In M-Sport with hex trim and blue trim finisher, it looks and feels very businesslike and focused in there. I personally think the contrast red stitching on the straight sport model is perhaps more 'sporty'. But overall the m-sport trim is exactly what most drivers will want and appreciate. Comfort-wise it's pretty close to faultless, the seat adjustment will be more than sufficient for just about anyone and everything else is typically well thought through and sensibly laid out as in other German cars. The general quality of assembly and choice of materials is very high, it's a quality product for sure. My only criticism is that BMW use quite poor leather for standard trims, and unless you want to pay a lot more that's what you're stuck with. Frankly I'd rather they put an extra £500 on the price tag of the m-sport and replaced 'Dakota Leather' for something a little finer. Audi leather seats are considerably better for a comparable price.

Technology
Standard gear includes all you would expect and not much that you wouldn't. The chassis however does come with a number of exciting tweaks such as electronic diff, self drying brakes, all the various stability and traction programs and the full range of efficient dynamics systems. There is a lot 'under the hood' so to speak that many won't think about, but it all goes towards making the new 3 series, in my opinion, very good value for money. These things are often forgotten when comparing a 3-series to other cars in the class.

Of particular mention is the 'new iDrive' system. I borrowed an old 5 series with the older system (the first with favorite buttons I think) and it was good. The new infotainment system is outstanding though. 3D maps, wikipedia articles about POIs as you drive past them, very accurate voice control etc etc. I could go on, for a very long time about all the features. Suffice to say that you will probably end up getting more than you expected when the car arrives. The new style screens are also very good and do not suffer glare at all.

The 'Amazing??' Engine
So here we have a 6 cylinder diesel that we're told has no noticeable lag, revs to 5500rpm and as freely as many petrol cars. And we're to believe that is uses considerably less fuel than a 328, is faster and many would say sounds better... For many these claims are hard to believe. Yes it does it on paper, but can it really feel as good, or better even, than it's closest petrol sibling? Have we genuinely reached the point that even a serious and passionate petrol head can consider diesel?

I think that's exactly what BMW have achieved. For a long time now their diesel engines have been the best on many technical levels. But they were still diesels, they were still the choice of someone who wants to save money and sacrifice a little purity. But now, driven back to back, I can say hand on heart that BMW have solved every historic problem with diesel engines. It's not just fast in a straight line and when rolling, it accelerates from standstill with a violence you wouldn't believe any turbo car could pull off. There really is no lag to speak of. Partly this is down to the new turbo technology, lag really isn't a factor anymore for any twinscroll turob BMW, and partly it's because the twist provided off the line by a 6 cylinder is considerably better than a 4 cylinder. Whatever speed you're doing, acceleration is immediate and very smooth.

Talking of smoothness, the new gearbox is also a star and a feather in BMWs cap. For a while many cars had pointless 6th and 7th gear auto boxes and the result was a lot of gear shuffling and a feeling that really things were better back when most autos had 4 or 5. Finally BMW prove that the number of gears can be increased to help efficiency and acceleration, without the box acting like it's still learning to drive. Also I'm happy to report that changes (both up AND down) are very smooth indeed.

Speed wise expect the car to rocket toward 125mph with no let-up at all, in a very smooth and effortless manner. If you want to go faster still acceleration will start to wane a little but that is to be expected in any car without a lot higher bhp output. That said it is very obvious that if you were so inclined hitting the max limited 155mph would not take that much longer. It's a properly fast car.

Worth remembering for anyone thinking of ordering, that the 330d is now very close in day to day driving to the the current M3. In performance terms overall the M3 is still far superior for a number of reasons - but it's worth bearing in mind just how fast the 330d is now. You are buying a car that is substantially faster than most other cars on the road. Even if most wouldn't expect it. It is an amazing engine, well done BMW. It's a proper game changer.

The ride, the drive
One thing I'm surprised reviews haven't picked up on is how much more compliant the m-sport ride is compared to the old models. The 5 series I drove for a while crashed and bounced all over the place when presented with even a small pothole - BMW deserved their 'back-breaker' reputation. Yet here we have a car that handles just as well (although the new steering is not ideal for the purist) but manages a perfectly acceptable ride. In my car, in comfort setting, it actually could be described as comfortable. Impressive consdiering it's still rolling on run-flat tyres.

The adaptable suspension is also very good. It doesn't so much make the car firmer, as more reactive to heavy cornering and general road/traction conditions. It's very subtle, but it works with everything else to make the car feel much more taught in sport/sport+ mode. The best demonstration is to drive round a large empty roundabout in comfort until the car feels a little wallowy, then swap in to sport - immediately you feel the car push itself back level, dig in and ask for a bit more throttle. It's nice to feel technology come together so well like that. I drove the demo car without the adaptive suspension which was also a very good all-rounder, but I would say the extra level of flexibility offered by the adaptive option is well worth it.

Harmon Kardon
Very punchy bass which is what most people ticking the option will see as a mark of quality. I'm a bit of an audiophile and would say that at high volume, the bass soon starts to interfere with the mid-tones, but overall for a £600 option the system is staggering value. And yes, very loud and very punchy! There is no doubt that most boy-racers spend a lot more on after market gear to achieve a lesser overall result.

Perhaps the best reason to go for the HK option though is that the current standard BMW system is actually very weedy. That's probably because most people these days have placed convenience above quality reproduction of music, which is fine. But if you like it loud and strong, you need to tick that box. As a bonus you get very smart looking HK speaker grills all over the car. Nice touch and certainly suits the punchy character of the 330d.

Other stuff...
I have of course skipped all the boring practical stuff. Yes it has a big boot blah blah, we can assume it will be as good and generally slightly better than its predecessor or equivalent older models from Audi or Mercedes in just about every practical consideration. And you can be just as sure they will claw back an extra 3mm legroom and 7 litres of boot space when they update. It's safe to say it won't disappoint - but then if you're speccing the 30d model you probably won't be swayed by such things anyway. If you had your sensible hat on you would have chosen the 320 ED.

In conclusion
I'll start with the cost.. As specced my car was a few quid short of £42,500. That's quite a lot for a cart that starts out at £37k. Should BMW just put the £2k pro-nav option in it's cars as standard? I sort of think so, on the basis that not many people will want to spend this sort of money on a car these days and then use a paper roadmap! But I see that niether Audi or Mercedes include nav as standard either, so perhaps they all figure if they can charge they should.

It's also impossible to ignore the fact that if I had wanted xenon headlights, electric seats (should be standard!!) and few other common options that many comparable cars have as standard, the car would have been over £45,000. That's a lot of money for anyone that started out picking up a 3-series brochure seeing prices start at £25,000.

But really my review is overtly positive for good reason: It's a fantastic all rounder, and the focused drive most will expect is still all there - as much as it is in any modern car. I feel good driving it as I know it's capable of more than most would expect, and I personally enjoy the performance very much.

The thing I like most of all though, is that BMW have successfully managed to solve all the lingering issues I had with diesel, and they have proven how good an auto box can be in a sporty car, and they made a sporty car that can also be very comfortable. It's amazing that they have delivered all these things in a single new car - making it probably one of the best new cars money can buy. So long as you have quite a lot of money to spare if you want more than a radio and seat that moves around on ratchets.

Thumbs up - you should all tell your bosses that you work hard and deserve a 330d, not a 320d

Last edited by movietub; 11-23-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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      11-23-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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Very well written there!

Congrats on ur purchase!
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      11-23-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Thank you for your thorough, thoughtfully-written impressions. Had there been an F31 330d M-Sport to choose from here, that would have been my top choice.
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      11-23-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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Nice write-up, thanks for taking the time to put your observations on paper, or should I say "on the screen". Diesels don't seem to be as popular here in the States as they are in Europe, but with all the recent improvements by the auto companies, maybe that will change.
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      11-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndDown View Post
Nice write-up, thanks for taking the time to put your observations on paper, or should I say "on the screen". Diesels don't seem to be as popular here in the States as they are in Europe, but with all the recent improvements by the auto companies, maybe that will change.
With more and more diesels coming to the US market it's definitely changing.

I was just reading up on what Mazda is doing with their new Skyactiv diesels... low compression and 5200rpm redline. 170hp/310tq. And they'll be sold in the US! Not that I want to buy a Mazda.

But it's good to see the "mainstreaming" of diesel here in the states is happening now, it can only mean (hopefully) more options from BMW with car manufacturers trying to out-innovate each other.

I love my 335d but maybe I'll get to trade it in on a F31 330d wagon at some point.
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      11-24-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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This is the 2nd post regarding the 330d being so fast. What are the performance specs on the new model? I drove the previous generation engine and had a 535d, but it sounds like the new engine is even faster.
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      11-24-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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How are the brakes on your car? I know that was one of the big gripes of the E90/E92 335i cars is that they had horrible brakes.
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      11-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #8
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Nice review I'm not sure I agree about the negative feelings towards BMW still being the case in the UK though; the 'BMW driver' thing was perhaps prevalent up until maybe 5 years ago, but more recently I think there's a lot of respect for the brand now.

With all the praise coming in for BMW recently, from owners and the motor press - even from Top Gear, who were in the past a bit anti-BMW, with their praise for e.g. the 1M and M5 and M135i - and the fact that they're clearly making the best-in-class cars for performance, fuel consumption and emissions, and obviously the drive; coupled with their very positive presence at e.g. the London Olympics this year, I think these days those thoughts are mostly gone?

As Jeremy Clarkson said a few years ago - the old cliche of a 'BMW driver' is perhaps now the new Audi driver; and the new driver/owner of a BMW is now often just someone who appreciates the drive, rather than just the badge. This has certainly been my experience both on the road and in conversation - generally speaking, of course! There will be exceptions to both.

I think the types of people interested in BMW now have changed - generally speaking - as the cars and the brand itself has changed. I hope others agree! Because such feelings aren't deserved now

And when people do still hold those prejudices, it's usually because they know nothing about cars, and have just picked it up from elsewhere; so as you said, what that minority thinks (wrongly) isn't of importance anyway

Just my opinion as another UK BMW enthusiast - sorry to hijack your thread
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      11-25-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thud View Post
With more and more diesels coming to the US market it's definitely changing.

I was just reading up on what Mazda is doing with their new Skyactiv diesels... low compression and 5200rpm redline. 170hp/310tq. And they'll be sold in the US! Not that I want to buy a Mazda.

But it's good to see the "mainstreaming" of diesel here in the states is happening now, it can only mean (hopefully) more options from BMW with car manufacturers trying to out-innovate each other.

I love my 335d but maybe I'll get to trade it in on a F31 330d wagon at some point.
One thing that diesels have in their favour in the US market in the SUV/exec car sector is that most manufacturers are making most progress with 6 & 8 cylinder blocks. Whereas petrol has gone the other way, with all the money going in to blown 4 pots. No secret you guys like cylinders!! So if you want to hang on to the 6's and 8's, in a few years time more and more people are going to find diesel not just the most sensible, but in fact the only option.

Especially as far as Euro cars go.
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      11-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbs View Post
How are the brakes on your car? I know that was one of the big gripes of the E90/E92 335i cars is that they had horrible brakes.
I drove a 330d SE and the brakes felt very different to the m-sport. Perhaps they just 'felt' different and were the same, perhaps it was just me that day...

But for sure, my 330d msport has very good brakes for standard. Plenty of feel and certainly enough stopping power to do the job. They also feature self drying system, which shows they take stopping seriously.
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      11-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
Nice review I'm not sure I agree about the negative feelings towards BMW still being the case in the UK though; the 'BMW driver' thing was perhaps prevalent up until maybe 5 years ago, but more recently I think there's a lot of respect for the brand now.

With all the praise coming in for BMW recently, from owners and the motor press - even from Top Gear, who were in the past a bit anti-BMW, with their praise for e.g. the 1M and M5 and M135i - and the fact that they're clearly making the best-in-class cars for performance, fuel consumption and emissions, and obviously the drive; coupled with their very positive presence at e.g. the London Olympics this year, I think these days those thoughts are mostly gone?

As Jeremy Clarkson said a few years ago - the old cliche of a 'BMW driver' is perhaps now the new Audi driver; and the new driver/owner of a BMW is now often just someone who appreciates the drive, rather than just the badge. This has certainly been my experience both on the road and in conversation - generally speaking, of course! There will be exceptions to both.

I think the types of people interested in BMW now have changed - generally speaking - as the cars and the brand itself has changed. I hope others agree! Because such feelings aren't deserved now

And when people do still hold those prejudices, it's usually because they know nothing about cars, and have just picked it up from elsewhere; so as you said, what that minority thinks (wrongly) isn't of importance anyway

Just my opinion as another UK BMW enthusiast - sorry to hijack your thread
Sure - I don't agree with the prejudice (any prejudices in fact) and the stigma is not as bad as it once was... But plenty will see still see any german exec car, and still particularly the beemer as a cocks car. It's getting better, but these people will always exist. But yea the cars and brand have plenty of reasons to deserve respect. You can turn round and tell anyone these days that your decision to buy the BMW has nothing whatsover to do with the badge. There are so many other reasons that make complete sense - bottom line, it's an above average car. That's what swung me!
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      11-25-2012, 12:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328inGE View Post
This is the 2nd post regarding the 330d being so fast. What are the performance specs on the new model? I drove the previous generation engine and had a 535d, but it sounds like the new engine is even faster.
0-62 in 5.6 (so I'm guessing 0-60 in 5.5) and of course 155mph limit.

Current 330d has the same engine as in the 535d, same power figures but max torque comes in a lot sooner. And the car is lighter. And the gearbox is far better. So quite a difference actually.

I ran a 535d for a little while and it was a very quick car by general standards. 330d now feels a little quicker, but most notably it feels 'zingier', very light and revvy for a diesel.
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      11-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movietub View Post
Sure - I don't agree with the prejudice (any prejudices in fact) and the stigma is not as bad as it once was... But plenty will see still see any german exec car, and still particularly the beemer as a cocks car. It's getting better, but these people will always exist. But yea the cars and brand have plenty of reasons to deserve respect. You can turn round and tell anyone these days that your decision to buy the BMW has nothing whatsover to do with the badge. There are so many other reasons that make complete sense - bottom line, it's an above average car. That's what swung me!
Definitely; but I think my main point was that before perhaps there was reason for such prejudice to exist, as the brand did undoubtedly attract a certain type of person/driver as part of its customer base. I personally think that isn't the case anymore, so the bit of prejudice that does still exist is just based on the past, usually held by the uninformed, and just isn't warranted anymore, so can be completely disregarded. Agree that any prejudice - whether representative and true or not - shouldn't be there though!

To be honest, you can get many 'average' cars these days - Mondeos, Citroen people carriers, Peugeots, hell even Kias - for at least the £24k starting price for a 3 Series, and often more, with the 3 Series obviously being the much better car (specific needs and practicality aside), even for economy, and not even considering higher residuals. So, as long as that person is driving the car because they appreciate it, and not just because of the badge, then the only assumption being made should be that they make very good buying decisions

Anyway...onto the subject of brakes; I didn't spec the M Sport brakes on my 330d; my 135i has uprated brakes as standard (fixed caliber 6-pot on the front I think), which are sublime. I wonder if I'll be underwhelmed going to the 330d standard brakes?
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      11-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
Definitely; but I think my main point was that before perhaps there was reason for such prejudice to exist, as the brand did undoubtedly attract a certain type of person/driver as part of its customer base. I personally think that isn't the case anymore, so the bit of prejudice that does still exist is just based on the past, usually held by the uninformed, and just isn't warranted anymore, so can be completely disregarded. Agree that any prejudice - whether representative and true or not - shouldn't be there though!

To be honest, you can get many 'average' cars these days - Mondeos, Citroen people carriers, Peugeots, hell even Kias - for at least the £24k starting price for a 3 Series, and often more, with the 3 Series obviously being the much better car (specific needs and practicality aside), even for economy, and not even considering higher residuals. So, as long as that person is driving the car because they appreciate it, and not just because of the badge, then the only assumption being made should be that they make very good buying decisions

Anyway...onto the subject of brakes; I didn't spec the M Sport brakes on my 330d; my 135i has uprated brakes as standard (fixed caliber 6-pot on the front I think), which are sublime. I wonder if I'll be underwhelmed going to the 330d standard brakes?
Agree 100% about the old prejudices no longer mattering even if they do linger on.

So for the brakes... As per my earlier post I felt there was a noticeable difference between he brakes on 330d se demo and my 330d m-sport. I actually didn't realise the m-sport came with different brakes, but others suggest it does and it sounds like you have just confirmed as much.

If there is time perhaps you should see if it's still possible? I say that because the brakes on my car are very good, but not amazing. I simply have no complaints. Were you to give me a sub 6 second 0-60 car with lesser brakes, I may raise an eyebrow... Got to remember it's heavier than the 135 and not actually much slower at all in terms of real world driving.

By the way, if you have the ballsy 135 already, what made you go for the 330d? Most peoples 'second car' tends to be some sort of eco-effort to balance out the car they really enjoy driving
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      11-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movietub View Post
Agree 100% about the old prejudices no longer mattering even if they do linger on.

So for the brakes... As per my earlier post I felt there was a noticeable difference between he brakes on 330d se demo and my 330d m-sport. I actually didn't realise the m-sport came with different brakes, but others suggest it does and it sounds like you have just confirmed as much.

If there is time perhaps you should see if it's still possible? I say that because the brakes on my car are very good, but not amazing. I simply have no complaints. Were you to give me a sub 6 second 0-60 car with lesser brakes, I may raise an eyebrow... Got to remember it's heavier than the 135 and not actually much slower at all in terms of real world driving.

By the way, if you have the ballsy 135 already, what made you go for the 330d? Most peoples 'second car' tends to be some sort of eco-effort to balance out the car they really enjoy driving
Thanks, I will have a think and decide on the brakes tonight Though I have a feeling I may be 'tearing about' less in the 330d with it being a more relaxing and comfortable drive, so save for emergency stops (rare, and when the guy behind you is likely to drive into you anyway!), perhaps they're unneeded for normal day to day use?

I'm actually getting rid of the 135, dealer is part-ex’ing it for the 330d. Few reasons really: it's time for a more comfortable drive, and the adaptive suspension looks to be great, with the option of it also being sporty when in the mood; better economy; brand new generation which is a lot nicer inside, and more tech, feels like a more mature and higher quality car; engine more effortless with the torque etc.; 4-doors for practicality; the E82 will soon be updated relatively soon, at which point it will feel <7 years old, and may drop in value considerably; deal at 3.9% for the F30 was brilliant, and I also got a good part-ex price an they paid off my finance; so not many reasons not to do it really! I also had a 335d E92 before, which tbh I missed because of the torque and longer wheelbase, it felt more planted and solid; with the new 330d engine, the performance won't be far off that, and even more economical.

The F30 is also the first 4-door BMW I've ever been interested in; it looks fantastic with the sweeping lines, and the almost coupe-like stance. For me it's time to move on to something a bit more comfortable and refined, and it seemed like a good time to do it :-)
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      11-25-2012, 01:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
Thanks, I will have a think and decide on the brakes tonight Though I have a feeling I may be 'tearing about' less in the 330d with it being a more relaxing and comfortable drive, so save for emergency stops (rare, and when the guy behind you is likely to drive into you anyway!), perhaps they're unneeded for normal day to day use?

I'm actually getting rid of the 135, dealer is part-ex’ing it for the 330d. Few reasons really: it's time for a more comfortable drive, and the adaptive suspension looks to be great, with the option of it also being sporty when in the mood; better economy; brand new generation which is a lot nicer inside, and more tech, feels like a more mature and higher quality car; engine more effortless with the torque etc.; 4-doors for practicality; the E82 will soon be updated relatively soon, at which point it will feel <7 years old, and may drop in value considerably; deal at 3.9% for the F30 was brilliant, and I also got a good part-ex price an they paid off my finance; so not many reasons not to do it really! I also had a 335d E92 before, which tbh I missed because of the torque and longer wheelbase, it felt more planted and solid; with the new 330d engine, the performance won't be far off that, and even more economical.

The F30 is also the first 4-door BMW I've ever been interested in; it looks fantastic with the sweeping lines, and the almost coupe-like stance. For me it's time to move on to something a bit more comfortable and refined, and it seemed like a good time to do it :-)
You've made a wise decision if you want an occasionally sporty, but always easy powerful car. The adaptive suspension is very good indeed and the lazy, easy, torque just eats the miles.

The standard brakes will of course be fine, it's not as if BMW are going to risk an above average accident problem for the sake of giving the car adequate brakes. That said, if you're coming out of a 135 i'm assuming your going to drive the 330d pretty hard on occasion. And whilst the standard brakes are safe enough, they will probably spoil your fun by fading too early. I'm assuming that's why BMW uprated the brakes on the m-sport, because they know what sort of driver is likely to buy one. They don't go on about it in the brochure so can't be a marketing ploy. I had no idea the brakes on the SE were lesser until I test drove one.
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      11-25-2012, 01:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by movietub View Post
You've made a wise decision if you want an occasionally sporty, but always easy powerful car. The adaptive suspension is very good indeed and the lazy, easy, torque just eats the miles.

The standard brakes will of course be fine, it's not as if BMW are going to risk an above average accident problem for the sake of giving the car adequate brakes. That said, if you're coming out of a 135 i'm assuming your going to drive the 330d pretty hard on occasion. And whilst the standard brakes are safe enough, they will probably spoil your fun by fading too early. I'm assuming that's why BMW uprated the brakes on the m-sport, because they know what sort of driver is likely to buy one. They don't go on about it in the brochure so can't be a marketing ploy. I had no idea the brakes on the SE were lesser until I test drove one.
Good to hear, thanks I'm really looking forward to the car, it's a big change for me, and with lots of new tech as well

Do you think the bite and actual stopping performance of the M Sport brakes and standard 330d brakes will be very similar (and also not very different more the 135i brakes), but that the main noticeable difference will be the fade? If so, I could probably live with that, if it just means they're still good performers, but I can't use them hard for as long. If I don't get the brakes, it means I can get the HUD, you see
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      11-25-2012, 01:43 PM   #18
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I enjoyed reading your review, it was well-written.
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      11-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #19
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Good to hear, thanks I'm really looking forward to the car, it's a big change for me, and with lots of new tech as well

Do you think the bite and actual stopping performance of the M Sport brakes and standard 330d brakes will be very similar (and also not very different more the 135i brakes), but that the main noticeable difference will be the fade? If so, I could probably live with that, if it just means they're still good performers, but I can't use them hard for as long. If I don't get the brakes, it means I can get the HUD, you see
The reduced fade will always be the greatest benefit of bigger brakes, but also the level of bite did feel greater in the m-sport.

But from 80mph, were both cars to brake at full force, I bet both cars would pull up in a very similar difference. The bottom line is no matter how wimpy the brakes are, if they're strong enough to lock up the wheels the rest is largely down to the ABS etc systems. Bigger brakes are of a bigger performance benefit than safety - so long as the original brakes are not dangerously inadequate.

I look at it this way - great suspension and brakes is easily the equal of an extra 50bhp in the real world. You don't need to go so fast if you can always brake later and turn faster.
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      12-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #20
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Hey there, nice review.

I'm interested in your real world economy. I generally trudge up and down the motorway - my daily commute is a 70 mile drive, 60 of which is on the motorway, most of that is between 60-70mph due to traffic conditions.

I'm hoping to be able to get a 330D but may have to roll for the 320D if the economy is bad. I'm hoping for 50mpg from the 330 - hopelessly optimistic you think?
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      12-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nmidia View Post
Hey there, nice review.

I'm interested in your real world economy. I generally trudge up and down the motorway - my daily commute is a 70 mile drive, 60 of which is on the motorway, most of that is between 60-70mph due to traffic conditions.

I'm hoping to be able to get a 330D but may have to roll for the 320D if the economy is bad. I'm hoping for 50mpg from the 330 - hopelessly optimistic you think?
I would think driving on longish distances on the motorway, consistently and smoothly, at 60mph, would be pretty much the sweet spot for economy; so I don't think you'll have much trouble achieving 50mpg in these conditions; though I can't say for sure as my car isn't quite here yet, but my gut feeling is this should be very achievable...
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      12-08-2012, 02:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
I would think driving on longish distances on the motorway, consistently and smoothly, at 60mph, would be pretty much the sweet spot for economy; so I don't think you'll have much trouble achieving 50mpg in these conditions; though I can't say for sure as my car isn't quite here yet, but my gut feeling is this should be very achievable...
Yeah, my gut is telling me 50 is achievable. Hopefully the OP will post back his MPG. I read a long term test yesterday, which mentioned everything but the economy. Useless review without that fundamental bit of info. Made me wonder if BMW had gagged them!
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