Tell me about the BMW 330

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E(whatever - from the last 5 years or so).

I think there's a 330i and a 330ci (coupe flavour?) - does/can the 330i come with 4 doors? And a 330i touring - am I right?

What's good and not so good about them? I guess I'd be looking to spend up to £15k for a decent one, if a decent one can be found for that much?

At the moment I'm not really bothered about which flavour they come in, other than it should be a 330.
 
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There is a 330i 4 door Saloon, a 330i 5 door Touring, a 330Ci 2 door Coupe and a 330Ci 2 door Cabrio in E46 form. These were available between 2000 and 2006, with the saloon vanishing in early 2005. Prices range from £4000 for a scabby dog to £15-£16k for a completely mint Cabrio.

The replacement is the E90 - which has a 330i in both Saloon and Touring form - and the E92 and E93 which are Coupe and Cabrio respectively. Prices range from £11k for a scabby dog to £45k for a brand new 335i Cabrio.

£15k should get a good one although it will be a much better SE than M Sport.

You
 
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You can get them as a coupe, 4 door and in touring guise.
Mine's a 2002 4 door auto sport with full leather.

Overall it's just an awesomely competent fast saloon. At low speeds it doesn't feel anything special, and IMO the ride is a little compromised by the sports suspension and 18" alloys. Pick up the speed and it hitches up it's skirt and is genuinely quick, with amazingly composed handling. I have managed to make out little one puke once with some enthusiastic driving. The other key thing is that whilst the acceleration doesn't feel that special at low speeds (still does the 0-60 in around 7 seconds), it just doesn't seem to stop accelerating. Whilst I wouldn't know, I'd guess it would keep pulling without any problem towards 130+ before starting to trail off.
Grip is very good (hardly surprising with 255s on the rear) and despite trying to get it's ass hanging out, I've never managed it on anything but snow. The interior is good, but not quite as well done as say a good Audi. The seats are brilliant in the sports, and are probably the best compromise of comfort/support that I've come across in any car.

Mine's an auto, and whilst some might not like them, I think it's great. It's a 5 speed unit that actually learns how you drive and adjusts it's changes to your style. So if you try to drive like a chaffeur, it'll give you lovely creamy smooth changes. Drive like a pleb, and it'll be faster, but less smooth. It does have a manual override, but frankly I don't know why anyone bothers. Works great in "sport" mode if you want to give it some pasta and allows you to not only keep both hands on the wheel, and with no clutch lets you practice left foot braking. It's a bit like driving a 1.5 ton kart.

The bad parts are the ride (which most people don't mind), fuel consumption is 20-30mpg depending upon whether you're in town or on a long run. Tyres are roughly £450 for a set of Falken 452s.
Common issues include the front bushes, but they're not that expensive. Had mine done by an Independant for £150. Servicing is every 15k, and if you're car is over 4 years old, qualifies for a discount at BMW, so isn't killer expensive to have it dealer serviced. My last mid-range service was around £250. The only real issue I've had was a failed power-steering pump at £450 (from BMW).

The only other real downside that I'd add is that it's just simply not as much fun as I'd hoped. I came from an MX5 1.8i, and the 330i runs rings around it for outright go, but it simply can't put a smile on my face like the MX5 did.

Have to say that my wife loves the Bimmer, but for me, I'll be looking at a more relaxing diesel barge next.
 
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The other option of course, is a 330d - but I've been told that diesels are awful and horrid and I shouldn't drive them anymore.

BMW diesels are apparently really rather nice as diesels go. The awful horrid diesels are the small diesels.
 
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[TW]Fox;14978557 said:
£15k should get a good one although it will be a much better SE than M Sport.

Sorry to derail the thread slightly Jono,

Fox, is the SE better suited for the E90 320d? I was under the impression the M Sport was apart from the suspension being pretty hard?
 
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M Sport is the best but everyone wants an M Sport and they hold a significant premium over an SE - often quite a few thousand.
 
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[TW]Fox;14978914 said:
M Sport is the best but everyone wants an M Sport and they hold a significant premium over an SE - often quite a few thousand.

I have noticed this, I also notice far more SE for sale on PistonHeads and AutoTrader in the last few weeks.

What do you think regarding the Suspension with the 320 M sport?
 
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A lot of people on BMWLand seem to think the M Sport setup is technically better in many ways, apparently the SE setup uses cheap springs and dampers.

However, the M Sport suspension is hard, there is no getting away from that.
 
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Gentle nudge so nickxx can't tell you about a 330d.

He had a brilliant one. I thought it was bloody superb and IMO better than a petrol.
 
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The diesel owners will always try and convince everyone who will listen that the diesel is better than the petrol.

In reality, both are excellent. The diesel is one of the best you'll find, the engine is fantastic and performance is brilliant - for a diesel. Unfortunately it shares the range with one of the best 6 cylinder petrol engines around as well, and the petrol engine is just... better, no matter how times the diesel owners pipe to point out that in a race from 60-65mph in 5th gear with a broken gearbox the diesel is 0.1 seconds quicker.

Get the petrol unless the fuel economy of the diesel is particularly appealing - the 330d is usually a choice made for the economy and then ownership is spent desperately trying to convince everyone else it wasnt and that they 'could have had a petrol!!!' if they wanted :p

But if you DO need the fuel economy of the diesel you certainly wont feel short changed with a 330d - they are excellent cars. As a result of this they are also quite expensive as well - I'd go so far as to say that with a sub £15k budget an E90 330d M Sport in mint condition (Why buy anything but a minter for this sort of money?) is unacheiveable.
 
Man of Honour
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I think the sizing of 330is are similar (if not identical) to the Z4, right? My set of Falkens was £345 delivered from camskill.com

Mine has 225*18*40s on the front and 255*18*35 on the rear. The cost was about £450 fitted and balanced. Are we comparing like for like?
 
Soldato
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Well you're looking at about 50 quid to fit and balance, so there's only £50 between the 2 prices
 
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I love the 330s. It's just a shame E46s are very common. But that can also be seen as a testiment to how good the car is.
 
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I love the 330s. It's just a shame E46s are very common. But that can also be seen as a testiment to how good the car is.

Absolutely, the same reason you see so many Focuses about and it gets reccomended so often around here.

This is purely subjective but I think the E46 had a bit of an image problem but I think they're finally loosing that now they've not been a current model for a few years
 
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