BMW 3 Series Coupe (2006 - 2012)

5
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5
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4
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5
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5
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3
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5
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330d M Sport Coupe auto

reviewed by rpa on 30 September 2010
5
Overall rating
5
How it drives
5
Fuel economy
4
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
4
Cost of maintenance and repairs
4
Experience at the dealership
5
How practical it is
4
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

Agile, reassuringly quick, economical and pretty

I bought a new 530D (e39) in May 2003 and kept it for 7 years - it was quite quick and very comfortable, things change, kids leave, large car no longer required. The 5 was the best car I'd ever owned so I looked at the new 5 series - or mini 7 series if you like - I didn't like it. I saw the new 2010 (face lift I guess) and liked it very much, after a test drive I liked it more. I ordered a 330D sport auto and the factory delivered in 6 weeks. It has Pro SatNav a few other extras and the standard 18" runflats. I had avoided the bling 19" wheels as they seem to crack very often and BMW blame the owner. I had doubts about runflats and I still do but I cannot fault them for road holding and ride. If I'm honest they seem to ride some terrible roads better than the 530 did - perhaps the car being a lot lighter helps.

Driving the 330 has been a revelation it feels light, responsive and quick in a way the 530 never managed - but that's as it should be I guess so why am I surprised?

I considered the 335 but the petrol engine drinks too much and the diesel does too, compared to the 330D - the difference in performance wasn't worth the extra in my view. Also, because of the separated exhaust pipes on the 335's you lose boot storage space.

The performance is impressive - and running the auto in sport mode makes a significant difference to the car's behaviour it goes very quickly - from a standstill will make you smile and the grin will get wider when you kick down at 30 or so to overtake or get a shift on - great!

I've driven 1800 miles and it's returned 40.3 according to the car and 39.2 according to my calculations (topped off fuel tank on each fill and miles recorded) - on a longer run the computer said over 50mpg - but I've been doing a mix of driving which probably leans to urban rather than motorway (on which I always use cruise control when traffic density allows for economy and comfort)

Amusingly if you are in cruise and have cause to accelerate sharply it disengages and puts a message on the satnav screen with a slight quality of the rebuke about it - oh well!

The seat belt is offered to you when you get in, I have noticed that if you move the passenger seat back to place something in the back foot well then the non-existent passenger is also offered a seat belt when you subsequently start the car - so maybe the software has a bug or is it a feature? I can't see why it ignores the seat occupancy sensor in this situation - perhaps BMW will read this and tell me!

I have a few issues with the poor PDI I got at Stephen James in Sidcup, they missed several things. The first was the extra power socket I had ordered. BMW forgot to put it in, and when I pointed this out to Stephen James they spent several days trying to find out from BMW if it should have been in there (they did check the order and catalogues several times first) Stephen James told me it may have been deleted as an option and BMW did not help them out - I can't say that impressed me at all - in the first instance that BMW forgot to put it in and in the second place that Stephen James' PDI missed it.

The second little problem was the tyre pressures, they are supposed to be 37psi front 39 psi back. On a whim I tested them after about a week they were 54 and 52 on the front and 48 and 44 on the rear - I was stunned by that - of course no one was responsible!!

Get the additional USB, it's great - an 8 gig stick will give you lots of tunes and they appear on the screen after you select external devices or speak "usb" using voice control. The I-Drive is pretty straightforward to use and whilst some items are a bit buried in the menu levels it is pretty natural to use.

Using BMWonline could be better explained, strangely the phone capabilities need a separate manual but the I-Drive and BMWonline don't get one and some of the options described in the manual are slightly different in practice, particularly true of BMWonline. Why the manual is not available for display on the screen in the car(which can be split vertically) is beyond me. Slightly irritating is the use of LHD model diagrams in the British English manual (maybe the Brits can deal with it so they produce one manual for UK and US markets?)


The poor PDI and miss-build have not detracted from my enjoyment of the car - it is a superb drive, beautifully balanced, goes rounds corners on rails and is very quick when required. Its pretty to look at too.

If you're trying to decide whether to or not - do it - you won't regret it

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About this car

Price£27,055–£42,195
Road TaxD–K
MPG31.0–60.1 mpg
Real MPG79.9%

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