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lensman

BMW 330d e90 manual

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Hello all,

Thought Id write a quick review of my manual E90 BMW 330d which I got just recently.

Ive had an Audi A3 1.8T which has served me very well now for the last 7 odd years. Its been a great car for me, I remember the day when I bought it, all sparkling metallic denim blue (still think its a great colour) being all nervous about spending several thousand pound on it. Ive had a very happy >100K miles with it, its had its fair share of problems, expensive to repair some things, some things I repaired myself learning a lot in the process! :) I had a little blip with it when I got myself a brand new Golf GTI mkV, which I just didnt get on with very well (amongst other things, it was just more of the same and more expensive to run) and sold just over a year or so later and went back to my A3. After > 100K miles with it, it was time to move on...

Well after much thought went for a bmw 330d e90. This was a choice made by my head rather than my heart, based on being practical, economical and still fun when I wanted it to be (also the reason why I went for a manual rather than an automatic)

Well, after 3 odd weeks with it, Im loving it more and more! Firstly cant say driving a BMW has made me feel that other drivers are being any less friendly/kind out on the roads, I am allowed out of side roads just like as before. Maybe its because I seem to have mastered the use of the optional indicators? ;) though they are bloody weird and need some getting used to!

But the way it drives is what is most amazing, the steering wheel is more heavily weighted and really inpires confidence as you know what the front wheels are doing. The car feels better planted on the armac, the more balanced weight must be why, feels much better under cornering and braking, you feel less weight is being loaded onto the outer wheels in corners, even though I know the car is much heavier! It rolls far less, the suspension is more supple, although the jury is still out on the run flats (more about these later), but small price to pay for the general feel of the car. Its also very adapt at hiding its size and weight, often feels like its somehow contracted around you, feels just as small is the Audi A3 was (I havent yet ripped the wing mirrors off...will it be only a matter of time?? ;) )

The torque is impressive, it is truelly wonderful how it can accelerate 30-50, 50-70 in the blink of an eye! The power delivery is very linear, (the Audi A3 was chipped and its power delivery was a great shove once the turbo spooled up at around 3K rpm and then tapered of once you got to 5K rpm) in the 330d I put my foot down and think hmm... but then when I look at the speedo...WOWSERS Im going faster than I thought! Its different, less apparent speed and more relaxed cruising feel to the engine. From just below 2K upwards you get this relentless wall of torque that just seems effortless in the way it accelerates, once you get to 3K rpm it really does feel like the beast under the hood has properly woken up and goes right round to 5K, very different to 4pot diesels Ive driven! Soundwise, the engine has a deep rumble to it at low speeds sounds like its barely trying (in fact Ive tried sticking it into 5th or 6th and the car happily carries on going with the engine idling!) and as you accelerate that low rumble builds into a roar, very nice indeed! +++ At idle is the only time it reminds you it is a diesel after all and then mostly when its just been started and hasnt warmed up!

'A real revelation this engine is...hmgghgg!'

:bow:

What else? Ah ok the seats take a while to get used to, you sit lower in the car in a more reclined position, but once I'd got the position sorted out (why cant BMW put rachet type adjustments in is beyond me!), its very comfortable. (way more than the A3 ever was!) Much better back seats both access and comfort and the boot is massive! it even has an under floor cubby hole for other stuff you dont want being flung around whilst you're driving. Nice and roomy overall, easily takes 4 adults with baggage and sports gear in the boot

Running it also cost less than the Audi A3, tax is cheaper, insurance is a little more, service costs appear to be similar. It is amazing that a car this size and turn of pace can get (a realworld, fillup calculated) 37 mpg on a 30/30/30 mix of stop-start/b-roads/motorway driving, with over 40 mpg on a motorway run (not driving at 50mph either!)

Any downsides, well if Im being picky... The offset clutch pedal took some getting used to, but now that I have cant say I notice it, cluth pedal is light enough in traffic. I guess Im not sure about are the run flat tyres, they do make the ride jittery over smaller indentations in the road surface, they tramline quite a bit and getting a puncture will be expensive! :o I guess Im not looking forward to winter ice/snow but we'll see it is manual so might not be too bad (here's hoping!)

Overall Im very happy, in my opinion the BMW 330d e90 really is all the car you'd ever need, I would recommend it to anyone that wants a car that will do it all, but, most importantly makes you smile each and every time you drive it! I know I do! :grin:

Wow what a novel, hope I havent bored anyone to tears....

Edited by lensman

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Good review mate. Glad you are enjoying the 330d. I had an E46 330d and the driving experience was great. I now have an E90 320i - I would have loved another 330d but funds didn't permit - and I agree that that the E90 is a great overall package.

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The E90 is superb.

I have had two now, 335i m-sport auto touring and then the 320d m-sport auto touring, so couldn't be more different engine wise but both as good as each other in their own way.

I have been looking for an LCI 330d touring again recently, it is the one car I would swap my E320cdi for, just a brilliant combination of economy, power and driving fun.

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A timely review so cheers for that, looking around for a 4 door saloon myself and the 3 series diesels are on the radar, so this is really helpful.

Tone

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Incidentally I'm afraid that you'll find it utterly useless in the snow.... but hey thats all part of the fun!

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Guy, what are BMWs like to drive with winter tyres in the snow? I've just been offered my old BMW back from the owner. To say I'm over the moon would be an understatement.

Lesman - Great review and welcome to the dark side!!

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They're great, before I got my winter tyres for the A6 I was using the 123d on winters which seemed a bit strange, a Quattro that was useless and a RWD 1 series that drove like the roads were just wet.

Tyres are everything when it comes to the snow.

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Guy, do you have the brand/type of winter tyres you used? My S8 has 4x 285/30/20 Michelin Pilots x4 and was unstoppable in any sort of snow so interested to try winters on the Bimmer.

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Thanks for your comments, really liking the car, now with spring firmly here and summer on the way, looking forward to many a mile in it!

Gizze: Would have loved to go for an LCI 330d e90, but didnt fancy spending twice as much for it! I am likewise interested on what winter tyres you went for? RFL or normal? would like to purchase some during summer...

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I had Pilot Sport 2's on the A6 Quattro and it was better than FWD and certainly better than RWD but still not a patch on the RWD 1 series with winters on.

I then put Dunlop Winter Sports on and it was amazing, really, really was just like driving on wet roads.

I bought them off ebay for £320 for the set with around 6mm on them in 235/45/17s, in fact still have them sat on a set of 17" Audi wheels in the garage, but will sell them next winter.

I would just buy whatever is cheapest off ebay, and if you buy now there are some bargains. £150 for all 4 etc.

Re the LCI, there does seem to be a massive premium doesn't there, so much so I think I am going to hold off for a while, still love the E320cdi, so will just use it for another year, then when my daughter is 18 next year give her the Aygo and get something else to replace that, the Merc is good for another 10 years and 200k miles and it will still be a cracker then as well.

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Guy, what are BMWs like to drive with winter tyres in the snow? I've just been offered my old BMW back from the owner. To say I'm over the moon would be an understatement.

Lesman - Great review and welcome to the dark side!!

Mate has a E39 530i touring with winter tyres. It was better in the snow than the Allroad with 19" summer tyres on. He could drive anywhere.

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Great review. Get it re-mapped mate - your love will grow 10 folds :)

Not sure how you managed to get 50mpg!!! :confused:

The best I ever did was 36MPG in my manual 330D....I guess it is down to the auto box leaving the car in lower gears for more of the time...

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Well sorry to hear you fell out of love with the E90 330d and after only two months of ownership!I have owned my Manual 08 E92 330d since last August and am still very much in love.As you said in your original review the engine is fantastic and for a diesel has a nice deep soundtack.In fact i chopped my 123d 3Dr Hatch for my 330d and engine wise there is no comparison.Just out of interest did you test drive a 123d or a 120d before going for the Golf TDi?

I have Bridgestone rflt's and do a fair mix of driving but find the E92 as much fun as you want it to be.I know rflt's are not everyone's cup of tea but you can always change them for some decent standard rubber.Did you not consider that when you had to change the rflt?

As for the manual box yes they are notchy,the 130i and the 123d were the same but i still love it,in the way it feels rather untamed and single minded!

Did you not check the manual box out when you test drove the car?

As already said a set of winter tyres transforms the cars handling when the white stuff is upon us,as they would with any car.37mpg is about my average and am more than happy with for a 3ltr diesel.

I will be having the 330d remapped at Evolve,for £399 it seems criminal not to,so really looking forward to summer and lots more driving pleasure.

I would sum up the 330d as a class act..:eclipse:

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