BMW 330d Touring: car review
A fine car that’s both entertaining and practical, but expensive.
What is it?
The all-new BMW 330d Touring is a smart and fast executive estate, yet efficient on fuel and emissions. BMW claims class-leading luggage-carrying capacity alongside a pleasing driving experience.
How safe is it?
This Euro NCAP five-star Touring bristles with passive and active safety aids. The body is 10% stiffer and you could say it would be some achievement actually to crash it.
Who should buy one?
BMW’s big-engined smaller estate cars are for drivers who don’t mind paying for their fun… and are able to justify it with all that estate-car practicality.
Our review: Good Motoring, Spring 2013
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
This is yet another BMW that is really entertaining to drive. With 258bhp, it only takes 5.6 seconds to reach 62mph and the acceleration keeps going. Combine that with the smoothness and great sound from the 3.0-litre engine and it takes a careful eye on the speedometer to avoid driving more quickly than intended or the law allows. But, even if the car never gets onto a German autobahn, it can still be enjoyed as a fine-handling and fast car within the restrictions of speed limits and safety. That’s what you pay the money for with the 330d, considering that there are cheaper Tourings with smaller engines. You can set a warning to remind you when you’ve reached a certain speed, which could be advisable.
The new Tourings are a bit longer and wider, allowing further refinement to the handling and the speed-sensitive steering, both of which are excellent. So, too, are the brakes: at gentle speeds, they are not over-sensitive to a heavy foot; at high speed they are powerful and progressive; in an emergency, they are brilliant (tried on a dry road on the test).
If a major reason for buying this car is for the fun of driving, then it doesn’t disappoint in the least: everything the car does, feels right. The sensation of creamy-smooth power is always tangible and actually adds to the sense of security. The Luxury version, as tested, has BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission, so two more gears than the previous auto ’box. The gear-changes are virtually instant and almost indiscernible, except for the change in engine note you hear if you’re going hard. The optional paddles come in handy for selecting the right gear for overtaking, or simply to make the most of the wonderful engine. Driven gently, the 330d is very quiet and is always civilised.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Rear-seat passengers have (compared with the previous model) increased knee- and head-room. In the front, there is now storage for, amongst other things, one-litre drinks bottles.
The tailgate can now be opened automatically via either the key fob, a switch on the a-pillar, or on the boot-lid itself. With the rear seats folded, 1500 litres of luggage space means what? Let’s suggest that that’s far more than is needed by two people going on holiday and will let them stock up for a very long while on their return through a Channel port!
The boot is equipped with luggage securing lugs, a pair of coat hooks, a luggage net and strap and a deep storage bay. The luggage cover can be stored under the boot floor. The rear seats have a 40:20:40 split with a large through-loading opening in the middle. The new BMW Touring also has a split rear boot opening with the window able to be opened independently.
Body stiffness has been increased by more than 10% compared with the previous model. The BMW 3 Series Touring has eight anti-skid systems. Airbags include head airbags for both rows of seats. The test car had the Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning system – which includes a collision warning system with a braking function monitored by radar and cameras – and the Active Protection Package that pre-empts a collision and readies the car’s systems.
Our test car was fitted with £11,285 worth of options included satellite navigation, the High Beam Assistant and Adaptive Headlights, the Surround view camera and Parking assistant and Active Cruise Control with a Stop and Go function. Communications from within the car are probably as good as you could have at home or in the office. Standard equipment before options may be comprehensive enough, but BMW’s latest technology or comfort features can be irresistible.
The BMW 330d Touring is not going to be cheap to run. OK, its official fuel consumption figures are impressive, although, on my drive in fairly undemanding conditions the car’s recorded 41mpg was rather less than I’d hoped for. Paying £120 a year to tax it shouldn’t break the bank. Plus points include a predicted good residual value (39.2%) over three years/36,000 miles. Consider BMW’s £350 five-year/60,000 miles servicing package.
AT A GLANCE:
Performance: 0-62mph 5.6 seconds
Insurance: Group 38
Tax: Band E (£120)
Figures for the BMW 330D Touring Luxury