Hey oxing, you are going about this purchase the way I should have - research is critical and getting as much user feedback etc. But, bear in mind that there is a ton of stuff on the internet - some relevant and some not so much, the trick is to carefully determine what is valid and what is not valid. I would test drive another 330i and see how it drives by comparison - drive as many as you can for that matter so that you can hear and feel the differences from car to car. Drove a car just like mine and the same age but with slightly higher mileage, it did not suffer from the pinking, but did have some slight hesitations or rather, drops in power through the revs, and the car just felt a bit tired compared to mine, hard to explain...
Originally Posted by doughboy
If you're not happy, don't buy it!
I had an 06 E90 330i from new, and it never made any crunching noises for sure.
There is a slight throttle delay as that N52 engine is a throttle-less design with Valvetronic, so you don't even have a throttle / butterfly to rattle.
The delay is only really noticeable at low revs if you plant your foot hard though.
Yep, mine had 46k km on the clock when I bought it just over two years ago, and very early on I noticed that horrible hesitation at lower revs when planting your foot - very disappointing and annoying for what is technically a performance car essentially. My Wife's E46 320i does not suffer from this at all, and pulls cleanly and smoothly throughout the rev range. I have read that my car's issues could be caused by a problem with the three stage intake which if I understand it properly, does what the DISA valve would do. So therefore the first or lowest stage is maybe not working properly and causing the pinking and then so is the second stage which is therefore affecting the midrage performance. It really is frustrating since BMW did have the car for this very problem and could not solve it while the car was still under motorplan. So now I have to ultimately sort this out at my own cost and this means having diagnostics run in the hopes that it reveals anything, so this is my next step and of course if anything does come up I will post about it. When this car is behaving and I am not hearing the pinking or experiencing the hesitation, it really is a magic car, but this has to be sorted out if I am going to continue owning this car!