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      11-03-2006, 10:06 AM   #1
NFS
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2 months in - verdict on the 330i

Just realised the other day that I have had my 330i msport for 2 whole months. In that time I have clocked up almost 4000 miles - so here is my initial verdict:

SPEED

Power delivery is very very progressive - which I find means the car doesn't necessarily FEEL particularly fast. In comparison with my previous 530d (and other tdi's I've come across the 330i is NOT as fast - UNLESS you are in exactly the right gear.

I have never owned a car which liked (and needed) to be revved like this one does.

In the 530d I could stamp on the accelerator in any gear (just about) and get a 'kick in the back' feeling.

In the 330i - to get this you need to plan ahead. But when you get it right - it's beautiful. For instance - pulling onto a busy motorway in 2nd and fighting the urge to change up a gear - then spotting a gap - stamping on the throttle and barelling up to the red line at about 70 mph is a bit of a buzz.

But it isn't hectic or even particurly urgent - 'elastic' is the phrase that comes to mind - a SURGE of controlled power.

From a standing start I'm struggling a little to get the best out of 1st gear - getting a good 1-2 shift at 35mph isn't easy - so I tend to short shift into second at 25 - then let it go - bliss.

HANDLING

I was pretty nervous about runflats and pretty dissapointed at the feel of the 530d. I wanted the nimble feeling of my old 323 coupe.

I needn't have worried - the run flats are fantastically communicative - you can 'feel' the road surface change and in particular get lot's of info about the level of grip.

Turn in is also VERY sharp. So on a sharp corner where you expect some understeer - there is just isn't any.

My only gripe is the heavy level of intervention from DSC+ on bumby roads.

COMFORT

It's great - I haven't missed the space of the 530d at all. I-drive with nav and voice control is great - but people think I am mad when I talk to the car.

The sports seats are wonderfully comfortable and supportive way better than the standard seats in the 530d

ECONOMY

In a word - shocking - 24.3 mpg
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      11-04-2006, 04:36 AM   #2
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Great overview of your car for the 2 months. I can say i had driven a 330 m-sports when my x3 was at the dealer for service and i can definatley agree with you about everything you said about the handling of the car.
What is your final verdict? Do you love the car or are you more interested in, maybe 335?
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      11-07-2006, 07:19 AM   #3
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Hi NFS

Think we can compare notes on this subject, having had my 330i M Sport for a similar length of time to yourself

I haven't done as many miles as you but after breaking the 1,000 mile barrier I felt happier to push the car hard in gear to the 7,000 rpm red line ... and boy oh boy does the engine sound sweet.

It certainly has that metallicy rasp to it when you blip the throttle at idle and when you are travelling in the car the note from 4,000 rpm onwards is nothing short of wonderful ... I love it.

If you wanna cruise on the motorway, it will waft you along whisper quiet and in great comfort .. the cabin is a great place to be and all the materials you touch and communicate with like the steering wheel, gear stick and hand brake lever all feel "just right" and have fantastic quality leather.

BUT ... if you wanna have some fun ... from a standing start of accellerating away from junctions or roundabouts etc, you can floor the gas pedal and you're off like a bullet, with that engine note roaring on in the back ground, making you think you're in a race car.

I did the Palmersport event last week and after being in their cars all day and hearing all the race prepared engines and exhuast notes ... I must admit to NOT feeling disappointed at getting into my car to drive home.

The 330i "really does" have a note similar to some the Palmer race cars, when pushed, but boy did the M Sport feel comfortable with it, after all those bucket / moulded seats

I have had a few people comment on the car now, and all positive.

The colour Sparkling graphite has grown on me even more .. and the more I wash it, the shinier it is appearing to get (got the paint sealant treatment).

I keep finding new little things too ...

Like: how great the MP3 stereo system is ... the unit actuallu displays your track titles ... which makes MP3 better than regular cd's in the car .. and with me speccing the 6 disc boot changer, I have access to LOADS of albums.

The rear lights look amazing at night .. have you seen how they illuminate ?

I just thought they followed the outline of the lenses, but no, they are a cool 3 line arrangement, which you can see in the day if you look closely ... but at night how they light up looks cool .. and I like that kinda thing

Plus the illiminated door handles and subtle red lights inside the car at night whivh ever so slightly light up the gear stick area.

As you can probably see, I am delighted with the car, it looks, goes and handles brilliantly and I have nothing but praise thus far.

Just one thing, last night was a tad slippery on the roads and I felt the DSC kick in and the back end kick out slightly as I gave it a little too much gas .. so I guess thats a reminder to take it a bit easier now we are into the winter weather with what is still a reasonably powerful Rear wheel drive car.

My only problem is those alloys ... boy they are stunning to look at, but take a while to clean at a weekend I have bought an alloy wheel brush from Halford now though, to reach into the back areas of the wheels, as those openings in the alloys are "just" too small to get your hand in properly ... but the effort is worth it as I love the design.

Oh and yes the fuel mpg is a joke ... but i don't care
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      11-07-2006, 08:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris.G
Great overview of your car for the 2 months. I can say i had driven a 330 m-sports when my x3 was at the dealer for service and i can definatley agree with you about everything you said about the handling of the car.
What is your final verdict? Do you love the car or are you more interested in, maybe 335?
The final verdict is I love it.

The 530d was a great car - no doubt - but it left me disapointed.

The 330i msport gives me the fun factor I used to have in my 3 series coupes - which was what I was looking for.

335i is always going to be tempting. But I can't USE the performance of the 330i on the road as it is. I also wanted the m-sport kit and liked the purity of the traditional BMW NA straight 6.
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      11-07-2006, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Pliskin
Hi NFS

Think we can compare notes on this subject, having had my 330i M Sport for a similar length of time to yourself

I haven't done as many miles as you but after breaking the 1,000 mile barrier I felt happier to push the car hard in gear to the 7,000 rpm red line ... and boy oh boy does the engine sound sweet.

It certainly has that metallicy rasp to it when you blip the throttle at idle and when you are travelling in the car the note from 4,000 rpm onwards is nothing short of wonderful ... I love it.

If you wanna cruise on the motorway, it will waft you along whisper quiet and in great comfort .. the cabin is a great place to be and all the materials you touch and communicate with like the steering wheel, gear stick and hand brake lever all feel "just right" and have fantastic quality leather.

BUT ... if you wanna have some fun ... from a standing start of accellerating away from junctions or roundabouts etc, you can floor the gas pedal and you're off like a bullet, with that engine note roaring on in the back ground, making you think you're in a race car.

I did the Palmersport event last week and after being in their cars all day and hearing all the race prepared engines and exhuast notes ... I must admit to NOT feeling disappointed at getting into my car to drive home.

The 330i "really does" have a note similar to some the Palmer race cars, when pushed, but boy did the M Sport feel comfortable with it, after all those bucket / moulded seats

I have had a few people comment on the car now, and all positive.

The colour Sparkling graphite has grown on me even more .. and the more I wash it, the shinier it is appearing to get (got the paint sealant treatment).

I keep finding new little things too ...

Like: how great the MP3 stereo system is ... the unit actuallu displays your track titles ... which makes MP3 better than regular cd's in the car .. and with me speccing the 6 disc boot changer, I have access to LOADS of albums.

The rear lights look amazing at night .. have you seen how they illuminate ?

I just thought they followed the outline of the lenses, but no, they are a cool 3 line arrangement, which you can see in the day if you look closely ... but at night how they light up looks cool .. and I like that kinda thing

Plus the illiminated door handles and subtle red lights inside the car at night whivh ever so slightly light up the gear stick area.

As you can probably see, I am delighted with the car, it looks, goes and handles brilliantly and I have nothing but praise thus far.

Just one thing, last night was a tad slippery on the roads and I felt the DSC kick in and the back end kick out slightly as I gave it a little too much gas .. so I guess thats a reminder to take it a bit easier now we are into the winter weather with what is still a reasonably powerful Rear wheel drive car.

My only problem is those alloys ... boy they are stunning to look at, but take a while to clean at a weekend I have bought an alloy wheel brush from Halford now though, to reach into the back areas of the wheels, as those openings in the alloys are "just" too small to get your hand in properly ... but the effort is worth it as I love the design.

Oh and yes the fuel mpg is a joke ... but i don't care
I agree totally. Although on the lights - I actually bought the black lines from Chris 33 after being tempted into it at the UK meet.

The wheels are a pig to clean. I have to admit I haven't bothered with the 'back' of the rim as you just can't get to it. But I have had a good go at the accessible bits with a wheelbrush - they look so much nicer when clean.

I find the DSC is less intrusive than in the 5 series. It does permit a bit of slide and wheelspin - which is nice. My only grumble is when it activates on a bumpy road - annoying if you are trying to get the power down.

It does give that racing car feel that you're talking about. How did you get on at Palmersport.

These are my times from the last visit - nowhere near the top of the group. But still an improvement from my first try, which is what I wanted to achieve:

FPA: 1:19.890 / Top speed 110.8mph (I really want one)
JP1: 80.45
Clio Cup Racer: 40.52 (I stuffed it up)
Porsche 911 JP3: 76.5
Caterham 7 Superlight: 52.26
Nissan 350z: 40.66
Go Karts: 30.00
Nissan Pathfinder: 36 (whatever)
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      11-07-2006, 09:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed
I agree totally. Although on the lights - I actually bought the black lines from Chris 33 after being tempted into it at the UK meet.

The wheels are a pig to clean. I have to admit I haven't bothered with the 'back' of the rim as you just can't get to it. But I have had a good go at the accessible bits with a wheelbrush - they look so much nicer when clean.

I find the DSC is less intrusive than in the 5 series. It does permit a bit of slide and wheelspin - which is nice. My only grumble is when it activates on a bumpy road - annoying if you are trying to get the power down.

It does give that racing car feel that you're talking about. How did you get on at Palmersport.

These are my times from the last visit - nowhere near the top of the group. But still an improvement from my first try, which is what I wanted to achieve:

FPA: 1:19.890 / Top speed 110.8mph (I really want one)
JP1: 80.45
Clio Cup Racer: 40.52 (I stuffed it up)
Porsche 911 JP3: 76.5
Caterham 7 Superlight: 52.26
Nissan 350z: 40.66
Go Karts: 30.00
Nissan Pathfinder: 36 (whatever)

Looks like we scored win for win overall:

You thrashed me on the single seaters, but I played it safe & stayed in 3rd gear all the way round so timed in at 1.22.320

JP1 = 83.47
Porsche 911 = 73.70 (loved that puppy)
Clio = 38.94 (i was 5th overall & pretty happy with that)
350z = 41.15 = laughable considering I had one ... too busy moaning about it although it felt knackered and gearbox was hellish !
Caterham = 51.91 & 10th overall with that time
Pathfinder shizer = 32 points
Karts = 31.03

I ended up 15/68 on the day which was fairly good !

The day was incredible and that was my 3rd visit in 4 years.

The Porsche impressed me most (maybe because they were new additions) and they felt fantastic on the circuit you drove.

God I forgot how those instructors push you faster than your nerve would normally allow ... this felt especially apparent in the Clio's banging down the straight, The Porsche's down the straight with kink in it and the Jags all the way around

Truly top day though and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Like I say though, fairly impressive that I did not have that "deflated" feeling getting in my car at the end of the day after racing all those thoroughbreds round the circuit ... my pup felt ultra comfortable, sounded great (similar in sound infact to the palmer Jag 6 cylinder (or am i imagining that ?) and went like stink in the roads home
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      11-07-2006, 02:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Pliskin
Looks like we scored win for win overall:

You thrashed me on the single seaters, but I played it safe & stayed in 3rd gear all the way round so timed in at 1.22.320

JP1 = 83.47
Porsche 911 = 73.70 (loved that puppy)
Clio = 38.94 (i was 5th overall & pretty happy with that)
350z = 41.15 = laughable considering I had one ... too busy moaning about it although it felt knackered and gearbox was hellish !
Caterham = 51.91 & 10th overall with that time
Pathfinder shizer = 32 points
Karts = 31.03

I ended up 15/68 on the day which was fairly good !

The day was incredible and that was my 3rd visit in 4 years.

The Porsche impressed me most (maybe because they were new additions) and they felt fantastic on the circuit you drove.

God I forgot how those instructors push you faster than your nerve would normally allow ... this felt especially apparent in the Clio's banging down the straight, The Porsche's down the straight with kink in it and the Jags all the way around

Truly top day though and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Like I say though, fairly impressive that I did not have that "deflated" feeling getting in my car at the end of the day after racing all those thoroughbreds round the circuit ... my pup felt ultra comfortable, sounded great (similar in sound infact to the palmer Jag 6 cylinder (or am i imagining that ?) and went like stink in the roads home
Good stuff - the porsche time is excellent - anything in the 73's is very quick.
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      11-09-2006, 05:26 PM   #8
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Smile

It was a fantastic day and hope to go again next year.

Out in the 330i again today and giving her some boot round the country roads ... what a great all-round package the pup is

Hope you loving your Black pup as much as i am my Spark Graph ... my fuel economy is taking a pounding though, as I keep getting the urge to push the engine to 7,000 rpm ... just to hear that musical instrument which is stashed somewhere under the bonnet (wow)
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      11-10-2006, 07:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Pliskin
It was a fantastic day and hope to go again next year.

Out in the 330i again today and giving her some boot round the country roads ... what a great all-round package the pup is

Hope you loving your Black pup as much as i am my Spark Graph ... my fuel economy is taking a pounding though, as I keep getting the urge to push the engine to 7,000 rpm ... just to hear that musical instrument which is stashed somewhere under the bonnet (wow)
It is addictive. I'm a bit worried I am going to break second gear - since I seem to use it more often than anything else. I was near Barnsley yesterday where there is a collection of about 10 roundabouts on 5 mile stretch of de-restricted dual carriageway. It's a LOT of fun, but most of that 5 miles was in 2nd gear - accelerating up to the redline at 65mph.

So how come you stayed in third in the single seater at palmersport?

You get a much better burst of speed when you exit the 2 slower corners in 2nd. When I first went I didn't hit the rev limiter in third at all, but the second time I realised that you need to do about half of the circuit in 4th.

I did scare myself a serious amount though. I came out of the slow corner about half way round the west circuit in second like a rocket (not the one at the end of the pit straight - the other one). There were 3 cars on the short straight between there and the next corner, one was being flagged to allow overtaking, but I managed to belt past all three on the inside ().

The next corner is a left right combination - which I managed to crack in the JP1 - the secret is to brake hard for the first turn, then come out fast accelerating hard toward the grass. The second corner is more gentle and the car will go round it a lot faster than the first.

I managed to get this right - so I exited pretty quickly and needed 4th almost immediately.

I was so pleased with my little series of driving that I forgot which gear I was in. If you remember the last 2 corners can be taken flat out in third. Justin Wilson took them flat out in 4th on the pro-lap.

Forgetting I was in 4th I planted my right foot on the accelerator and went into the first turn 'a little hot'. When the car started squirming I rapidly realised I wasn't shuey and that I was on my own about to lose it at 100mph

Managed to hold it together though, but I seriously eased off on the final corner.

The moral is - use all the gears - but remember which one you are in !

PS - someone did 78 secs in the JP1 on the day I was there and they jokingly offered him a job as an instructor.
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