I have had my 3 Series Touring for around 6 months,to say the performance is good would be understating in the extreme.it pulls for ever!,it is my fourth 3 series and without doubt the best. there is a great deal that is good about this car,but if it has one fault that would be the stupid run flat tyres,why oh why did they put this system on this car??? Otherwise a belter.
I'm sure I just had an unlucky car - but I purchased a model that was 12 months old and had repeated electrical problems.
Despite regular servicing the electrical problems kept reocurring. Given that the car was expensive to run, I got a bit sick of breaking down in the strangest of places - and this with a car with less than 10,000 on the clock. Added to this, I wasn't impressed by the way BMW dealt with the problem, so after two BMWs I bought an Audi Avant, which has proven to be a really fun drive and superb family estate.
Before the 330i I had an M3 which was a great experience. My sense looking back now is that when I started a family I thought one adapts by just buying a longer M3. It doesn't work. The M3 and 330i is, to me, first and foremost a driver's car. That's fne if you don't have kids, but people who need estate cars usually do so because they have a family and not just the driver to think about.
In my experience, this is where the Audi Avant beats the 3 Series Touring.
I have owned my 3 Series Touring since April 2006 after I traded in my Audi TT Roadster (225bhp) in anticipation of our first child. Both my wife and I have been very impressed with the way the car drives, its incredible fuel economy and general level of comfort.
The leather seats and panoramic sunroof are great options to have. I am also impressed by how effective the heated seats are - they warm up far quicker than the ones in my TT did. In retrospect I would probably have specified the automatic lights and wipers as the wiper controls are a bit eccentric.
Strangely, I think the standard metallicized plastic trim looks less artificial than the brushed aluminium. Wood just doesn't seem right in a sporting marque, although it looks a lot better with the beige seats.
The only niggles I have are with a rattle coming, I think, from the umbrella holder, and the iPod connector. Despite the Aux connector specifically being stated to be for an iPod, it was disappointing to discover that (other than volume control) an iPod cannot be controlled through the stereo, although I understand that with iDrive you can programme the system to do so. Otherwise, the stereo is fine even in basic form and just lacks the bass thump of the Bose system on my TT.
Service from the BMW dealer in Harrogate was excellent - I found out that I was not the only one to have had a bad experience of a large dealership in Leeds who had gone to Harrogate instead.
My previous car was a 318i Touring, and this car is an improvement in every area, with perhaps the exception of its styling - I am still not sure about its looks, particularly the rear end.
Performance is excellent and it seems particularly impressive when climbing motorway gradients. Economy has settled down to 46.3mpg with 47mpg or more possible on long motorway runs.
The engine is smooth and is almost as tractable as petrol engine and will pull away strongly from as low as 1300rpm. The handling is good, although the stability control comes in a little too soon for me which can spoil your fun when driving fast. I haven't had the courage to turn it off, having spun a 325i many years ago.
The interior is well designed, although I still don't find the rear leg room anything special. However, it is better than the old model. The standard radio doesn't seem very loud and it only has four speakers, whereas the old model had six and was louder. Apart from that, it's great.
The only problem to date (after six months and 18,000 miles) has been the failure of the remote central locking, which was fixed under warranty.
I would recommend this car to anyone, but have a look at the 520d Touring, which only costs another £1300 (not a lot when you're spending £26,000) and comes with many more extras as standard. It's roomier, and nearly as fast. In my opinion, it's also much better looking. It's just a shame it was released after I'd ordered my 320d.
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