Have owned this car for about 8 months & really like it - comfortable, quick & quite economical - average 38mpg on my normal urban route rising to about 50mpg on the motorway. Accommodates the family with ease although boot space is a bit limited & is slightly awkward in shape.
My only gripe - the standard Michelin Pilot runflats - they are noisy & horribly expensive to replace. Have recently replaced with F1 Assymetrics & a can of tyrefoam just in case ! Better ride, less noise & just as much grip.
I do keep thinking though that I should have gone for the 330 !!!
This is my second 320d Touring, I currently have an 06 160bhp. The interior in this version is really high quality, with less areas of cheap plastic than my 03 version. The engine is fantastic, both powerful and very quiet, you hardly tell it is a diesel except for the lower red line on the rev counter. The handling is good, but fairly firm with the normal suspension (most noticable on undulating motorways). My normal commute is stopping and staring for 2 drop offs plus 10 miles on free flowing motorway each way and I am still averaging arround 38-39. With 2 isofix car seats in the back there is no room for a third person, otherwise it is a great family car. Great for carrying all the necessary gear of a young family and still put a smile on the driver's face.
Had a 330d M Sport which I traded in for a 535d SE Touring and have now gone back to the 330d but in SE trim. M Sport not for me - too many compromises; overly firm suspension, road noise and paranoia from catching the kerb when parking nose first due to lowered suspension. 535d just too big and engine not as refined as single turbo 3 litre.
Now have the ideal compromise of performance (car & driver in US got 0-100 in 15secs which is 2/3rds the time for a 320d and shows the perofance gap) and economy - just done a 200 mile run at varying speeds and got 45mpg without trying. always get about 40 but don't do lots of town driving.
Space is fine - for those who say it's too small read the brochure - it says how big it is and it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out if it's too small for your needs (re-phrased, your mistake, not the car, live with it).
Not really had much of a problem with tramlining but it does happen. I blame big wheels & fat tyres as much as anything as have seen the problem before on cars sans run flats.
Agree with previous comment about repair of run flats - can't have punctures fixed as repair kits don't use same compound rubber. This has to be fixed as more and more cars use run flat tyres - BMW take note.
Have had or driven Audi, Mercedes etc (not X Type as looks awful and is pretending to be a jag when it's really an old Mondeo in drag) and nothing compares to the 3 series unless you need a load carrier - in which case get the 5 series!
Things I like: - Sports seats with memory - panoramic sunroof, which brings a lot of light into the interior on dull days - bluetooth connection, which works brilliantly - i-pod connection to the stereo which gives you full functional control from the head unit Things which could be better: - the parking sensors are no way near as good as VW's. On my VW the beeps started earlier and sounded further apart at the beginning, with the gaps in between beeps getting gradually less so that you could judge the distance. The BMW sensors don't "see" as far so start later and the beeps sound close together from the start going very quickly to the solid sound, making it much harder to judge distances. - the sensitivity of the indicators make them awkward to use and I am still flicking the stalk beyond the centrepoint when cancelling, thus setting off the indicator in the opposite direction, which is annoying. - getting the gear lever into reverse seems unnecessarily hard and requires quite a lot of strength which seems a shame since everything else is so easy to use. Lastly, my new 2008 BMW came with the Continental run-flat tyres as standard and I've only experienced a minimal amount of the rail-roading mentioned by other drivers, and then only on very bumpy roads. In all, this is a well-engineered and balanced car which is refined but still fun to drive.
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