Written on: 16/11/2009 by viacom1 (1 review written)
Bought a 2005 330ci Sport in September 2009. A lot of people seem to say this is an amazing car, and so far I would agree in terms of the performance. On my route to work, just as I'm leaving the town I live in, there's a 90 degree bend which needs to be taken at a careful 15mph, and once round it the road becomes glorious wide straight country road... perfect for kicking down. Personally I find the accerlation exhilarating! I've only owned 3 cars previous to this; A 1980 MKII 1600 Escort, an Astra 2.0 GTE and a Golf 2.o GTI. The Astra was the most fun - light and very quick, but the 330 is in another league. I always wanted a 'big car' with a big engine, in my opinion when engine size reaches 2.5 litre they sound different to 'ordinary' cars. The 330 has a gorgeous rich deep 'hummm' to it. Quite frankly I'd rather listen to the engine sound than the Stereo!
Ok, so it is obvious I love the engine, but I do have a couple of issues with the interior; generally it looks gorgeous. Mine is full black leather and is as comfortable as you could wish it to be. The bits that annoy me are;
Lack of storage. The glove box is ok but I prefer the high-level glove box in the Golf. The 330 has the old-fashioned low level one. Personally, I want to be able to jump in my car and toss a mobile phone and possibly a pint of milk in the cockpit and speed off - but the 330 dosn't really offer this. There's a tiny compartment below the climate contol dash which you can fit your phone in but not much else. My glove box tends to be full with maps etc, and I hate leaving stuff on the passenger seat. There's also a small compartment to the right, under the steering wheel, but this is still small. So, storage is not good.
The on-board computer is not as good as the Golf. The Golf's had 2 modes - one that reset itself every day, and one that was on-going, so you could compare speeds/times/mpg's for a specific journey against the average readings for say the past month. The 330 dosesn't really offer this. If you want to record data for a new journey you basically have to reset the memory and lose all information prior to that point. The Golf also timed the journeys whereas the 330 doesn't - something i really miss.
I find the wiper settings a bit odd. On every car I've owned, if you pull the wiper leaver backwards, it usually jets water and wipes at the same time. The 330 just jets the water and you have to then push the lever up to wipe the water you just sprayed. I don't get the logic there at all?
The interior clock is a let-down. Even more so because there are actually 2 clocks; the first clock is a mode on the computer readout - just below the speedo. But if you're like me, you'd probably have the computer mode set to either current MPGs, or possibly the amount of miles left in the tank. So, the other clock is a mode on the LCD of the stereo - the problem is if you have the stereo LCD in Stereo mode, you have to switch it to time mode. What is also very annoying is when you siwtch of the engine and then want to know what the time is you have to put the keys back in and turn to get the LCD readout's up again - very very annoying!!
The Stereo I have is the BMW Business model. Hate it. The Golf had an Alpine which even though didn't come as standard, wasn't expensive, yet still managed to show a time counter for tracks on a CD which is nice if you want to scan a track back to a specific point. with the BMW business stereo you are completely blind as to the position you are at in a track. I've found I really miss this. There is also no pause button. Love the sterring wheel controls though.
The climate control is again a bit weird. Lets say you have it set to full blowing power - when i park my car i like to turn all ancillary power off before i trun the engine off - personally i think it lessens the chance of a fuse blowing when you turn the engine back on - with the 330 you have to press the fan button continually taking it from full power down to zero just to turn it off - why didn't they just add an on-off button?? Logic is lost here.
Ok, last thing. The Speedo. But this isn't directed at BMW, but at ALL car manufacturers; I like my seat low, and my steering wheel low. I'm 6' tall which is not an unusual height - so why is it I can never see the speedo because the steering wheel is in the way?? In all the cars I've driven, this is an issue that still bugs me to this day - i've been driving for over 20 years.
Summing up, all my annoyances are fairly minor. The 330ci is by far the best car I've ever owned and driven in terms of engine power, comfort and looks. It is one sexy looking car and performs as good as it looks. and it sounds gorgeous too, and these plus points far out-weiggh the lack of compartment space or computer modes!
A quick thing about MPG - I don't use motorways. I use B roads and some A roads. The MPG in the Golf was 39, i'm getting about 25 from the 330 which means I get around 35% less miles than i did from the golf from the same amout of fuel - which for me adds about 14 quid a week on my petrol bill - but well worth it considering the performance you get!
Love the car.