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BMW 320 or 330d ownership experiences


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I’ve had my current car, a 2012 insignia for 5 years and intend on changing it before it’s next MOT in September. It’s on 92k now, needs major service and new pads/disks, front tyres by then. The book reckons id get around £2.3-£2.6k trading it in and I’d rather do that than spend money on it.

Anyway I have my heart set on an F31 tourer. The 8 speed auto in m sport preferably. I’ll have a budget of £17k ish including the trade in. I do about 20k miles a year both for work, long motorway runs and local social at the weekends, I get a company allowance to run a car and business mileage at 15p a mile.

When I compare the two online the real world mpg of the 320 is around 49, 330 43mpg. Tax is £20 a year different in my budget, insurance about 10%. My budget would stretch to a 320 with 25k on the clock, the 330 with 40k on the clock. I’d intend on running it for 4/5 years. 

Is the 330 worth the extra in day to day running costs? I like the idea of having something rarer and different, which the 330 would be and if the numbers above are to be believed would only cost me another £50/60 a month. 

Has anyone owned one or both? That can let me have their experience of them? 

 

 

Edited by shalfordninja33
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3 hours ago, washerboy said:

I like honest John's car website, real mpg figures that people post up. 

Yes, its good I’ve used those figures above along with a few other real world sources. I’m getting 48mpg out of the Vauxhall. If 43 out of a 330 is realistic the difference in fuel cost wouldn’t be noticeable, the uplift in performance would be! 

2 hours ago, Wasabi said:

I'm currently having the same dilemma!

First world problems eh! Head says 320, more economical, quick enough etc. Heart says 330! 

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I've got the (rare) F31 325d tourer - it's the 320d unit, but twin-turbocharged to 218 bhp. With the manual box it returns about 44 mpg on average.

Mine is a 2013 car, just hit 6 years old and 75k miles. I've had it since 6 months old and 3k miles.

I had the EGR valve fail on it, which was replaced under warranty. Do be aware that there is a recall out on these, and there have been considerable delays in replacement. Ensure the work has been done BEFORE you buy the car (you can check online, on the DVLA website). The work is free, but if it hasn't been done and fails on you then your car could be off the road for some time.

Apart from that, the car has been perfect in every way. I've no intention of changing it, will hopefully keep it until 100k+

Don't bother with an xDrive car - unless you live in the absolute howling wilds of Scotland, RWD and a good set of winter tyres will get you through some impressively snowy/icy conditions, even on ungritted minor lanes.

If you're local to North Wales / Cheshire and want to have a good poke around one that hasn't been 'tarted up' for the forecourt then just give me a shout.

Edited by robbiep
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1 hour ago, robbiep said:

I've got the (rare) F31 325d tourer - it's the 320d unit, but twin-turbocharged to 218 bhp. With the manual box it returns about 44 mpg on average.

Mine is a 2013 car, just hit 6 years old and 75k miles. I've had it since 6 months old and 3k miles.

I had the EGR valve fail on it, which was replaced under warranty. Do be aware that there is a recall out on these, and there have been considerable delays in replacement. Ensure the work has been done BEFORE you buy the car (you can check online, on the DVLA website). The work is free, but if it hasn't been done and fails on you then your car could be off the road for some time.

Apart from that, the car has been perfect in every way. I've no intention of changing it, will hopefully keep it until 100k+

Don't bother with an xDrive car - unless you live in the absolute howling wilds of Scotland, RWD and a good set of winter tyres will get you through some impressively snowy/icy conditions, even on ungritted minor lanes.

If you're local to North Wales / Cheshire and want to have a good poke around one that hasn't been 'tarted up' for the forecourt then just give me a shout.

Robbiep, thank you for your experience. 4 of the guys I work with have 320s and all have had the exhaust valves fail over the last 12months. I’ll make sure I look out for the recall work on any purchase.

the 325d seems to be as rare as hens teeth. One of those with the 8spd auto would be perfect. I guess the company car drivers go for the 320, more private sales of the 330 I reckon. 

I had considered xDrive but from what I’ve read it’s worse on fuel for no real benefit. Certainly not in the south east. 

Sadly im in Essex and don’t get up that way much. Most of my long journeys are west or m1 corridor. I’d have taken you up on your kind offer.

 

thanks again 

 

Edited by shalfordninja33
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4 hours ago, shalfordninja33 said:

Yes, its good I’ve used those figures above along with a few other real world sources. I’m getting 48mpg out of the Vauxhall. If 43 out of a 330 is realistic the difference in fuel cost wouldn’t be noticeable, the uplift in performance would be! 

First world problems eh! Head says 320, more economical, quick enough etc. Heart says 330! 

Exactly. Then my head says with the amount of shooting I do I should get a 4x4 type vehicle. Been looking at Volvo XC60.

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50 minutes ago, Wasabi said:

Exactly. Then my head says with the amount of shooting I do I should get a 4x4 type vehicle. Been looking at Volvo XC60.

A friend has just got rid of an XC60. They've had Volvos for the last 20 years, but won't be getting another one - have gone for a Hyundai SUV.

It was constantly in for faults, niggles, etc from new for the 3 years they've had it. 

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My father has X3, 3.0 and he is getting c.44mpg out of it, beautiful engine, I used to have a 120 x drive which I thought was ok until I drove the 3.0 and suddenly felt rather underpowered! FIL has just changed his 335 m sport tourer x drive and again a beautiful engine and tbh there would be nothing I could fault with the car, sporty yet very practical

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2 hours ago, Wasabi said:

Exactly. Then my head says with the amount of shooting I do I should get a 4x4 type vehicle. Been looking at Volvo XC60.

I'm fortunate that our syndicate is mainly concrete roads for getting about, shoot days are pretty well catered for. Trips to Cornwall for work from Essex every month means my preference is for a small estate car that's capable of 50ish mpg at sensible motorway speeds. Definitely an auto, I've spend far too much time stuck in traffic😫

1 hour ago, button said:

My father has X3, 3.0 and he is getting c.44mpg out of it, beautiful engine, I used to have a 120 x drive which I thought was ok until I drove the 3.0 and suddenly felt rather underpowered! FIL has just changed his 335 m sport tourer x drive and again a beautiful engine and tbh there would be nothing I could fault with the car, sporty yet very practical

Im hoping that with a more slippery shape of a 3 series in 2wd I'd be able to get that, in which case it's 3mpg less that I'm achieving with the insignia, not worth worrying about! 

Ive had Fords and Vauxhalls for 10 years, change of circumstances at work, family coming along. The kids are out of buggies now, an estate would be handy for my shooting gear, bikes and general weekend kiddie stuff. Doing less business mileage means I could keep it for 4/5years and get something a bit nicer. 

21 minutes ago, GingerCat said:

How about an Audi all road. 

I like them but I don't really need awd. If I wasn't  doing the long motorway runs it would be nice to have. I'd considered an a4 S line but there's some horror stories on the cvt gearbox in the FWD. whereas the ZF 8 speed in BMs appears to be generally reliable. 

 

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be aware the n47 320d and n57 330d engines both suffer from timing chain issues stretching and breaking caused by long service intervals and oil issues both engines in f31 model if you get one with full history change oil with correct grade  and use oe spec filter at least once a year regardless of milage major expense if fail as timing chains at rear of engine and can do colosall damage

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16 minutes ago, gustaff said:

be aware the n47 320d and n57 330d engines both suffer from timing chain issues stretching and breaking caused by long service intervals and oil issues both engines in f31 model if you get one with full history change oil with correct grade  and use oe spec filter at least once a year regardless of milage major expense if fail as timing chains at rear of engine and can do colosall damage

My dad had an e90 that did exactly that at 85k, bent the crank 😳 £4K to repair at an independent, main dealer wanted £9k! I'll get as lower mileage one as I can, FSH and treat it to an oil change every 10k or 12months. 

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1 hour ago, gustaff said:

be aware the n47 320d and n57 330d engines both suffer from timing chain issues stretching and breaking caused by long service intervals and oil issues both engines in f31 model if you get one with full history change oil with correct grade  and use oe spec filter at least once a year regardless of milage major expense if fail as timing chains at rear of engine and can do colosall damage

Agreed - my 325d gets an oil / filter change roughly every 9-10k miles. I don't like the long service interval, I feel it causes a large amount of Timing chain failures further down the line.

Do bear in mind, if getting it serviced indepentently, to ensure that they use the proper 'dpf-suitable' engine oil.

Unless heavily abused by a lot of town driving, BMW DPFs are pretty well designed, lasting well past 100k. But it is something that may need budgeting for in the future.

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I have had an F31 in a 330d   was a fine vehicle . avg on the obd over 25k was 47 and a high on a single journey was 53, i do go steady and live 1 mile from the mororway. Its a compact car, well equipped in m sport. The tyres were its downfall they are expensive and i just couldn't get the life out of them, all damaged premature by potholes

 

Also ran a turing in the 2 liter d, uses more fuel, avg over 70k was 44, this was down to the pennines, it had to work harder up the hill, it never felt is power, dissappointing really.

 

If you buy one i have a genuine boot mat left over 

Edited by Rupert
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3 hours ago, Rupert said:

I have had an F31 in a 330d   was a fine vehicle . avg on the obd over 25k was 47 and a high on a single journey was 53, i do go steady and live 1 mile from the mororway. Its a compact car, well equipped in m sport. The tyres were its downfall they are expensive and i just couldn't get the life out of them, all damaged premature by potholes

 

Also ran a turing in the 2 liter d, uses more fuel, avg over 70k was 44, this was down to the pennines, it had to work harder up the hill, it never felt is power, dissappointing really.

 

If you buy one i have a genuine boot mat left over 

Run flats sound like a pain, many people moan about the ride quailty, I believe you can change all 4 for non run flats and carry a can of foam in case of emergency? 

Thanks for the advice guys, the MOT on my current car is due 10th September, I'm going to take my time and find as lower milage 330d as I can for my budget of £17-£18k, ideally under 40k on the clock. 

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I have an X3 2.0 -- I do 46-52 mpg on a long journey with a mix of mway and A roads. It drives fantastic, and despite what is said, the Xdrive is really great, I can /actually/ do some offroad with it. Ok it's not a defender, but I drag in in really rough terrain and it copes just fine. On snow/ice it's just amazing.

To me it's a great mix, as I want a good 'road' car, space at the back, but still be able to go on tracks etc. It also /drives/ well, and the 2.0 engine (~185bhp) is just fine. Perhaps I wish I'd taken the 3.0, but they don't make in in manual and I wanted a manual.

I had it from new, nearly 6 years, 91k miles, and they changed the cluch pedal assembly under warranty, that's it.

I'm likely going to get another one new this year as a replacement, the 3.0 this time.

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I currently drive an 18 plate 320d M Sport Touring Shadow Edition 8 Speed auto. Simply put... it is fantastic!! 

 

The engine is awesome and the gearbox incredible. 

 

So incredibly smooth and efficient especially in eco pro mode (coasting function is good)... change to sport mode and it changes everything about the car.. the gear shifts are so fast and engaging, especially when using the paddle shifters. Oh and launch control is great... 

 

The 320d is a very efficient engine. I’m always around 49mpg going to work each morning. 32 mile round trip I’ve hit just shy of 57mpg too on occasion. 

 

Currently it’s showing around 8500 miles on the clock and running at 41.1mpg. 

 

I went down to Dorset (Tank museum trip) a few weeks back on a Friday evening (I live in Lancashire). Filled up before the journey, arrived at the location in the evening, next morning drove to the museum and then trundled around the country side and explored a bit - Sunday morning, £34 in diesel with slightly more than half a tank. Drove all the way back to Lancashire and then filled back up - £30... cannot complain at that. 

 

The car genuinely makes me smile every single day, it handles like a dream, is super efficient and super sporty when you want it to be. 

 

iDrive is awesome as well mate. 

 

You wont be disappointed. I’ll struggle not to have a BMW from now on... 

 

want to know anything more or if you’d like some detailed pictures of anything sending over for example, give me a shout. 

 

I have heard the 330D is meant to be a fantastic engine and even smoother with a big increase in performance with little drop in economy... if I could’ve stretch to the 3 litre I would’ve done and next time I would upgrade to one if I could. But for day to day driving the 320d gives a brilliant blend of efficiency and everyday useable performance.

 

All the best, 

 

Dave 

Edited by WinchesterDave
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I think the 3L straight 6 is well worth it now -- just the noise of it; I wasn't 'sure' when I bought the X3 but now I wouldn't buy anything else. The 4 cyl can also sound nice, but often it does sound quite clanky (especially when cold).

I've also got a Z3 2.8 with a straight 6, 205bhp and when I drive it anywhere, I'm trying to think about how many tunnels I can drive thru :-)

 

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we got two recovered in to day one with timing chain jumped still running no engine damage the other misfueled petrol in diesel and driven till destruction new injectors high pressure pump intank pre pump wrecked all lines pipes filters and tank req intensive cleaning for metalic particals of high pressure pump destroying itself with petrol contamination. great for business but massively expensive be careful when fueling up

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On 02/05/2019 at 20:14, WinchesterDave said:

I currently drive an 18 plate 320d M Sport Touring Shadow Edition 8 Speed auto. Simply put... it is fantastic!! 

 

The engine is awesome and the gearbox incredible. 

 

So incredibly smooth and efficient especially in eco pro mode (coasting function is good)... change to sport mode and it changes everything about the car.. the gear shifts are so fast and engaging, especially when using the paddle shifters. Oh and launch control is great... 

 

The 320d is a very efficient engine. I’m always around 49mpg going to work each morning. 32 mile round trip I’ve hit just shy of 57mpg too on occasion. 

 

Currently it’s showing around 8500 miles on the clock and running at 41.1mpg. 

 

I went down to Dorset (Tank museum trip) a few weeks back on a Friday evening (I live in Lancashire). Filled up before the journey, arrived at the location in the evening, next morning drove to the museum and then trundled around the country side and explored a bit - Sunday morning, £34 in diesel with slightly more than half a tank. Drove all the way back to Lancashire and then filled back up - £30... cannot complain at that. 

 

The car genuinely makes me smile every single day, it handles like a dream, is super efficient and super sporty when you want it to be. 

 

iDrive is awesome as well mate. 

 

You wont be disappointed. I’ll struggle not to have a BMW from now on... 

 

want to know anything more or if you’d like some detailed pictures of anything sending over for example, give me a shout. 

 

I have heard the 330D is meant to be a fantastic engine and even smoother with a big increase in performance with little drop in economy... if I could’ve stretch to the 3 litre I would’ve done and next time I would upgrade to one if I could. But for day to day driving the 320d gives a brilliant blend of efficiency and everyday useable performance.

 

All the best, 

 

Dave 

Sounds cracking Dave 😁👍Had a drive in a 65 plate 320d m sport auto yesterday. I was surprised at how quick it was. The 8 speed auto certainly makes the most of the engine. It will be more than enough for most real world driving. £30/year road tax too! 

Im due a annual bonus at the end of this month which will give me a healthy deposit to put down. There seems to be plenty of approved used ones about, Better value if I drive 2hrs north, bmw prices in the south east are ridiculous! 

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5 hours ago, shalfordninja33 said:

Sounds cracking Dave 😁👍Had a drive in a 65 plate 320d m sport auto yesterday. I was surprised at how quick it was. The 8 speed auto certainly makes the most of the engine. It will be more than enough for most real world driving. £30/year road tax too! 

Im due a annual bonus at the end of this month which will give me a healthy deposit to put down. There seems to be plenty of approved used ones about, Better value if I drive 2hrs north, bmw prices in the south east are ridiculous! 

Honestly mate, it is a cracking car 👍 you won’t be disappointed pal! 

 

The automatic is ace and I personally love the shape of the paddle shifters too - they’re contoured on the back and your fingers fit perfectly in them; really engaging. Most other paddles I’ve felt are just flat. 

 

Enjoy it mate, let me know how you get on pal. 

 

All the best, 

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 08/05/2019 at 12:51, WinchesterDave said:

Honestly mate, it is a cracking car 👍 you won’t be disappointed pal! 

 

The automatic is ace and I personally love the shape of the paddle shifters too - they’re contoured on the back and your fingers fit perfectly in them; really engaging. Most other paddles I’ve felt are just flat. 

 

Enjoy it mate, let me know how you get on pal. 

 

All the best, 

 

Dave

Well, I’ve made a purchase! A mint 64 plate 320d m sport XDrive. 35k on the clock. One owner from new FSH. Has a few upgrades,  paddle shift and xenon headlights. Test drove it yesterday which was fatal 😁 got a good trade in for my insignia, collecting it from lister BMW in Boston next Wednesday, much better deal travelling a few hours north. The same car in the southeast was around £1,500 more. Sleepless nights from now until then!  

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Edited by shalfordninja33
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Nice car, looks ideal. First thing  I would do is find a good mechanic you can trust and get the car serviced. I've had several low milage cars supposedly full service history and when looked at by a local friend of mine have found original parts that should have been changed. 

 

 

 

 

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