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BMW 330d M Sport Touring- The 2012 King of the Castle!

BMW have a profound strapline of “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. The 3 series has always been highly regarded in saloon or estate form. So I was looking forward to my test review of the 330d M Sport Touring, which was packed with all the Bells and Whistles.

My test ride  was kindly arranged by Giles Martin at  Rybrook Warwick who has been selling BMW’s for the past 6 years. A petrol head at heart he said his favourite car if he won the lottery would be a Ferrari 250GT California for its beautiful looks alone. Giles gave me his 5 words to sum up the BMW 330d M Sport Touring as “Dynamic, Practical, Sporty, Economical and Safe”.  “ The car does what you want it to do when needed” gave me a hint that the car had many talents.

BMW have emphasised the exclusive M Sport with an Estoril Blue metallic body, special aerodynamics package, chrome exhaust, modified Adaptive suspension and M Sport 18 or 19 inch alloy wheels. Inside, the BMW M edition offers the M leather steering wheel with lots of functions including a flappy paddle gearbox! All around the car you see German precision and great quality. In the back there is lots of leg and headroom. Overall the interior offers practicality with a luxurious feel with sculptured heated leather seats. 

For the driver and front passenger the infotainment centre is a technical marvel. The IDrive rotary button is easy to direct the navigation system, radio and communication system. The IDrive generates a range of technical details and images on the wide central display screen. There is everything from generated bhp to torque boost, economy to reverse camera driver aids. Next to the IDrive is a Sport and ECO button. More about the BUTTON later on.

I like to pop the bonnet on cars as you get a real sense of the design effort and potential of the car. The large plastic engine cover displays a simple message of  “Twin Power Turbo”. It’s a shame to hide the 255BHP beauty, which lies beneath!

A large Start Button ignites the engine. The engine is refined at slow and medium speeds. When pushed the twin turbo diesel is remarkable. The car has this  “Magic Button” which makes the car take off like a rocket in SPORT MODE. 0-62mph in 5.6seconds and over 50mpg in ECO mode is a class act. Being rear wheel drive you get the sensation of being pushed around corners. You never sense that the car is a moderate sized estate car. The 8 speed automatic ZF gearbox is incredibly smooth and can be easily override by the sporting flappy paddles.

The car is beautifully made, solid as a rock, full of character and with the mystery “magic ECO-SPORT button” that totally transforms the character of the car. In Sport Mode the car feels it is on train a track going round bends. The comfort mode slows the engine response and softens the cars ride giving a very smooth and comfortable ride. In either setting the Adaptive suspension soaks up any rough road surfaces with ease.

On the practical side the boot is a reasonable 495-1500 litres with its neat 40:20:40 split rear seats. So there is plenty of room for the dog or family baggage or bulk carrier with the seats folded forward. One of the smart tricks on the Touring is the electrically assisted open rear boot door. Wave your foot under the bumper and it opens “hands free” magically. For shopping the rear tail gate window can be opened.


So are there any flaws in the car. Well, only the price tag at £44,715. Luxury and Technology come at a price with BMW if you want all the Bells and Whistles. The 330d M Sport Touring is the Swiss Army knife of cars – family- executive-sports- estate-greenish car in one compact package. Prices range from £26,180 to £37,000 before adding individual features. The 330d Touring does the business, offers great practicality, excellent performance in a wonderful looking car.

Living in Warwickshire we have a very nice Castle, which prompts my overall 2012 TOPCAR Award – my top “Kugelblitz” Award – “The King of the Castle” Kugelblitz Award is the BMW330D M Sport Touring.

Simply the 330d M Sport Touring car can be summed up in one word -  “Phenomenal”.

                                                       The "Magic Button"                                                Super Smooth 8 Speed ZF Auto 


Many thanks to Giles Martin at Rybrook Warwick for providing the test car.

See my other 2012 TOPCAR Kugelblitz Awards by clicking on ''Click''



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