Compared to the last BMW we tested, which by coincidence was also an xDrive version powered by a diesel, the 330d xDrive was a totally different experience. For one thing, the ride appeared to be more comfortable on mirror-like roads at high speeds thanks mainly to the sportier suspension setup and the 18-inch alloy wheels equipped with low-profile tires.
Strangely , that very same suspension setup and those skinny-profile tires are also responsible for the back problems the occupants might have after countless excursions on badly-paved roads. In other words, as long as the road you're traveling on is pothole and tram track free, the car's ride is just fine. Otherwise, you should maybe switch for the 17-inch wheels, which provide a slightly higher profile for the tires.
As for the pleasure inducing features, apart form the right-pedal of course, our 330d was pretty much equipped with everything you'd expect an entry-level premium sedan to have, and a bit more. An automatic dual-zone climate control which can either heat or cool off the interior in a matter of seconds after you've pressed the engine start button, leather upholstery which appeared much softer than what BMW usually offers in its "lesser" series, electrically adjustable front passenger seats (including the width of the side bolsters) with two memory settings and a three-stage heating system.
We should also add the dreadful BMW iDrive system with an integrated 80 GB hard drive - from which only 8 GB are used to store music - and a satellite navigation system with 3d-view support. Did we say dreadful? Well, this is actually the revised iDrive system, but more of it in our Useful Toys area. On the whole, this is a pretty comfortable car, but it's all very much road-surface dependent.Continue reading