As we mentioned earlier in the "Feed me lies" section of our test drive, the 330d xDrive we tested wasn't missing a lot of gadgets that can be found on the 3-Series option list. Sure, the front and rear parking sensors were missing from our regular "useful toys" list, but other than that the car was pretty well equipped.
The biggest surprise probably came from the much-improved iDrive system, which first appeared on the 7-Series. There are a number of helpful buttons around the iDrive controller now but you still have to take some time to get used to the system in order to fully use it while on the go. After all, there's still a lot of information that can be read/configured while using a single knob and watching the center console screen. On the whole, however, it's much more user-friendly.
Apart from the automatic windscreen wipers and the automatic feature of the headlights, another point of interest was the highly responsive cruise control system which we found to be helpful even while cruising at a rather low 60 km/h (37 mph). The Hill Descent Control system is only helpful if you live in a mountain cabin and the only point of access is a steep road. Usually, when you need a similar system you also need some adequate ground clearance, which the 330d doesn't quite have. Still, it's better to have an almost pointless feature than not having it at all.
The bi-xenon headlights were not only equipped with washers but with a cornering function, which is as high-tech as it gets and most useful when negotiating low visibility corners at night. At first glance, the benefits aren't THAT obvious, but trust us, they are. The reason for saying this is that in normal traffic you can't actually see the light beams tilting unless you're equipped with eagle eyes, but it becomes rather obvious outside the city.Continue reading