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BMW 3-Series Saloon 330i SE 4d Auto (2005/05)

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330i SE 4d Auto (2005/05) - Owner Review

I sought out the unusual option of split folding rear seats, which have proved extremely useful many times and extend the load capacity enormously. The car is comfortable, quiet and absolutely ideal for long, fast motorway journeys - returning a surprisingly good real-life 34mpg over a 5,000 mile summer away, doing mainly fast continental road mileage.
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Review submitted by
Keith Burgess on

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330i SE 4d Auto (2005/05)

Summary

4 out of 5

What does this car say about you?
I appreciate a car that has excellent build quality and driving characteristics. I am a perceptive driver and buyer.

What do your friends / family / neighbours think of the car?
Others think the car looks understated and classy and are usually surprised by the very good ride quality. They do expect the car to be heavy on fuel consumption, which it can be if driven hard.

Would you buy this car again and why?
Probably not - mainlky because I like a change. I would either buy a 5-series for the same experience just more so, or something quite different.

What are you likely to buy next?
If I can afford to do so, I would like to buy a Landrover Freelander 2 next time.

Buying experience

3 out of 5

Type of dealer you bought from?
Independent

Did you buy this car new?
Used

What price did you pay?
£13,000

When did you buy the car?
February 2010

Did you get a good deal and why?
I thought at the time I got a reasonable deal but wonder now with current trade-in values. Part of the deal was a new MOT and 2 new tyres (vitally needed at the time).

Is there any special reason why you bought this car?
Always wanted a 3-series and this one had the trim and options I wanted, plus reasonable mileage and full history.

What was the dealer like?
Dealer was an Alfa-romeo specialist! Helpful, but knew as much about 3-series as I did, probably less.

Driving it

4 out of 5

What's it like to drive?
It can storm along if you want it to, but in everyday use the car is simply creamy smooth. The ride quality was over-hard at first, but much improved by substituting the standard equipment run-flat tyres for regular radials when renewing. The strong suit of the car is long-distance, high-speed driving, when it returns a consistent and reliable 34mpg. Steering is superbly weighted and feedback excellent yet not intrusive. On good road surfaces (outside the UK) at 90-100mph it is virtually noise free in the cabin and covers long distances effortlessly.

What's it like to park?
Good driving mirrors and rear parking sensors instil confidence and an excellent lock assists with easy parking. Watch out for kerbs at the front, as the valance is lower than most.

Living with it

4 out of 5

Have you had any problems with the car?
I haven't had one fault with the car. It has been ultimately reliable.

What's most practical about your car?
I sought out the unusual option of split folding rear seats, which have proved extremely useful many times and extend the load capacity enormously. The car is comfortable, quiet and absolutely ideal for long, fast motorway journeys - returning a surprisingly good real-life 34mpg over a 5,000 mile summer away, doing mainly fast continental road mileage.

Favourite gadget, option or accessory?
Automatic transmission! I also like the folding rear split seats and the fact that they are leather - it feels and looks so much classier and more luxurious than cloth.

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