There is no doubting the 330d is a fantastic car, but we seem to be comparing it in road tests to the 328i. Why?
If we were in the 5-series we would compare a 530d (with the same engine as our 330d) to the 535i, both on price point (within £200 with same gearbox) and on them both being 6-cylinder turbo engines with similar performance.
In the 1-series we would compare the 125d and 125i, both for similar price, 'same' performance and also both being 4-cylinder turbo engines.
Somehow in the 3-series we seem to be in a different place, messed by BMW pricing and also for a reason I don't know, comparing a 4-cylinder 2.0 litre petrol with a 6-cylinder 3.0 litre diesel engine.
I know the 3-series price point is out of phase for the 335i and 330d, which must be marketing, as in the 5-series they can price match. But shouldn't we really be comparing engine performance on a more level playing field? Looking more at the 3.0 litre turbo engines, seeing as both are state of the art designs from BMW?
Certainly I don't compare the 328i and 330d, if anything I'd compare the N20 2.0i turbo engine more towards the N47S 2.0d engine, as used in the 125d and 525d models.
I know buying or running one, or the other, is a different issue, but for performance let's compare like for like, not apples and pears.
IMO, it says something for the 328i engine, if we feel we can even compare it along side the 330d. I know some compare the 328i to the 320d, perhaps they are seeing it for what it really is.