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      11-02-2012, 04:02 AM   #1
HighlandPete
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330d: Compared To What Engine?

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.

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      11-02-2012, 04:21 AM   #2
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I think the 328i is actually one of the stars of the range...and its 5.5k cheaper than the 330d

So yep agree, not an easier comparable for the 30d but the 335i is closer in price
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      11-02-2012, 05:37 AM   #3
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Maybe its just because of history Pete.
With the E9X range the 335i was ALWAYS compared to the 335d and NOT the 330d. Maybe old habits die hard so people still are not comparing the 330d to the 335i.

Also in the past the 330d was compared to the 330i - now the 330i is replaced by the 328i. Its just the 330d has moved on with performance and the 330i/328i hasn't (no point really as we have a 335i!).

The 330d is more closely matched bhp-wise to the 328i (245 vs 258) only 13 bhp difference whereas the 335i is like 50 bhp more. Although I realise the 330d has a shed load more torque than both.

Price-wise the 330d is around 2K more when you put the same 'box on the 328i, so not a vast amount more in cost. The 335i is about 3K more than the 330d with the same 'box.

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      11-02-2012, 05:44 AM   #4
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At the price point I was looking at of around 30K before plundering BMW's expensive options list, the 320d and the 328i were within 1K of each other and that was what I was comparing.

However, BMW closed the gap between the 328i and the 330d by making the 8spd Sport Auto box standard spec on the diesel while it's a 1,660 option on the petrol car. The result is that reduces the difference on a strictly like for like basis to just 2,500 between the 328i/330d which I guess is why they are seen as comparable (cost-wise at least).
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      11-02-2012, 06:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobUK View Post
At the price point I was looking at of around 30K before plundering BMW's expensive options list, the 320d and the 328i were within 1K of each other and that was what I was comparing.

However, BMW closed the gap between the 328i and the 330d by making the 8spd Sport Auto box standard spec on the diesel while it's a 1,660 option on the petrol car. The result is that reduces the difference on a strictly like for like basis to just 2,500 between the 328i/330d which I guess is why they are seen as comparable (cost-wise at least).
I agree with this.....the 330D is priced smack bang between 328i and 335i like for like (Auto box)

For me, if running costs were no object, you would immediately set your sights on 335i. As for most of us running costs are an issue, which puts the 335i out of the running. So the question is:

Do I spend a few grand less and buy a 328i? or spend a bit more up front and buy the more economical 330D? Well that was my thinking anyways, so would see them as a fair comparison.
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      11-02-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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I think the disappearance of a 320i has clouded some people's judgement. It's a sign of the times that a 250bhp turbocharged 4-pot is now the entry level 3 series
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      11-02-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I think the disappearance of a 320i has clouded some people's judgement. It's a sign of the times that a 250bhp turbocharged 4-pot is now the entry level 3 series
320i has been dropped? I saw one in the showroom a week or so ago
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      11-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
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I also think the BMW numbering has confused many, should it be a 328i? Why not 325i as 25i is used in the 1-series. Same is applying to many of the models, why a 640d and not a 635d, when you have a 535d?

The other factor I see in comparisons, we tend to look at HP, rather than performance. It used to be more simple, but since the diesel has come of age, HP, Nm and revs make for a different sort of mix. Power curves may be very different for a pertol and diesel, but getting to 100mph may be near identical. Torque is not some 'miracle' power maker in isolation, no more than HP is.

We still need to look at the 0 - 60, 0 -100 dash as that does give us a feel for performance, even if in-gear increments are often used to discern driveability.

Just been looking at the 5-series saloon, as an example, of two different petrol engine designs. The 528i with the 2.0 turbo and the 530i with the 3.0 NA engine. I know the engine output isn't the whole picture, as engine weight and gearing have a part to play as well, but note the 528i is the faster car on paper. Wonder what the feel of the delivery is like in each model and which feels more muscular?


528i
Top speed (mph) 155 (155)
Acceleration 0-62 mph (sec) 6.2 (6.3)
Acceleration 50-75 mph in 4th (sec) 6.2
Max output (kW/hp/rpm) 180 / 245 / 5000-6000
Max torque (Nm/rpm) 350 / 1250-4500

530i
Top speed (mph) 155 (155)
Acceleration 0-62 mph (sec) 6.5 (6.6)
Acceleration 50-75 mph in 4th (sec) 7.0
Max output (kW/hp/rpm) 200/272/6100
Max torque (Nm/rpm) 310/1600-4250

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      11-02-2012, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
320i has been dropped? I saw one in the showroom a week or so ago
Really? I've seen or heard nothing about it and don't remember seeing it on the configurator Doesn't mean I'm right by any means but I figured the 320D/328i were entry level Wotanoob.
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      11-02-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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In fact the 320i has been joined by a 316i now, and according to the configurator that's a genuine 1600cc engine, not just funny BMW numbering.



BTW, the 328i is the entry level model in the US, but then all they have in the F30 range is the 328i & 335i. Reckon if they had the 330d they'd be impressed.
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      11-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
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BTW, the 328i is the entry level model in the US, but then all they have in the F30 range is the 328i & 335i. Reckon if they had the 330d they'd be impressed.
They have sampled the diesel in the 335d, in the previous model, but from my reading many who tried the diesel just didn't get it. The 335i engine is the way many in the US see a 'sporty' BMW.

They are more into the F30 ActiveHybrid 3. I've read that BMW are not yet committed to when F30 variants in the USA will have diesel power.

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      11-02-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
They have sampled the diesel in the 335d, in the previous model, but from my reading many who tried the diesel just didn't get it. The 335i engine is the way many in the US see a 'sporty' BMW.

They are more into the F30 ActiveHybrid 3. I've read that BMW are not yet committed to when F30 variants in the USA will have diesel power.

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They don't have the infrastructure for Diesel, many petrol forecourts only do Petrol. You almost have to go to truck stops to get Diesel in many places, so no wonder Diesel passenger cars are not a big hit.
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      11-07-2012, 03:32 PM   #13
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I think the comparison is more performance rather than price. 328i very similar performance to 330d, 320i very similar performance to 320d and so on. The 328i badge has some historical significance for BMW.

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      11-07-2012, 04:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
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328i very similar performance to 330d
335i is much more similar to the 330D in performance A 330D would leave the 328 for dead from any speed in any gear. It'd leave a 335i for dead at most speeds in most gears
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      11-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaestroAl View Post
335i is much more similar to the 330D in performance A 330D would leave the 328 for dead from any speed in any gear. It'd leave a 335i for dead at most speeds in most gears
I think "leave for dead" is quite a bold claim. I've not driven either but I'm guessing looking at the performance figures and bhp figures I think in a traffic light race the 330d may be a car length or two ahead of the 328i at 70-80 mph, but I'd hardly call that "leave for dead".
If one had 100bhp more than the other then I'd expect it to leave it for dead in that case.

The F30 330d is no doubt a quick car, but watch this - just to put things back into perspective.


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      11-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #16
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BTW, this is what I'd call being left for dead :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHrsw...ure=plcp#t=13s

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      11-07-2012, 06:56 PM   #17
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330d has a lower 0-60 time plus more torque, 328i is perhaps more 'nimble'. Interesting article on how pure figures are misleading though.

http://www.houseofthud.com/cartech/zero2sixty.htm

For me the close competitors are 335i (3.0L, 0-60 in 5.5s) vs. 330d (3.0L, 0-60 in 5.6s) and 320i (2.0L, 0-60 in 7.6s) vs 320d (2.0L, 0-60 in 7.6s). If there was a 'hot' version of the 320d, say a 323d that might be a more natural comparison with the 328i? Anyway, I say we enjoy our respective cars and hit on the Merc's and Audi's instead
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      11-08-2012, 03:43 AM   #18
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0-60 is the least interesting time. 20-40, 40-60, 40-100, 60-90, 50-70 ... these are all real times and the 330D would ... leave the 328i for dead ... at any of those measures in any gear As I said before, other than on full reheat at 5000rpm+, the 330D would beat the 335i at any of those measures BHP is all talk but torque is fo' real

The world has changed ... and for the better. Modern diesels are better in almost every way compared to their petrol counterparts Do they sounds as good? Certainly not when a petrol is on cam. Do they make the back of your neck tingle? Nope. Are they as quick on full afterburner? Rarely. But in every other way they're the superior engine And mine arrives at he dealer on Monday
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      11-08-2012, 04:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
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0-60 is the least interesting time. 20-40, 40-60, 40-100, 60-90, 50-70 ... these are all real times and the 330D would ... leave the 328i for dead ... at any of those measures in any gear As I said before, other than on full reheat at 5000rpm+, the 330D would beat the 335i at any of those measures BHP is all talk but torque is fo' real

The world has changed ... and for the better. Modern diesels are better in almost every way compared to their petrol counterparts Do they sounds as good? Certainly not when a petrol is on cam. Do they make the back of your neck tingle? Nope. Are they as quick on full afterburner? Rarely. But in every other way they're the superior engine And mine arrives at he dealer on Monday
I agree that the incremental times 'in-gear' or 'through the gears' are what matter. Diesels have made the whole feeling much more relaxed, but not always 'better' performance in real terms, when we compare a similar output petrol vs diesel.

What has changed the drive feel IMO, is our more common use of auto boxes. If we plant the loud pedal in full auto, each engine will be more likely in the power band for the particular engine, differences get more blurred than ever.

It is not like in a manual box, where 'in-gear' times are so much more noticed and pronounced. Particularly if we are not in the best gear.

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      11-08-2012, 06:55 AM   #20
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335i is much more similar to the 330D in performance A 330D would leave the 328 for dead from any speed in any gear. It'd leave a 335i for dead at most speeds in most gears
Yep agreed.
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      11-08-2012, 07:23 AM   #21
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Remember tho, it's the driver not the engine that determines how fast a car goes I've a mate with an AstraMax van who'll beat pretty much anything on 4 wheels - (he's a complete yob!)
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      11-08-2012, 10:54 AM   #22
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335i is much more similar to the 330D in performance A 330D would leave the 328 for dead from any speed in any gear. It'd leave a 335i for dead at most speeds in most gears
Not sure where the idea comes from about the 535i... "for dead..." Performance is performance, and matches pretty much, within fractions of a second. You mean the 330d will 'feel' faster, but not in absolute terms.

If you were to boot either in auto form, the performance would be virtually identical, just one would see a few more revs.

Using the 530d vs 535i as a comparison, the petrol is about 0.8 sec faster in the standing kilometre. Can imagine the 330d vs 335i would be similar.

However we break up the increments, in-gears, etc., through the gears there's nothing in it, when both are stretched.

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