By Patrick James on 2020-01-26 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
BMW 330d M Sport
WHEN it comes to executive rockets, few can match the the BMW 330d.
A six -cylinder diesel rarity these days, this M Sport model is a full-fat four-seat saloon power house, packed with the latest hi-tech communication and infotainment wizardry, but still capable of delivering impressive economy figures or nearly 50mpg.
The seventh generation 3 series has been revised for 2019, with the latest 330d coming on the market in early summer in Sport and M Sport form.
It offers peerless handling and cutting edge safety equipment to mitigate, where necessary, the huge power the V6 engine generates.
The 265bhp delivers a huge 500Nm of torque and propels the car to 60mph in 5.5 seconds, the quickest in the 3 series range and almost supercar performance.
It's a premium car much sought after for the company car park.
Despite being bigger than previous models, it sports a sleek, powerful, almost predatory-looking profile, with signature black kidney grille flanked with the familiar dual circular headlight set-up and distinctive alloy 19-inch alloy wheels.
M Sport also features larger air intakes as well as a different design for the front bumper, side skirts and rear apron.
The interior quality has few equals and BMW says it isis designed to accentuate the spaciousness of the cabin and the driver-focused cockpit.
The instrument panel has a modern, look with horizontal themes dominating.
It really is high-quality stuff, with a riot of leather with figure-hugging heated and powered sports seats and thick carpets, ambient lighting, anthracite headliner, heated leather multi-function steering wheel and a well laid out central console housing the rotary i-Drive controller, the brains of the car, gear shift and starter button.
If also features the Live Cockpit Professional 12.3in display which controls, navigation, infotainment and and a raft of connectivity services and apps. including emergency call, teleservices, over the air and USB map updates, BMW App connectivity and Intelligent Voice assistants. In addition the BMW Connected Package Professional adds remote services, real time traffic information and Apple CarPlay Preparation.
In addition to the quality soft touch finish, there open-pore fine wood fibre options and customers can choose from a variety of trims including a new Aluminium mesh effect interior trim.
For practicality the rear seats split 40:20:40 folding rear seats and folding rear headrests as standard, while boot space is good with480 litres, and its new partitioning into primary luggage compartment and separate storage compartments has created an additional 36 litres.
On the road, the car is a brilliant drive, the slick eight-speed automatic gearbox delivering perfectly timed gearchanges to maximise the brutal performance.
A relatively modest seeming power output is boosted by the huge torque figure to deliver neck-wrenching acceleration throughout the gear range.
For a more engaging drive sport mode can be selected which sharpens up driving statistics and allows gear selection from the eight-speed Steptronic transmission to be selected via paddles.
It showed its pedigree in series of long open roads and tortuously twisty country roads, delivering power and excellent poise when pushed hard, with firm ride and responsive steering. The purists will love the rear wheel drive, making this a real driver's car.
BMW 330d M Sport
Mechanical: 265bhp, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels vial 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 149mph
0-62mph: 5.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 48
Insurance Group: 38
C02 emissions: 133g/km
Bik rating: 30%
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles
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