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Thread: Kingers's New Wagon - F31 330d Touring

  1. #1

    Kingers's New Wagon - F31 330d Touring

    I suppose it's kind of a ritual now that when you buy a new car, you should really do a Backroads thread. I'll try to keep this one more updated that the outgoing A6 Quattro Avant, which found a new home in Galway.

    So everyone has been asking what the replacement was going to be and to be honest, I was kind of asking myself the same question for a long time. That A6 was the best all round car I've owned and I still think it's has more breadth of ability than it's replacement. Ability – that's what I seek in the daily driver, something that can cover as many bases as possible and still be interesting enough to keep a petrolhead looking back over the shoulder. So my list of needs were -

    • Estate for family / support vehicle practicality
    • Capable of towing the toy cars, so something grunty
    • Auto, because I can't be arsed changing gears on the road
    • Cruise, for the motorways where I spend about 20k miles a year
    • Safe, for the childer n'dat
    • Great stereo, because that's where I listen to 90% of music
    • Respectable, in case I need to put any work related people in it
    • Reasonably economical, compared to my previous cars anyway

    I test drove a bunch of stuff that had all or most of the above requirements – Audi C7 A6 Avant in 2l TDI and 3L Bi-TDI, Golf GTI and GTD Wagon, BMW 530d and it was a Merc C350e that came the closest but the spec I wanted was too much of a budget stretch.

    Driving the newer A6 drove home to me that life is too short to buy something so similar again, even though it was pretty good. So I wanted a bit of a twist on the same recipie and opted for....

  2. #2

    Kingers's New Wagon

    Last edited by Kingers; 07-10-2019 at 09:11 PM.

  3. #3

    Kingers's New Wagon

    Some of ye are probably wondering is it a 3 series or 5 series

    I was surprised how big the F30 generation (or F31 for the Touring you see here) of 3 series has gotten and moreover, how tight the F10 5 series is in the back for legroom. Now, I'm not saying the 3 is bigger but it got me thinking of the benefits of a lighter car in terms of performance and dynamics and could I survive with the smaller boot than the A6. Pretty well as it turns out.

    So what drivetrain to go for? I'm not the sort of guy to conform to the 318d / 320d mainstream but diesel does make the most sense for me considering the mileage I do. So it was 330d or 335d. I really wanted to get back to a bit of oversteer on the daily driver and they don't do a RWD 335d apparently, and when I test drove a 330d, I was blown away by the drivetrain -

    8 speed ZF – really fast and smooth, with sharp lockup for a torque converter, stacked ratios, just a great bit of kit.
    3 litre straight 6 with a single, twin scroll turbo
    258bhp, 560nm torque from 1600 rpm
    0-60 in 5.8 secs
    37 - 42mpg
    135g/km CO2
    €280 tax p.a.
    €2k VRT

    But what caught me was how much more agile it felt than the A6, it was a more edgy car (relative to a 1500-2000kg estate car) and it has an apparent rear bias, yet still develops pretty decent mechanical grip, it the dry at least It's a few hundred kilos lighter and it feel it. It may not be any quicker down a back road but it's more demanding.

    So the hunt was on and I smelt the blood across the water with sterling bought for €0.925 and some great value on big, unsociable diesels.
    Last edited by Kingers; 07-10-2019 at 10:31 PM.

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  5. #5
    That's a great all-rounder, I had no idea the tax was that low on them!

  6. #6
    Lots to choose from and I was aiming for the lowest mileage, highest spec car in a colour that wasn't black or white. Autotrader was working overtime and then I dipped in to Pistonheads where I spotted this really early 2012 example with a head scratching 9,200 miles on the clock... well there's a story with that car I thought so I had to ask.

    Glad I did. A really interesting story unfolded itself. It's a pre-launch car that was built for BMW GB as a show car that could be brought to the likes of the NEC in advance of the then new 3 series Touring (F31) going on sale. It was built in April 2012 and I think it was October 2012 before they actually went on sale. It actually had 'Prototype' on the logbook and was apparently specced with camoflage from the factory, presumably so it wouldn't be snapped on route to the big reveal at the car shows....

    The thing that really drew me to this car though was the spec... as a show car, it had the book thrown at it in Munich, really too much to list but heres the highlights -

    • M Sport Adaptive Suspension
    • M Sport heated, memory, electric, leather seats
    • Rear heated seats
    • Double panoramic roof
    • Adaptive headlights (crazy things!)
    • Harmon Kardon hi-fi
    • Electric tow bar
    • 6 cameras (tow bar cam, 2 x bumper cams, 2 x door mirror cams and main windscreen cam), it'll park itself if you're that inept.
    • Heads up display with speed sign recognition
    • Professional extended Nav screen
    • 19'' Type 401 alloys
    • Privacy glass
    • De-chrome
    • Etc etc etc £££££

    There was literally not another example on sale with that type of spec.

    After BMW GB were finished the F31 promotion, it sat around and was shipped back to BMW HQ in Munich, where it was parked up with a remarkable 900 miles on the clock. And there it sat, only accumulating a few more miles (literally) over the next few years. That said, it was serviced in Munich and in the UK, all on time intervals, not mileage. It's really interesting to see what happens to these types of cars. It was RHD so of no use in Germany and eventually in 2018 it got shipped back to the UK where it was bought from Williams BMW by the former owner of Munich Legends, who I bought the car from.

    If anyone hasn't heard of them, you just got to take a moment here to oodle at the Bavarian p0rn that is dripping from the forecourt -

    The 330d was his family wagon and proceeded to put nearly 9000 miles on it over a year, which was very welcome as it meant any niggles from lying up should be well known, even though the car is like a 6 month old car.

    I couldn't believe how clean the car was, the lack of dirt on underbody components, the fresh smell, the crispness of everything. I know its 7 years old but I got me as new a car as I'll probably ever buy, for a fraction of the notional price new (which I need to start calculating from the options list)

  7. #7
    Cool history, best of luck with it.
    I'm standing in a field full of sheep, is it wrong that I feel aroused

  8. #8
    Sweet jesus. I've been thinking same myself about the new 3 being similar size to the older 5s. Great find and the best of luck with it. Thoughts on handling to follow soon I'm sure. Interesting to hear about steering vs f10..

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  10. #10
    That looks like a great car and love the history behind it too! Well wear

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Current: '06 Silver Grey E60 530d
    Previous: '03 Silver Grey E46 M3, '02 Imola Red E46 325Ci, '98 Cosmos Schwartz E36 318iS

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