Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW 330d - 1st Report
03 March 2009
 We're loving the ability to send a destination from our desks to the car's navigation using Google Maps
Last July, we at BusinessCar changed our road test ratings from a five-star scoring system to a mark out of 10, and since then, of the 88 car and van reviews written, only one has been deemed worthy of the maximum mark - BMW's 330d
We gave the facelifted 3-series a first drive last September, just ahead of its UK launch, and the verdict, then, was that both driver and finance director will struggle to be happier. Now BMW is letting us see how the car performs over six months on our long-term test fleet.
We've plumped for the M Sport trim level that gets the M sport alloy wheels  and sporty body kit that really improves the 3-series' looks, M Sport suspension, and a host of interior improvements.
In the interests of a quick delivery, we've taken a car from BMW stock, which means it's slightly overspecced as well as nicely run-in with about 5000 miles on the clock.
The leather upholstery , at more than £1000, is likely to prove an unnecessary extravagance, as is the full-electric seat adjustment at a hefty £890. Less costly and probably more useful are the front and rear parking sensors at a pretty reasonable £285, and the £645 visibility pack compromising adaptive Xenon headlamps with washer function, auto lights and wipers and BMW's high-beam assist that automatically disengages the main beam when it senses an approaching vehicle. It sounds like a neat touch, and I'm looking forward to trying it.
We have, though, deliberately asked for the most expensive option fitted to our car. The media pack, as BMW calls it, includes satnav and Bluetooth, but also covers a new initiative we've wanted to try out since it was first announced. BMW Online is a whole raft of multimedia measures that will take six months to discover, but straight out of the box we're loving the ability to send a destination from our desks to the car's navigation using Google Maps . It's much nicer than trying to type in the destination while sat in the car before you set off.
But more on that in future reports. Our new 330d has only just arrived yet already it's looking likely to live up to that 10-out-of-10 billing