Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive Review: BMW 330d 8th Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive Review: BMW 330d 8th Report

Date: 13 August 2009   |   Author:

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £33,555
Key rival: Audi A4

Our 330d has actually returned to BMW now, but a few weeks before it went back I took a drive down to the Bracknell HQ to meet the firm's UK expert on Connected Drive, and all round good bloke, Ian Munday (pictured).

Connected Drive is currently peerless in the British car market. Its' functions include a directory enquiries 118-style service that sends locations straight to the navigation, accident sensors that automatically alert the emergency services, news, weather and RSS feeds sent to the car, 12gb music storage and a DVD player for when the car's static. And plenty more functionality too.

We've been sampling the system for the last six months, and certain bits prove particularly useful. Like looking up a destination on Google Maps while sat at my desk, then being able to send that straight to the car. No inputting through the car's system, it's all done from the office. It also means a colleague can send a location to your car while you're on the road.

Info Plus is also great. Hit the button to dial BMW's call centre and treat them like an operator. I needed a Halfords one day, so dialled in and they sent the nearest location straight to the satnav. Simples.

The SOS system is also handy. There's a button in the roof panel to dial the emergency services, and once the call's connected, the car sends a location signal to the operator, so you don't even need to know where you are. Plus, it will self-dial if the sensors detect an accident, so if you're unconscious the car will come to your aid.

There are many other functions I haven't got space to list, stuff you can't get in any other car right now, but I'll just to say check out Connected Drive when you get the chance. It's useful in ways you never realised a car could be, and I'm missing it already!

BMW 330d saloon M sport
Claimed combined consumption49.6mpg
Our average consumption39.6mpg
P11D price£33,555
Model price range£21,520-£49,520
CO2 (tax) 152g/km/21%
BIK 20/40% per month£117/£235
Service intervalvariable mls
Insurancegroup 17
Warranty3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space460litres
Engine size/power2993cc/245PS
Top speed/0-62mph155mph/6.1secs
Why we’re running itIs our first 10/10 road test car as
good to live with long-term?
PositiveEngine, economy, Connected Drive
NegativeNotchy gear change, options cost