In the 330d, BMW’s B57 engine straddles the fine line between sporting performance and real-world usability with such impressive poise that it’s easy to lament the tax-motivated move away from powerful diesel engines in cars such as these.
Its performance on a cold, wet day on Millbrook’s mile straight helped prove its effectiveness. With BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system all but rendering wheelspin off the line non-existent, the 330d hit 60mph from rest in just 5.5sec before reaching 100mph in 14.5sec. Bearing in mind the conditions, as well as the fact that our test car was fully fuelled, BMW’s claimed 0-62mph time of 5.5sec seems entirely believable.
In-gear performance and flexibility are equally mighty, with proceedings becoming faintly strained only once the engine spins past 4000rpm. The manner in which the bulk of torque comes on tap is easily manageable, too. The BMW might not surge forward with quite the level of explosiveness of an Audi S4 TDI, but its slightly more laid-back swell of force serves to make it seem more drivable. That said, a marginally more responsive accelerator pedal, particularly when stepping off the mark, would be welcomed.