F30 BMW 330d M Sport review (2012-2019) - price, specs and 0-60 time

BMW’s pokey diesel-powered 3-series enters the F30-generation with the 330d M Sport

Evo rating
Price
from £36,610
  • Great engine, fine handling, good value
  • Steering confuses weight with feel

BMW’s diesel-powered 3-series has long been the acceptable face of oil-burning for enthusiasts. This new F30-generation 330d M Sport is no exception.

Engine, performance and 0-60 time

With a 3-litre single-turbo straight-six developing 254bhp and 413lb ft, it’s a seriously muscular machine. Limited to 155mph and capable of hitting 62mph in 5.6sec, it promises to combine E46 M3 performance with 58mpg economy. Is it too good to be true?

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

What’s it like to drive?

First impressions are wholly encouraging. This new 3-series is a big car, but the benefit of this relentless upsizing is a spacious interior and a gargantuan boot. A Touring version would surely be the perfect family wagon. Thankfully it disguises its bulk well with taut damping, direct steering and a satisfying sense of agility.

The 330d M Sport only comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which you can leave to do its own thing or bat up and down through its gears via a pair of paddle-shifters. As we found in the excellent M135i, it’s a livewire of a transmission and it brings the 330d to life when set in one of its more aggressive modes. But that’s not to say it won’t mooch along effortlessly in ‘D’: with all that torque it has plenty of shove from minimal revs.

Chassis-wise there’s much to like too. The ride is firm enough to feel like it deserves the M Sport badge, but remains supple enough to be a pleasure on less-than-smooth roads. It turns in keenly and enjoys rapid direction changes. The brakes have a firm pedal, smooth response and plenty of stopping power.

The steering (or rather its artificial weighting and general lack of feel) is worthy of a gripe. You can ramp up or calm down its rate of response via the choice of driving dynamics modes from Eco Plus to Sport Plus, but the steering itself feels as if all the feedback is being filtered out.

Rivals

Close rivals are the 241bhp, £37,490 Audi A4 3.0 TDI S-line Quattro and 261bhp, £36,735 Mercedes C350 CDI AMG Sport, while the 197bhp, £28,255 Ford Mondeo 2.2 TDCI Titanium X Sport is a less premium but dynamically able alternative. The BMW trumps them all for fun and feel-good factor.

Anything else I need to know?

Like most modern cars, the fuel consumption figures are optimistic. BMW claims a combined 58mpg and a range of 722 miles from the 57-litre tank, but if our real-world experience is anything to go by, you can expect mid-40s and a practical range of 500 miles. But given the performance, refinement and character on offer, it’s hardly a disappointment.

Price and availability

The BMW 330d M Sport is available now. Prices start at £36,610 for the saloon, the Touring costlier at £38,035.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 6-cyl, 2993cc, turbodiesel
Max power254bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque413lb ft @ 2000-2750rpm
0-605.6sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed155mph (limited)

Recommended

BMW M340i xDrive saloon 2020 review
BMW 3 Series saloon

BMW M340i xDrive saloon 2020 review

12 May 2020

Most Popular

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head
BMW M3 saloon

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head

You might require a second mortgage to buy an E30 BMW M3, but fear not, as there are equally appealing M Power options that won’t test your credit sco…
14 Nov 2020
Renault Megane RS Trophy-R 2020 review - is Renault's record breaker worth its price tag?
Renault Megane RS

Renault Megane RS Trophy-R 2020 review - is Renault's record breaker worth its price tag?

The Trophy R is arguably the most focused, and extreme hot hatch ever made, albeit at a eye-wateringly high price.
17 Nov 2020
Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series breaks Nürburgring lap record
Mercedes AMG GT

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series breaks Nürburgring lap record

The GT3-derived Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is now officially the world’s fastest series production road car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, lap…
17 Nov 2020
UK bans sale of petrol engined cars from 2030
Electric cars

UK bans sale of petrol engined cars from 2030

British Government brings forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel engines to 2030. All hybrids banned from 2035.
18 Nov 2020