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Old 15 September 2011, 18:17   #31
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Another reason for the 335i being a guzzler is the motor is based on the much older M54 design rather than the newer N52 magnesium block.

Coming right out of left field.....how about a Skoda Superb?? They have received great praise in all the tests I have read with refinement to match a 5 series. Somewhere I read it's quieter at 70 than a bentley. I dunno how useful it would actually be but the twin-door boot lid is pretty funky.

2009 Skoda Superb Hatchback 5-Dr 1968 cc 2.0 TDI CR Elegance DSG (170 BHP)
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Old 15 September 2011, 18:27   #32
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Uh? the M54 is what's in my E46 330i. It's the N54 that's in the E90 335i, and with the greatest of respect dear chap, it's the clever bits, not the the block that gives most of the performance and economy attributes. The twin-scroll turbo on the new engine, the N55, is supposed to be the main factor. However it loses some of the flexibility and not a popular for after-market tuning.
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Old 15 September 2011, 19:29   #33
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Reading around a bit more you're right Richard. I must have picked up the wrong idea from some where on the net, I'm sure I read that it lacked the direct injection of the N52.
Am I right in thinking that the N54 just uses an alloy block with cast iron liners like the M54 (E46/Z4) rather than being Magnesium Alloy like the N52?

1st time I had the Z4 serviced by a local specialist I told them I had bought it as a keeper and they expressed the opinion that a well looked after M54 will probably outlive the later 3.0 engines. They had 3 E46's between the two of them, 330i, 330ci and a 330touring

Mate has just bought a E46 330cd which has been mapped to about 240. (I think it was the 203bhp originally?). Goes like stink but it just lacks a bit of the "soul" of the petrol 3L IMO.

Mark.
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Old 17 September 2011, 09:07   #34
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Thanks all - really then the decision comes down to diesel vs petrol - for me with a very probable less than 5000 a year (maybe far less) it may be worth going for a 325 or even 330 petrol, the 320i seems a poorer relation to the 320d - which is the one model that seems to stand out from the range even though it is a more 'ordinary' model - but the whole price/performance/mpg/tax of the 320d is a seemingly unbeatable combo.

I need to get out there and drive them all...
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Old 17 September 2011, 09:17   #35
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Agreed! You gotta drive em all to decide!
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Old 20 September 2011, 11:42   #36
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Have been looking into this a bit more and the 5 might be a better bet after all (size/ value/comfort etc) - got a nice surprise on the insurance, we've got an Admiral multi car policy and I phoned for a quote to swap the old 2002 1.6 Focus to a 2008 525i or 530i and either will only be an extra 150 a year, thought it would be far worse.
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Old 20 September 2011, 14:26   #37
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I use Admiral multi-car too and have found them to be excellent value. Managing to insure two cars for about 600 when I was 28 was good enough before you even considered one was group 19 (on the 1-20 scale) too.
One of my friends has just sold his 1999 535i V8 with 270k on the clock and is looking for an E60 540 or 545i now! I've tried to steer him into a 530 but he is V8 obsessed!
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