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591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Found myself bored this morning so I took the wife’s IS and drove down to the BMW Place.
I was checking to see if by chance any of the 330i’s had arrived. And guess what, they had.
Been on the lot for three days now. They have three. One silver coupe, One Silver Sedan (Auto)
and One White Sedan (5spd) The cars are Pretty, exterior looks IDENTIAL to the 328i’s.
Different Wheels though. (I like the 2000 models 328i’s wheels better)
Oh well, I wanted to see what EVERYONE was talking about when they COMPARE
the IS3 and this 330i. Here Goes....

I spent approx. 2hrs there. The first thing I did was got down on my knees and looked UNDER
the 330i. (Checking Out Exhaust System) I wasn’t really surprised to find “Dual Exhaust” from
the engine ALL THE WAY back to the SINGLE Dual Pipe Muffler. (There’s At Least 5HP)
The salesman and I then got inside the car. I told him right away that I’ve NEVER driven the BMW.
(His Face Lit Up) He was a pleasant guy about 60yrs old I guess.
First thing I did was Start the car to get AC going its Terribly Hot Here Today!!
We then sat there approx 10min while I asked EVERYTHING there was to ask about this car.
I can tell EVERYONE NOW why this car COST MORE than the IS300. Here Goes......


The car has Tilt/Telescopic Streering Wheel. (Manual) (Locking Lever Was Directly Under Steering Wheel) IMO Wrong Place. Also Didn‘t Adjust Low Enough for me.

The car has Park Distance Control . Passenger Side Mirror Points DOWN to Curb when Put in reverse. I Like This Feature

The car has Automatic Dimming Inside Rear View Mirror. Nice, but I don’t miss this Feature.

The car has Power Front & Rear Windows One Button Lowering & Raising. Love This Feature

The car has Rechargeable Flash-Light in Glove Box. Nice, but I don’t miss this Feature.

The car has Rain- Sensing Windshield Wipers. I Like This Feature.

The car has (HPS) Head Protection System (Air Bags For Head) I Like This Feature.
The car has 3 Memory Driver Power Seat . I LOVE this Feature.

The car has Automatically Locking Doors at 2mph. I Like This Feature.
The car has Smooth Gas Cylinders Raising Hood & Trunk. I Love This Feature.
The car has Dual Exhaust From Engine to Muffler. I Like This.

The car has other small differences but not important enough to mention. ( IMO )

3,220 Posts
Of the things you mentioned the only ones I will really miss are:

1> "Park Distance Control . (Passenger Side Mirror Points DOWN to Curb when Put in reverse.)
2> (HPS) Head Protection System (Air Bags For Head)
3> The car has Smooth Gas Cylinders Raising Hood & Trunk.

[This message has been edited by TEG (edited August 18, 2000).]

591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

This salesman took me to the COUNTRY!! We did about 15min of city driving and approx 30min
of BACK-ROAD driving. He let me DO WHAT I WANTED with the car. Every now and then he
would tell me to DO This, and DO THAT...... This guy appeared as Pumped Up as I was!

Now, ( IMO ) the car performs great. Since I’ve drove our IS3 to the SAME LIMITS that I drove this
car I will COMPARE THEM DIRECTLY. Here Goes....

[This message has been edited by smra (edited August 18, 2000).]

591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 330i Rides just as smooth as the IS3.(205/50R-17 All Season Tires ) The Car Has Alot Of Power,but doesn’t FEEL anymore Stronger than the IS3. Both cars Are Strong Torque Cars!! The 330i is NOTICABLY Louder inside.
Not from ROAD NOISE but from ENGINE RUMBLE......(Muffler) This car has a HEAVY,DEEP Roar...
Even at LOW, RPMs and Normal Driving. Some of you will like this but I didn’t. I Love the Smooth,Quiet IS300 sound!!
Don’t get me wrong, the car sounds GOOD! But the Engine and Drive Pull IS NOT as Turbine Smooth as the IS3. I kept the transmission in MANUAL 90% of the time.
But while in Auto the car shifts very smooth. Just Like the IS3. I like the Manual Trans Function of this car. It starts out in 1st Gear.... vs IS3 starting in 2nd..... (No Big Deal To Me) It felt sorta Weird changing the gears on the floor. (Im already used to the Steering Wheel Mounted Buttons )
But over all the car Performed STRONG! Now for the cornering. I realize this car has the Standard Suspension but it handle very well. The IS300 suspension is NOTICABLY FIRMER and IMO handles better than the 330i.
The 330i have the SAME UNDER STEER in the Middle of the Corner coming out under HARD Acceleration. But very predictable and easy to adjust to. One thing I did notice was the 330i under HIGH SPEED approx 80-90mph on straight road the car "Wanders A Little" Something I definitely don’t feel in the IS300.... I guess its the Standard Suspension. Now the BRAKES. This salesman really was Confident about the brakes on this car. So much so that he had me get up to 65 mph and then told me to STOMP and HOLD the brakes until the car stops. So I did it.....
To my surprise, You could REALLY feel the ABS working in the pedal. The car braked perfectly STRAIGHT,but at LEAST a couple of the wheels temporarily LOCKED UP. Enough to Leave Two
NOTICEABLE rubber marks in the road.
Needless to say the salesman was sorta Embarrassed I think.
He had me do it again and the same outcome..... But don’t get me wrong, the car was ALWAYS STRAIGHT and UNDER CONTROL.
That whole braking ordeal raised my suspicions about the IS300’s braking ability. I’ve read that the IS3 has GREAT brakes but I’ve NEVER tried Locking them up before. So after we got back to the BMW place I told the salesman I LOVE the 330i. The price for the car I drove was $39,000 and some change.

Oh, forgot to mention the Stereo in the 330i. Its Nice, but its Not Even Worth Talking about compared to the IS3’s.... Im sure everyone KNEW THAT!!

Now, briefly back to the IS3’s brakes. After leaving BMW I went to one of my favorite desolate testing roads. I got the IS3 up to 65mph and Stomped & Held the Brakes Down until the car stopped!
WOW these brakes are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! The car Braked Perfectly Straight with NO LOCK-UP AT ALL!! Sure the tires sorta squealed and left VERY FAINT STRAIGHT tire marks on road but NO Skidding at ALL. The IS300 Brakes Are Noticeably BETTER than the 330i’s.

In finishing let me say I would definitely Buy a 330i and Im thinking about trading the Maxima in for
a White 330i with the sport suspension and xenon lights. I would Love to have another IS but one is enough I think. The 330i I want will cost $43,500 out the door........
Will keep you all up to date on what I decide.......

And oh yea, the 330i’s are Limited at 128mph Tops. Thats straight from BMW and the Brochure.

Premium Member
8,072 Posts
Nice post. My rental 320d in France also "wandered" on the highway at 100-150kph. I attributed it to the base suspension and tires (15"). It was kind of tiring to drive on the highway cause you have to make small course corrections. My integra is better (in that respect).
Anyone wants to pass 128mph in a 330i can buy a chip that removes the limiter. Then it'll hit 155mph I think. The 330i will also brake better with the sport package tires, but still a little longer than the IS300.

591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here are a few more details about the 330i:

The Stereo has CD Player & Radio ONLY...where the IS3 Has Tape,CD,Radio....

The 330i Has All of the Audio functions on the Steering Wheel. (I Love This Feature )

There is NO SECURITY SYSTEM with the Standard or Premium Package.... This option cost $500 extra.

Also the xenon lights are $500 extra....

The 330i Has a Timing CHAIN not BELT. (I Like This Feature )

The First Three Years of Maintenance or 36,000 miles are FREE. (Love This Feature)

The engine compartment of the 330i is Totally
Packed. Can't even SEE the Oil Filter (I don't Like This)

0-60 auto= 7.0 5spd= 6.4 (Don't Mean Nothing To Me)

Metallic Paint Optional..

Fuel Milage Auto= 19/27 5spd=21/30 (Like This But Don't like Changing Gears )

Vehicle weight= auto=3373lbs 5spd=3318lbs

Oh yea, remember me mentioning the "Wandering" at high speeds?? I think its due to the "Assisted Steering" on this car.
Like I said, The IS300 has NONE OF THIS!

The sales guy said it was the suspension but now that I think about it...... nah......

One more thing, remember me mentioning "Feeling" the brake pedal during Hard Braking in the 330i? I meant actually feeling the computer making multiple adjustments in seconds.....
Its Amazing to actually FEEL the differences in these two awesome cars for yourself. The IS3 Had NONE OF THIS Computer feel in the pedal. Just smooth,strong,anti-skid stops!!

Oh well Im gonna run. Gonna read these two nice 330i brochures before bed.

591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One more thing, or really a couple.
The 330i Does NOT have rear Cup Holders.

Also, remember when several people were concerned about the "So-Called" Delay when "Flooring" the IS??
Well, the 330i has the SAME PERSONALITY when
STOMPED!! (Transmission )
But like I said before, neither of these cars needs to be STOMPED.....
They react better to the "Squeeze" method.

About the interior of the 330i.
I like it. Like I said earlier this is my FIRST experience with the BMW family.
The IS300's interior (To Me) is more Practical, and easy to use though....
Also the 330i has a Super Nice Arm Rest...Storage compartment. Also, if Im not mistaken, and I don't think I am, the 330i DOES NOT have Rear Seat Arm Rest Either...
Nor does it have a Rear Seat-Trunk Pass Through.
But I did like the Trunk Hinges on the 330i.
Totally OUT OF THE WAY!!!

And I didn't Like the front Fog-Driving Lights. They are too "Long" to me.... Not very noticeable.....

Premium Member
8,072 Posts
It's a 2.0L turbo diesel, with like 135 hp and 207 lb-ft torque. It's a turbo, so it does zip below 2000 rpm and then you get a rush of power that's really impressive, but runs out quickly cause the car auto upshifts at like 4500 rpm (redline is like 5200?). Lot of fun, sounds really nasty but it grew on me. Got 40 mpg too, which is good when diesel's $3 a gallon (and gas is $4).

Originally posted by TEG:
Probably a Europe only diesel model...

(Would that be a 2 liter turbodiesel?)
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