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Old 13th September 2012, 13:59   #76
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
Actually the same things are important then and now. its mostly about what traits you want to choose. India has gone through a cycle of bad cars like ambys and fiats, then decent cars that offered reliability and safety but nothing more, and as the country has become richer, our tastes as a society have developed based on our history with cars. We've never had sports cars. We've never had sport sedans.

We've only ever had bad cars cheap, small uncomfortable cars. and now we are delighted to be able to buy cars that are awesome compared to what we've had. Our old cars have made up hungry for comfort. We are hugely attracted to cars that shut out the mad, poor, noisy broken down India, and for a few minutes, cocoon us in the best of comfort, refinement, luxury, and sophistication that the rich world can offer us.

I understand and respect that, believe me.

I am only trying to point that India has not yet developed a true culture of drivers cars, and India is not getting good drivers cars even now. and it looks set to continue that way because based on our history, we are so happy to be getting what we're getting, we love it and don't really understand what we're not getting, and we don't miss it because its not something we've any experience with.

In my view thats sad. but I guess its sad ONLY in my view.

Please enjoy your 3er and don't mind me too much.

Cheers.
Its an interesting point.. Except some European countries, very few nations have developed that desire/maturity.. Lot of this is dependent on the mentality of the society, infrastructure and probably local expertise I guess.. For eg, the US might be the largest auto market in the world, but true American cars still hate to go around a bend and its all about quarter mile numbers. Some of the European cars made in US are de-tuned/softened to an extent to just meet local needs. I am not trying to cheer you up , but thought to pitch in $0.02..

Cheers
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Old 13th September 2012, 14:56   #77
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

its not just some european countries. Its all of them west of the now defunct iron curtain. and its the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

and that cannot be easily dismissed because these countries together represent every single decent car manufacturer in the world, and the tastes of these countries' car buyers represent the way cars have been shaped or been shaped by the cars they've been offered by the manufacturers.

And while the boat metaphor has applied to american cars, it is also true the US has about 100000% more hard core driving enthusiasts than India. Even the smallest towns will have some guy with a track prepped MX-5, or a local cement manufacturer who races his 911 Clubsport on the weekends. Anywhere you go, any office you work in, you'll meet car nuts who come to work only so they have money spend on their sports car hobby. The country has countless race tracks, all of them full weekdays and weekends with track days. From the smallest towns to the biggest metropolises, from coast to coast, from the flat midwestern states to the mountain territories, I have never not encountered car nuts who drive hard and demand cars suitable to their hard driving needs, whose cars reflect that.

Indians are in no position to poke fun of american driving habits.
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Old 13th September 2012, 16:16   #78
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

I saw one in White with red interiors after a mild shower. It looked stunning
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Old 13th September 2012, 16:22   #79
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In the absence of race tracks, availability of lesser disposable income for a second weekend car, mods being more expensive, lack of skilled labor for mods, expensive cars compared to west, higher expense to income ratio by a huge margin, lack of flat roads, lack of swappable crate engines, lack of reliable cheap powerful cars and 852456852456 other reasons that you and me and us surely know of, in India the definition of enthusiast translates to below:
  • An enthusiast is not someone who wants to drive hard at every corner, every highway.
  • An enthusiast is anybody who just likes to drive anywhere work, coffee, restaurant, marriage.
  • An enthusiast could be a person who wants always details his car and keeps it spic and span.
  • An enthusiast is one who may not spend a lakh on home theater but wil have a full blow sound system in his car.
  • An enthusiast could anyone who just wants any car with a sunroof through which he can enjoy the sky and those moments.
  • An enthusiast is anyone who when stops at a signal, people admire and say "What a car", "what a alloy"
  • An enthusiast is someone who may just want to take his parents for an outstation trip in utmost comfort.

We dont do Bombay-Nasik, Bombay-Goa, Delhi Chandigarh everyday, but we travel on bad roads and pot-holed highways everyday. So I would be able to drive a car with slightly softer ride more faster and enthusiastically compared to a sports car that you break something (my back or something in the car)at the first pothole or speed breaker if driven enthusiastically.

We discuss downsizing Porsche wheels from 20" to 18" wheels so that we can live with the car and drive it enthusiastically than with 20" wheels.

An enthusiast car is any car that brings you a smile the moment you drive it and does not trouble more than expected.

Last edited by dipen : 13th September 2012 at 16:23.
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Old 13th September 2012, 16:45   #80
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Not a big fan of the F30. The rear and side profile look good, but the front with those awkward headlights are horrendous. It looks timid and pleasing not intimidating and sinewy like the E90.

BMW's seem to be losing the plot with their steering systems. Any enthusiast would prefer those heavy old school steering systems. They should offer an option of a hydraulic steering even if it is to shell out some bucks.

Thumbs down for the design. The Bangled 3 was waaay better.
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Old 13th September 2012, 18:43   #81
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by dipen View Post
  • An enthusiast is not someone who wants to drive hard at every corner, every highway.
  • An enthusiast is anybody who just likes to drive anywhere work, coffee, restaurant, marriage.
  • An enthusiast could be a person who wants always details his car and keeps it spic and span.
  • An enthusiast is one who may not spend a lakh on home theater but wil have a full blow sound system in his car.
  • An enthusiast could anyone who just wants any car with a sunroof through which he can enjoy the sky and those moments.
  • An enthusiast is anyone who when stops at a signal, people admire and say "What a car", "what a alloy"
  • An enthusiast is someone who may just want to take his parents for an outstation trip in utmost comfort.
So just anybody who likes cars.

If thats the definition of the Indian enthusiast, OK, but its not one I subscribe to or would accept in my future commentary on cars in India.

When I look at the jeepers in India, including on this forum, and I see how they approach off roading, despite the lack of money, or any fancy hardware, or access to any serious modification ability, I can see that hard core enthusiasm for something related to motoring can and does exist in India. Nobody in a developed country would say that Indian jeepers are "not jeeping enthusiasts".

I see something similar in motorcycling as well.

I do not see it in cars. I am sorry but that is the painful, offensive, unpleasant truth.

Last edited by Harbir : 13th September 2012 at 18:48.
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Old 13th September 2012, 18:48   #82
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

While the 3series has taken a step back in steering feel, overall this new model will take care of the #1 complaint that customers and prospective customers (who rejected it) have had for years... which is poor ride quality. This car will take BMW to new heights of market success and cause added grief to Mercedes and Audi.

To me personally its a huge travesty, because the steering is the #1 positive trait that I die for.

I feel that BMW which has a rich tradition of making fantastic steering cars should have created two clearly distinct sub-models. One luxury and one sport. The luxury being today's F30 and the sport having the same tune as say an E46/90.

Having said that I wonder if Indian models have a different suspension turning compared to the Euro and US models because the complaints about lack-of/deterioration-in feel have not be so strong there.

Secondly, what matters now is how the F30 stacks up against the C-class and the A4.

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I drove an E36 M3, a 2001 E46 330i Sport, a 2001 E46 325i Sport, back to back on this road, and later a 2002 E46 325iT non sport and a 2000 E46 328ci non sport.

What I learned was that the E36 M3 and the E46 330i Sport drove virtually identically except the 330i had much poorer steering feel. Since the E36 M3 was used and I couldn't find a nice clean one, I bought a 2001 E46 330i Sport.
HaHa tell me about. No wonder I am not able to let go of my E36 M3.. try as hard as I can.

Last edited by Mpower : 13th September 2012 at 19:10.
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Old 13th September 2012, 18:59   #83
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Rock on, man. Another very disappointing thing I have seen is that the Indian "enthusiast" community doesn't count the E36 amongst the great 3ers, a prejudice that has spread to India from the Indian partners of british car magazines, rags like Autocar India who speak so knowledgeably about things they have no experience of.

The E36 was simply brilliant and the E36 M3 is one the greatest drivers car ever and even today remains ones of the best drivers cars on the road.

I am envious of you!
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Old 13th September 2012, 19:10   #84
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
Rock on, man. Another very disappointing thing I have seen is that the Indian "enthusiast" community doesn't count the E36 amongst the great 3ers,
Simply because there is no experience of it. If it was sold in India when it was in production I'm sure enough of people would have been raving about it. But if its not been sold here, people who have not driven it cannot go on raving about it right? It started off with the E90 here, which is what many people have driven, so in their head that is the epitome of driving pleasure below say 50 lacs.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 13th September 2012 at 19:14.
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Old 13th September 2012, 19:25   #85
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

If they simply said nothing because they have no experience, I'd buy that. but I recall a post that while mentioning the great 3ers mentioned the E30 and the E46, but not the E36. There isn't experience in India of any of those since none were sold here.

And Autocar India's latest issue says " The E30 was the seminal sporting saloon. The larger E36 had wider appeal but was less focused. By the time the E46 came around BMW had well and truly got its mojo back".

This is completely wrong. The Lotus Cortina and the Ford Escort RS both predate the E30 by decades and so the E30 is not the seminal sporting saloon. The BMW 2002, from which the 3 was born, was the seminal sporting saloon amongst BMWs. The E21 3er that followed the 2002 had already established the mold of sporting saloons that the E30 would build upon. The E36 did not have wider appeal than the E30 and it was not less focused than the E30. It was such a huge step forward on the E30, that E30 M3 apart, virtually nobody who know will prefer an E30 over an E36 today (non Ms of course). The only difference was that while the E30 was entertaining even with the 1.8L 4 cylinder, the E36 chassis didn't come into its own without the inline 6. But the british mags don't like the E36. I remember in the days of the E36, british mags were comparing it to fwd cars like the first generation VR6 golf and the fiat coupe turbo and declaring them more desirable (nobody else agreed, and those cars are now forgotten and never mentioned in the pantheon of great cars). And finally BMW did not get its mojo back with the E46 because it had never lost it. In fact, many 3er enthusiasts in fact didn't greet the E46 warmly initially because while it had improved refinement and greater weight, it did not provide any more driving pleasure than the E36.

Today, from 2002 to E90, all the 3ers (2002 is included because while its not called a 3, the 3 developed from it as a continuation of the 2002 formula) are regarded by BMW fans as brilliant.

Last edited by Harbir : 13th September 2012 at 19:32.
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Old 13th September 2012, 19:32   #86
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipen View Post
In the absence of race tracks, availability of lesser disposable income for a second weekend car, mods being more expensive, lack of skilled labor for mods, expensive cars compared to west, higher expense to income ratio by a huge margin, lack of flat roads, lack of swappable crate engines, lack of reliable cheap powerful cars and 852456852456 other reasons that you and me and us surely know of, in India the definition of enthusiast translates to below:
  • An enthusiast is not someone who wants to drive hard at every corner, every highway.
  • An enthusiast is anybody who just likes to drive anywhere work, coffee, restaurant, marriage.
  • An enthusiast could be a person who wants always details his car and keeps it spic and span.
  • An enthusiast is one who may not spend a lakh on home theater but wil have a full blow sound system in his car.
  • An enthusiast could anyone who just wants any car with a sunroof through which he can enjoy the sky and those moments.
  • An enthusiast is anyone who when stops at a signal, people admire and say "What a car", "what a alloy"
  • An enthusiast is someone who may just want to take his parents for an outstation trip in utmost comfort.

We dont do Bombay-Nasik, Bombay-Goa, Delhi Chandigarh everyday, but we travel on bad roads and pot-holed highways everyday. So I would be able to drive a car with slightly softer ride more faster and enthusiastically compared to a sports car that you break something (my back or sometZhing in the car)at the first pothole or speed breaker if driven enthusiastically.

We discuss downsizing Porsche wheels from 20" to 18" wheels so that we can live with the car and drive it enthusiastically than with 20" wheels.

An enthusiast car is any car that brings you a smile the moment you drive it and does not trouble more than expected.
Truly practical. For our conditions, yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post

I feel that BMW which has a rich tradition of making fantastic steering cars should have created two clearly distinct sub-models. One luxury and one sport. The luxury being today's F30 and the sport having the same tune as say an E46/90.

HaHa tell me about. No wonder I am not able to let go of my E36 M3.. try as hard as I can.
Couldn't agree more. I'm jealous and helpless haha

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Simply because there is no experience of it. If it was sold in India when it was in production I'm sure enough of people would have been raving about it. But if its not been sold here, people who have not driven it cannot go on raving about it right? It started off with the E90 here, which is what many people have driven, so in their head that is the epitome of driving pleasure below say 50 lacs.
Correct! Otherwise, i would be busy detailing and cornering by now instead of writing


pEaCe
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Old 13th September 2012, 19:47   #87
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Nobody in a developed country would say that Indian jeepers are "not jeeping enthusiasts".
How many Jeepers have Jeff as their only car. Jeep engine swaps and parts and very less expensive than performance cars. Jeeps do require substantial maintenance no doubt though.
Jeff mods are considerably cheaper than a great handling car (need power, need brakes, need good chassis and need a petrol pump).

Quote:
I see something similar in motorcycling as well.
Quote:
I do not see it in cars. I am sorry but that is the painful, offensive, unpleasant truth.
Because, you dont have enough roads to enjoy the full potential of great handling car. Plus car mods are very very expensive compared to Jeeps. Engine Swaps, turbos, petrol prices are not something everyone can afford to live it. The Indian population (enthusiast and non enthusiast) still drive on non-enthusianst roads and hence still prefer a comfortable decent handling ride.

If you notice the trend, great handling cars supposedly enthusiast favorites trade hands so fast because very soon the owners release that this is not really the car they want to own (maintain / incurr costs) long.

Palio 1.6, vRS, even though sold in low numbers are always available (2nd and 3rd owners) cause there is a huge price for maintaining that enthusiast tag to yourself.

The E36 is still very popular in India. the reason people dont rave about it is there are hardly any with inline 6 and a stick. I havent seen any in Mumbai in last 5 years (except the one with M3 swapped engine owned by Adilkhan5). Most all automatics with 4 cylinder engines and mostly in bad shape.

Having driven in both M3 and I6 form, must admit - it is really great even compared to today's beemers and competition.

Last edited by dipen : 13th September 2012 at 19:49.
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Old 13th September 2012, 20:08   #88
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

It is not about how much money you have for a second car, or for modifications, but about your attitude. Only a few are mad enough to make no compromises. But everybody else has to make compromises with the circumstances, financial capabilities, practical needs. But what compromises do you choose to make for a car that is more fun to drive?

If you're practical, sensible, aware of the wisdom of compromise, thats to your credit and you are to be admired for it. But it just so happens that fun to drive always takes a toll on practical, sensible and wise things.

And when you refuse to compromise on those for the sake of having more fun, you are not really an enthusiast, are you? After all, if having fun is not the most important thing, just how enthusiastic are you really? Somewhat, but not much.

Last edited by Harbir : 13th September 2012 at 20:11.
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Old 14th September 2012, 11:04   #89
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Mod Note : Please stick to the topic, that is the BMW 3-Series. Any more off-topic posts will be deleted.
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Old 14th September 2012, 14:23   #90
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Quoted for truth and emphasis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
*snip*
That was the story of the steering. the other aspect is the engine. As I explored the world of cars and drove many kinds, I was particularly struck by the BMW inline 6 engine. I became a die hard fan of the straight six. This was the best kind of engine configuration. The V6 had replaced the inline 6 because its shorter length made it hugely more appealing for packaging reasons. It could be used in transverse layouts easily (matters because most cars are now of that layout), and in longitudinal layouts, it permitted a much shorter engine bay and thus a far more spacious cabin within the same wheelbase.

But I found that for driver appeal, the inline 6 engine was just wonderful. inline 6 engines rev like turbines and make a lovely song. BY comparison, V6 engines were either crude or just very very bland, like the one in my dad's A6 3.0T quattro. A V6 can be massaged to minimize its vibrations, and use of clever engine mounts can remove the last bits reaching the cabin, but it cannot replicate the feel and sound of an inline 6.

I also found that much of the appeal of an inline 6 vs a V6 gets lost when mated to an automatic transmission, the automation mechanism filtering out virtually everything that makes them feel different.

And I found every single automatic transmission BMW i drove to be a tremendous disappointment. Oh, they make fine transport appliances that pamper the occupants. But in every case, they have not been 10% the drivers machines that their manual transmission equivalents have been.

*snip*
Needless to say I totally echo your sentiments here. After driving a stick E90 330i (+ZSP), I was keen to find a similar configuration on a 3er once I moved back to India (this was about 5 years ago). I walked into a BMW dealership somewhere in Andheri, and asked about the availability of an MT, the sales guy says "the 3 series is a luxury car and is only chauffeur driven so we don't offer manual transmission". I couldn't help but laugh at the guy. That test drive was the first (and the last) time I drove a slush box BMW and it was horrid.
Fast forward to today. There's still no stick shift as an option, and what's worse is for whatever reason, they've also taken away the option for an inline 6.
So yeah, that's what BMW has done with this new 3, catered to the demands of the nouveau riche with their watered down corporate editions. They've sold out and this is only the beginning. I suppose the next best bet is going to be the next M3 (/M4) which will be back to using an I-6.
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