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Old 14th September 2012, 14:32   #91
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post
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.
thank you, sir. I am glad that you chimed in. I was starting to feel like an unwelcome alien for presenting this perspective on the 3 series.
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Old 14th September 2012, 17:13   #92
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post
Quoted for truth and emphasis.



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.
On a different note, lack on inline 6, not launching 335i, doesn't all of these have to do with our current craze for diesels? How many BMWs that we see are petrols in India? While am not a great fan of diesels in general (and I must say I have not driven a high-end diesel ever), but I respect the practicality of the decision, and also the driving pleasure that modern day diesels provide. BMW has gauged this trend in India, and hence they have been moving away from expensive petrols altogether. What else could be the reason for launching 328i only with a auto, and only in the most expensive trim, and announce they have only 50 allocated for 2012?

BMW has the F30 inline 6 in US (albeit with a turbo) in form of 335i, and also sold with a stick shift as an option at 0 additional price.
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Old 14th September 2012, 18:35   #93
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Additionally, with a light foot, you could easily get around 9 - 10 kpl.
.....................

ARAI rating : 14.79 kpl (petrol) and 18.88 kpl (diesel).
Pardon my ignorance guys, but any particular reason why there's such a huge difference between actual and claimed FE?
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Old 14th September 2012, 21:10   #94
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Pardon my ignorance guys, but any particular reason why there's such a huge difference between actual and claimed FE?
ARAI figures were arrived under test conditions(2 people in the front seat,empty road,80kmph speed etc)that are impossible to replicate in the real world!!And lets face it,are you going to drive your Bimmer sedately on an empty road?
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Old 15th September 2012, 14:57   #95
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Thumbs up Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Now here's the real deal, the 2014 M3, based on this F30 reviewed in this thread. Difference? It has an inline 6 and comes with three pedals! (among other goodies like a stiffer suspension, and hopefully more precise steering too).

link : 2014 BMW M3 F80 testing
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Old 15th September 2012, 15:58   #96
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post
Now here's the real deal, the 2014 M3, based on this F30 reviewed in this thread. Difference? It has an inline 6 and comes with three pedals! (among other goodies like a stiffer suspension, and hopefully more precise steering too).
The latest post on bimmerpost states that there will be an EPS for the M3/M4 too.

BMW surely upto something

Last edited by karan561 : 15th September 2012 at 16:02.
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Old 18th September 2012, 15:29   #97
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
BMW first started experimenting with luxury car steering in the 3 series in 2001. I had just bought an E46 330i, fitted with the Sport Package which was so brilliant that this car remains one of the best driving, most involving cars, most satisfying cars I have ever driven.
Now we have a 3 series in India without a straight six engine, without a manual transmission, without wonderful steering, but with all the prestige, gadgetry and style that the Indian premium car buyer craves.

Please buy the car if you like it. I am sure its a brilliant luxury car and will make lots of people very happy.

But don't tell me that you're an enthusiast driver. Enthusiast drivers don't buy luxury cars. They buy cars with charismatic engines, superb steering, manual transmissions and they leave the all the numb soft convenience and luxury to other people.

There aren't very many of those in India.
Thank god some one said that loud..kuddos to you Harbir.

I was searching for a BMW with manual transmission and came across a few dated 2000-2001. They in my opinion are the best cars i have driven as the response of the car and feed back for the driver is pretty amazing.

Compared to that these new versions appear to be more targeted at a pampered lot of drivers and i didn't feel the adrenalin rush i felt when i drove the beemers that are a decade old.

Sadly, if bmw had come out with the phased out 3 series with manual transmission, the story would have been different.
It seems that they are just targeting buyers of luxury segment, taking it for granted that none of them prefer the spirited driving.
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Old 18th September 2012, 16:12   #98
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

India does not have market for drivers cars. We all like to call ourselves enthusiasts, and if we buy a soft luxury car with the BMW badge, we think ourselves enthusiasts because BMW = ultimate driving machine, even though we came to love this luxury car exactly because it traded away driving excellence for luxury.

If the E90 had been offered in India with a manual transmission, I would have bought that. If the new Mini Cooper S had been offered with a manual transmission, I'd buy that. If the F30 had been offered with manual transmission and good steering, I would buy one. If the new S4 were offered with a manual transmission, the excellent torque vectoring rear differential and suspension tuning with a neutral rather than understeering handling balance, I'd buy that.

But you can't get any of that. Obviously there is no demand. meaning there are no enthusiasts to make the demand. We buy luxury cars because thats what we really want, but we think ourselves enthusiasts because we have an interest in cars. I suppose we are car enthusiasts but not driving enthusiasts.

Last edited by Harbir : 18th September 2012 at 16:13.
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Old 19th September 2012, 12:46   #99
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Link to BMW's 3-Series 318d & 320i (Diesel & Petrol, respectively), which could be launched in India in future as the base variants:

http://www.carpoint.com.au/reviews/2...0i-sport-32453
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Old 19th September 2012, 12:57   #100
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

A very well structured and detailed review! It would have been even better if you had included the Passat in your comparison - price, features, comfort, quality, etc etc wise its at par with BMW-3, Merc-C and Audi-A4.

Lemme know if you think otherwise or agree.

Cheers
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Old 22nd September 2012, 13:57   #101
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
India does not have market for drivers cars.

If the E90 had been offered in India with a manual transmission, I would have bought that. If the new Mini Cooper S had been offered with a manual transmission, I'd buy that. If the F30 had been offered with manual transmission and good steering, I would buy one. If the new S4 were offered with a manual transmission, the excellent torque vectoring rear differential and suspension tuning with a neutral rather than understeering handling balance, I'd buy that.

I suppose we are car enthusiasts but not driving enthusiasts.
Harbir..yeah. you are right.

Some how bmw is under the impression that diesel car drivers are more economy oriented where as petrol car drivers are the real auto enthusiasts. That is the reason why the new 3 series has paddle shifts in the petrol versions only.

Paddle shift in my opinion is a poor cousin of manual transmission as paddles give just half the fun of mt only. Actually i love the "grunt" of the diesel bmw 3 series in comparison to the soft "purr" of petrol versions. Somehow it gives the feel of a drivers car when you hear the revs of the diesel engine.

Wish they would at least offer paddle shift in the new 320 d sports version. When is bmw going to understand the Indian consumer psyche of their entry level model ? the classic example of not listening to consumer feed back is shown by bmw not offering a spare RFT for even their new cars ? Don't they know Indian roads or what ?

Last edited by Turbo car : 22nd September 2012 at 14:01.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 17:29   #102
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

BMW should not bother launching the 320i, instead launch the 318d as base low-end variant it will do much better, IMO. Perhaps stripping the 320d down to a corporate edition is not a good idea since it already has a base variant. I think the era of corporate editions is gone, a premium car buyer does expect base features and the 320d base is as basic as it gets for the segment now. Some buyers would he happy to compromise on power rather than features hence the 318d makes sense.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 23:53   #103
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Is it just me or does anyone else see lots of cheap hard touch plastics without any cladding in the cabin?

Didn't expect cheap plastics in a 3 series for sure.

Also the petrol should have had a manual option.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 22nd September 2012 at 23:54.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:04   #104
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
India does not have market for drivers cars. We all like to call ourselves enthusiasts, and if we buy a soft luxury car with the BMW badge, we think ourselves enthusiasts because BMW = ultimate driving machine, even though we came to love this luxury car exactly because it traded away driving excellence for luxury.

If the E90 had been offered in India with a manual transmission, I would have bought that. If the new Mini Cooper S had been offered with a manual transmission, I'd buy that. If the F30 had been offered with manual transmission and good steering, I would buy one. If the new S4 were offered with a manual transmission, the excellent torque vectoring rear differential and suspension tuning with a neutral rather than understeering handling balance, I'd buy that.

But you can't get any of that. Obviously there is no demand. meaning there are no enthusiasts to make the demand. We buy luxury cars because thats what we really want, but we think ourselves enthusiasts because we have an interest in cars. I suppose we are car enthusiasts but not driving enthusiasts.
There is a part of me that agrees with everything you've said here, Habir.

But there is also this part of me that doesn't. Well, at the risk of going OT, let me explain. I'm not sure if we can label an enthusiast easily. An enthusiast is someone who is well, enthusiastic about a particular thing. Someone who has a strong fondness for something in particular. I'd like to call myself an enthusiast, even though I've off-late kindled the idea of owning / driving an automatic and actually enjoying it. I'd still like to call myself an enthusiast even though I haven't had the privilege of driving around a race-track in my favourite cars, and this in particular makes me very envious of you.

I am a hardcore enthusiast when it comes to cars. But I don't mind the fact that the 3-Series has gone soft, or that it comes only with flappy-paddles and no stick-shift. Don't get me wrong, I love the feel of swapping cogs while depressing the clutch and yanking at the wheel around a bend. It's a sensation that's frankly unmatched. But I also like some creature comforts like a softer ride and an intuitive automatic tranny. I don't think this makes me any less of an enthusiast.

I like where technology is headed with regard to cars. New hybrid engines nestling under certain cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and the new Honda CR-Z are often criticized heavily by the 'quintessential' auto-nut. But I see it as the way forward and while the past is a great place to be (trust me, I go weak in the knees when we talk of older BMWs, Porsches, Lancias and the like) I think the future is where we're headed and eventually, we have to catch up.

I'd take the 3-Series today if I had the money. Why? Well, there is nothing else like it, even though it has gone soft. Sure, the suspension is now more supple than ever. The steering has reportedly become lifeless. The auto-tranny although great, isn't for the manual-tranny addict. But it scores very highly in terms of handling, power, performance, etc. And at the end of the day, it makes sense in the real-world, where it is, let's face it, going to be driven every day.

So I think the word enthusiast is a little subjective. I like cars and I always have, ever since I laid my eyes on one. Heck, I like pretty-much anything with wheels and an engine - and the potential to to put a smile on your face.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:31   #105
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Default Re: BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review

Certainly, it is a subjective. Enthusiasm for anything makes you an enthusiast. IF you feel enthusiastic about the cars that are offered in India, you are an enthusiast of those cars.

THat however does not change the fact that there is little experience, understanding, appreciation, or HUNGER for the characteristics and compromises that make cars fun, exciting, thrilling to drive, that cause people to develop an appreciation for fine driving technique, that reward fine technique, cars that reveal an unusual level of brilliance but only to those who have got the technique to explore a car's capabilities and therefore understand them and use them well.

Now anybody who gets excited about a car and likes to own or go for a drive in it can be said to be enthusiastic and therefore an enthusiast, but that does not make him the sort of enthusiast that I am talking about.
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