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Old 18th April 2012, 19:15   #1
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Thumbs up JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP family

I was researching for a while to get a diesel sedan for my wife who does 80 KMs every day to drop and pick kids from school. She is quite happy with her Cedia Sports which still feels new but I wanted to get something special for her.

So here goes my buying experience:

I started my hunt for new car in Jan this year, main contenders were Audi A4 2.0 TDI, Mercedes C250 CDI elegance, VW Passat highline and BMW 320D Dynamic or Exclusive.

My first choice was clearly Bimmer but with new F30 launch around the corner, this didn’t seem a logical decision so I kept it lowest in my list. Here is how the elimination process went:

VW Passat:
Excellent Sedan, loads of space and several innovative features like Full Park assist (Car parks itself automatically in parallel parking). I reached out to dealer several times for a test drive but they could not arrange a car. With VW service horror stories; this non response was enough to chalk this one off the list. Another consideration was that, after paying close to 35 lacs, I expected a decent resale which I was confident won’t happen in Passat’s case. I have already burnt my fingers with Palio, Petra and Cedia so this was a clear decision based on combined factors above.

Audi A4 2.0 TDI:
This is one car which was really a very strong contender. Styling was superb, fully loaded with technology. Loved DRLs. Easy to add navigation at reasonable price, possible to browse Internet using 3G phone, complete integration with iPhone. Very comfortable drive. Brand value at par with BMW and Mercedes. Interiors were also good. Only challenge was with 140 odd BHP and a CVT gearbox, it was far from being a driver’s car. No excitement, no drama, only plain simple business suit. I hope they plank a good auto transmission in the car instead of CVT and up engine specs on next upgrade.

Mercedes C250 CDI Elegance:
Absolute delight to see Tri-Star on the bonnet when you drive the car, but this is very much it. Much comfortable than any of the cars above including BMW. Plain interiors don’t induce a wow feeling, no leather (even after paying 37 Lacs, and not even available as an option), cramped rear seat. Service plan very expansive (almost double of BMW BSI) and with lots of ifs and buts. On Paper specs looks better than Bimmer but on road fail to excite as much as 320d. Cornering perfect, suspension very comfortable but engine appears tuned for efficiency. In spite of all the challenges, it was indeed a newer model. Though I didn’t like rear lamps and stance too much but still front looks appealing combined with LED DRLs. Since my wife were to drive, she didn’t care too much about 0-100 and acceleration (not yet…more to come ). Tri-Star on bonnet also made a very positive impact on people around! We had almost closed on this but dealer’s (T&T Motors, Delhi) non-responsiveness, fishy and non-transparent dealings and “I care a damn” attitude pissed me off and this was enough for us to chalk this one off our list.

Finally,
BMW 320D Exclusive edition:
This was pretty much last on the list. I took couple of test drives and I always got down with a grin on my face. The only factor against it was the phasing out model. So we very much decided on delaying the purchase by a year. I did some research on E90 versus F30, figured out that F30 may not be as exciting car to drive due to full electric steering, softening of suspension etc. Also if BMW decided to add couple of lacs to the cost then it will make more sense to buy basic 520d or E200.

Nevertheless, several sleepless nights later I called Bimmer guys to test drive car one more time. This time I discovered the “DS” mode and this was alone for me to sign a cheque in BMW’s favor

Now the real convincing started, Wife wasn’t happy without Tri-Star and to top it, limited choice of color. Kids absolutely wrote off any new car without Sun-roof, for them this was a non-negotiable factor. For me I-drive made no sense without navigation so a plain 320d CE was good enough, at the most I wanted to stretch to 320d DE (Dynamic Edition).

Well, life is all about “Joy” and I had to agree to my wife (who will be driving the car) and kids who will be driven around in the car. Finally, we agreed on BMW 320D Exclusive Edition. Sapphire Black color with Red-Brown Leather interiors.

Dealer interaction:
In all 3 cases I reached out to the principles directly as well as to the dealers. Mercedes was worst in terms of responsiveness, I had to escalate several times before a test drive can be arranged. They took appointment 3 times and cancelled twice at the last hour leaving me with bitterness over weekend which we wasted twice waiting for test drive. I can convincingly call T&T motors worst dealer ever in my list of purchasing cars for last 20 years. This was followed by Volkswagen, I called up twice to their customer care requesting for test drive and nobody reverted back even for days. Direct call to dealer in patparganj was also ignored. Audi dealer and principle (Audi Delhi) was among the best in my interaction, very responsive, willing to go extra mile and extremely responsive but unfortunately A4 2.0 TDI failed to excite me. BMW dealer (Deutsche Motoren) was very responsive but they had their own set of challenges. The good thing was Deutsche was willing to learn and that made all the difference. I saw willingness to sell cars and not treat customers like “take it or leave it” attitude of Mercedes.

Buying experience with Deutsche Motoren Delhi:
There was push-and-pull, they offered me a deal. When I was going to give them a cheque, apparently BMW pulled the scheme back and hence they expressed their regret. I almost gave up but with timely intervention of BMW India, things got sorted out. I spent a day providing them all the papers required for processing loan through BMW Financial and it was worth it as I was able to get very transparent offer. I chose BMW Financial over HDFC/SBI etc due to their flexibility to customize plan according to customer’s need in a transparent manner, Part-prepayment possible with penalty of course. One stop shop so I won’t have to chase financer etc. They took 4 working days to close all formalities and my car was handed over to me with a day’s delay against promise but that’s alright. I did a comprehensive PDI on car before taking the keys. I found Deutsche’s service team to be sub-optimal, I had to push them to give correct answer to my queries but I am hoping this will not be a challenge in future, in any case I have the option of switching to Bird Automotive which has good service reviews. I am awaiting my permanent RC, I have requested Deutsche to give me complete transparency on cost vis-à-vis actual RTO fee. Hopefully this should get sorted out. I purchased BSI Ultimate (BMW Service Inclusive) and BMW secure along with zero-dep Insurance.

The Car:
Love the exteriors, very fine flowing lines and a very visible character with angel eyes and bi-xenons. Alloys look amazing, I like this design over the CE and DE alloys. Chrome lined kidney bean grill is an underlined statement. Even the internal grill lines are chrome in exclusive edition. Dakota Leather is top notch, Red leather interiors look stunning with Black exteriors. Comfort of 2 memories (per remote) of seat, OVRMs is very useful. I love “The Diwali feel” every time a door is opened, exclusive edition has “lights package” so additional white LEDs in handle along with puddle lamps in all doors give very premium feel while getting in and out in dark. Seats are ultra-comfortable with lumbar support. Severely lacks internal space. Doesn’t even have exclusive space to keep sunglasses. There is no way to put even 500ml water bottles in door cavities. Rear space is slightly better and 2x500 ml bottles can be kept in rear cup holders.

Ample space in boot. Mobility kit can be kept in cavity beneath boot surface. Absolutely miss spare wheel, I hope RFTs live up to my expectation.

The Drive:
Love the drive, absolutely fantastic. Cornering is so perfect, tires appear glued to road. Ride quality is good on expressway (most of our commute) slightly harsh on broken regular roads with potholes. The overall ride quality is acceptable. The suspension is absolutely not tuned for comfort but is tuned for spirited precision handling. Kids didn’t complain about space at the back, rather were very comfortable. I too tried rear seat and space is just adequate not great. All controls are optimally placed and are simple.

Entertainment:
10-speaker hi-fi loudspeaker system is a delight, I found it a notch better than my Outtie’s Rockford Fosgate. I did enquire about the make, the component supplier is definitely Harmon-Kardon though this is not “Logic-7” which is sold as an option on 5 and 7 series and branded Harmon-Kardon.

8.8 inch I-Drive is delight but without navigation I didn’t find it too useful. Doordarshan feature is good, at least you can catch news or cricket score while stopping at red light.

The quote for enabling navigation is 91K, I am taking this up with BMW. BMW apps (Facebook, Twitter and Google integration over Bluetooth 3G phone) is not offered yet in India, which is a huge disappointment since this has been present in 3-series around the world for over a year now. Hopefully this is on its way and we will be able to retrofit this. There are several European companies offering both Nav and Apps as a retrofit, their solutions are plug n play and far cheaper than BMW India. Since these are plug and play and don’t mess with vehicle electronics so there will be no warranty issue. Let’s see, my first choice is BMW India but I won’t pay them unreasonable price (Merc’s equivalent “Command” is INR 21K, Audi’s Nav enablement is less than 30K compared to BMW’s quote of 91K!)

What I don’t like:

-No option for spare wheel. Though I purchased mobility kit but I will always be scared to take the car to non-serviceable far areas. I am hoping this is mere psychological. In my experience of last 6 years, I don’t recall using spare wheel since I keep a high quality compressor in my car and drive on tubeless. Still, I feel spare should be given as option by BMW.

-No Cruise control. Give me a break, this is 35 Lac rupee car. I frequently use cruise control on straight stretches so this is a big letdown.

-No Navigation, option too expansive at INR 91000. Even my Cedia has navigation! Not sure why BMW finds this premium feature. Same goes for BMW Apps, if this is offered worldwide why not in India? I thought India too had geeks. And I am paying double the money for less specked than rest of the world!

-Incomplete integration of iPhone with iDrive. You can check your sms and mails on blackberry but not on iPhone! Wake up BMW, Blackberry is history, you need to provide complete integration with iPhone and Android.

-BMW India imposed handling charges of INR 25000. I confirmed that this is not imposed by dealer but mandated by BMW. I don’t understand as to how BMW can charge for handling etc, Car is their property till I purchase and get a handover. Small amount but principally I don’t agree with this.

All said and done, the drive puts all complaints to rest. Simply gives you JOY every time you press “Start” button.

Now the problem is, my wife won’t let me touch her car. The speed limit is set at 120. She is completely a convert from Cedia to Bimmer. I hoped to take it to my office sometimes but keys are always hidden when I pick keys to drive to office. She loves the acceleration, the finesse of premium drive and comfort. She thanked me for pushing for Bimmer instead of Tri-Star.

No complaints, I love my Outlander and am sure God will give me patience to wait for 2 years while Outtie’s lease get over.
JOY, for sure it is!
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JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP family-tbhp1.jpg  

JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP family-tbhp2.jpg  

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Old 18th April 2012, 20:56   #2
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Congragulations on the car. It looks stunning in black. Wish you happy ownership filled with 'joy'. What was the discount offered to you?
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Old 18th April 2012, 21:46   #3
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Wow, congratulations on the new car. My father in law picked up one recently & it's a rocket. Wonderful piece of machinery. Drive safe!
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Old 18th April 2012, 23:18   #4
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Great Car Rishi. And I loved your view on the sunroof because that is exactly why I had to go for the Superb instead of the new Sonata because my kids just wouldn't let go of the sunroof. Hope you got the 4L discount offer on the Exclusive that I too was offered from Deutsche.

Keep revving and updating.
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Old 19th April 2012, 08:29   #5
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Congratulations to Poonam for getting such a lovely car ;-)

So are you going to the BIC track day to test this out?
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Old 19th April 2012, 16:08   #6
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookkeeper View Post
Congragulations on the car. It looks stunning in black. Wish you happy ownership filled with 'joy'. What was the discount offered to you?
Thanks Bookkeeper. I got a discount of 4.5 Lacs (including mobility kit).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mb_jg View Post
Wow, congratulations on the new car. My father in law picked up one recently & it's a rocket. Wonderful piece of machinery. Drive safe!
Thanks Manish, it is indeed a joy to drive, I am holding my self back for first 1500 KMs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Great Car Rishi. And I loved your view on the sunroof because that is exactly why I had to go for the Superb instead of the new Sonata because my kids just wouldn't let go of the sunroof. Hope you got the 4L discount offer on the Exclusive that I too was offered from Deutsche.

Keep revving and updating.
Thanks Dkaile. Kids wanted Sunroof so I had to go in for Exclusive Edition. Yes, I managed a decent discount since this is an outgoing model. Hopefully will cover for my losses when I sale this several years later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Congratulations to Poonam for getting such a lovely car ;-)

So are you going to the BIC track day to test this out?
Thanks Sudev on Poonam's behalf. This car would have to wait to get on track since it is still less than 2000 Kms. But yes, will do that soon.
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Old 19th April 2012, 17:36   #7
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Congratulations on your car. Looking lovely in this colour. Eagerly waiting for the interior pics. Wish you many happy and safe miles.
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Old 19th April 2012, 19:27   #8
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Congratulations on your car, and your wife is sure lucky It looks great, but do post pictures of the interiors. Hope you will still have the grin everytime you drive the car

91k for navigation is way too much. Is any hardware modification or additional components required to enable it or something? I was under the impression that the cars are pre-equipped with it. Do follow it up with BMW. About the handling charges, I believe there is a separate thread going on about it.

Last edited by _raVan_ : 19th April 2012 at 19:28.
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Old 19th April 2012, 19:38   #9
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

How about some more images including the one with the 'Diwali Feel'. Pardon my ignorance but is the mobility kit the setup used to pair the cellphone with idrive?
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Old 20th April 2012, 06:39   #10
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Quote:
Originally Posted by rishi_kapoor View Post
Mercedes C250 CDI Elegance:We had almost closed on this but dealer’s (T&T Motors, Delhi) non-responsiveness, fishy and non-transparent dealings and “I care a damn” attitude pissed me off and this was enough for us to chalk this one off our list.
What is it with this particular dealer of Mercedes-Benz? I have heard and read of so many unsatisfactory experiences with them. How is Mercedes-Benz tolerating?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rishi_kapoor View Post
JOY, for sure it is!
The BMW 3 Series Exclusive Edition looks stunning in black. Please do justice by posting more snaps of the exterior and interior. As you said, it is a JOY for sure, not only for you but for us as well. Wishing you many years of happy ownership!
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Old 20th April 2012, 12:17   #11
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookkeeper View Post
How about some more images including the one with the 'Diwali Feel'. Pardon my ignorance but is the mobility kit the setup used to pair the cellphone with idrive?
The mobility kit is used for sealing the tyre with a sealant in case of a tyre puncture. It includes a sealant bottle and a portable 12v compressor.
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Old 20th April 2012, 15:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRoadie View Post
Congratulations on your car. Looking lovely in this colour. Eagerly waiting for the interior pics. Wish you many happy and safe miles.
Thanks HappyRoadie, Photoshoot is due, I will try to complete it over weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
Congratulations on your car, and your wife is sure lucky It looks great, but do post pictures of the interiors. Hope you will still have the grin everytime you drive the car

91k for navigation is way too much. Is any hardware modification or additional components required to enable it or something? I was under the impression that the cars are pre-equipped with it. Do follow it up with BMW. About the handling charges, I believe there is a separate thread going on about it.
Thanks Ravan, I shall post pictures soon. Nav is not offered on 3 series even as an option. Now it is available for retrofit but it is priced steeply. I hope they bring it down at competitors' level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookkeeper View Post
How about some more images including the one with the 'Diwali Feel'. Pardon my ignorance but is the mobility kit the setup used to pair the cellphone with idrive?
Thanks Bookkeeper, I will share 'Diwali' pics shortly. As explained by Maverick5490, this is a BMW air compressor where you can additionally place a sealent bottle to repair a punctured tire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
What is it with this particular dealer of Mercedes-Benz? I have heard and read of so many unsatisfactory experiences with them. How is Mercedes-Benz tolerating?

The BMW 3 Series Exclusive Edition looks stunning in black. Please do justice by posting more snaps of the exterior and interior. As you said, it is a JOY for sure, not only for you but for us as well. Wishing you many years of happy ownership!
I found T&T motors to be really sad, their attitude and responsiveness was pathetic, I hope Merc add more dealers for Delhi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
The mobility kit is used for sealing the tyre with a sealant in case of a tyre puncture. It includes a sealant bottle and a portable 12v compressor.
Thanks Maverick for explaining mobility kit so simply
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Old 20th April 2012, 19:46   #13
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Congrats for the Beemer. It is still THE driver's car in the segment. Post some interior pics depicting the Navi and the Blackberry connect features.
Happy ferrying.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 00:12   #14
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Default Re: JOY is BMW, Simple! Welcome my 320d exclusive edition Bimmer to our Team-BHP fami

Congrats on your ride Looks killer in Black! This thing just love corners Eagerly waiting for more pics. Can't wait to get mine. Though it'd be a CE or DE most probably.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 15:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
Congrats for the Beemer. It is still THE driver's car in the segment. Post some interior pics depicting the Navi and the Blackberry connect features.
Happy ferrying.
Thanks Utopian, here comes pictures. I have clicked a idrive picture for you. Since me and wife, we both are iphone users, we just experimented with my office blackberry and then resetted all contacts etc. I will definitely click picture of Navi as soon as I install one (INR 91,000).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdiSinghV12 View Post
Congrats on your ride Looks killer in Black! This thing just love corners Eagerly waiting for more pics. Can't wait to get mine. Though it'd be a CE or DE most probably.
Thanks Adi. All the best for your new car, do post pictures and your review as soon as you get your hands on it. I am posting pictures in next post.
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