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Old 6th August 2008, 15:36   #1
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Default A visit to a BMW dealership and test drive in Chennai

Last month, a fellow BHP-ian and myself found ourselves jobless on a Saturday and decided to pay a visit to a local BMW dealer to see what they have to offer. The visit was not merely cosmetic as one of us was looking at the 3-series in earnest. We took a very short test drive due to time limitations but i was impressed with the fit, finish , drive and quality of the Chennai assembled 320D.The interior is not very flashy but it is comfortable as it was designed to keep your attention on the road and optimize driving duties.This is a true drivers car and as such the interior controls for everything including the stereo and climate-control systems are well placed and simple to operate. One cool feature is the passenger side-view mirrors that pivot downward when the car is moving in reverse, to help see what’s behind the car. A very useful feature indeed!.And, the test car we drove did have the dreadful(in my opinion) 'i-drive' gizmo. But, we didn't have the chance to try it out.Thankfully!.

The 320D is more a driver's car and less suited to our wannabe local nabobs who like to sit portly at the rear of a car while their drivers get to experience the feel of driving their fantastic machines!.The ride quality is average and that was my main disappointment.Legroom is adequate , though really tall drivers will have a hard time sitting in the rear due to lack of headroom.And, after sitting in my SX4 , the 320D feels a tad low on the ground and with the myriad seen and unseen beings that crisscross our roads, that could be a handicap in city driving.On talking to the sales rep later, i was told that the car will return 9-10kmpl in city and highway driving. The car has presence, looks stylish and at approximately 30 lacs INR for the base 320D i say go for it, if you have the money. Just don't rob a bank or your mother's jewels to buy it!. In addition to pics of the 320D we test drove, i will include pics of the Chennai assembled 5-series and the other cars on display at the dealership.

Photos of the interior display and the car we test drove.
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Last edited by nickatnite : 6th August 2008 at 15:53.
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Old 6th August 2008, 15:40   #2
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A brief look at the BMW 5 series also assembled in Chennai. I was again, very impressed with the fit and finish. Lately, BMW has revamped their 5-series offerings in India with a 36lac variant. Worth the money, is my opinion.
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Last edited by nickatnite : 6th August 2008 at 15:42.
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Old 6th August 2008, 15:46   #3
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the 523i has been there since it was launched.
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Old 6th August 2008, 15:47   #4
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The other cars at the dealer a 730d, X5 and X3. The X3 is the only letdown in the entire BMW range. Looks built to a price. If anyone has test driven one and has an opinion, please let me know.
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Old 6th August 2008, 16:12   #5
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Quote:
One cool feature is the passenger side-view mirrors that pivot downward when the car is moving in reverse, to help see what’s behind the car. A very useful feature indeed!
I think Mercedes Benz had this feature in place years ago and discontinued it for some reason. I'm happy to be corrected. It sounds useful.

Out of curiosity, what is the control stalk configuration on one of these?

Last edited by hrag : 6th August 2008 at 16:17.
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Old 6th August 2008, 18:58   #6
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I'd pick the new 320D over the 325i anyday, the reworked ECU gives it more horses and torque. Translated a 0 - 100 in 9 seconds and improved driveability.

Buttttttttttttt the 3 series wouldn't be my pick in the 30 lakh segment. For one, its not available with a manual (as the C220 is). Second, the ride quality. Lastly, if I wanted an outright drivers car, the A4 3.2 is making a strong case for itself.

Why didn't you test the 530D? It would have blown your mind. Literally.
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Old 6th August 2008, 20:51   #7
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can anyone walk into a Beemer or a Merc dealership and ask for a test drive or would they demand to see our payslip first? LOL!!
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Old 6th August 2008, 23:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtrlAltDel View Post
can anyone walk into a Beemer or a Merc dealership and ask for a test drive or would they demand to see our payslip first? LOL!!
may be you should give it a try ( kidding ). I dont think anyone would stop. Not everyone who has 30L to buy a beemer comes dressed in a tuxedo.
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Old 6th August 2008, 23:20   #9
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The cars picuters are impressive. But what were those SX4 doing there ?

The ride quality of both, the 5-series and 3-series is not good. Ground clearence is also an issue sometimes.
Agree with you that X3 is basically a weak pacakge in the entire BMW lineup in India.
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Old 7th August 2008, 09:47   #10
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X3 is not even made by BMW, it is made by Steyr Puch, it flopped as the X5 offers much more for not much more. It handles well but ride comfort is jarring. Saw onee for sale in the sunday TOI in bangalore last weekend
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Old 7th August 2008, 10:20   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
The cars picuters are impressive. But what were those SX4 doing there ?
.
Thats Nick's SX4. ( isnt it on par ? )
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Old 7th August 2008, 11:23   #12
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Looking for an upgrade nick ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
The cars picuters are impressive. But what were those SX4 doing there ?
Thats the competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoranjit View Post
Thats Nick's SX4. ( isnt it on par ? )
Yeah, almost ranjit. Nice copy.

Last edited by esteem_lover : 7th August 2008 at 11:25.
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Old 7th August 2008, 18:02   #13
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Buttttttttttttt the 3 series wouldn't be my pick in the 30 lakh segment. For one, its not available with a manual (as the C220 is).
Exactly my problem :(. Why aren't they launching manual box atleast for the 3series. But elsewhere Sahil said there wont be much takers for manual transmission at this range, I am not sure though.
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Old 7th August 2008, 19:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtrlAltDel View Post
can anyone walk into a Beemer or a Merc dealership and ask for a test drive or would they demand to see our payslip first? LOL!!
Most people who own them dont have payslips. And it'd be too beneath the dealers to ask for payslips

Like style, you either got it or you dont. While we stick with our MJDs
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Old 7th August 2008, 20:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoranjit View Post
Thats Nick's SX4. ( isnt it on par ? )
Yours too , neoranjit!. Let's have a SX4 chorus here!.
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