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Old 17th June 2010, 17:01   #1
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Default BMW 3-Series (330i) : Review & Test Drive

Mod Note : Team-BHP's Review of the 2012 BMW 3-Series has been uploaded at this link (BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review).

What you'll like:

• Involving drive and excellent dynamics
• 7,000 rpm redline allows plenty of room for playtime
• Obedient and versatile transmission shift modes
• Excellent mix of prestige + VFM in the form of the 320d Corporate Edition
• Absolute peace of mind with BMW's extended 5 year / 100,000 km coverage

What you won't:

• Interiors space is nothing more than acceptable, especially for the rear benchers
• Barring the iDrive, the dash and controls look fairly outdated
• Heavy steering and a host of ergonomic and usability blunders
• Firm ride, especially with the 17” wheels and runflats
• No spare wheel makes getting a puncture a very expensive proposition


NOTE: Click any picture to open a larger higher-resolution version in a new window.

Last edited by GTO : 10th September 2012 at 15:47. Reason: Adding link to F30 Review
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:01   #2
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Default Exterior



The E90 sedan is the 5th generation of BMW’s very successful 3-Series lineage. First seen worldwide in 2005 alongside the controversially styled E60 5-series, it seems like the E90’s styling took a more conservative route forward. This generation of 3-Series comes in 4 body styles, the E90 sedan, the E91 station-wagon / estate, the E92 coupe and the E93 convertible.

In India, the 3-Series sedan is available in 4 flavours. The 320i (2L 4-cyl petrol), the 330i (3L Inline-6 petrol) that we tested in this review, the 320d (2L 4-cyl diesel) available in the Highline and the game changing value-priced "Corporate Edition" (LINK (Coming soon: BMW 320 D for passat price. EDIT: Launched as the Corporate Edition)).

Pricing:
320i - Rs 27.80 L
330i - Rs 33.95 L
320d CE - Rs 24.40 L
320d Highline - Rs 31.50 L

BMW’s signature kidney grill and dual ring headlamps christen the front of the car. The long-hood, indicative of the front-engined rear wheel drive layout, as well as BMW’s quest for a 50/50 front-rear weight balance set the proportions of this car apart from the more commonly found transverse engined cars. The 3-Series' boldly routed panel breaks are as much a part of its styling as the form itself.

The 330i (like the 325i that it replaces in the Indian market) comes with 17” multi-spoke wheels shod with 225/45R17 runflat tyres. Of course, this is a huge sore point for BMW owners in India, since the car does not come equipped with a spare tyre. Getting a puncture on a quaint stretch of highway means you have no other option but to run on that tyre when it’s flat. That is what it was designed to do, but the distance you can safely travel is dictated by the load in the car and the speed at which you wish to proceed. After this, you will need to throw away this tyre, and buy a new runflat tyre costing somewhere around Rs. 20,000/-. All of this could easily be avoided with a spare tyre and a 10-minute tyre change. If you decide to play it safe and travel with some rubberized redundancy, the additional tubeless space saver and jack from BMW will once again put you back more than Rs. 20,000!

The shape of the rear LED tail lamps give the rear a pinched-together look, further emphasizing the compact width of the car. Down below is a single exhaust with twin pipes. A slightly odd sight when every car aiming for a luxury title these days tries to have a an exhaust outlet on each side to attain luxo-symmetry. However, chances are that its purely a technical reason here – unlike the more commonly found V6s, this here is an inline-6, meaning one long bank of 6 cylinders, most easily resulting in one shared exhaust. If you’re hoping for something as a consolation; the twin outlets are fairly big.

Smooth flowing tarmac is the natural habitat for the 3-Series


Looks a lot like its bigger sibling (the E60) from this angle


LED indicator clusters flank the bi-xenons


17" multispokes. Nice and elegant design.


Front 3/4th is when the BMW is at its photogenic best


Notice the stylized cut of the bonnet, and the cut down from the headlight to the front wheel.


The long hood pushes the cab far back


The most charming element on the front - the "angel eyes"


Trivia: The BMW logo denotes a white propeller spinning against a blue sky, quite apt for this photo


The pinched-together rear end


The chamfered top edge of the boot lid is a unique touch


Low-slung


BMW refers to these as "L" shaped taillights. They are LEDs


The Corona rings encircling the HIDs are stunning to look at, even up close


Also referred to as "the rings of fire", as this picture clearly explains

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th June 2010 at 18:53. Reason: Spacing
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:02   #3
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Default Interiors



Small steering wheel with innovative paddle design


Poke your head into the cabin and the first thing you’ll notice is that there are C-segment sedans that have more interior space than this. The newest C-Class and A4 have it beat too. Clearly, you’re not paying for the space with the 3-Series, there must be something else. Drop into the driver’s seat and you’re greeted by a small and chunky steering wheel. Behind each side of the wheel are metallic paddle shifters that wrap over the central part of the steering wheel and become little nubs that you can push with your thumbs. Very convenient, effortless, and unique to the E90 330i in the Indian lineup. The instrument cluster is quite narrow, and the dials have no colours or finesse, just a very basic white on black with metallic bezels – looks very outdated and plain jane.

As mentioned earlier, the cabin space is fairly narrow, though not to the point of being awkward or uncomfortable. The visibility isn’t outstanding since the positioning of the LHS ORVM, the sloping A-pillars and the close proximity of the inside RVM (if your seat is high enough) tend to block out a surprisingly large part of the view. Steering is manually rake and reach adjustable, while both front seats are electrically operated and have adjustable lumbar support too. The driver’s side has 2 memory positions, however the buttons are awkwardly located on the side of the seat base, making it impossible to see what you are pressing unless you open the door and lean over to have a look. A few additional things like the indicator stalks and the horn took a substantial amount of effort to operate. Those Germans must be really strong.

The E90’s dash is a mix of premium and high-tech looking parts, interspersed with dull and antiquated buttons and materials. The AC and CD player controls look terribly outdated and plasticy, while the iDrive controller and screen make you feel like you’re on the cutting edge of technology. This is the newer version of the iDrive controller and it takes about 10 minutes to get used to, after which its fairly intuitive. It’s a huge leap ahead of Merc’s system, in terms of user interface, features, functionality and graphics. You can see a host of vehicle information, like Km values for the last time the brake pads were change, when the oil was changed, current oil level, service interval, what the current warnings are (e.g. windshield washer fluid low) etc. In addition to that, you can alter settings for how the doors unlock when you use the remote (all vs just drivers), set the duration for the follow me home lights, toggle the auto relock feature, set whether DRLs should be used, and much more. The iDrive system also manages the on-board entertainment and has an inbuilt 120GB HDD (though the specs said 80gigs). You can plug in your iPod, or copy music off a USB drive (though it didn’t work when we tried). The system also has a split-screen option which shows the stats from the journey computer on the right half of the screen. Yep, you can watch TV on this thing too.

The fact that the iDrive controller is placed behind the gearlever pushes the armrest storage compartment further back, eating into the space it has available for storage, and making it test your arm’s flexibility every time you try to open it. Apart from the storage under the armrest, there is no convenient place for the front passengers to just dump their cellphone or sunglasses. Leaving the ashtray in the open position is the closest bet, but just doesn’t cut it. On the topic of storage, the door pockets are quite narrow, and the armrests hovering closely above their openings makes it unsuitable for storing something the size of a liter bottle of water or the likes.

The rear bench is nicely reclined, though it’s not heavily cushioned or padded. If you’re sitting behind a 5’8” tall person, there is just the bare amount of legroom available behind the front seat. Fitting 5 people in this car would not be a pleasurable experience for the back seaters. There is also a noticeable lack of any amenities at the rear. You get adjustable AC vents, a temperature control, and ceiling mounted reading lights, however, no seatback pockets, no cupholders and no storage in the center armrest or doors.

On the safety front, as expected from cars in this segment - you're in good hands. 6 airbags, dynamic traction control, cornering brake control, ABS, active front headrests and even a runflat indicator.

Functional, but quite dated. Realtime fuel consumption gauge within the tacho


The center console has the "modern" sandwiching the "lackluster"


The main categories of the iDrive, currently in split-screen mode


A sea of boring black buttons, the sore point of the E90's dash


The START/STOP button has many fans. Orange glow of instrument cluster in the background


After sliding down the shifter to "D", push it over to the left to engage manual mode


The iDrive controller has a jog-dial running around it, and a few useful quick-access buttons


Cellphone attachment, 12v outlet, aux-in and USB input alongside a moderately sized cubbyhole


Glove-box is compact. Maybe you could just about fit that liter bottle of water in here instead


The wiper stalk - not quite self-explanatory


Indicator stalk on the left. "BC" button toggles the on-board computer / MID


Front seats are nicely shaped, albeit quite firm


Electric seat adjustment and well hidden memory buttons


Buttons to fold the mirrors, and choose which mirror to adjust, are unmarked. One touch up / down on all windows


Driver's foot-well with the hood release and OBD port on the right


Minimum legroom at the far end, and behind a 5'8" tall driving position at the closer end


Shown is the entire array of equipment for the rear passengers


The boot is very deep, but the limited size of its opening can hamper its load carrying capabilities

Last edited by Rehaan : 22nd June 2010 at 09:49.
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:03   #4
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Default Driving Experience & Engine



Insert the key fob into a little slot on the dashboard, put your foot on the brake pedal and tap the START/STOP button. You’re idling at 700 rpm, just 1/10th of what the engine is capable of. Getting moving from a standstill requires a surprising amount of accelerator input, not as sensitive as you would expect from a 3-liter high-revving inline-6, but then again, most things in this car take a fair amount of force to operate. Take the steering for example, at speeds under 40 km/h it's incredibly heavy, and the small diameter wheel increases the effort required due to the reduced leverage. Speed sensitive steering is sorely missed here. However, once you find a piece of open road and you get into a spirited driving mood, you’re pushed back into your seat and suddenly feel that the steering wheel you are reaching out towards is really small and sporty. The 330’s wheel is leather wrapped and fairly chunky to hold on to, and at higher speeds it really weighs in nicely.

Below 3,000 rpm the engine is less responsive than you’d expect, really nothing to write home about. However, once you pass 4k, the engine starts to take on a note of urgency, and that’s when the claimed “ultimate driving experience” really begins, making 300 NM of torque @2500rpm and 255 hp @6600rpm, along the way to the 7,000 rpm redline! 100 km/h comes up in a claimed 6.6 seconds, however, unlike the oil-burning beemers, there’s no sudden kick-in-the-back kinda feeling, since the power comes on in a much more linear and naturally aspirated fashion. The engine is only slightly audible past 2,500, and once you get on the fun side of 4,000, the sound becomes a lot more noticeable. Though don’t forget that this is a compact-luxury car – so it’s not designed to be loud or aggressive, but still enough to please those who are listening eagerly. Quick downshifts into high-rpm territory let out an especially exciting snarl.

The 6-speed automatic transmission does a good job, even when compared to the 7 and 8 speed transmissions available these days. It provides a Steptronic functionality as well, and there’s a couple of ways to use and manipulate this gearbox to the fullest:

If you’re in regular Drive mode and you press one of the paddle shifts, it upshifts / downshifts as per your request and the display indicates a change to M (manual) mode. If you don’t use the paddles again, and your driving style doesn’t seem to be milking the acceleration, the transmission automatically shifts back into “D” after a few seconds. Flyingspur mentioned that he likes using the Steptronic, because the MID display shows your current selection of manual gear as : M3, M5, M6 etc

If you’re in “D” and you push the gearlever over towards the left, but do not shift the gearlever up or down to activate the Steptronic – the transmission switches into “DS” (Drive Sport) mode. This functions just like the automatic mode, but the difference is that if you’re a bit heavy on the throttle the car will hold the current gear all the way up to the redline. I found this particularly useful when cruising on the expressway, with the need for occasional high-revving bursts of speed for overtaking maneuvers.

The last Steptronic mode is the full “Manual” mode, that is engaged by pushing the gear lever towards the left, and then either forward/back to downshift/upshift, or using the steering mounted paddles. Unlike conventional paddle shifts, the system here is - pull to upshift and thumb-push to downshift, regardless of whether you are doing this on the left or right paddle. This takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it you realize that downshifting has NEVER been easier. Push a button that’s placed very conveniently beside your thumb, and the high 7,000rpm redline gives you enough flexibility to downshift once or even twice at a shot. Of course, the electronics ensure that you don’t drop into a gear that will knock the engine beyond its redline. Super easy, zero-effort and tons of fun – it practically begs you to do it. Even a hardcore manual enthusiast like me had a good time.

The ride is noticeably firm with the runflats and 17” wheels, especially compared to its 16”-ed siblings. If there’s one word I would NOT use to describe the ride, it would be “cushioned”. When going over a bump at high speed it’s almost as if you get a little flight. However, conversely, even with some fairly sharp jolts noticed inside the cabin, we didn’t encounter anything spine-crushing. Tyre noise on the concrete stretch of expressway was especially noticeable, and when cornering hard the runflats seem to let out a squeal a little earlier than you’d expect, perhaps due to their less flexible sidewalls.

Handling is precise and balanced, thanks to the great weight distribution and the car is rock solid at speed, making 150 feel like 80. The brakes never disappoint either, though they did consistently make a squeaking sound at the mount of the pedal. Flyingspur said it’s a common sore point, as the noise is present on his 320d CE as well. Needs some lubrication.

The N52B30, the lightest 3L 6cyl production engine in the world


The last 2 cylinders are so far in towards the cabin that they aren't even visible in this shot


The hood wont ever come slamming down, however, if you lower it just a bit more it shuts on its own





Last edited by GTO : 19th June 2010 at 15:03.
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:05   #5
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Default Additional points

Other points

• The horn is tiny; even with such a small dia steering wheel its hard to reach and very hard to press as well.

• One pull on the inside door handles unlocks the door (assuming they are locked). Pull again to open.

• For tall drivers (who sit further back), the placement of the window switches are so far forward that it’s a bit of a stretch to get to them.

• High beam – push the stalk towards the front to activate & the stalk bounces back into place. If you push it again, nothing happens as it is not a toggle. You need to pull the stalk to switch to low beam.

• The “ALL” button on the AC enables you to adjust the temp for both L & R zones simultaneously.

• The remote does have the functionality to open all windows and the like by keeping the unlock button pressed.

• Audio is fairly boring, and the bass is kinda dull. I’d give it a 7/10.

• When reversing, the left mirror tilts down automatically; however, this feature is only active when the mirror adjustment selector switch is in the RHS position.

• The window switch is too far back on the rear door panels. It's awkward to reach them, and its sad to see that they didn’t fix this ergonomic failure on the newer F10 5-series either.

• The brake caliper for the rear disc is located on the forward side of the disc. Seeing cars that make a possible attempt at keeping all the weight as close to the COG always makes me happy in a nerdy way.

• Start/Stop button is close to the center of the dash, so if you have got out of the car and then decide you want to turn it off – you need to reach around or through the steering wheel. Same for if you want to turn on or off the accessories (done by pressing the start-stop without your foot on the brake).

• You don’t need to keep the Start/Stop button pressed to crank the engine. Just tap it once, and it will crank just the right amount.

• To turn DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) off, you have to keep the DTC button pressed. This isn’t your typical “long press”, you need to hold that button down for a minimum of 5-seconds! After which a warning message shows up on the top of the iDrive, as well as on the MID notifying you that it has been turned off.

• Lock/unlock doors button on the dash is a single toggle button. This makes it irritating to unlock all doors. Say if your passenger wants to get something from the back seat, at first you have to press it to lock all doors, and then again to unlock.

• Volume dial doesn’t even have volume written on it. No icon either, and no visual acknowledgement of the change in volume when using the dial or the steering buttons.

• On the MID and iDrive you can choose to show km/l or l/100km. It also shows clock, outside temp, odo reading, tripmeter, DTE and average speed

• Inline-6 engines don’t require a balance shaft due to their naturally perfect balance. Smooth.

• A "brake hold" or similar function is missed in stop and go traffic.

• The turn indicator doesn’t want to go off even once you’ve started straightening the wheel after a turn. You need to bring the steering back to absolutely dead center before it will stop blinking. You can short tap the indicator to have it do a lane-change blink – however that’s really not long enough for a full lane change. The iDrive only lets you choose between a triple-blink or alternatively, blink as long as the stalk is held in position.

• Park Distance Control (PDC) is pretty cool, in terms of the accuracy and the visual display that appears on the iDrive. However, if you're close to something in front of you and then switch into reverse, it will still continue to beep because of the obstacle in front of you. This is a little irritating and could be misleading too.

Last edited by Rehaan : 22nd June 2010 at 10:02.
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:05   #6
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Default The Smaller Yet Significant Things

The driver's side of the split armrest can slide forward for better support


Auto mode (light selector) ensures that the lights turn on automatically, when its dark outside


Useful little storage space in a car that doesn't have too much of it otherwise


The key fob slots in just below the START/STOP button


The bottom of the seatbelt mounts to the seat itself, so it wont strangle you as much when you adjust the seat. It also has that little stopper to prevent the lap-belt from getting too tight


Perfect for India, hit this button and the AC temp drops to minimum and the blower spins up to maximum. Tap it again and your earlier AC settings are restored. Very cool


Hazards, unlock-lock toggle for all doors, DTC & a temperature adjustment that i don't quite understand


Any DD fans out there?


A few of the settings available on the iDrive


Lit vanity mirrors for both front seats. Welcome to your BMW, ladies


Sunroof, lighting controls & small LEDs that shine down onto the gearshift at night.


The driver's cup-holder is all the way across the center console, recipe for disaster?


With the cab being so far back, the wheel-wells don't intrude into the foot-well space at all


The mirrors fold both ways, that too in the cool BMW diagonal way.
Past the dotted line, the convex mirrors get more fish-eyed, helping eliminate blind spots


Window blinds, even on the quarter-glass - however getting them down with one hand isn't easy


On the key, the LOCK button is the BMW logo. The unlock button has the arrow on it (probably to indicate how it should be inserted into the car before you can press the START button). A fairly un-intuitive remote. Security by obscurity perhaps? It also has a mechanical key within the fob to give you access to the car incase of an electrical failure.


Puddle lights, part of the "Lights Package"


You don't get a spare tyre. Some additional storage space instead


First aid kit + users manual tucked into a corner of the boot on a removable holder


The toolkit that sits below the owners manual



Thanks to flyingspur for additional points and images!

Last edited by Rehaan : 22nd June 2010 at 10:04.
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Old 17th June 2010, 17:43   #7
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Some points I'd like to add after spending the better part of my day with the 330i are added below.
  • Poor ergonomics. The placement of switches on all doors makes it quite difficult. Up front, they're really a stretch to reach for the driver, while back in the rear, it's difficult for the passengers to reach the switches with a comfortable movement of hand. Also, the front cupholder is a real stretch. Real bummer, the ergonomics.
  • This was the first time I've driven a German petrol. The car pulls well and clean all the way upto the 7000 rpm redline, but below 3000 rpm it's really... blah. No real kick. It's only above 3500-odd rpm that you begin to really feel the rush in the car. Maybe I'm just used to the kick of the 320d's torque (350nm), but this wasn't supposed to be such a slouch either (300nm).
  • 0-100 is officially claimed at 6.6 sec. Does it FEEL 1.6 seconds quicker than the 320d ?? Nope.
  • Typical of auto boxes, the upshifts are nice and clean when you're gunning it, but the tiptronic (manual) mode isn't much fun to use because upshifts and downshifts aren't instantaneous. DSG's are definitely better in this department.
  • The DS (sport) mode on the gearbox impresses. On the expressway, it holds every gear perfectly upto 7000 rpm, allowing you not a taste but all you can bite off the meat of the power band.
  • Beyond 3500 rpm the engine gets really audible, but I quite liked the way it sounded all the way to the redline. A warning, this sound can get adddictive !!
  • I noticed a couple of things oddly missing for the rear passengers. The highline has cupholders in the rear armrest and even the CE has a couple of charging points under the rear AC vents. The 330i has neither.
Here's a picture from my car for reference. Don't have a pic of the cupholders in the armrest.

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  • The LED indicators in the headlamps are awesome in appearance, and in collaboration with the xenons and the corona rings, give the car a nice contemporary look. Not as eye-catching as the A4's pearls though. I expect this to be fixed when the new 3 incorporates the white LED corona rings which are now seen on the F02 7 and the F10 5.
  • Externally there are no changes at all, except for the 330i badging. Even the alloys are the same 17" multi-spoke design earlier seen on the 325i that this car replaces in the Indian E90 line-up.
  • The interior of the test car we received came with Ivory leather. My favourite combination, as it's used in combination with black interior panels (only the leather bits i.e. the door pads and the seats are Ivory) but even this shade is prone to getting dirty in our conditions. The test car wasn't the cleanest demo vehicle I've sat in by a mile.
  • I highly doubt if this car's had any sort of suspension adaptation for Indian conditions. Ride as hard as ever, not helped by the 45 profile RFTs (the Highline gets 50 profile tyres while my CE is definitely more comfortable with 205/55 R16's).
  • Equipment levels about the same as the outgoing 325i. Xenons, iDrive, the works.
  • I found the AC to be a little less effective somehow. Maybe it's because we were out on a really hot afternoon and the car had no sunflims whatsoever, but still, I'd have expected a little better.
  • Rock solid on the expressway. 160 is hardly noticeable.
  • Tyre noise at expressway speeds is quite intrusive. Concrete IS noisy, I know, but even by normal standards it was loud.
  • Updated iDrive that's been around for over a year now is quite easy to use, the learning curve on the old version was quite steep.
  • I found the paddles to be unnecessarily noisy in operation, and requiring a little more than average effort to use. Same goes for the indicator stalks.
  • While the 3-flash lane-chance indicator is effortless to use, pushing the indicator stalks all the way up/down required unnecessarily large effort for the fingers (too much resistance).
  • BMW's dual-action concept of paddle shifts i.e. pull either paddle for upshift and thumb-push either paddle for downshift is something I just don't subscribe to. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the left / downshift and right / upshift arrangement and it's a lot more intuitive. Someone new to the E90 won't even realize it till told / he uses it. Rehaan wasn't aware of it at the beginning. Towards the end of the drive, while on the expressway, he found himself pulling at the left paddle 3-4 times expecting a downshift, till he remembered the "thumb-push to downshift". It's simply not intuitive. Just about the only useful application of such an arrangement I could think of is that now the driver can use the tiptronic manual mode even with one hand on the steering. Even so, the steering can't be sufficiently and safely gripped during the thumb-push operation. Overall, I'm definitely not in favour of this.
  • The accelerator pedal, wierdly, requires more than the light dab you need for any other car. Some sort of play is incorporated into the pedal (this is the case with the CE too) and responses, as a result, are a little delayed. This can get particularly conspicuous when switching to the E90 immediately after driving another car. Is this typical of floor-pivoted pedals?
  • One issue common to this car and the CE, with my seating position (way back) the steering wheel somehow always blocks my vision of the instrument cluster. I have to either sacrifice the top-most digits of the speedo / tacho OR the bottom-most line of the MID (which, alas, displays the gear I'm driving in - and I always use tiptronic unless in bumper-to-bumper traffic). Thoroughly annoying.
  • iDrive largely controls most functions, while a smaller, limited-functionality OBC (on-board computer) sits in the MID which can be used via a couple of flddly buttons (one toggle-type and the other push-type) on the left indicator stalk.
  • If you notice the picture that shows the light switch, oddly the 330i has the headlamp leveler switch missing. I thought this was mandatory in cars to be sold in India since a few years now. More evidence that the 330i has been introduced in our market without much adaptation for our conditions and requirements. I may be wrong here, maybe there is a funda of self-leveling headlamps or something.Again, here's a pic from my car for reference.
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  • Apart from the alloys and badging, of course, there's another way to tell the 3-series models apart. While the 330i has the twin-tailpipe arrangement shown in Rehaan's pics, the CE has the fat rectangular'ish single-pipe shown below. The 320d Highline has a single-pipe arrangement which points downwards. No idea about the 320i.
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  • The boot may look quite spacious and long, but the limiting factor here is the height. The boot simply is too shallow to carry huge bags. Also, the wheel wells limit the width of things that can be put in. We were once carrying home a canvas painting after an event, and the thing simply wouldn't fit into the boot. It was a little embarrassing to carry it home in the cabin. For reference, it did slip into the Corolla's boot easily.
  • With the cabin far behind, the fact that the wheel wells don't even exist in the front footwells makes my feet very happy during the rare occasions that I'm passenger in the 3. I haven't noticed this in any other car yet. Or maybe I haven't paid enough attention?

Last edited by FlyingSpur : 17th June 2010 at 17:48.
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Old 17th June 2010, 19:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
If you notice the picture that shows the light switch, oddly the 330i has the headlamp leveler switch missing. I thought this was mandatory in cars to be sold in India since a few years now. More evidence that the 330i has been introduced in our market without much adaptation for our conditions and requirements. I may be wrong here, maybe there is a funda of self-leveling headlamps or something.Again, here's a pic from my car for reference.
If I am not mistaken, factory fit Xenon headlamps come with automatic self levelling.
Does your 320D have factory Xenons? If your 320D has normal halogen headlamps, then that's why you have the levelling option.
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Old 17th June 2010, 19:11   #9
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From what it sounds like, the 330i is not exciting unless you have an open road. I drive a 330 convertible in town and it felt big and heavy.

As for the spare, another solution is a tubeless repair kit and a compressor pump. But be prepared to get dirty, as you need to repair this on car
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Old 17th June 2010, 19:12   #10
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Rehaan! That's one of the BEST set of photos I have seen at Team-BHP !
Had to login to comment just this, for now!.
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Old 17th June 2010, 19:26   #11
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Excellent review. Though the lack of rear seat space (which are just 'passable') hurts. No doubt that the car will be fun to drive, but when spending upwards of 25L, its natural to expect space in the car.

OT, we have Benz and BMW reivews, when can we expect an Audi review?

Last edited by _raVan_ : 17th June 2010 at 19:28.
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Old 17th June 2010, 20:03   #12
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Nice review of the 330i! I think the 330i is a faster car than the 320D but the latter is better when it comes to the 'fun to drive' factor.

So how does this match up against the A4 3.2? I guess the Audi has a softer suspension and hence good ride quality. And it even performs better than the 330i. Audi just couldn't give it better handling.
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Old 17th June 2010, 20:09   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
  • ...oddly the 330i has the headlamp leveler switch missing. ....maybe there is a funda of self-leveling headlamps or something.
Yes, i think due to some sort of (EU?) law, the Xenons are supposed to have :
1) Auto levelling feature
2) Headlamp washers (as dirty headlamps scatter the light)

Both of the above are to prevent the beams from blinding oncoming traffic.

The CE, having halogens uses the manual beam adjustment dial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
From what it sounds like, the 330i is not exciting unless you have an open road. I drive a 330 convertible in town and it felt big and heavy.

As for the spare, another solution is a tubeless repair kit and a compressor pump. But be prepared to get dirty, as you need to repair this on car
Agreed on both points.
However, this runflat thing is supposed to make getting a puncture easier and hassle-free, but in reality, (especially in our conditions) it makes it something scary and painful!

I believe Bridgestone ran some sort of poll (internationally?) and only ~3% of the participants said they wanted runflat tyres. Not sure of the specifics.

EDIT: It was Michelin, heres the LINK (Run Flats could go Flat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Rehaan! That's one of the BEST set of photos I have seen at Team-BHP !
Thanks man. Credit to flyingspur for capturing a few of them as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
....when can we expect an Audi review?
We're all waiting

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 17th June 2010 at 20:14.
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Old 17th June 2010, 20:33   #14
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Fantastic review Rehaan

Regarding the limited rear seat legroom, we should not forget that, in most developed/western markets, the 3-series is a "everyday car", sort of middle-class driving machine. It's target market is just like the type of people who are looking for a Punto/Polo/i20 here in India. It is simply not intended to be chauffeur-driven.
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Old 17th June 2010, 20:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raja View Post
If I am not mistaken, factory fit Xenon headlamps come with automatic self levelling. Does your 320D have factory Xenons? If your 320D has normal halogen headlamps, then that's why you have the levelling option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Yes, i think due to some sort of (EU?) law, the Xenons are supposed to have :
1) Auto levelling feature
Mine doesn't, I guess I was right. Auto leveling coming into the picture here, no wonder the manual adjuster isn't there on the 330i, and I guess the 320d Highline either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Thanks man. Credit to flyingspur for capturing a few of them as well.
Thank you I was pleasantly surprised to see them used. I think I'm getting better with this point and shoot thingy !!
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