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Old 5th April 2011, 23:00   #16
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

Ravich, congratulations. Awaiting pictures of your beauties. Safe driving!
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Old 6th April 2011, 11:31   #17
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Default Re: BMW 320d and Skoda Laura TSI - A petrolhead's initial comparison

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Congrats Ravich! Enjoyed reading your TSI ownership thread. Happy motoring with the bimmer.

TSI has one advantage: manual transmission BMW should start shipping 3 series CE with MT option - I'm assuming driving enthusiasts are the primary buyers of 3 CE.

Btw, you beat me to posting this thread!! Hopefully my thread will provide a different perspective.
Thanks Androdev.
Yes , the BMWs sport manual mode is not quite like having a good old manual. I am waiting to get used to it - so the jury is still out on that.
Yes , I bought the CE only for the driving dynamics -- not everyone in the family (read spouse) is too happy with the creature comforts in the car !.
Would be keen to read your thread - it is the multiplicity of honest , subjective and objective reviews that make Team BHP what it is...

BTW , have you used the OBD II interface on the 3 series ? I do recall your posts on the VAG COM on the Skodas. I was wondering if you have used the RossTech VCDS in the OBD scanner mode with the 3 series. I will check with the Ross tech support too.
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Old 6th April 2011, 11:59   #18
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Default Re: 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by 46TheDoctor View Post
1. Steering feedback: I have heard that 320d comes with EPS these days.
2. Acceleration: Do you find it worth spending significantly more money over Tsi?
3. Refinement: Is it as good as Tsi? Especially, 'in cabin' noise?
4. Finally, do you feel that additional money spend for 320d over Tsi is worth the additional driving pleasure you get from RWD?

Your feedback will be valuable as i am considering a similar kind of upgrade over my octy vRS. Thnx.
Thanks Doctor !
Steering feedback :
I found it to be (much) superior to the Laura TSI - the nearest I could think of is the Civic which I thought had a similar direct feel.
The car is officially speced as having "Servotronic " power steering . It is not the same as an electric power steering. An electromagentic control valve is used to control the fluid pressure for power assist. Having said that, I could not locate a steering fluid reservoir in the engine bay . The manual does specify a maintenance schedule for topping up the reservoir though. The manual is poor for a car targeted at driving enthusiasts.

I dont think Laura is close to the 320d in steering feel.

Acceleration: Well , thats a tough question. Acceleration alone would not have been worth the difference in price between the TSI and the 320d . As drivers who have used both will tell you, both have the slightest (barely noticeable) lag ; once you cross 1500 in the TSI and 1700-1800 in the 320d both are excellent - the 320d will probably out accelerate the TSI ( havent tried this yet !). But the grip, planted feeling and handling ( sounds cliched but when you do drive, you can relate to it) seem far superior to the Laura's. I understand that firming the suspension can improve the Lauras ( see GTOs comments). But am not sure the effect of the near 50:50 distribution, RWD can be matched . However I will certainly be attempting mods on the TSI along the lines advised by many in this forum.

Refinement: The 320d is no where near as refined as the TSI! It is noisy ( in cabin level is not at all bad). The TSI is a gem of an engine. When you revv up, it is smooth and the sound is glorious (atleast for the price segment) . The 320d revs very smoothly but is plain noisy if you rev the engine high. Sorry to disappoint you if felt otherwise. This is a personal opinion. The diesel may be refined for a diesel engine. I dont have a lot of experience driving diesels.



I have no regrets at all - no buyers remorse. Felt as good when I bought the TSI. Feel even better now.
All that said, even if the difference was not so great, I would have been willing to pay this difference because otherwise I would have had to pay 35% of the value to Govt of India as taxes !.
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Old 6th April 2011, 12:05   #19
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Default Sport Manual Mode

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Originally Posted by Ravich View Post
Tried the sport manual mode and kept confusing the upshift and downshift directions and decided to stick to auto.
Someone in my family had taken delivery of a 320d PE and I had an opportunity to test drive it yesterday.

What I noticed it is that the Auto shift is a bit delayed and the sport-manual mode is much better to opertate. Only thing is that in the beginning I was a bit careful of shifting and each shift was delicate and felt lifeless but once I started shifting fast and with firmer shifts in terms of shifting speed and effort taken , it felt completely at ease.

One thing that I didn't like in the new 3 series is that , the driver is not really at a controlling point in the car. You feel more like a chauffeur than a driver. Where as in some car like Cedia , when you do all the required adjustments to steering and seat , you feel you are at a captain's seat of a ship.

This maybe because am not used to that car but I did not feel like how i did in a 2003 BMW 325 . That one felt far more driver focused even in ergonomics.
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Old 6th April 2011, 12:06   #20
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

Welcome to the club

Initially, I got confused by the tiptronic as well, IMO logically the upshift and downshift should be interchanged. Anyway, it hardly takes a day to get used to it so don't worry, use it on the highways and it is an immensely rewarding experience. Regarding highway stability at high speeds, the BMW will feel like it is going 30-40% slower easily. Unless you look at the speedo, of course.

I strongly recommend against the recommended tyre pressures, Ravich. 30 front is alright but 36 rear is suicide, especially since I see that you're sticking with the runflats. You will go MAD if you keep persisting. I recommend 32, I had been using it without any problem on the RFT till I made the switch to CPC2, and even on the softer rubber I use 32-32 only and am quite happy with the ride.

By the way, you might probably be confusing between Sports and Tiptronic. When you flick the shifter left, your MID will show DS which is the same as sports more on any normal automatic ( = the transmission will NOT shift up until you hit the redline in each gear, but it is still automatic). From DS if you tap up or down it will go into manual mode and the gears are entirely your choice within reasonable and logical limits.

Now please oblige with some pics! I would like to come and check out your vehicle someday to see what changes they have made to the spec of the 2011 cars.
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Old 6th April 2011, 12:14   #21
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
One thread to which I am subscribing. I would be following this thread up & close and would love to see updates as and when they happen.

One nice garage and yes if possible, please shoot outside, on the open road in the morning.

Cheers and congratulations!
Thank you - will upload some photos soon. They do look very good next to each other ( fond eye at work I guess - the Laura has to be photographed at flattering angles !).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegman View Post
yes yes, pics please!!! Congrats btw!

On a side note i dont think idrive can be retrofitted, atleast thats what the dealer told me.
Thank you. iDrive : Yes, I discovered that too


Quote:
Originally Posted by cedricsg View Post
Ravich, congratulations. Awaiting pictures of your beauties. Safe driving!
Thank you. Will upload some good quality photos of an inappropriate /across segment comparison soon !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Wow, thats one garage to envy. One petrol beuty and one legendary car that sure makes heads turn. Comparison was simply great too.

Now, to make matters even better in our perspective, how about pics of both the beauties next to each other?
Thank you ! Photos are coming soon.
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Old 6th April 2011, 12:28   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
Welcome to the club ...

I strongly recommend against the recommended tyre pressures, Ravich. 30 front is alright but 36 rear is suicide, especially since I see that you're sticking with the runflats. You will go MAD if you keep persisting. I recommend 32, I had been using it without any problem on the RFT till I made the switch to CPC2, and even on the softer rubber I use 32-32 only and am quite happy with the ride.

By the way, you might probably be confusing between Sports and Tiptronic. When you flick the shifter left, your MID will show DS which is the same as sports more on any normal automatic ( = the transmission will NOT shift up until you hit the redline in each gear, but it is still automatic). From DS if you tap up or down it will go into manual mode and the gears are entirely your choice within reasonable and logical limits.

Now please oblige with some pics! I would like to come and check out your vehicle someday to see what changes they have made to the spec of the 2011 cars.
Thank you. The ride quality does not seem too bad with 36 for the rear ones... but will certainly try out your recommendation. Thanks

I did get confused with the DS shifting up so late - I thought it stays put in low gears. Discovered what you pointed out.
I think I am comfortable with the manual now ! In the manual mode it seems to shift down to M2 automatically though when slowing down.

Checking out 2011 specs- any time !.
Do you know where the steering fluid reservoir is located? I am trying to figure out if this is a servotronic ( as stated by BMW India and the dealer). I will check with the dealer garage too. The steering feel is good and feels like a hydraulic ( as a servotronic is expected to be and not like an EPS) but I could not locate the steering fluid reservoir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
...it would be entirely unfair to compare it directly as the BMW has far superior ultra low profile super stiff run flats and Laura on the hand runs on 15"rubber with poor 195 section Goodyears. Laura has more absorbent ride though.

Overall i'd say 3 is more involving to drive with RWD contributing big time but at the expense of stiff ride... The engine in 3 feels more willing to revv but both engines have very wide powerband. Performance is not much different, the 6 speed AT is not as good as the DSG but does the job nicely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACM View Post
Ravich, I guess we are all awaiting an update. The Laura TSI, rides on 15" rims vs the 16" rims on the diesel top spec variants. A true comparo needs the TSI to go to the 16" rims with wider sporty tyres. This by itself impacts the feel, grip and ride to a very large extent and would actually get this quite close to the BMW. Add performance suspension components and for less than 1L more you will be really narrowing the gap either way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Neat thread.



That's because the TSI got a super-soft suspension for India; get performance dampers, springs & tyres and enjoy the magic. To me, a souped up Laura TSI will be a lot more fun to drive than the 320d; primary reasons = Manual gearbox, and the ability to keep revving after 5,000 rpms. Modern-day diesels have gotten really quick, and the torque is mindblowing, yet the simple joy (pun intended ) of a manual + high-revving petrol is irreplaceable. The BMW has a RWD advantage, but recently lost the hydraulic steering.

You got a great garage now, Ravich. How about a picture of the beauties next to each other?
Thank you all. Really appreciate the inputs. Will upload photographs soon.

As you can easily tell, the comparison was meant as a kind of my "tribute" to the TSI - the TSI comes out well in comparison my personal judegement . I can well relate to what you are recommending as modifications. Will certainly try them out.

I am not sure if the 320 d has lost the hydraulic steering. Servotronic is hydraulic assist but speed sensitivity being controlled electronically using an electromagnetic valve. I am told this 320d has servotronic but I could not locate a fluid reservoir. The feel is definitely not similar to any EPS I have used. Feels very direct and much better than the Laura. I will check with the dealers garage and get back.
Moderators: I have attached a servotronic assist schematic /image - publicly available and owner credit mentioned. If it is a problem pl. remove it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxbhp View Post
...but once I started shifting fast and with firmer shifts in terms of shifting speed and effort taken , it felt completely at ease.

One thing that I didn't like in the new 3 series is that , the driver is not really at a controlling point in the car. You feel more like a chauffeur than a driver. .
Gear shift- yes , am finding that to be true .
Have not quite understood the driving position comment. I find the BMW far easier to drive in Mumbai traffic ; I dont think it is just because of the auto mode. Yet to take it for a long drive - will update after a long drive.
Really tall drivers (>6') may have some difficulty finding a comfortable position possibly.
Attached Thumbnails
BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi-servotronic.jpg  


Last edited by bblost : 8th April 2011 at 12:59. Reason: back to back posts. Please use Edit if posting again within 20 mins. Thanks.
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Old 6th April 2011, 15:25   #23
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

Ravich- Congrats ! You got a super combo there, the Laura TSi & 320d !
Don't bother getting used to the triptronic over the past 3 years I don't think I have ever enjoyed the manual shift on my BMW. It's more of petrolhead/dieselhead myth or rather ego that manual dominance of the gearbox in an automatic is the way to go. Plonk the level into sports mode and watch how the car gives you exactly what you need without you manually jittering.
Hope you have opted for the BSI pack? Whats the current pricing of it like?

Last edited by Sahil : 6th April 2011 at 15:26.
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Old 6th April 2011, 19:22   #24
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Default Re: 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by 46TheDoctor View Post
Congrats Ravich! Awaiting for pics!
Also, let me know your experince on your upgrade on the following points:
1. Steering feedback: I have heard that 320d comes with EPS these days....

Your feedback will be valuable as i am considering a similar kind of upgrade over my octy vRS. Thnx.

You are right , I checked under the hood after coming across the image of EPS assembly for 320d ( I could not locate the steering power assist fluid reservoir) and confirmed the 320d CE does have the EPS and not the servotronic as specified.
However I found the steering feel to be much better than that of Laura - so I can only guess at how good the hydraulic one must have been.

I am sure you will be taking a test drive before deciding.
Attached Thumbnails
BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi-bmw320depsassembly.jpg  


Last edited by Ravich : 6th April 2011 at 19:24.
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Old 6th April 2011, 21:07   #25
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

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Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
Ravich- Congrats ! You got a super combo there, the Laura TSi & 320d !
Don't bother getting used to the triptronic over the past 3 years I don't think I have ever enjoyed the manual shift on my BMW. It's more of petrolhead/dieselhead myth or rather ego that manual dominance of the gearbox in an automatic is the way to go. Plonk the level into sports mode and watch how the car gives you exactly what you need without you manually jittering.
Hope you have opted for the BSI pack? Whats the current pricing of it like?
Thanks Sahil. Lets see how I take to the manual mode !
Yes I did go for the BSI, Secure . For a company purchase with Mumbai Regn , it came to 30.8 lacs. The Highline was available at a great price (28lacs ex show room) for my company but at the time I felt it was not worth it . The iDrive may have been very useful...
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Old 7th April 2011, 01:46   #26
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Default Re: BMW 320d and Skoda Laura TSI - A petrolhead's initial comparison

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Originally Posted by Ravich View Post
Thanks Androdev.
Yes , the BMWs sport manual mode is not quite like having a good old manual. I am waiting to get used to it - so the jury is still out on that.
Yes , I bought the CE only for the driving dynamics -- not everyone in the family (read spouse) is too happy with the creature comforts in the car !.
Would be keen to read your thread - it is the multiplicity of honest , subjective and objective reviews that make Team BHP what it is...

BTW , have you used the OBD II interface on the 3 series ? I do recall your posts on the VAG COM on the Skodas. I was wondering if you have used the RossTech VCDS in the OBD scanner mode with the 3 series. I will check with the Ross tech support too.
Hope to try it in a day or two. Also need to read up on what's possible to do.
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Old 7th April 2011, 03:50   #27
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

Congrats ravich, you own 2 baby rockets, waiting for pics
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Old 7th April 2011, 18:59   #28
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Default Re: 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by Ravich View Post

....I am sure you will be taking a test drive before deciding.
Hi Ravich, thnx for your feedback. I have taken a TD of 320d with hydraulic power steering, but only for a 1km or so which didn't impress me much as far as refinement is concerned (everything else is good). So, i was looking for feedback from someone who has driven Tsi/vRS and 320d both for some considerable distance. And, EPS is a strict no no for me. I guess i will have to wait for some more time to find the right upgrade! Thnx anyway! And where are the pics??
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Old 7th April 2011, 20:33   #29
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Default Re: 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience

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... And, EPS is a strict no no for me. I guess i will have to wait for some more time to find the right upgrade! Thnx anyway! And where are the pics??
I could not tell it was EPS - so do try it . The feel is quite good. Besides cars I have driven that had EPS , the steeriing used to be very light as soon as ignition is on even without the engine running. That is not the case with the 320d. Based on the feel , it looks like the motor controller is very very intelligent !
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Old 7th April 2011, 21:16   #30
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Default Re: BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

Congrats for owning two beauties man!!!!!It's high time you upload some pics for all of us to drool over!!!!Even i own the same combination but instead of the TSI i have TDI and 320d Highline lastly I hope you won't mind if i post a pic in your thread
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