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Old 24th June 2018, 18:35   #1
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Default BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Dear Friends, need your expert advice.

Have shifted to Gurgaon a year back. Sudden family shift to Gurgaon from Kolkata has started an itch of upgrading from 3 GT.

I just don’t want to spend 5 lakhs + on existing diesel 3GT for re-registration at Haryana, and not to mention the hassles with it. I simply don’t have so much spare time to run around. Hence planned for an early departure with my beloved GT. My GT is almost sold in Kolkata, Gurgaon dealers will not exchange WB registered car here.

Time to buy the new car: - Nov 2018.
Planning a long trip this year end with the new car. Since I work in Merchant Navy, if I miss a time frame, I will be delayed by another 8 months or so for the next window. So, my time frame is almost fixed for now. As a result, I need to plan well ahead to purchase a luxury car.

Requirement of the new car: -
  • I will be staying in Gurgaon for next 6-7 years. Then return back to Kolkata for good. So, the new car in question will be kept for that duration.
  • I did lots of highway touring with my 3GT. However, any unknown destination had put fear in my mind due to the ground clearance of GT, which is sufficient but not for unknown territory / mountain roads due to long wheel base. So, the next car should be a SUV.
  • Wife don’t want to depart from at least one Luxury brand in our garage.
  • Mostly I will be driving that car and I would love to be in the BMW family.
  • It should be fresh in the market, (I did not like that 3GT got an LCI with-in one year of my purchase).
  • Ex showroom price strictly between 55-58 lakhs.
  • As I do highway / interstate travel a lot with these cars, dealers network, ASS & RSA are vital.
Had good ownership experience with BMW, customer support. Hence, zeroed down & done test drive of new X3 20d, and 6 GT to get 30i feel. Here are my takes in short: -

The X3:

The goods:
  • A fantastic interior update, looks refreshing. You do feel special when sitting in any seat of the car.
  • Good view from driver’s seat (it is my first SUV test drive).
  • Usable boot
  • Diesel growl well contained, seems BMW’s sound dampening windshield working.
  • Excellent ride comfort – I could drive at higher speeds over same road patches compared to my GT.
  • 600 watts HK music system, just awesome
  • Updated i-Drive 6 - excellent
  • Perfect balance of ride & Handling
The bad:
  • Over-size grills.
  • Missing gesture control on i-drive
  • Steering feel – its accurate & precise, but no weight and little thin to my liking.
  • Certain plastic parts, for example, indicator stalks feels flimsy compared to my GT.
  • No lumber support.
  • Lastly, I did not like same 20d engine – something is wrong with this 190- hp engine, compared to my 184-hp. Engine response felt sluggish till I switch over to sport mode. I need little more power. Overall the car felt under powered with this 20d engine compared to my GT.

6GT with 30i Engine: -


I don’t want to go for 6 GT for its sheer size & GC but tested it to get the feel of 30i engine (X3 30i is newly launched & TD car was not available yet). Here are my observations on the engine: -

The engine felt dead from 0-20 kmph, after that it comes to life. However, this short-coming gives very comfortable city drive in bumper to bumper traffic. In comfort cruising, no engine noise at all. However as soon as you drive enthusiastically, engine noise is audible in a sporty manner but not like the diesel growl of 20d. Unlike diesel cars, where speed builds up on its own, here you need to build up the speed or else car will be lethargic. IMHO torque plays a vital role here.

I am somewhat happy / unhappy with both the engines and can’t decide now. You can notice here that I have zeroed down to X3 but stuck between 20d & 30i view my requirements.

Point to be noted here, all Delhi NCR Diesel cars are registered only for 10 years. Petrol versions are still with 15 years. Re-sale opportunity of diesel/petrol after 6-7 years?

Below cars tinkled in my mind, but before I could do some TDs, I had to leave India on my tour of duty. I will be returning in Oct & purchase the new car in Nov.
  • A super discounted X5? Maybe I will not be present at the right moment of discount. Also, a phasing out diesel car will depreciate quickly, will have sad feelings in my mind every time I will see the X5 upgrades on the roads very soon. Also, present X3 interiors are far ahead when compared with present X5.
  • XC-60: Not sure about handling, I think not a very good handler. Service network / ASS / RSA?
  • GLC-300: Exterior looks dated now (at least for me). Almost ready for an update? Not sure. Low in features? No real leather at this price point?
  • F-Pace: I think its too big car for a 20d diesel. Reliability? Service network?Also, I would prefer to stay away from JLR for the time being.
Appreciate your inputs / opinions on X3 and engine selection. And if anyone test drove any above listed car will be very help-full.


Thanks in advance


Cheers
Sail

Last edited by ajmat : 26th June 2018 at 15:55.
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Old 24th June 2018, 19:08   #2
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Default re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sail View Post
Dear Friends, need your expert advice.
Thanks in advance
Cheers
Sail
Since youve already had the 3GT, I would suggest staying away from the 6GT. Its not like the 6GT isnt a terrific car, but every complaint you had with your 3GT (ie ground clearance and inability to go anywhere) wont be solved with the 6GT. Since you TD'd it and you dont seem very keen on the 6GT, let it go.

The only other sedans that can/should be considered are the 5 series, E-class, the Lexus ES and the Audi A6. If you go the sedan way, and not choose the 6GT, then the A6 should be the one. I know its the oldest and will be replaced soon. But i say A6 cause thats the car you'll least take a depreciation hit in. All of these cars here in 6-7 years time will be resold by you under 20 lakhs. I would personally say 12-18 would be the margin. Optimistically, a low run model after 6-7 years could even be sold 20+ lakhs. But thats optimism. Since every sedan above would be over 60 lakhs OTR, the A6 at 50 lakhs OTR would mean you save 10-15 lakhs. Plus its still a good car, maybe not the best drive.
Else, if i were you i would pick the ES due to odd/even rule.
The 530d would be out of budget and so would E350d LWB.

As for SUV's, the X3 is pretty good. The competitors here are the Q5 (petrol launching soon), the Lexus NX and GLC. All 4 of these cars will have petrol pots by November. But once again i would pick the NX due to it being exempt of odd/even. Plus a change from BMW might be good.
If i were you, i would absolutely buy a petrol and would no matter what, TD every car i mentioned above. All these above mentioned SUV's should be thoroughly scouted by you and/or your family members.

Cars in preference:
1) Lexus NX
2) Lexus ES
3) Audi Q5 petrol
4) BMW X3 petrol
5) Audi A6

I completely discounted choosing of the diesel pots due to this 10 year ban.
Happy hunting
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Old 24th June 2018, 19:10   #3
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Default re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sail View Post
I just don’t want to spend 5 lakhs + on existing diesel 3GT for re-registration at Haryana, and not to mention the hassles with it.
Well, unlike other states, there is no such Out of State issue in Gurgaon or NCR or anywhere in Northern India so if that's the reason to sell, then you don't need. Just drive the car to Gurgaon and when you are ready to sell maybe take back to Kolkatta or even try to sell here.


Quote:
[*]I did lots of highway touring with my 3GT. However, any unknown destination had put fear in my mind due to the ground clearance of GT, which is sufficient but not for unknown territory / mountain roads due to long wheel base. So, the next car should be a SUV.[/list][list]
Sadly, this will be true even with SUV from Germans even if you buy an X5. But yes, GC issues will not be there with X3.



Quote:
[*]Lastly, I did not like same 20d engine – something is wrong with this 190- hp engine, compared to my 184-hp. Engine response felt sluggish till I switch over to sport mode. I need little more power. .
Must be due to the additional weight and the overall shape of an SUV vs Sedan. You can get the X3 remapped from someone like Quantum if you are comfortable, it does change the behaviour. But the long-term effects are unknown.


Quote:
I don’t want to go for 6 GT for its sheer size & GC but tested it to get the feel of 30i engine (X3 30i is newly launched & TD car was not available yet). Here are my observations on the engine: -

The engine felt dead from 0-20 kmph, after that it comes to life.
Your observations are spot on, in fact even at higher RPM's or in Sports mode, it hardly feels like anything from BMW. Perchance I tried 630i day before at Gurgaon and if you compare it with diesel, its a big let down though it's noiseless as pointed by you.


Quote:
Point to be noted here, all Delhi NCR Diesel cars are registered only for 10 years. Petrol versions are still with 15 years. Re-sale opportunity of diesel/petrol after 6-7 years
No, we still get a 15 Year valid RC at Gurgaon. In my opinion, Diesel will still hold better resales.

Quote:
A super discounted X5? Maybe I will not be present at the right moment of discount.
They have sold out all 2017 X5 and on the newer 2018, discounts is not like past. When you come back after a couple of months, with the new X5/ X7 around, I expect even higher discounts on X5.


Quote:
Also, present X3 interiors are far ahead when compared with present X5.
Do check the M trim X5, it definitely feels premium over the regular X5 or X3.


So my suggestion will be to postpone your decision till you come back after 8 months and till such time, you or your family can use the GT at Gurgaon

Last edited by Turbanator : 24th June 2018 at 19:33.
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Old 25th June 2018, 19:10   #4
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Default re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

I would recommend the X3 30i or the Lexus NX hybrid. Both are awesome in fit and finish and meet your requirement. The Lexus will not be as much fun to drive as the X3 but will probably be more reliable. I'm not sure what the resale market will look like in 6-7 years but you would think that the petrol/hybrid market will be better than the diesel market.

If you do opt for the X3 30i, make sure it come with the M package. The M steering will fix the "steering too thin" problem.

Happy hunting!
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Old 26th June 2018, 10:09   #5
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sail View Post
I just donít want to spend 5 lakhs + on existing diesel 3GT for re-registration at Haryana, and not to mention the hassles with it.
As Turbanator mentioned, you could drive around your WB-car in Haryana.

Also, if you are losing money by prematurely selling your existing car (for whatsoever reason), it's best to sell used and buy used. That way you don't lose too much money by selling your car so early & unexpectedly. Bonus = North India makes for the best market for used cars in terms of variety + low prices.

Of course, if you already made up your mind to buy a new car, happy shopping .

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKap View Post
The Lexus will not be as much fun to drive
And that's putting it mildly. The NX is B-O-R-I-N-G.
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Old 26th June 2018, 12:26   #6
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Why don't you consider alternatives to SUVs, such as the E-Class All Terrain, or the Volvo V90 Cross-Country.

These cars give you the versatility of SUVs without compromising on the touring abilities and road manners of a sedan, to an extent of course.

A petrol SUV will guzzle fuel like nobody's business. I would not recommend a petrol SUV unless you own a petrol station.
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Old 26th June 2018, 15:28   #7
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
So my suggestion will be to postpone your decision till you come back after 8 months and till such time, you or your family can use the GT at Gurgaon
Agree with Turbanator. If it is not much of an issue to drive with Kolkata plates in Gurgaon then wait for another year.

If you buy X3 now you will neither get the latest version (gesture control iDrive) nor the highest discounts. A year later you can go for the LCI version or get the current one at much higher discount.

As you already miss few features in GT as it was pre-LCI, same will be the case with the current X3 few years down the line.

You won't like this suggestion but still: think of getting a proper SUV like Fortuner/Endy. Only these vehicles can solve your "fear" of exploring unknown territory. Even with X5 you will be skeptical to venture in to the unknown more often than not. And you can keep the GT for 3-4 years and then upgrade to another sedan.
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Old 26th June 2018, 17:29   #8
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

The only way you killl two birds with one stone is the X3 30d. You won't complain about the performance and neither will you complain about the fuel economy. The six cylinder will always keep you smiling with its performance and refinement in each and every drive. Only problem is it's not here yet. So I suggest you wait until then.

Check out this recent video by ACI

Surprisingly it's the Audi Q5 that is the quickest of the lot. The 2.0 TDI is quite refined too. The have recently launched a 248 bhp 2.0 TFSI petrol too.
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Old 26th June 2018, 17:34   #9
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Hello Guys,

Thank you for your valued inputs & sorry for delayed reply.

Now before I proceed further, I should clarify one issue which has been raised by “Turbanator” , “GTO” & "the Skyliner", why I am selling the car so early where In Delhi NCR there are not so much issues with out of state cars compared to other Indian states? It will be unfair from me if I don’t tell you guys the actual reasons stated below. It will be bit long, but please be with me.
  • In last one year, my car has been stopped by cops just twice. Just checking the papers & leave. Now six to seven months of a year I stay out of India, as a result the car remains with my wife and small kid. I don’t want any issue (any incident, accident) in my absence which may result my car being pulled off by the cops and not to mention harassment to my family.
  • Secondly in next two year my road tax will be due in WB. (FYI: we mostly opt for 5 yearly road tax in WB). It’s very awkward for me to stay In Haryana & pay tax in WB. Here cops may check papers & find out tax date.
  • I can get the best deal from my car at this point of time where my Insurance also due in July. In fact, I am getting 57% of my car’s invoice value by the dealer in Kolkata.
  • The last reason which forced me to take this decision overnight: My car is having 5 years BRI package. And to my fortune I did lots of mod (coding) to my car with-in few weeks of delivery. I am not going deep into that. But due to my utter foolishness, last month during brake oil renewal, I asked service center to update Bluetooth software of the car as I was not able to pair my iPhone X with the car from last year. Service center failed to update same & expert from BMW corporate office turned up. And he found it all.
Initially service center refused to comment anything but asked me to deposit 70K to replace gear ECU. They also told me other than ECU one more part will be required (in excess of 100K), which will be given by BMW under my BRI. I did felt something is wrong, and to my luck I have a known person in the BMW corporate office & requested him to inquire & solved this issue (over phone). Received a call back with-in an hour from him. He explained me, one of the communication bus unit (costing 100K+) knocked off due to this coding & car’s complete coding registration has been changed. They don’t want to do any change in the system as it is done outside. And they want me to pay 70K to replace Gear ECU (As I had SAT activated), or else they may De-activate my BRI. Now I don’t know, if service center has done something wrong, which is very much possible.

I found this is a very weak point for my car, which may result repeated harassment like this in future. I immediately took this decision & asked him to stop all orders and I received my car back next day. I just don’t want live on the edge with this car.

Enough said. Hard lesson taken for life.


Now coming back to my original thread

As I have told you guys, I will keep the next car for 6-7 years, I am not expecting any good deal after that long. My only doubt is that my car should not remain unsold at that point of time due to diesel ban. Thus, I am bit confused between Petrol & Diesel.

In terms of boot space & interior size both X3 & XC60 will be sufficient for me. But I can’t live with NX with small boot and tiny dealer network. Estate cars will be too large (rather lengthy) to handle in my parking spot.

It’s a blind man’s choice to get a diesel car for an SUV. But last few years we have seen drastic changes, and more alarming is NCR’s condition. So not able to call it between Petrol & Diesel. Your opinions are welcome.


Thanks once again.
Cheers
Sail

Last edited by Sail : 26th June 2018 at 17:39.
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Old 27th June 2018, 10:37   #10
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Wouldn't it be cheaper to stump up for the local tax as opposed to taking a depreciation hit and also additional capital for a new car?
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Old 30th June 2018, 12:20   #11
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Based on my experience with my G30 530i, the 30i engine is smooth and refined and very fuel efficient. It is fast and agile in highway cruises and winding hilly sections. Perfectly mates to the ZS 8 speed auto, the shifts are absolutely seamless. I would agree it could use a bit more shove at city speeds, but this has hardly bothered me, since I would much rather drive cautiously in the city given the sheer length of the car, with the level of traffic and chaos. I would confidently pick up the X3 30i if I were you.
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Old 30th June 2018, 16:05   #12
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

If you're going to do frequent highway drives, then I'd pick the X3 20d.
Reason being the better travel range, and also the quality of fuel available outside of metros.

That being said, a discounted X5 does make a lot of sense too. Yes, it'll be replaced in a year but:
a) It is still more spacious and comfortable than the X3.
b) A 3.0L 6 cylinder engine! Should out your power woes at ease.
c) The discount! If you get this at a price close to the X3 - compare them head to head. Knowing BMW - I won't be surprised if they keep playing with the feature list of the X3 as well. Important thing is to be content with the current pricing and feature set available!

The XC60 is also another brilliant option! A cousin of mine from Delhi recently picked one up and is all smiles!
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Old 30th June 2018, 17:34   #13
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
The only way you killl two birds with one stone is the X3 30d. You won't complain about the performance and neither will you complain about the fuel economy. The six cylinder will always keep you smiling with its performance and refinement in each and every drive. Only problem is it's not here yet. So I suggest you wait until then.

Check out this recent video by ACI
@ Santoshbhat

You took the word from my heart. I am desperate for that engine. Surely will pick if debuted by this Diwali.

Checked that video too, one more competitor added, XC60


Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Wouldn't it be cheaper to stump up for the local tax as opposed to taking a depreciation hit and also additional capital for a new car?
@ Ajmat

Driving destinations has changed after shifting to NCR and decided an upgrade to a SUV’ish kind of car. Also started traveling Delhi-Kolkata by car. Otherwise there are no question to sell my car at this moment.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 84.monsoon View Post
Based on my experience with my G30 530i, the 30i engine is smooth and refined and very fuel efficient. It is fast and agile in highway cruises and winding hilly sections. Perfectly mates to the ZS 8 speed auto, the shifts are absolutely seamless. I would agree it could use a bit more shove at city speeds, but this has hardly bothered me, since I would much rather drive cautiously in the city given the sheer length of the car, with the level of traffic and chaos. I would confidently pick up the X3 30i if I were you.
@ 84.monsoon

Thank you for your inputs, yes you are right, felt that smoothness too. Also, I loved that exhaust note on hard acceleration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
If you're going to do frequent highway drives, then I'd pick the X3 20d. Reason being the better travel range, and also the quality of fuel available outside of metros.
That being said, a discounted X5 does make a lot of sense too. Yes, it'll be replaced in a year but:
a) It is still more spacious and comfortable than the X3.
b) A 3.0L 6 cylinder engine! Should out your power woes at ease.
c) The discount! If you get this at a price close to the X3 - compare them head to head. Knowing BMW - I won't be surprised if they keep playing with the feature list of the X3 as well. Important thing is to be content with the current pricing and feature set available!

The XC60 is also another brilliant option! A cousin of mine from Delhi recently picked one up and is all smiles!
@ lamborghini

Your point is right, my wife too concerned on frequent fuel stop-over. But trust me I did not like slow speed engine behavior on new X3. However, I will do TD again before final decision. May be over excitement killed my first TD.
Studying on XC60 now a day on net. Unparalleled equipment list. Bit concerned about disconnected drive and low speed ride quality as mentioned in most of the reviews. Surely will TD that before final decision. My daughter already in love with that car and trying to blackmail me.

Had a chat with Kolkata BMW SA, he told me to pick up X5-M-Sport if I am getting with-in 70L on road.


Thank you for your input guys,

Cheers
Sail

Last edited by suhaas307 : 30th June 2018 at 17:40. Reason: Removing URL
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Old 2nd July 2018, 15:23   #14
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

Is there an M-Performance Power Kit available for the new X3 20d? That should help bump up some power though!
If you're willing to wait until Diwali - also see if the 6GT 30D has any offers going on as I expect it to be a slow seller. It may just be a good compromise.
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Old 6th July 2018, 03:19   #15
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Default Re: BMW X3 20d vs 30i dilemma

@ Sail I'm looking forward to the X3 30d too. I hope they launch it soon.
Most of the main-line BMW models in India come in 3 trims with the M Sport being at the top.

The current 20d comes in the Expedition and Luxury lines which leaves room for the M Sport version.
The dealer in Pune doesn't know when it will be out. Let me know if you hear anything!

Also the 30i in the X3 seems like a pretty potent unit. With a 0-60 of around 6 secs it should be pretty entertaining. Let us know what you think of it post your Test Drive. Also try to drive the 20d and the 30i back-to-back if possible.

I'm looking to switch from my X1 20d. But really want something with a larger engine. The X3 30d or the upcoming X5 are in my shortlist.
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