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Old 2nd September 2021, 13:03   #1
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Default Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Hello all,

I'm here seeking your advice/suggestions as to what car to get if we're willing to spend about 30-35L for it.
I currently own a Baleno RS (2018) and I’ve been looking for an upgrade. The RS was a wedding gift, so this car would really be our first car. This is a big deal for us!
I’ve never been interested in crossovers and CSUVs, which is unfortunate as I see the market majorly shift in that direction in recent years. I love sedans, and I want to live that experience while I still can.

In terms of requirements:

- Has to be a fun-to-drive sedan. I’m a huge fan of BMW 3 series especially their Li versions. Ideally, if I had the money, I’d pick the new 330Li, no questions asked. That car made us feel great when we sat in it, without even driving it. And it's much more practical than the 330i. But it’s just way too expensive for us at close to 60L on-the-road here in Bangalore. I’m looking for a car that can compare with the 330i in terms of power and driving dynamics, or at least come close to it.

- Decent legroom. One of the things the Baleno RS is really good at is legroom. My folks and in-laws are in their late sixties, and while I understand that ingress/egress is hard with low-slung sedans, I’m willing to work with that but legroom and the seating comfort need to be decent once they get in. We only do occasional long trips or city commutes with them, so it’s not a daily affair.

- Good build quality and safety features. Reliability too, needless to say.

- The car won’t be a daily driver as we both mostly work from home. It’ll be for all long trips and short city trips. We barely do 10,000 km in a year.

- I’m willing to compromise on certain features such as a sunroof, ventilated seats, wireless charging, etc. But we need at least wired Apple CarPlay if not AndroidAuto as well.

- We plan to keep this car for as long as it lasts (hopefully at least 10 years if not longer).

- I’m open to picking up a used car.

With these in mind, and based on considerable research, I feel I’m limited to either the new Skoda Octavia (with the more reliable gearbox), or a used BMW 3 or 5 series. A used Audi A4 seems tempting too. I love Volvo as a brand too, but I don’t see great used options.

The new Skoda Octavia seems like a great choice as it gives one so much in terms of driveability, practicality, safety and tech inside (refer to GTO's quick take (Skoda Octavia 2.0 TSI DSG Review) of it). We can wait for some discounts or go for it outright.
There’s only one 2020 330i GT on our classifieds here but priced at 40L and it’s been there for a while now. On OLX, I see
- 2015 320d Luxury Plus, 51,000 km, 21.5L.
- 2017 320d Sport, 15,000 km, 31L.
- 2017 Audi A4 35 TDi, 17,800 km, 30L.

There’s also a Volvo S60 D4 Momentum, 23,000 km, 30L. But the 20in wheels on it scare me!
I'm not looking for pre-owned cars with too many miles as we'd like to keep this car for long.
All these cars on OLX seem to be dealer cars, and deciphering the user car space has become quite a nightmare.

Not to confuse anyone, but in terms of hatchbacks, if there was a new Polo that was also practical, I’d have seriously considered it as the better half would surely be more comfortable driving a smaller, “less-fancy” car. But the Polo actually seems like a downgrade from the RS except for driving pleasure and build/safety.

The 2021 Octavia is doable, even if it seems a bit pricey. Not too many other cars would beat the practicality or features. And there's no hassle of dealing with a user car.
I’m looking for other ideas from the community. I know this specific topic has been beaten to death, but it’s a little frustrating that we’re willing to plonk that much on a car and yet seem limited to just one new sedan given my requirements! Or what am I missing? Our budget is set at max 35L, ideally lesser is better.
No offence to anyone, but I just don’t find crossovers or SUVs exciting, or not at this point in life. I'd appreciate it if the suggestions are limited to sedans unless you feel I'm clearly missing out on your point.

P.S: We won't be selling the RS, so no exchange discounts, if any, apply.

Any input is appreciated,
Karthik

Last edited by Gaboonviper04 : 2nd September 2021 at 13:12. Reason: Adding one more point about keeping the car for long.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 09:32   #2
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

35 lakhs is an excellent budget for a sedan, whether new or used. Since you are open to pre-worshipped, that's what we should stick to as you will get enormous car for the money.

- Used BMW 3-Series, whether petrol or diesel. Vid6639 recently picked up a spectacular 328i for <25 lakhs. With 35 in your pocket, you'll easily get a newer beast.

Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li-img20210306wa0004.jpg

- Be warned about the Bangalore used car mafia (What is Bangalore's "used car mafia"?). That being said, some BHPians are buying cars from MH and shipping them down to KA. Recently heard of a 330i that was bought this way.

- Used Octavia vRS will be well within your budget and you'll have lots of money left over for fuel & mods.

- Be open to well-maintained 5-Series as well. While the 530d is an exceptional machine, even the 520d will do as your first luxury car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaboonviper04 View Post
Thereís only one 2020 330i GT on our classifieds here but priced at 40L and itís been there for a while now
Go drive it NOW. If you like it, buy it, but be sure to follow all the best practices from our used car buying article (PPI, insurance check for big claims etc.).

Quote:
- 2015 320d Luxury Plus, 51,000 km, 21.5L.
- 2017 320d Sport, 15,000 km, 31L.
- 2017 Audi A4 35 TDi, 17,800 km, 30L.
All good options to check out. The reliability of BMW will pleasantly surprise you. Audi A4 35 TDi is an excellent workhorse and its 2.0 diesel is good for 2 lakh km minimum.

If your used car search ends up fruitless, buy a new Octavia and keep it for 10 years. You might also consider a new A4 which BHPians from other states are buying for 39 lakhs.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2021 at 09:39.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 12:26   #3
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

For the best value as well as fun to drive option at 35 lakh, I'd say two things:

Go Used.
Go BMW.

I would feel more secure buying a less than two year BMW than a brand new Skoda.

Given the kind of usage you have in mind, I would actually suggest a used 3GT if you are open to a discontinued model. For touring on KA roads as well as dealing with Bangalore's infamous speed breakers, I believe the 3GT is absolutely brilliant option - you can go petrol or diesel as per your preference although I feel with your limited running the petrol will be the superior engine option.

It will give you the slightly better leg room that you liked in the LWB 3 although I have to say the under thigh and related comfort will be closer to 3 series than the LWB 3 series. Most importantly it will handle the rough and tumble of Indian city roads as well as highways / B roads with far more aplomb than a regular 3.

Last edited by Sheel : 3rd September 2021 at 16:45. Reason: Typo.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 12:56   #4
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Some of my friends have started having cars like BMW these days - so the impression is this.

Smaller (in comparison) BMWs with petrol engine and without very thin profile tires is the way to go. You can have fun too and come back in the same car.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 13:41   #5
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Actually the options are limited, as you are looking for fun to drive with a maximum budget of 35 lakhs

Used - 3 series (330i, 320d or 3GT) - Ideally this should be your first preference too, but as you already know Bangalore used car prices are really high and makes you wonder whether you really need to go for an used car.

New - Octavia 2 TSI, get wider tyres and you are set. Honestly, I dont see any challenge in maintaining a Skoda in Bangalore. From my experience the dealers are very efficient here.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 14:40   #6
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You might also consider a new A4 which BHPians from other states are buying for 39 lakhs.
I would consider this. It's worth the stretch, especially since you are buying a luxury german car for the first time. The additional 10-15% you spend on a new one will probably make up in the maintenance cost savings overall. Besides, you will be able to hold on to the car longer too.

From the used bunch, the 5 series would give you somewhat 330iL feel better than regular 3 series. 530d would be ideal but hard to get in this budget hence even a 520d with a remap would be great!
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Old 3rd September 2021, 17:56   #7
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

3 Series GT is the best car to get. Compared to the regular F30 3 Series, the GT offers crossover height seating comfort along with the sportiness of a sedan. Inside the cabin, it has right amount of space, and the ride quality is just superb. Unlike the 3 Series, the GT delivers a much better design from a usability standpoint. Frameless side windows, pop-up rear spoiler, sporty old-school hand brake, etc are really gorgeous. Although the GT is not a popular choice among premium used car buyers, it is still a very practical option.

Under the budget of ₹ 35lakhs, a pre-owned S60 Polestar also would be a good option to consider. Its turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder unit produces around 360bhp or something which makes it good enough for 0-100kph in under 5 seconds. For that kind of performance on offer, it offers incredible value for money in the second-hand market.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 18:41   #8
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyfiesta View Post

Under the budget of ₹ 35lakhs, a pre-owned S60 Polestar also would be a good option to consider. Its turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder unit produces around 360bhp or something which makes it good enough for 0-100kph in under 5 seconds. For that kind of performance on offer, it offers incredible value for money in the second-hand market.
There are actually two on sale at BBT since sometime: https://www.bigboytoyz.com/used-luxu...-9-detail-page
https://www.bigboytoyz.com/used-luxu...-5-detail-page
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Old 3rd September 2021, 20:22   #9
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaboonviper04 View Post
Hello all,

I'm here seeking your advice/suggestions as to what car to get if we're willing to spend about 30-35L for it.

With these in mind, and based on considerable research, I feel I’m limited to either the new Skoda Octavia (with the more reliable gearbox), or a used BMW 3 or 5 series. A used Audi A4 seems tempting too. I love Volvo as a brand too, but I don’t see great used options.
I am exactly in the same boat except I am considering petrol as I hardly use my Jetta and cannot justify a diesel.

Quote:
There’s only one 2020 330i GT on our classifieds here but priced at 40L and it’s been there for a while now. On OLX, I see
That car is not in Bangalore.

-
Quote:
There’s also a Volvo S60 D4 Momentum, 23,000 km, 30L. But the 20in wheels on it scare me!
Volvo S60's are tough but the boot is small. Worth it for long journeys but those wheels and the low front is an issue. Also when it coms to sell, it takes a while to move on unless cheap.

Quote:
The 2021 Octavia is doable, even if it seems a bit pricey. Not too many other cars would beat the practicality or features. And there's no hassle of dealing with a user car.
Its boring and aloof, very easy to drive but I walked out feeling a bit cold



Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Used BMW 3-Series, whether petrol or diesel. Vid6639 recently picked up a spectacular 328i for <25 lakhs. With 35 in your pocket, you'll easily get a newer beast.

- Used Octavia vRS will be well within your budget and you'll have lots of money left over for fuel & mods.

Quote:
Go drive it NOW. If you like it, buy it, but be sure to follow all the best practices from our used car buying article (PPI, insurance check for big claims etc.).
Been there - 600+ km away, started opening bid (considering its condition) which was low but not a low ball. Got ghosted after that.


Quote:
If your used car search ends up fruitless, buy a new Octavia and keep it for 10 years. You might also consider a new A4 which BHPians from other states are [url="https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian-car-scene/231553-2021-audi-a4-launched-rs-42-34-lah-7.html#post5137776"]buying for 39 lakhs
I'd rather buy a fridge! I like the Audi but the price is a bit too high.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sunikkat View Post
Used - 3 series (330i, 320d or 3GT) - Ideally this should be your first preference too, but as you already know Bangalore used car prices are really high and makes you wonder whether you really need to go for an used car.
Diesel excepted - you need to go to the Delhi region to find one! There is a G20 330i for sale in Bangalore but it has a questionable past



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyfiesta View Post
Under the budget of ₹ 35lakhs, a pre-owned S60 Polestar also would be a good option to consider.
There are a couple of T6's (ie the four cylinder one) for sale.

Believe me, its not easy, New means 50 big ones for not much more. Its going to be a waiting game and you need to fork the readies quickly. I did get an opportunity for a nice VRS230 where the owner sadly passed away but being a 3rd owner and having to deal with transfer hurdles made me pass on it.

I also looked at Jaguar XE and it just did not come together. Maybe it was a bad one!

So back to square one. Some options
  1. Might wait and see what Tesla's do
  2. Eventually find a good BMW but I dont like money sitting doing nothing
  3. Buy an old petrol bomber enjoy it and find something later on
  4. Buy a Kushaq and keep my Polo and try later (might be dead by then!)

Basically, I will not overpay or be pressurised into a deal.

Last edited by ajmat : 3rd September 2021 at 20:25.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 21:13   #10
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
seems 3 now. If really true, its an awesome collection to choose from for a rare car for a potential buyer looking for this car.

Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li-volvo.png
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Old 3rd September 2021, 22:45   #11
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
There was one for sale at the Boys and Machine dealership in Gurgaon as well. I saw the car at the dealer couple of weeks back, not sure if it is still there.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 23:23   #12
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Why go in for a used car @ 35 Lakhs of your hard earned money. Buy a brand new car which will have no hidden abuse or gremlins.
The Skoda Octavia L&K , 188 bhp, should guarantee thousands of miles of pleasurable and worryfree driving. A brand new car comes with full warranty that will put your mind at ease.
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Old 4th September 2021, 00:35   #13
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

I would echo a lot of the opinions around here and say go with BMW. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the reliability, and there are a fair few options for you.

I think the 330i GT is the best option for you, ticking a lot of your boxes. If that doesn't work out, check out a 530d (although the budget might be a bit of a concern, as will legroom at the back) or a 330i/328i. I wouldn't recommend the 520d as I don't think that engine is something that'll make you feel special. By extension, I'd make the same argument for the 320d, but it's still a fathomable decision.
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Old 4th September 2021, 01:16   #14
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

The 330i is a marvellous car and it has stolen many people’s hearts. The tax in Bangalore is too high for cars and 60L on road is not justified for the 330i. I'd rather wait another year to see these 330i’s depreciate and pick up one from any state nearby under 40L. If you want power then I will suggest a few pre-owned cars you can check out.

OCTAVIA VRS
The alpha. The knight in shining armour. The perfect car in this budget. It's a VAG product so you can do end number of mods on it. You can pick up a decent VRS under 30L easily. You can buy one and have so much money left for mods. You can easily go for a Stage 2 or stage 3 tune. The car handles like a dream. It looks fabulous and the interior feels so luxurious. You will see a lot of tuned VRS in Bangalore. Perfect daily driver and the perfect weekend getaway ride too. Drive it once and you'll feel like purchasing one instantly.

F10 5 series
The craving for a beamer is always fulfilled by another beamer. This is a fact on which every BHPian will agree with me. The F10 5 series was a major success, Be it the economical yet powerful 520d or the 530d which is the ultimate driving machine. If you don’t mind buying a diesel then the 530d will be the best car purchase you ever make. You can find one in good condition under 35L. You can check our moderator GTO’s review on his beautiful 530d on the forum. If you want petrol then you can pick up a 2015-16 520i for 25L which is a respectable price for it. Give the 530d a try, you won’t regret it.

Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG
In this price bracket, you can find and pick up a decent CLA45 AMG. The AMG which you can drive daily and have so much power under your right foot that the moment you step on it, you fly. Finding a good condition one in this price bracket will be tough but will be worth it.

Now, these cars were radical choices. Let's get down to the hardcore and lunatic stuff.

Audi RS5- You can easily have the 2011-14 models under 40L. The 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 in this car is going to be jaw-dropping. The way this car accelerates is brutal. The FE will be an issue but smiles per gallon over miles per gallon.

BMW M3 E92- so what if you cannot have a 330i? you can have a M3 in this budget. A V8 BMW which everyone adores. The way this thing picks up pace is unreal. The V8 engine in this is a pure charm. There are not a lot of E92/E93 M3’s in India but if you come across one then you can buy it and laugh like a little child every time you accelerate. You can pick up one under 40L.

These cars are the best all-time V8 cars I’ve seen.

If I were you I’d rather go for the V8 duo and not worry about the fuel and other expenses but we have to be practical here and for that, I’d choose the VRS over the two any day but it all comes down to your preferences. Do check out the trio and then make the decision. If not then buy any of the V8 cars I mentioned

Last edited by speedfreak77 : 4th September 2021 at 01:18.
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Old 4th September 2021, 11:52   #15
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Default re: Which fun-to-drive sedan for ~35 lakhs? EDIT: Got the BMW 330Li

Thank you everyone for your inputs. Much appreciated. The search is ongoing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Quote:
Vid6639 recently picked up a spectacular 328i for <25 lakhs. With 35 in your pocket, you'll easily get a newer beast.
Thanks a ton, GTO. Oh, that 328i looks amazing! Vid6639, you wanna sell it? Please!

Yes, Iíve read that thread about the used car market here, and itís a scary place to me even otherwise!

Quote:
Go drive it NOW. If you like it, buy it, but be sure to follow all the best practices from our used car buying article.
I was planning to go check it out, made contact with the owner, and then saw Ajmatís message about it! Now, not sure what to do next.

This may seem like a stupid question- Iím sure the 320d is a great car, but in your experience, is it almost as fun a car to drive as the petrol 330i? I haven't driven a diesel 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
Given the kind of usage you have in mind, I would actually suggest a used 3GT if you are open to a discontinued model. For touring on KA roads as well as dealing with Bangalore's infamous speed breakers, I believe the 3GT is absolutely brilliant option
Thank you. The 3GT is definitely exciting as well as being more practical. Weíve been looking hard for it and mostly coming up blank at the moment, letís see.

Quote:
I would feel more secure buying a less than two year BMW than a brand new Skoda.
Wow, that's something. And frankly reassuring to hear from many of you about BMW's reliability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunikkat View Post
New - Octavia 2 TSI, get wider tyres and you are set. Honestly, I dont see any challenge in maintaining a Skoda in Bangalore. From my experience the dealers are very efficient here.
Thanks. The 2021 Octavia is surely a prudent call (at least financially), and if nothing else turns up in the used market, we may just go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
I would consider this. It's worth the stretch, especially since you are buying a luxury german car for the first time.
As tempting as that price is for an Audi, if I buy it out of state, Iíd still have to pay the road taxes for it here in Karnataka, right? Then it takes it out of our budget. Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyfiesta View Post
3 Series GT is the best car to get.
Agreed, thanks. Weíve been looking at the 3GT and yet a find a good deal.

Quote:
Under the budget of ₹ 35lakhs, a pre-owned S60 Polestar also would be a good option to consider.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipen View Post
If really true, its an awesome collection to choose from for a rare car for a potential buyer looking for this car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
There was one for sale at the Boys and Machine dealership in Gurgaon as well.
What a cool looking car, right? Those performance figures (362 BHP!) are mouthwatering! But the 20Ē wheels are scary for our roads, even in Bangalore and definitely on longer rural trips. A related question- is it at all a feasible option to change those wheels to something more practical, say 18Ē? If itís even possible, what would be the drawbacks of downsizing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I am exactly in the same boat except I am considering petrol as I hardly use my Jetta and cannot justify a diesel.
That car is not in Bangalore.
Been there - 600+ km away, started opening bid (considering its condition) which was low but not a low ball. Got ghosted after that.
Thanks, Ajmat. All helpful points.
I didnít even know that until your message. I then checked with the owner and yeah, it isnít in Bangalore . I am seriously considering that car. Do you mind sharing your observations about it, maybe via PM?

Quote:
Its boring and aloof, very easy to drive but I walked out feeling a bit cold
Really? The new Octavia felt that bad? What a bummer because it ticks so many boxes otherwise. Weíre going to test drive it soon in any case, but again, Iíd love to hear more about what left you feeling cold about the car.

Quote:
Believe me, its not easy, New means 50 big ones for not much more. Its going to be a waiting game and you need to fork the readies quickly.
Yeah, I see that. Time is a factor for us though, we need to make a call sooner than later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matizcrazy View Post
Why go in for a used car @ 35 Lakhs of your hard earned money. Buy a brand new car which will have no hidden abuse or gremlins.
Thanks for the financially wise take. I agree with you about the fear of hidden gremlins in a used car. But the heart wants to own and drive a BMW before itís too old!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iliketurtles View Post
I think the 330i GT is the best option for you, ticking a lot of your boxes. If that doesn't work out, check out a 530d (although the budget might be a bit of a concern, as will legroom at the back) or a 330i/328i.
Thank you. Unfortunately weíre not seeing too many 330i GTs at the moment in the used space. The car is beautiful and practical. And yes, seems difficult to find a good 530d in our budget. We're continuing to look though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedfreak77 View Post
The 330i is a marvellous car and it has stolen many peopleís hearts. The tax in Bangalore is too high for cars and 60L on road is not justified for the 330i.
I know. 60L surely is a big hit, but what a beast of a car though! Still canít get over that feeling of sitting in one, it felt special.

Quote:
OCTAVIA VRS
The alpha. The knight in shining armour. The perfect car in this budget.
F10 5 series
The craving for a beamer is always fulfilled by another beamer.
Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG
In this price bracket, you can find and pick up a decent CLA45 AMG.

Audi RS5- The 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 in this car is going to be jaw-dropping.
BMW M3 E92- so what if you cannot have a 330i? you can have a M3 in this budget.
Thank you for opening up some new very tempting options. We just canít find a VRS. We are looking at used 530ds, so far the ones that fit the budget are quite old. Weíve got them on our list. Oh my god, RS5 and M3? I didnít even think of those, but Iíve started looking at those too now!

>>
A question to all- is it better to stay away from 320ds that are listed as second owners and also being sold through local car dealers? Iíve got one or two for about 34L but I'd have to go through a dealer. Besides luck at play, would it be easy to thoroughly check the car when itís with a used car dealer?

Thanks again everyone.
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