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Old 28th October 2020, 14:20   #16
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

Fantastic review Akshay!

I agree the Grey does not complement the body lines as well as say Portimao Blue or mineral white would. The area around the gear level does look tad bit out of place and cheap tbh! Other than that this is an amazing car and VFM in my opinion for anyone shopping in the segment. C class is outdated, XE is good if one wants to roll the dice on JLR reliability and the A4 has been out of the game for a while. (Who buys a 50L premium sedan with a 1.5L motor?)

As for being a better car than the VRS, there's no two ways about it but from what i've heard there's some good 4/5L off on the remaining VRS's at select dealers (Ahemdabad dealer has 2 in stock) so a VRS AT 39L OTR or a 330i Msport at 47/48 OTR(after discounts) does make one ponder the choices. One can spend the difference on tuning the VRS and give cars 2 segments above a run for their money!
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Old 28th October 2020, 17:08   #17
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

Excellent review as usual Akshayji. The interiors have really improved quite a lot when compared to the previous ones. But I can't really understand why BMW is not providing adjustable lumbar support in such an expensive car. It is a feature that is an absolute must have in a car which is supposed to be taken on long drives. The front seats look comfortable though.
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Old 28th October 2020, 17:13   #18
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

Thank you for the excellent review!

Quick question, Sport plus mode doesn't turn off DSC completely?
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Old 28th October 2020, 17:58   #19
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

Great review and the car is awsom but still kinda still prefer the 3GT.The GT offers more flexibility and I have seen big sewage pipes being transported with the boot closed.
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Old 28th October 2020, 18:04   #20
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

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Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
Do note that the curtains for the side windows are now gone, and so is the powered curtain for the rear windscreen. These should have been continued IMO
This is a very Hyundai-esqe el-cheapo move. The sunblinds really help in our climatic conditions.

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Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
And did I mention it doesn't get unsettled much with mid corner bumps too?
This has been a very debated topic among friends after I test drove the G20 330i. At high speeds on slight undulations, Eg. expansion joints, the rear just felt bouncy, ie. rebound was not controlled such that my rear passenger almost hit the ceiling.

I take that very stretch frequently in my Laura and Yeti and both of them are able to flatten it out.

Reading your review I'm inclined to believe that it might have been an issue with that particular TD car.

On a related note, online literature mentions about BMW introducing variable (lift-based) dampening in non M-sport suspensions with the G20. Not entirely sure if the India models get them though.

Quote:
These new lift-related dampers feature both main and auxiliary springs and new internal hydraulic bump stops, which are capable of progressively increasing pressure inside the shock over bumps, while also progressively adjusting rebound. This new tech for the front and rear shocks also do slightly different things in the new 3 Series, with the fronts work on rebound while the rears work on compression. This is a BMW-first technology.

Essentially, this new suspension setup stages compression on both compression and rebound, allowing for a finer-tuned, more controlled ride, which will allow it to both absorb bumps better as well as handle better. And it seems to have worked well.
Source

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Old 28th October 2020, 19:35   #21
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

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Originally Posted by GTB View Post
Thank you for the excellent review!

Quick question, Sport plus mode doesn't turn off DSC completely?
Nope, You have to manually turn it off.
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Old 30th October 2020, 21:31   #22
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

Great review.

When you read the review of a BMW, an BMW afficianado..or at least I impatiently rush through the quality, interiors and all that to get to the part that matters the most - the handling and the powertrain. Looks like BMW has nailed that one well. The reviews of previous gen 3 series have been full of how BMW has softened the suspension to appeal to a wider range of buyers. But this seems good old BMW.

I personally didn't find the digital dials great. They look a bit gimmicky and after market. To me it's the VAG group that does digital dials the best. I also did not like the tan color insert in the lower part of the dash. Would have preferred the same color, perhaps of a different shade or texture...err let me correct this a bit, on second look it is that textured silverish trim ahead of and around the gear lever that looks a bit off. But who cares, the chassis and the power train do it for me. Well yeah - back to drooling over them.

Drive on,
Shibu

Last edited by shibujp : 30th October 2020 at 21:35.
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Old 31st October 2020, 22:10   #23
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

I almost closed the deal for my F30 330i that is up for sale on Team-bhp too for a great price (37 lakhs), but the buyer could not wait for 4-6 week for the transfer in his name before which I would not hand posession. So on the intervening night of yesterday between the price and terms discussion to the declination today, I was thinking about what next when my financial situation allows. A used F30 (preferably 328i), or a new G20, or souped up Polo or Octavia, or hopelessly dream for Hyundai or Toyota to launch i20N or Toyota 86 in India? Or get a G20 with its ugly snout??? Yes, I've stood for 15 mins at a time repeatedly like a window shopper near the display G20 at the ASS when my F30 was being serviced etc and tried to develop some feelings. But as they say, you cannot be forced to fall in love. So while I will take a proper test drive of the G20 soon on the Himalyan Expressway, I don't see how that will help bring clarity.

The F30's ride and handling is really good with the Bilstein B6 and forged alloys plus Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tubeless tyres. The G20's shortcomings are listed in this thread and others, and to summarize they are-

1. C'mon, that front grill is ugly and we cannot get over it.
2. The mode buttons layout means we need to get our eyes off the road to get the mode right AND not press the stop button, at least initially.
3. The speedometer and RPM display- traditional needles were best, LCI digital needles with speed highlighted were better! G20- let me check the configs before judging. No HUD? Huh?

As for the steering feel, the India Headquarter has at least said that race track user do code for a stiffer steering. I am after them to find a solution, so let's see. The ASS technicians say the pinion nut can be tightened a bit at the cost of faster wear of the mechanism, and increasing the negative camber may help. So while my F30 steering feel is not too bad, my Baleno's is better!! Lets see where this ends.

All in all, would the enhancements in G20 over an F30 with Bilstein B6 be justified with the price difference outlay should I go for it in future?

Putting the sale on hold until there is clarity.

Last edited by ais : 31st October 2020 at 22:15.
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Old 1st November 2020, 00:46   #24
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

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Originally Posted by ais View Post
I almost closed the deal for my F30 330i that is up for sale on Team-bhp too for a great price (37 lakhs), but the buyer could not wait for 4-6 week for the transfer in his name before which I would not hand posession. So on the intervening night of yesterday between the price and terms discussion to the declination today, I was thinking about what next when my financial situation allows. A used F30 (preferably 328i), or a new G20, or souped up Polo or Octavia, or hopelessly dream for Hyundai or Toyota to launch i20N or Toyota 86 in India? Or get a G20 with its ugly snout???

All in all, would the enhancements in G20 over an F30 with Bilstein B6 be justified with the price difference outlay should I go for it in future?

Putting the sale on hold until there is clarity.
Hey ais, as per your initial forum posts you indicated that you're selling the car primarily due to low running, would a G20 fare any better in that case? I doubt it. Secondly, you own a beautiful F30 with all the right upgrades, I would not recommend selling it just for another luxury sedan. If you're thinking of replacing the 330i with a SUV or hatchback, that's a completely different question. Thirdly, the F30 platform has wonderful aftermarket support and you can alter your experience to your liking. If you don't like the steering setup, switch to M3 Control Arms which I've heard make a huge difference and think about adding a strut brace. In short, don't sell the F30 to get a G20, it won't be worth the extra cost IMHO.
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Old 1st November 2020, 08:50   #25
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

I checked about the strut brace on various YouTube videos and Karan Shah of KS Motors, Mumbai who also guides me on these matters. It will not help in straight driving with the centre feel, now with the lightness of the steering.

Let me check on the M3 Control Arms.

More than how much the car is run, its about the experience WHEN the car ir run. I agree, the beauty of F30, and the package and possibilities of tweaks, will be hard to replace.

Thanks Dealer. As you can tell, this is a confusiing phase I'm going through.

Experts kindly advise on how the exhast acn be made to pop and crackle without spending the 1 lakh plus on an M Exhaust? A demo piece I saw at Navneet Motors in Andheri had it, and the G20 M Sport has it as part of factory setup.
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Old 1st November 2020, 09:00   #26
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

Great review. Have heard the G20 330i in sports mode and yes, BMW is handing out way better stock exhausts (like the G30 530i - audible) and much improved driving dynamics with the G-generation. It is like E90 and F30 having a child which is both comfortable and sharp (or E60 + F10 = G30). Design is on point but will take me a bit to absorb the front-end, especially the headlights with broken continuity. Not on my radar but a used one 5 years down the line sounds about reasonable.

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Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
Exterior
This is my one peeve with the car, the wheel design. While its not bad by any margin, I'm sure they could've picked a far better design.]
Instead of this rather gaudy and unappetizing design, they could have used these incredible 18" spinny boys (OEM Style 452) from the F10 520d LCI:

Name:  bmwwheelsstyle452.jpg
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Old 8th November 2020, 21:04   #27
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Originally Posted by Sreesh1009 View Post
The only grouse for me would be the height and rear seat comfort (I'm 6 feet tall and I'm pretty sure my head would rub against the roof).
In the front seat, you would be perfectly comfortable. In the rear seat it may be a bit tight. I'm a bit taller fyi, and didn't have any real issues as such.

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Originally Posted by Merc_Freak View Post
Awesome Review. I didn't quite like the looks of this gen of the 3 series at launch, but it has grown on me. One thing I didn't like though, is that they removed the curtains, other than that, it's a wonderful car.
Its simply cost cutting, but then again I can understand because I haven't seen too many 3 series owners actually using the curtains. They have loaded on quite a few other features, and I'm sure they had to trim costs in some areas.

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Originally Posted by jayanttalwar View Post
It’s so good to see BMW make the 3 series driver focused again! Great review and your point about the BMW being bit more pure compared to the vrs is exactly what I feel.
The 3 series was never not driver focused. Its just that the E90 was a bit too hard, and the F30 a bit too soft.

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Originally Posted by vvb8530 View Post
Great review Akshay. I love almost everything about the G20 330i Msport. The almost is only because even though I am out in the market for something in the similar price range even after multiple test drives and discussions I still cannot make up my mind about it since as compared to my Octavia that I plan to replace, the G20 still feels short charged. With its size the 3 is no where an upgrade to the Octavia nor is it with missing features like passive entry, panoramic sunroof, adaptive headlights, omission of the rear curtains, etc. The maximum discount that BMW is offering is only about 5L so for 55L OTR Bombay a 3 series seems like a lot of money, it still costs 2x of what the Octavia costs.
If you look at it in a purely materialistic manner, then yes the 330i doesn't really offer an upgrade. The size is similar, a bit smaller, feature wise too its not a significant upgrade. But what you get is something which is arguably built and engineered better, something which will increase your driving pleasure a large amount (not to mention street cred), and the whole ownership will be more enjoyable. You will notice the small things only after you actually use it for a while, which will make the extra money seem worth it.

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Originally Posted by eyeman View Post
Excellent review as usual Akshayji. The interiors have really improved quite a lot when compared to the previous ones. But I can't really understand why BMW is not providing adjustable lumbar support in such an expensive car. It is a feature that is an absolute must have in a car which is supposed to be taken on long drives. The front seats look comfortable though.
I agree completely, lumbar support is something which should have been there. It was something which was deleted on the F30 too, and its certainly needed after a couple hours driving. But yes, these seats are far better, and will lead to less complaints unless the driver is tall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTB View Post
Thank you for the excellent review!

Quick question, Sport plus mode doesn't turn off DSC completely?
No it doesn't. In the F30, sports plus mode would turn DSC off partially, enough to have fun with the car. But it was easy to let things get out of hand with an inexperienced driver, so maybe that's why it no longer happens by default.

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Originally Posted by nerd1200 View Post
This has been a very debated topic among friends after I test drove the G20 330i. At high speeds on slight undulations, Eg. expansion joints, the rear just felt bouncy, ie. rebound was not controlled such that my rear passenger almost hit the ceiling.

I take that very stretch frequently in my Laura and Yeti and both of them are able to flatten it out.

Reading your review I'm inclined to believe that it might have been an issue with that particular TD car.
The Laura and Yeti would take much larger bumps better than the 330 for sure. But for larger bumps one would slow down by default more in this, than in a Laura or a Yeti (with their higher profile sidewalls and softer longer travelling suspensions).

With regards to expansion joints, unless it was a really unscientific one you are referring too, its possible the car you tested was not ideal. I have driven a couple G20s apart from this, and I found the suspension setup to be absolutely sorted for what the 330i is made to be. If we compare the comfort to crossovers or SUVs or compare the rough road handling abilities, the G20 will fall short.
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Old 9th November 2020, 02:29   #28
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

I've been extremely confused in regards to an upgrade from my current F30 320D. I did test drive the new G20 once and that front design. I mean what can I say. I just don't find it more appealing than my current F30.

F30 is somehow just a sharper looking car (at least from the front).

And honestly, in terms of the driving department. Having driven the F30 for 4 years, the G20 330i felt slightly faster but nothing too extreme. Maybe driving an F30 for so long has kind of skewed my expectations a little.

I almost bought G20 earlier this year but due to poor discounting by BMW and after seeing the horrible low ball exchange offer for my current F30 by them. I decided to keep my current car.

I recently got all 4 Tyres changed and got a new battery installed. My F30 has done only 34000 kms and is running as good as new. What do you guys suggest? Is it worth the upgrade to the new G20 330i or should I keep my F30 for a few more years?
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Old 9th November 2020, 08:18   #29
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And honestly, in terms of the driving department. Having driven the F30 for 4 years, the G20 330i felt slightly faster but nothing too extreme. Maybe driving an F30 for so long has kind of skewed my expectations a little.

I almost bought G20 earlier this year but due to poor discounting by BMW and after seeing the horrible low ball exchange offer for my current F30 by them. I decided to keep my current car.

I recently got all 4 Tyres changed and got a new battery installed. My F30 has done only 34000 kms and is running as good as new. What do you guys suggest? Is it worth the upgrade to the new G20 330i or should I keep my F30 for a few more years?
If you think the upgrade will get you a slightly better car, why bother upgrading? By upgrading, you're bound to lose a lot of money in the process. At 34k kms, your car is still a virgin!

I think you got bit by the new car bug! I guess you need some time to recover from that bite!
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Old 9th November 2020, 08:56   #30
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Default Re: Review: BMW 330i (G20)

What a beauty ! Thanks for this amazing review. I think BMW must offer option of Manual transmission in the performance versions of their cars in Indian market just like they’re offering same in some international markets.
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